It is always a good idea to monitor your dog’s growth from puppyhood through adulthood to ensure everything stays on track.
Growth monitoring can be done via height, weight, and developmental milestones.
It’s crucial to note that, like with people, every dog is unique in their development, and some grow bigger or smaller than average – this can be perfectly normal.
What To Expect
Yorkshire Terriers are pint-sized little dogs, but there can be a relatively large variation in size even within the breed, depending on the way they are bred and their parents’ genetics. Even within a litter of puppies, there can be a normal variation in size and growth patterns. Growth charts can be helpful, but they do not give us a complete picture of your puppy’s development, and other milestones should be considered equally as important as their growth.
It is crucial to understand that every dog is different in terms of development and personality. Like human children, dogs do not grow in a completely linear fashion. Their growth is a combination of growth spurts and plateaus -periods with little or no growth. Most Yorkshire Terriers reach their full adult size around 7-9 months.
Puppy Growth Timeline
At this time, your pup is utterly dependent on their mom. In those early weeks, they are both blind and deaf. They receive all their nutrition from their mother’s milk and should be allowed to feed whenever they need to. At around two weeks of age, their eyes begin to open, and they start to hear sounds for the first time.
By this time point, your pup is using all of her senses. They also start to interact and socialize with their littermates. At the 4-5 week mark, your puppy is also ready to start trying food for the first time and can be offered a small amount of wet food. They still need to have milk from their mom. Playtime is crucial to allow socialization skills to build up.
Your puppy is ready to leave their mom at around the eight-week mark. By this time point, they should be fully weaned and needs to be fed on a puppy-specific complete diet. Puppies only have tiny tummies, and their immature digestive systems don’t cope well with being overfed. You should feed them the daily recommended food intake split over 3-4 meals throughout the day.
Now is also a great time to start with obedience training. It’s also vital to continue with your pup’s socialization. Puppies’ socialization window, when they are most receptive to learning how to behave and act around other living things or new experiences, is thought to close around 16 weeks of age.
Those early months are crucial to creating a happy, social dog and reducing the risk of them becoming fearful in new environments or meeting other dogs. In the early days, you must carefully balance this with the risk of exposing your pup to new diseases until they have completed their puppy vaccinations.
Ensure they experience anything that may regularly encounter in the future – car journeys, trips to the vet clinic or grooming parlor, playing with the grandkids, nail trims, and toothbrushing. The list is endless, and it can be daunting. The important thing to remember is that you give your pup the best start in life by putting in the mileage now.
Poorly socialized dogs can develop anxiety or fear aggression behaviors that can be extremely hard to reverse. Puppy classes can be a great way to provide structure if you are uncertain how to start. Be sure to work consistently on leash and potty training at this time.
Your pup should be growing rapidly, both mentally and physically. Continuing with training and socialization ensures your Yorkie grows into a model citizen. It is now okay to drop your pup’s feeding schedule to 2 meals per day. Your puppy will start to lose their baby teeth during this time, and you may notice more chewing due to teething pain. The use of teething toys can help displace this behavior.
Your pup likely reaches their adult size in this time frame. Small breed dogs also mentally mature at a younger age than larger breeds. Therefore, your Yorkie will now be ready to undertake more advanced training and continued socialization.
By 12 months of age, your Yorkie is officially an adult, although many Yorkies reach adulthood earlier than this. They can gradually transition onto an adult diet and likely need to have some booster shots at this stage.
Full Yorkshire Terrier Growth Chart (Averages)
Male and female height and weight are around the same. Since they are so small, the differences between the two are very minimal.
|Age||Weight (lbs)||Height (in)|
Adult Breed Standards
As a general rule, your Yorkie reaches adult size between 7- 9 months, but some reach adult size by 6 months while others continue to grow to about 1 year old. If your Yorkie is still gaining weight after 1 year old, it might be time to consider a diet. Speak to your veterinarian to check your adult Yorkie is a healthy weight.
The American Kennel Club reports the average adult height (measured to the top of the shoulders) is 7-8 inches, and the average adult weight for a Yorkshire Terrier is up to 7lbs. It should be noted that these measurements are simply a guide, and your dog might be larger or smaller than the breed standard.
Other Factors To Consider
The weights listed in this article are breed averages. Depending on the size of their parents and grandparents, pups may be larger or smaller than these averages. Additionally, there is an increase in the popularity of breeding “tea-cup” breeds. Breeders may choose to breed much smaller dogs together to achieve smaller pups – therefore, their expected growth and adult sizes are much smaller than the breed average.
When picking your Yorkie pup, care should be taken to choose a reputable breeder. “Tea-cup” breeders, who only breed for size, can often have problems with increased congenital disabilities in their puppies which aren’t always immediately apparent. They may look cute, but Teacup Yorkies can sadly have many health problems and a shorter life expectancy.
Nutrition is a critical feature in your dog’s growth, and it is crucial to ensure your pup is on a complete and balanced diet that meets all of the complex nutritional needs their body has while they are growing. There are many excellent, life-stage-appropriate diets available, including these dog foods that we find to be excellent for most Yorkies.
Some pet parents prefer to home prep meals – this can be extremely challenging to get right for a growing puppy, and getting the wrong formulation can lead to serious health issues. Seek advice from your local veterinarian on the best food for your dog.
Neutering & Spaying
Early neutering or spaying has been suggested to slightly delay the closure of bone growth plates. This may mean your Yorkie is a tiny bit taller if desexing is performed when they are growing.
A recent study has found that the age of neutering does not appear to increase the risk of joint disease or cancers in Yorkshire Terriers. Talk to your veterinarian regarding spaying or neutering your pup. Your vet can give you all the information and allow you to make an informed choice about if and when to spay or neuter your pet.
Severe illness as a young puppy may stunt growth. Additionally, Yorkshire Terriers are at an increased risk for “Portosystemic Shunting” – where the liver’s blood vessels are abnormal – this condition can lead to stunted growth and odd behaviors (especially after eating). If you are worried your pup isn’t growing as expected, chat to your local veterinarian, who may advise some diagnostic testing.
When you first take on a new puppy, it’s sensible to take out pet insurance. Veterinary fees can be costly, so having a comprehensive insurance policy in place allows you to make the best decisions for your pet’s health if they have a medical emergency since you will not be so worried about the finances.
Frequently Asked Questions
When will my Yorkie stop growing?
Typically, Yorkies reach adult size around 7-9 months of age. Some may continue to grow to a year of age.
When will my Yorkie lose her baby teeth?
Your puppy loses their baby teeth around 3-6 months. By 8-10 months, all of her adult teeth should be in place. Yorkshire Terriers are at increased risk of “retained teeth.” This is where baby teeth fail to fall out and cause problems for the adult teeth. This leads to significant dental disease. It may be necessary for your veterinarian to remove the stubborn tooth, which will require a short anesthetic procedure.
It’s a great idea to start brushing your puppy’s teeth as soon as possible, as daily toothbrushing is the best way to reduce the risk of dental disease later in life. Teething chew toys could also be helpful during this stage.
When will my Yorkie’s ears stand up?
Yorkie puppies are born with floppy ears. This is because the muscles at the base of their ears are not strong enough to support the ears to stand. Not every Yorkie has ears that stand up, but this usually happens around 3-6 months of age if they are going to.
Yorkshire Terriers are wonderful little dogs that make for great family pets. Hopefully, this article helped you understand the growth and development of your new puppy. If you’ve got any concerns about your pup’s growth, make an appointment for a check-up with your veterinarian. They can examine your new fur baby and make sure everything checks out.