Last Updated on August 20, 2021 by Marco C.
Small dog breeds are famous for their longevity which brings up the question of how long is the average Yorkie age span and how can you make sure you pass it. After all, Yorkies may be impressively healthy but they too can suffer from certain conditions and health problems. So, below we’ll go over everything you need to know about the average Yorkie age span.
What Is The Standard Yorkie Age Span You Can Expect?
Most healthy and purebred Yorkies today have little trouble reaching 13 to 16 years. This makes for an average life expectancy of 14.5 years. That’s nearly twice longer than the standard lifespan of some giant dog breeds such as the Great Dane.
What’s even more impressive, however, is that those 13-16 years are just an average. A healthy puppy with responsible owners can easily blow past that arbitrary milestone. There are plenty of reports of Yorkshire terriers living past 20 years of age and there are even some unconfirmed claims of Yorkies living for as long as 28 years!
A big part of that is the wonder of modern dog breeding. Good pet breeders make sure that they only breed healthy dogs and they spray and neuter those pets with unfortunate genetic predispositions. This ensures that every pup you take from a reputable breeder will have the best possible chance at life.
Of course, if you get your dog from a pet store or a puppy mill, you’ll mostly be throwing dice when it comes to its health. But, if you’ve got a healthy dog, good care can easily ensure that it will live a long and happy life.
What Factors Affect The Average Age Of Yorkies?
The average age of Yorkie terriers is just that – average. It can easily be passed by with good care and good genes. At the same time, however, if you don’t take good care of your Yorkie or if you’re saddled with some unfortunate illnesses, your pup may not live to its average life expectancy.
So, let’s go over the five main causes of death for Yorkshire terriers:
- Infections – a young pup can suffer from myriad different infections. This is especially true if you take frequent walks outside but you don’t bathe, brush, and groom your Yorkie properly.
- Respiratory disease – one of the unpleasant surprises for most people is that this breed is actually brachycephalic. This means that there are quite a few respiratory conditions you’ll need to avoid. Be especially careful in avoiding overheating in the summer!
- Physical trauma – Yorkies are small dogs, at the end of the day. This is a big reason to love them but also a reason to be careful around them – especially when they are young.
- Congenital disease – about 10% of Yorkies suffer from Congenital disease at one point in their life.
- Cancer – this is another unfortunate disease that strikes down some ~10% of Yorkies. Fortunately, if you’re careful, this disease is likely to come at a later stage of your Yorkie’s life.
The good news is that most of these are either avoidable or can be managed. So, as long as you’ve got a healthy puppy and you look after it well, you should have little trouble reaching and surpassing the average Yorkie age span.
Learn more about: What Is The Lifespan Of A Yorkshire Terrier And How To Extend It
How Does The Yorkie Age Span Compare To Other Small Dog Breeds?
As a small dog breed, Yorkies can live for quite some time. This makes them an excellent pet for families with small kids that are looking for a pet companion for their child into adulthood. Yorkies are also great for people looking for a company into their golden years. Still, there are quite a few other small dog breeds that also have long lifespans. How does the Yorkie age span compare to those?
- Chihuahuas usually live up to 14-18 years
- Pomeranians’ average age is between 12-16 years
- Shih Tzu’s average is 10-16 years
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is more of a mid-sized breed and lives up to 9 to 14 years
- Maltese dogs have an average age span of 12-15 years
- Papillions tend to grow up to 13-15 years
- Toy Poodles also live about 12-15 years
- Dachshunds often reach 12-14 years
So, the Yorkie age span of 13 to 16 years is not technically the longest possible but it is up there. With the right care, a healthy Yorkie pup can last you for nearly two decades or even more if you’re lucky.
8 Ways To Improve On The Average Life Expectancy Of A Yorkie
There really are three main ways to make sure your Yorkie will live as long as possible. Good food, good exercise, and a good vet. However, if we are to break these down to a more detailed list, here’s what you’ll need to do once you get a healthy puppy from a reputable breeder:
- Avoid physical accidents. This includes pet-proofing your home and instructing all guests and family members – especially kids – to be gentle and careful with the Yorkie.
- Always leash-up before a walk. You don’t want your dog to run away or to be attacked by another dog.
- Don’t slack on the regular vaccinations, booster shots, and routine vet visits.
- Dental care is extremely important and often ignored. Oral infections often lead to health problems in other parts of the dog’s body.
- Spraying or neutering your Yorkie is crucial for the many additional health benefits it provides.
- Avoid dehydration and overheating in the summer at all costs.
- Yorkies don’t need too much exercise but they shouldn’t skip their two daily half-hour walks.
- A good diet with healthy and nutritious dog food is crucial.
Does The Standard Yorkie Age Span Make It A Good Family Pet?
In a word – yes. Unless – for some reason – you’re purposefully looking for a dog breed with a short lifespan, the Yorkie is one of the longest living breeds out there. As long as you take a healthy pup from a reputable breeder and you look after it, the Yorkie can be an excellent family pet for nearly two decades.