Teacup Yorkies, also known as miniature Yorkshire Terriers, are an increasingly popular breed of dog that has captured the hearts of some dog lovers worldwide. These adorable little dogs are known for their cute looks, lively personalities, and loyal natures.

However, for potential owners, one important consideration is the lifespan of these dogs. How long can you expect your teacup Yorkie to live, and what can you do to help them stay healthy and happy for as long as possible? In this blog post, we’ll answer these questions and provide helpful tips for caring for your teacup Yorkie.

Understanding Teacup Yorkies

Teacup Yorkies are a smaller version of the Yorkshire Terrier breed. Typically weighing between 2 and 4 pounds, they are significantly smaller than the standard Yorkshire Terrier, which typically weighs between 4 and 7 pounds. This smaller size is achieved through selective breeding of the smallest Yorkies, often over multiple generations.

Teacup Yorkies have a distinctive appearance: a small, flat head, a black button nose, and large, expressive eyes. They also have long, silky coats in various colours, including black, brown, and silver.

One of the reasons why teacup Yorkies are so popular is their personality. These dogs are known for being lively, affectionate, loyal, and loving around people. They are also intelligent and trainable, making them a great choice for families and individuals looking for a companion that is easy to train.

However, teacup Yorkies are not without their health issues. Due to their small size, they are more prone to certain health problems, such as hypoglycemia, dental issues, and bone fractures. When considering a teacup Yorkie as a pet, it is important to consider these health issues.

How Long Do Teacup Yorkies Live?

Teacup Yorkies Live around 12 to 15 years, similar to a standard Yorkshire Terrier. However, many teacup Yorkies can live into their late teens or even early twenties with proper care and attention to their health.

It is vital to note that several factors can influence the lifespan of a teacup Yorkie. Genetics can play a role, with some dogs being more prone to certain health issues than others. The dog’s diet and exercise routine can also impact its lifespan, as can regular veterinary checkups and vaccinations.

To help your teacup, Yorkie live a long and healthy life; it is important to provide them with proper nutrition, exercise, and veterinary care. Feeding your dog a high-quality, balanced diet and regular exercise can help keep them healthy. Regular checkups with a veterinarian can also help identify and treat any health issues early on before they become more serious.

It is also important to watch for any signs of health problems in your teacup Yorkie, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or changes in behaviour. If you notice anything unusual, it is always best to seek veterinary advice to ensure your dog receives prompt and appropriate treatment.

Average Lifespan & Causes of Death

As mentioned earlier, the average lifespan of a teacup Yorkie is between 12 and 15 years. However, some dogs may live longer or shorter depending on various factors, such as genetics, diet, exercise, and overall health.

The most common causes of death in teacup Yorkies are similar to those in other small dog breeds. These causes include

Trauma: Due to their small size, teacup Yorkies are more susceptible to injuries and accidents, which can sometimes be fatal.

Hypoglycemia: Teacup Yorkies are prone to hypoglycemia, a condition in which their blood sugar levels drop too low. If not treated promptly, hypoglycemia can be life-threatening.

Liver shunt: A liver shunt is a congenital abnormality that affects the liver’s ability to function properly. This condition can lead to various health problems and be fatal if left untreated.

Heart disease: Teacup Yorkies are also prone to various types of heart disease, such as mitral valve disease and patent ductus arteriosus. These conditions can be managed with proper veterinary care but can ultimately lead to heart failure and death.

Cancer: Like all dogs, teacup Yorkies can develop cancer, which can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated early.

It is part of the note that many of these health issues can be managed with proper care and veterinary attention. By providing your teacup Yorkie with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and routine veterinary care, you can help them live a long and happy life.

Common Health Issues in Teacup Yorkies

Like all dog breeds, Teacup Yorkies are susceptible to various health issues. However, due to their small size, they may be more prone to certain health problems. Here are some of the most usual health issues in teacup Yorkies:

Hypoglycemia: This is a condition in which the dog’s blood sugar levels drop too low, causing weakness, lethargy, and sometimes seizures. It is more common in small breeds like teacup Yorkies and can be fatal if not treated promptly.

Dental issues: Small dogs like teacup Yorkies are more prone to dental problems such as gum disease and tooth decay. Regular dental cleanings and tooth brushing can help prevent these issues.

Liver shunt: This is a congenital condition in which the blood flow to the liver is abnormal, leading to a buildup of toxins in the bloodstream. Symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, and seizures. This condition requires medical attention and sometimes surgery.

Collapsed trachea: This condition in which the dog’s windpipe collapses, making breathing difficult. It is more common in small breeds like teacup Yorkies and can be caused by various factors, such as obesity or genetics.

