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Information on the Growth and Size of your Yorkie Puppy

Yorkie Size
Two of the most frequently asked questions that I and other breeders hear from potential Yorkie puppy owners is “How big will my puppy get?” and “How big are Yorkies?”.  The short answer is – it depends!  The real answer is somewhat more involved and just potentially just as ambiguous.  I put this section together to help you better understand size and weight in Yorkies and hopefully shed some light on this important topic for you.

To begin with, please keep in mind that your Yorkie puppy is a live animals and not a product manufactured to exacting specifications.  There aren’t any scientific formulas or accurate calculations that a breeder can use to precisely determine size and weight.  Each dog has its own characteristics and must be looked at individually.  Your puppy's adult weight will depend on a number of variables, including the weights and build of the parents and grandparents, nutrition, how fast or slow he/she matures and other environmental and developmental factors.  Remember, it is just as difficult to estimate the adult size of your Yorkie puppy as it is for your pediatrician to accurately determine the adult height and weight of your children. 

Growth Predictions
While it is impossible to predict a puppy's exact adult weight, a general guideline is to triple a puppy's weight at 8 weeks, double its weight at 12 weeks of age or use the growth chart below.  The growth chart is a good tool, but again your puppy’s actual size can and probably will vary.

                                     Yorkie Growth Chart

To Use The Chart:
Convert your puppy’s weight to OUNCES (16 ounces = 1 pound)
Find the puppy’s current age in the left column
Follow along that row until you get to the current weight (in ounces)
Follow that column to the bottom of the chart to find the estimated adult weight.

"Teacup Yorkies"
If you ask many Yorkie breeders about recent trends, they may tell you that some potential owners are asking more questions about the final size of the puppy than questioning its health and temperament.  Specifically, Yorkie breeders have seen an increase in questions concerning “Teacup” or “Tiny” Yorkie puppies. 
These “Teacups” are actually very small Yorkies, often weighing less than 5 pounds.  It is not a separate Group for the breed, like Toy, Miniature or Standard.  According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) from a grouping perspective, “Teacups” do not actually exist.  In fact, the term "teacup" and related words such as “micro”, “tiny”, “toy”, and “doll-face” are expressly prohibited by the well respected Yorkshire Terrier Club of American’s (YTCA) Codes of Ethics.  Because there isn’t an AKC Group for “Teacup” and it is not another breed of Yorkie, the use of the term amounts to nothing more than a marketing strategy by breeders to artificially increase buyer demand and therefore increase their prices (and profit).

For the purposes of showing a Yorkie in an AKC event, the dog must weigh is less than 7 pounds.  However, due to natural variation within the breed, there certainly are Yorkies that are larger and smaller than that standard.  All are still classified and registered with the AKC as a Yorkshire Terrier.  Just remember, there really isn’t a special distinction for Yorkies of the “Teacup” variety because no matter how small it is, a Yorkie is still a Yorkie. 

“Teacup” Yorkshire terrier breeders strive to mate very small dogs in order to keep the size of their offspring to a minimum.  This can be very detrimental to the health and well being of these tiny animals.  Many get injured due to falls or not being handled properly.  Children and “Teacup” Yorkshire Terriers” aren't usually a good match as they may accidentally drop them.  Falls from even heights of 6 inches or more can severely injure these small dogs.  Tiny Yorkies can easily get underfoot and accidentally “kicked” and thrown across the floor.  There are also a host of health issues related to the breeding of these small dogs, including problems with their teeth, knees and hips. 

Northern Virginia Yorkies strives for health first and foremost and most of our puppies will grow to an adult weight of between 4 and 7 pounds as specified by the YTCA.  A 5 pound puppy is still a very small dog, at that size they will not be as fragile as smaller, “Teacup” Yorkies.  Like all breeders of toy dogs, occasionally I will have a litter of smaller puppies or a litter with a smaller pup in it.  When that happens, I will take special care in choosing safe forever home for those puppies.

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