Health Issues and Lifespan of the Teacup Yorkie
If the price of a teacup Yorkie, mentioned previously, made you gulp, it is important that you realize that is only the beginning. Teacup Yorkie dogs are not cheap, but they are worth every penny.
Note that while we mostly refer to Teacup Yorkies, these precious dogs are also often called small or miniature Yorkshire Terrier dogs, Toy, Micro, Mini Yorkies or Teacup Yorkshire Terriers.
We will talk about finding a responsible breeder and why this is vital. For now I would like you to understand the ongoing cost of such a tiny dog.
In all honesty, every breed has specific health concerns. The Labrador and German Shepherd have risk of joint problems, the Dalmatian can be deaf, small dogs like a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can have heart problems, so don’t read this list and panic.
It is important when bringing a puppy home to know the possibilities. Fingers crossed they will never become a reality for you.
Health issues can be a huge worry if you have bought a dog from the Internet or backyard breeder. Most teacups from this type of environment will not be completely healthy and can suffer from any of the following issues:
- Fine bones can mean easy sprain or fracture of the limbs.
- Badly formed patella, a slipping kneecap when walking and running.
- Weaker heart than an average-sized Yorkie.
- Trachea problems, a windpipe prone to partial collapse causing coughing and discomfort.
- Fine ligaments and tendons can leave the dog prone to hip dysplasia.
Each of these health problems are a very real risk to a tiny Yorkie who has been anything but exceptionally bred.
A breed standard sized Yorkie of between four and seven pounds in weight, who is well bred and healthy, can easily live well into his mid to late teens.
It is expected that a tiny Yorkshire Terrier below this weight will have a shorter life span because of the size-associated health problems. A smaller, well-bred Yorkie may live until his early to mid-teens. If he is perfectly bred it may be longer.
Is a Tiny Yorkie the Dog for You?
This is one of the most important questions you can ask when deciding on any dog.
It is vital to be absolutely certain that this particular dog is a right fit for your home. It is just as essential that you can offer him a safe environment that will meet his every need.
The teacup or micro Yorkie has specific needs purely because of his physical make up. This is because his body is delicate compared to an average rough and robust terrier.
Alongside being easy to live with, making you laugh every day, general high energy in the home, and most importantly being your very best friend, the teacup Yorkie, like most dogs, has specific requirements to maintain his health and well-being.
He will, in some ways, need to be treated like china. Basically the smaller your Yorkie is, the more delicate his body will be. He cannot be allowed to jump on and off things, not even the sofa, because his bones and tendons are so fine that he could hurt himself.
Penny, our small toy Yorkie, weighs just under four pounds and is 13 inches long from nose to base (not tip) of tail and 10 inches at a sit or head height when standing. She is perfectly healthy and always on and off the sofa, but any smaller and she would be at risk of hurting herself.
Bear in mind these important considerations about the mini Yorkie before making a decision to offer a home to one:
They are not necessarily the best choice as a good pet for very young children because of their fragility.
The tiny Yorkie is not a puppy who never grows up.
A very small Yorkie is still a dog; he will still need training, walks, good food and a lot of time spent with him.
Yorkshire Terriers were bred to find mice and rats in mine shafts and rabbit burrows, so digging in your garden is in their nature!
You should never make the decision to get a dog or puppy lightly or under pressure from your kids. Any dog is a lifetime commitment and a lot of thought should go into it before making this major decision.
Though he is easy going in nature, often biddable and a great companion, the mini Yorkie may need extra physical support than a bigger dog. A tiny Yorkie puppy throughout his entire life will often be a full time job, but one that you will thoroughly enjoy.
If you love the breed, and choose carefully from a quality and ethical breeder, he will be more than worth it, so do not be put off, but it is important that as a dog lover and professional trainer, I point these things out.