Height: 6-10 inches
Weight: 4-14 pounds
Life Span: 12-15 years
Coloring: Black, brown, cream, golden, gray, white and any combination of the above.
Area of Origin: United States
Similar Breeds: Australian Silky Terrier, Poodle, Skye Terrier, and Yorkshire Terrier
History and Origin:
The Yorkie-Poo was designed in the United States by crossing a Yorkshire Terrier with a Poodle (usually a miniature or toy poodle). As it is a mixed breed there is very little history on it and the breed “standards” do not necessarily come into play as it is a cross between two different breeds.
These dogs were bred to be small, happy and energetic dogs suitable for small living spaces and good for people with allergies. In all, the cross breeding was successful and produced a very lively companion that does not shed excessively and does not require a large amount of space.
The history for their founding fathers is as follows:
The Poodle is one of the oldest known breeds and was first bred in Germany and was known as a Pudel. The standard poodle is rarely (if ever) used to produce a Yorkie-Poo yet is the oldest of the three varieties. The poodle is an excellent swimmer and the smaller varieties were also used as truffle hunting dogs. The Standard Poodle was bred down to produce both the miniature and toy varieties and all three varieties became pampered pets of the middle and upper class and were recognized in the Kennel Club at the time of its founding in 1870.
The Yorkshire Terrier was first introduced to England as a Scotch terrier (not the Scottish Terrier of today) and did not have a breed standard until the 1860s where one stud gave a standard to the developing breed. These little dogs were designed to hunt and kill rats and mice in clothing mills and eventually became popular with the middle and upper class due to their long, flowing hair and their tiny size. They became recognized by the Kennel Club in 1870 and the American Kennel Club in 1885.
Personality and Temperament:
Yorkie-Poos are extremely active, friendly and playful. They love to greet family and strangers enthusiastically with whole body wags. These are not dogs who do well when they are left alone or crated as they do not see themselves as dogs, rather a member of your family and thus should be included in all family activities. Some people may refer to the Yorkie-Poo as needy due to this and that is fairly accurate as they do require a significant amount of time and attention.
These little dogs are not overly prone to barking but if they are left for long periods of time alone, they are more than happy to loudly protest this and/or find ways to get your attention; after all, bad attention may seem better than no attention in these dogs’ eyes.
It is very important you meet the parents of the dog you are looking to purchase as responsible breeders will not breed dogs who display negative temperament flaws such as: barking, biting, nervousness, and aggression. Be wary of breeders who will not show you the parents of the puppies, particularly if they are on site.
Puppies that have been bred from poor stock or receive inadequate socialization and training when they are young may be prone to “Small Dog Syndrome.” This is evident in dogs who show signs of disobedience such as: jumping on people, begging, pulling on the leash, urinating in the house, growling, biting, etc. One should remember that even though these dogs are very small and adorable, they are still dogs. Just because they may not be able to do as much damage as a much larger dog does not give them permission to behave badly. If they are allowed to run the house as they wish you may find they become protective over food, toys and even your furniture. This may seem mild at first yet presents a potential threat to any visitor to your home, particularly children. Firm and consistent training will help the dog through this and once they realize they are not permitted to behave this way they will return to the happy-go-lucky puppy you were purchasing in the first place. The easiest way to prevent this is to remember socialization and early consistent training.
They make acceptable family dogs although due to their small size a household with older children may be better. They are also somewhat prone to nipping as such they should be watched carefully when they are around children.
With their reluctance to be yappy these dogs do not make good watchdogs preferring to welcome visitors rather than warn you of their arrival.
Exercise & Training:
The Yorkie-Poo does well with very little space and a yard is not important for these happy little dogs. They require a short walk twice a day and are quite happy spending the rest of the time with their family and playing at their feet.
They can be rather difficult to train as they do carry the Yorkshire terrier’s stubborn streak despite being fairly intelligent. Once you have worked on the basics with these dogs they can be taught many tricks, however, it is important to ensure the basics are mastered before moving forward.
Considering this is a cross between two very demanding dogs as far as grooming goes, it comes as no surprise that this dog does require a fair amount of grooming itself. Depending on whose coat they take after, the curly coat of the poodle or the silky coat of the Yorkshire terrier, this dog may require either moderate or considerable grooming.
It would be wise to invest in a groomer who is familiar with poodles, Yorkshire terriers and Yorkie-Poos as all three have different grooming requirements and nuances that can present unique challenges.
