All About Yorkies… Average Lifespan Of A Yorkshire Terrier

Last Updated on August 29, 2021 by Marco C.

The average lifespan of a Yorkshire terrier is the most important point you should identify before adopting this intelligent creature. They are one of the most popular toy dogs that many pet parents seek to adopt so you must consider the Yorkie terrier life expectancy and how to keep it in a good health.

The Average Lifespan Of A Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkie terrier’s life span ranges between 13-15 years. Yorkie’s females live on average one year longer than males. Compared to other breeds, Yorkies can be one of your family members for a sufficient period.

Common Health Problems Of A Yorkshire Terrier

Terriers are prone to some health conditions that could decrease their lifespan. Some of them are genetic that is related to the breed. You have to be aware of these conditions to give your terrier the best care it deserves.

Health Problems Of A Yorkshire Terrier

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Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)

Patent means”open” and ductus arteriosus is a connection between the Pulmonary artery and the Aorta. After birth, ductus arteriosus should be closed but sometimes it is left open leading to this condition. The opened ductus arteriosus increases the blood flow to the lungs that exerts pressure on the heart. Signs of the condition include weight loss, shortness of breath, cough, fatigue, and weakness in the hind limbs.

Heart Failure

Heart failure is the most serious disease that can end your dog’s life early. Mitral valve disease is a common cause that your dog’s valve becomes weak and no longer close tightly. If you figured out the condition early, your vet would prescribe some medications to extend your Yorkie terrier lifespan.

Portosystemic Shunt (PSS)

This is an abnormal connection between the circulation and the liver. Normally, the liver takes the blood coming from the intestines, spleen, and pancreas to detoxify it to be free from toxins. However, here this shunt hinders the blood from going to the liver and goes instead to the circulation again. Yorkies with PSS could suffer neurological signs, lack of appetite, low blood sugar, behavioral abnormalities, excessive urination, and drinking. Portosystemic shunt is treated surgically but the vet will give your dog some medications first to improve its health.

Patellar Luxation

When the patella doesn’t fit properly into the joint, this is patellar luxation, it has 4 grades that affect small dogs. Grade one can make the dog suffer lameness while grade four leads eventually to arthritis if left untreated. Mild cases could be treated manually but severe ones could require surgery.

Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s)

Cushing’s is a genetic disease that makes the adrenal glands secrete too much steroid hormone. The condition develops slowly and most pet parents can’t identify early signs. Signs of Cushing’s include increased appetite, drinking, and urination, fatigue, thin skin, and hair loss. The vet will give your Yorkie some oral medications to correct the malfunction.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

It is a degenerative eye disorder affecting Yorkshire terriers. PRA may lead to blindness but don’t worry as you can recognize the early signs easily. Make sure to adopt a terrier from a reputable breeder as he has a certification from a veterinary ophthalmologist to every dog he has.

Collapsed Trachea

It is a chronic progressive disease that affects the cartilage in the trachea making it tend to collapse easily. Despite being congenital, some factors that can exacerbate the condition are obesity, pulmonary edema, and respiratory infections. Dogs with collapsed trachea show chronic, and dry cough.


Hypoglycemia means low blood sugar, it is a common disorder between toy dogs. They may experience seizure-like episodes, weakness, and a wobbly gait. The vet can prescribe some medications to prevent this disorder if happened.

How To Prolong Your Yorkie Terrier Life Span

Adopting a pet is a responsibility but it is the most interesting responsibility ever. You have to learn how to take good care of your terrier to make it live a long, healthy, and happy life. Here are some tips to follow when caring about your terrier


Consider regular Vet visits to check your Yorkie and detect any abnormal signs as early as possible. Don’t forget to vaccinate it with required vaccinations. Learn how to clean its ears weekly to prevent ear infections. Finally, read more information about diseases that affect terries so you can protect your dog against them if possible.


Yorkshire terrier has long, silky hair and a coat that is similar to humans. It is recommended to brush its hair daily, trim the hair on the upper part of the head to avoid eye irritation, and bathe it once a week.  Yorkies can’t tolerate too cold or hot weather so try to keep them in a warm place.


Yorkshire terrier is an energetic dog that needs exercising to stay healthy. Take it in a short walk twice a day, engage it in some activities such as chasing after a tennis ball in the backyard, and obedience training as well. The Yorkshire terrier trainability is easy as they are quick learners dogs.


Try to give your dog high-quality food whether homemade or commercially manufactured, it is better to be organic free from GMOs (Genetically modified organisms). Each dog age (puppy, adult, senior) requires specific food formula so read the package label first. Keep your terrier away from obesity by giving it the required amount of food especially for treats that can be used to aid in training. The amount of food for each dog depends on its activity level, size, age, and metabolism. Generally, the recommended food amount is 1/2 to 3/4 cup of dry food daily, divided into two meals.


Yorkshire terrier is a lovey-dovey intelligent breed, many dog parents love to adopt it because of its small size, affectionate personality, and easy trainability. The average lifespan of a Yorkshire terrier is 13-15 years. Yorkies are prone to some medical conditions that can shortage their lifespan. Keep regular visits to the Vet, regular exercising, and grooming so you and your terrier will enjoy happy moments together. For more information or questions, please leave your comments below.

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