Legg-Calve-Perthes disease is when the hip ball joint deteriorates, leading to pain and lameness. It is more common in small breeds like teacup Yorkies and can be managed with medication and sometimes surgery.

Eye problems: Teacup Yorkies are more prone to eye problems such as cataracts and retinal dysplasia. Regular eye exams can help detect and manage these issues.

It is vital to remember that not all teacup Yorkies will develop these health issues, and some can live long and healthy lives with the right care and attention. Regular veterinary checkups and prompt attention to unusual symptoms can help ensure your teacup Yorkie stays healthy and happy for as long as possible.

Caring for Your Teacup Yorkie

Caring for your teacup Yorkie involves providing them with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and routine veterinary care. Here are some tips for keeping your teacup Yorkie healthy and happy:

Diet: Feeding your teacup Yorkie a high-quality, balanced diet is essential for their health. Choose a food appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. Avoid feeding your dog table scraps, as human food can harm dogs.

Exercise: Even though teacup Yorkies are small, they still need regular exercise to maintain good health. Take your dog for short walks or play games that allow them to run around and burn off excess energy.

Grooming: Teacup Yorkies have long hair that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangles. Brush your dog’s hair daily and take them to a professional groomer for a trim every few months.

Dental care: Dental health is important for all dogs, but especially for teacup Yorkies, who are more prone to dental problems. Brush your dog’s teeth daily with dog-specific toothpaste, and take them to the veterinarian for regular dental cleanings.

Veterinary care: Regular veterinary checkups are important for detecting and treating health issues early. Ensure your teacup Yorkie receives routine vaccinations and is treated for fleas, ticks, and heartworms as needed.

Safety: Teacup Yorkies are small and easily injured, so keeping them safe is important. Avoid leaving your dog unsupervised in potentially dangerous situations, such as around larger dogs or near open windows or doors.

Providing your teacup Yorkie with the proper care and attention can help them live a long and healthy life. Always watch for unusual symptoms or behaviours and seek veterinary care if necessary.

How Old was The Oldest Yorkie?

The oldest Yorkie on record was a dog named Jack, who lived to be 21 years and 354 days old. Jack was born in 1992 and passed away in 2014. This is an impressive age for any dog, but it is especially noteworthy for a small breed like the Yorkshire Terrier.

It’s important to remember that not all dogs will live as long as Jack did and that various factors, such as genetics, diet, exercise, and veterinary care, can influence the lifespan of a dog. However, by providing your Yorkie with the proper care and attention, you can help increase their chances of living a long and good life.

The Difference Between a Teacup And a Yorkie’s Lifespan

The lifespan of a teacup Yorkie and a regular-sized Yorkshire Terrier is generally the same, ranging from 12 to 16 years on average. Both breeds are long-lived and can enjoy a healthy and active life with proper care and attention.

It’s important to note that the term “teacup Yorkie” is not a recognized breed by major kennel clubs, and it generally refers to smaller-than-average Yorkies that are bred selectively for their small size. Due to their smaller size, teacup Yorkies may be more prone to certain health issues, such as hypoglycemia, dental problems, and liver shunts, which can impact their lifespan.

However, teacup Yorkies can live long and happy lives with proper care, including a healthy diet, regular exercise, and routine veterinary checkups. It’s also worth noting that there is some controversy around the breeding of teacup Yorkies, as breeding for extremely small sizes can lead to various health problems and ethical concerns. It’s important to research and choose a responsible breeder if you consider getting a teacup Yorkie.

Senior Yorkie Dog Care

As dogs age, they require extra care and attention to maintain their health and well-being. Here are some tips for caring for a senior Yorkie dog:

Regular Veterinary Checkups: Senior Yorkies should see their vet for regular checkups, including blood work and other tests to detect any health issues early. Regular checkups can help detect and manage age-related illnesses like arthritis, diabetes, and kidney disease.

Nutrition: Feed your senior Yorkie a high-quality, age-appropriate diet. As dog’s age, their nutritional needs change. Feed your senior Yorkie a diet lower in fat and higher in protein and fibre to maintain a healthy weight and prevent constipation.

Exercise: Exercise is important for maintaining your senior Yorkie’s physical and mental health. However, be mindful of your dog’s limitations and adjust their exercise routine accordingly. Shorter, frequent walks may be more appropriate than long, strenuous hikes.

Grooming: Groom your senior Yorkie regularly to keep their coat clean and healthy. Older dogs may need more frequent grooming as their coat becomes thinner and more brittle. Regular grooming can also help detect lumps, bumps, or skin irritations.

Provide Comfort: Senior Yorkies may experience joint pain, so a comfortable bed or cushion can help relieve discomfort. Also, consider providing your senior Yorkie with a ramp or steps to help them navigate stairs or furniture.

