The first time I saw a Yorkie puppy was when my family and I went to the pet store. The moment it walked out of its cage, I knew that this would be the new member of our family. As we were bringing him home in his little carrier, he wagged his tail so hard that he left fur on my shirt.
He loved being outside and running around in our yard, but at night when everyone else was asleep or busy with other things, he would sneak into bed with me and cuddle up to keep warm.
Sometimes after school, we would go for long walks together and play fetch in the park before coming back to cuddle under blankets until morning came again. Part of me wanted this to never end but I knew that someday my Yorkie puppy would grow up to be an adult. But when would he stop growing?
Yorkshire Terriers are one of the cutest, most lovable breeds of dogs. They’re known for their good listening skills and feisty personalities.
Yorkies are among the last contenders in almost all dog contests. They’ve also made quite a name for themselves as a popular family dog.
Yet because they’re tiny in size, many people don’t know that much about their growth. In fact, ‘When does a Yorkie stop growing?’ is one of the most commonly asked questions.
Keep reading to find out how you can keep track of your Yorkie’s growth and development.
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When Does a Yorkie Puppy Stop Growing?
Yorkies remain puppies from birth through 10 months. From 10 months through 4 years old they are young adults. At the 4 year mark, they stop growing and are full adult dogs.
How Yorkies Develop and Grow
It may seem that Yorkshire Terriers get to a stage where they stop growing completely. But the truth is that they keep getting bigger with time, just at a slower rate than other dog breeds.
Experts have divided up Yorkie’s development into four main stages.
The first stage your Yorkie will go through is from the time he’s born until he’s about six or seven weeks old. This is known as the ‘suckling’ stage.
It’s during these few weeks that they’ll learn how to walk and open their eyes. There’s quite a rapid growth rate taking place during this period. Their weight will increase until they’re up to a quarter of a pound.
When do Yorkie puppies open their eyes?
Yorkies open their eyes naturally at 3 weeks after birth. At this time they get quite active and start walking around. This is when breeders let them start exploring outside the whelping box.
The ‘puppy’ stage starts around seven weeks and lasts up until they’re six months old. During this time, Yorkies develop new personality traits. They start becoming curious about everything around them.
This is the absolute best time to train your Yorkies. They’re young enough to have the boundless energy to learn new behaviors. At the same time, they’re old enough to be able to listen and pay attention. During this time, they can grow to an average of 2.5 pounds.
It’s during this stage that Yorkies are referred to as youngsters or adolescents. They’ll start showing more of their unique Yorkie traits from six months until they’re ten months old.
Yorkies are sometimes called ‘tomboy toys’ because of their energetic and playful nature. Their trademark confidence and air of self-importance shine during this period. Don’t’ forget to pamper them and show them plenty of affection.
By the end of the ten months, Yorkies will have become almost twice as heavy, reaching nearly 4.5 pounds.
From 10 months old until they’re four years, Yorkies are considered young adult dogs. Their weight increases gradually, and they have fewer growth spurts.
Then, once they’re four years old, they’re now full-grown adults. They can reach a weight of about 6.5 pounds.
Most Yorkies will grow to be between six and nine inches tall. They generally don’t grow in height after this stage.
Yorkie Full Grown Size (Height and Weight)
At 4 years of age, when they are fully grown, Yorkshire Terriers (Yorkies) are 8 to 9 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 4 to 6 pounds (7 pounds max).
Factors that Affect Yorkies’ Development
There are several reasons why a Yorkie may not be developing as he should.
Once a Yorkie reaches adulthood, his height won’t increase, but his weight might. Yorkies are known for their significant weight fluctuations.
That’s why they must follow a healthy diet with the help of top-quality dog food. It should be made specifically for small dog breeds.
They should also be on an exercise plan to maintain their health and development. While they look adorable sitting there all curled up, Yorkies are playful and curious by nature. They should be getting at least 15 minutes of exercise per day.
Yorkies are prone to several medical conditions. One common problem is the portosystemic shunt (PSS), which affects the liver. They can also be affected by Cushing’s Disease in their adult years.
Another common medical condition is the luxating patella or dislocated kneecap. This can be a result of jumping too often during their younger years.
Yorkie Fun Facts
Yorkies are so much fun in such a tiny package. We just can’t get enough of them. Here are a few fun Yorkie facts.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) has classified Yorkies as Toy dogs, rather than being mixed in with the Terriers. But just by watching how Yorkies behave, it’s easy to see that Yorkies don’t consider themselves ‘small’ dogs at all.
Yorkies are famous for their glossy mane. It can be kept short and curly, or you can keep it long and straight.
Whichever style your Yorkie prefers, it must be brushed daily. This helps prevent his hair from matting and tangling. It also removes trapped debris, which can lead to skin infections.
Yorkie Hair Growth Stages
Yorkies have an overcoat and do not have seasonal shedding. Their hair grows like human hair – slowly over time.
Once they leave the puppy stage at 10 months their hair will consistently grow 1/4″ to 1/2″ per month. An adult Yorkie will take 8 to 12 months to grow hair down to floor-length.
Yorkies are eager to please you. It’s why they’re so good at picking up commands and learning new behavior.
It’s also why they’re such great listeners. Yorkies are smart dogs that can sense when you’re in a bad mood, and come to the rescue to cheer you up.
This innate intelligence is what makes Yorkies terrific service dogs. They can even be trained to detect changes in a diabetic’s glucose levels and other medical conditions.
They’re also excellent therapy dogs. In fact, the world’s first-ever therapy dog during World War II was a Yorkshire Terrier named Smoky.
Easy to Care For
Yorkies are considered by many breeders to be an excellent choice for first-time dog owners. They’re cuddly and love relaxing on your lap.
Thanks to their playful, well-manner nature, these small-sized dogs are easy to train. They’re also quite easy to take care of. Just make sure you provide nutritious food and take the time to brush them daily.
Yorkies are commonly referred to as ‘ankle-biters.’ It could be because they seem to be always running around your ankles.
That’s why most people prefer to carry their Yorkies. It’s the best way to avoid tripping over them.
Cute, cuddly, and highly intelligent, Yorkies are some of the most lovable dog breeds. They make great companions, thanks to their friendly demeanor.
It can be challenging to figure out when a Yorkie stops growing due to its naturally small size. But, as a Yorkie owner, it’s something you need to keep track of.
Knowing when he’s growing can help you maintain his ideal weight, and reduce the risk of medical conditions. That’s the best way to make sure your Yorkie is happy and healthy.