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Yorkie Age

Let's Talk about Life, Growth and Expected Changes

That old saying that a dog ages 7 years for each human year was a simple method of estimate the aging process of a dog.

However, the key word here is estimate and that is all that was done in the past. 

There are over 400 different dog breeds worldwide and each ages and progresses differently. Animal specialists now know how to perform much more accurate analysis.

Toy breed dogs, such as the Yorkshire Terrier age differently than other types of dogs. They also have a longer life span
We'll go over the true age of the Yorkie, the important milestone ages of your dog and how to care for a senior Yorkie dog. 
Yorkie 8 years old
Chloe, 8 years old
Photo courtesy of Mrs. Laurie Edwards
Figuring Out Just How Old Your Yorkie Is

Dogs age much differently, the largest factor being their size. Therefore, the Yorkie, being a small breed dog, will have their own timetable of aging. 

A good point to remember is that just like humans, as time goes on medical discoveries allows the canine to live longer.

We now have so many different medications, surgeries and other medical intervention that extend the life span of the average canine family member. Back in the 1920's a dog generally lived a short 7 human years. Now, this breed's life span is generally 12 to 15 years and many Yorkies live even longer.

The following is an age chart, showing the age equivalent of the Yorkshire Terrier in comparison to human years and the progression of this particular breed.
Yorkie Years   Human Years
2                          24
3                          28
4                          32
5                          36
6                          40  
7                          44
8                          48
9                          52
10                        56
11                        60
12                        64
13                        68
14                        72
15                        76
16                        80
17                        84                  
Maturity Milestones

3 Weeks - At this age, the Yorkie newborn is beginning to open their eyes. They are given their first peak at the world! The tail is docked soon after birth, so a pup at this age is most likely already recovered.

4 Weeks- A Yorkie puppy has mastered walking (he may still stumble a bit sometimes) but is rather mobile and having fun exploring his new world.  Weaning from a liquid diet to a solid diet will begin.

8 Weeks - At this age, in most countries it will be legal for a Yorkie puppy to be given to his or her new home. If training has not begun, the puppy is ready! Also, the Yorkie puppy will should be on a solid diet of regular puppy food and be will weaned from mama.
Yorkie standing up
Hugo, 6 months old
Photo courtesy of Julie 
3 to 6 Months - It is during this time frame that the Yorkie's ears will begin to stand up. As you can see, the age that a Yorkie's ears stand up varies greatly and there is usually no need to worry if your dog goes through this phase a bit later than average.

4 to 7 Months - Any time during this time period, the Yorkie will begin teething.

5 Months - It is not uncommon for a Yorkie to have a perfect bite and then at the age of 5 months, their bite can go off track, sometimes within just a matter of days. A good bite is crucial to properly chewing and digesting dog food. Overlapping teeth can be a perfect place for bacteria to hide and grow. Owners must be very aware of their Yorkie's bite during this age.

5 Months to 9 Months - It is during this time that a female Yorkie will generally enter her first heat. It is strongly recommended to have your female Yorkie spayed, if you will not be breeding her. Doing so will greatly cut down on her chances of developing ovarian and/or mammary cancer.

The 1 Year Mark - This is now the age when your puppy is considered to be an adult. Puppy food can be switched over to adult dog food.

8 Years and Older - The Yorkshire Terrier is now consider to be a senior dog and care must be taken to change dog food and increase veterinarian visits, among other changes.
The Senior

There is no steadfast rule or official age that a Yorkie is considered to be a senior.  However, for toy breed dogs, the age will be some time between 8 and 10 years old. This is the equivalent of 48 to 56 humans years... and one must keep in mind that though this can be put out as a comparison, canines are built differently with (unfortunately) much shorter life spans than humans. 

When coming up to the 8 year mark, one must evaluate each dog separately, as each dog will show signs of aging differently. This may seem too young for many Yorkshire Terriers; and it is true that most 8, 9 and even 10 year old dogs will be just as active and sharp as their younger counterparts.  Once the dog passed the 10 year mark, changes will start to become more apparent. 

The most apparent sign that will tell you that your dog is aging, is when he or she slows down. You will notice that your dog does not run as fast as they once did, you will see that your Yorkie is slow to rise from a laying position, your dog may hesitate to jump down from the bed, etc.

There are several things that you can do to ensure the safety and health of your senior Yorkie. How to you best care for an older Yorkshire Terrier?

Obtain steps or ramps for any furniture that your Yorkie used to jump up and down from. This is usually the sofa and your bed. Steps are such a great help and will help to protect your dog's hips and joints by eliminating impact.

Switch over from adult food to senior dog food. Each type of dog food is different for each phase of a dog's life. Your older Yorkie digests food differently and is in need of extra calcium and nutrients that are not available in their regular dog food. Obtain the highest quality possible.

Veterinarian visits should increase at this point. Early detection of medical issues is the best method for good recovery. Your older Yorkie should have regular checkups twice per year, in addition to any visits for unexpected health issues. 
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