Mental Stimulation: Mental stimulation is essential for a senior Yorkie’s well-being. Engage your senior Yorkie in interactive play, such as puzzle toys, to keep their mind active and engaged.

Love and Affection: As dogs age, they need more love and affection. Spend time with your senior Yorkie, cuddle with them, and give them plenty of attention to make them feel loved and secure.

Congenital Disease

A congenital disease is a medical condition that a person is born with, often due to genetic or developmental factors. These conditions can affect various body parts and may be present at birth or become apparent shortly after.

Genetic mutations, chromosomal abnormalities, or exposure to environmental factors such as drugs or toxins during fetal development can cause congenital diseases. Some examples of congenital diseases include

Cystic Fibrosis – A genetic disorder that affects the respiratory, digestive and reproductive systems.

Down Syndrome – A chromosomal disorder that affects physical and cognitive development.

Congenital heart defects – Abnormalities in the heart’s structure affect its function.

Sickle cell anaemia – A genetic blood disorder that affects the shape and function of red blood cells.

Spina bifida – A neural tube defect that affects the spinal cord and nerves.

Cleft lip and palate – A facial deformity that affects the lip and the roof of the mouth.

While some congenital diseases are treatable or manageable with medication, therapy, or surgery, others may require lifelong care and support. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial in managing these conditions and improving outcomes for those affected. Genetic counselling and testing can also help identify the risk of passing on a congenital disease to future generations.

Factors That Determine The Life Span of Your Yorkshire Terrier

The life span of a Yorkshire Terrier can vary depending on several factors, including.

Genetics: Genetics plays a significant role in determining the life span of a Yorkshire Terrier. Yorkies are prone to certain health conditions like other dog breeds, which can impact their longevity. If a Yorkie comes from a bloodline with a history of health issues, it may have a shorter lifespan.

Nutrition: A balanced and healthy diet is important for a Yorkie’s overall health and well-being. Feeding your Yorkie a high-quality, age-appropriate diet can help prevent obesity and certain health issues affecting its lifespan.

Exercise: Regular exercise is important for a Yorkie’s physical and mental health. Yorkies require daily exercise to stay healthy and active. Lack of exercise can lead to obesity and related health issues that can shorten their lifespan.

Healthcare: Regular visits to the veterinarian for checkups and vaccinations are important for maintaining a Yorkie’s health. Early detection and treatment of health issues can prevent them from becoming more serious and affecting their lifespan.

Environment: The environment in which a Yorkie lives can impact its lifespan. A safe and healthy environment free of toxins, hazards, and stressors can promote longevity.

Lifestyle: Yorkies that live a sedentary lifestyle and don’t get enough mental and physical stimulation may experience boredom, anxiety, and other health issues that can impact their lifespan.

While the life span of a Yorkshire Terrier can vary, providing proper care, nutrition, and exercise can help maximize its lifespan and overall health.

Quick Breed Summary Table for Some Popular Dog Breeds:

Breed Height Weight Life Expectancy Temperament
Labrador Retriever 22-24 inches 55-80 pounds 10-12 years Friendly, energetic, intelligent
German Shepherd 22-26 inches 50-90 pounds 9-13 years Confident, courageous, loyal
Bulldog 14-15 inches 40-50 pounds 8-10 years Friendly, calm, courageous
Beagle 13-15 inches 18-30 pounds 10-15 years Friendly, curious, lively
Golden Retriever 21.5-24 inches 55-75 pounds 10-12 years Friendly, intelligent, loyal
Poodle 10-15 inches (Toy), 15-18 inches (Miniature), 18-24 inches (Standard) 6-70 pounds 12-15 years Intelligent, loyal, trainable
Rottweiler 24-27 inches 77-135 pounds 8-10 years Loyal, confident, protective
Yorkshire Terrier 6-7 inches 7 pounds 11-15 years Lively, affectionate, independent
Chihuahua 6-9 inches Up to 6 pounds 12-20 years Lively, sassy, loyal
Boxer 21-25 inches 50-70 pounds 9-12 years Playful, energetic, loyal

Note: These are general ranges and may vary depending on the specific breed and individual dog.


Teacup Yorkies, also known as Toy Yorkshire Terriers, have an average lifespan of around 12 to 15 years. However, this can vary depending on various factors, such as genetics, diet, exercise, and overall healthcare.

It’s important to note that Teacup Yorkies are not a recognized breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and are often the result of breeding smaller than average Yorkshire Terriers. This selective breeding can lead to health problems, such as respiratory, dental, and liver shunts, affecting their lifespan.

To maximize the lifespan of a Teacup Yorkie, it’s essential to provide them with proper care, including regular visits to the vet, a healthy and balanced diet, exercise, and love and attention.