A daily brushing is required regardless of the coat and they should be bathed regularly to prevent their hair from becoming excessively oily and unmanageable.
As with all breeds, food quality definitely comes into play and you should ensure that the dog is given a well-balanced diet that is high in protein, Omega 3s and Omega 6s.
Many Yorkie-Poos are trimmed or shaved, particularly during warm weather to make their coats easier to manage. This opens up an infinite number of possibilities for your dog’s hairstyle and your creativity. If you are not wanting to trim them yourself, a professional groomer would be more than capable of offering suggestions on what options would best showcase your dogs strongpoints.
These dogs are often marketed as being hypoallergenic. While this dog does have a higher chance of being well tolerated by allergy sufferers, no dog is truly 100% hypoallergenic and it is important for the whole family to spend time with the dog and their parents prior to buying a puppy to ensure that the breed does not trigger any allergies.
Health and Wellness:
Despite claims that hybrids are healthier dogs than purebreds, the Yorkie-Poo is not free from genetic issues or other diseases unfortunately. Hybrid dogs are prone to the genetic disorders of both of the parent breeds; therefore it is very important that the breeder has their dogs tested for genetic issues prior to breeding. If a breeder tells you there are no issues with the breed, that their dogs have never had any issues therefore they do not need to be tested or that they are papered therefore they cannot be carriers, do not buy the puppy. Insist on buying a puppy which has been thoroughly screened for issues as genetic issues only lead to heartache and a large veterinarian bill in the long run.
They are also prone to:
- Collapsed Trachea (Yorkshire Terrier and Poodle)
- Yorkshire Terriers more prone to this than any other breed and as they are a founding father of the Yorkie-Poo it stands to reason that it can and is passed down. It can appear at any age and requires treatment from a qualified veterinarian, usually in the form of antibiotics, bronchodilators, and/or corticosteroids. As this is very common in Yorkshire Terriers and common in Poodles, one should be aware of this and ensure they are purchasing puppies from reliable stock.
- Hip Dysplasia (Poodle)
- Similar to a luxating patella only involving the hip. This is something that the parents can be easily tested for with a simple blood test prior to breeding to reduce the probability of this developing in any of the puppies.
- Hypoglycemia (Yorkshire Terrier and Poodle)
- Yorkshire Terriers are prone to hypoglycemia, particularly puppies and “teacup” varieties. This is because they expend more energy than they consume due to the fact that they are unable to eat enough to keep them going for the entire day in one sitting. Due to this, it is advised you feed your Yorkshire terrier at least twice a day, and that “teacup” varieties eat at least 4x a day.
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (Yorkshire Terrier and Poodle)
- A degenerative hip disease with a genetic factor. These dogs should not be used for breeding. Generally diagnosed within the first year. This can be screened for by having the parents undergo an x-ray of their hips which is submitted to a specialist who will either declare the dog unaffected or a potential carrier.
- Luxating Patella (Yorkshire Terrier and Poodle)
- BA genetic issue with the knee which causes the knee to pop out of place. It may be as simple as an occasional issue or severe enough to prevent the dog from ever walking properly even with surgery. This is something to be aware of as both of the founding breeds carry this known issue.
- Otitis Externa (Poodle)
- Due to the poodle’s ear shape and size it makes them susceptible to ear canal inflammation. This can be extremely painful and requires veterinary intervention. This is an issue primarily because of the shape and size of the ears and is a genetic issue due to conformation as opposed to a disease itself.
- Portosystemic Shunt (Yorkshire Terrier)
- A genetic issue which allows blood to bypass the liver enabling toxins to freely circulate unfiltered through the dog’s system. There is no genetic screening for this disease.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) (Yorkshire Terrier and Poodle)
- A genetic condition which causes the dog to eventually go blind. There is no treatment. This can be tested for in the parents prior to breeding to reduce the chance of the puppy being afflicted.
- Von Willebrands Disease Type I (Poodle)
- Type I is the milder version of this disease which causes clotting issues in dogs. This can be screened for in the parents prior to breeding to reduce the possibility of inheritance by means of a simple DNA test.
Interesting Facts about the Yorkie Poo:
- The Yorkie-Poo is a very people-oriented dog who wants to be around their family constantly.
- Yorkie-Poos can be taught many tricks that can entertain you for hours.
- Yorkie-Poos may be more suitable for allergy sufferers due to the fact that both parents are low shedding and considered hypo-allergenic.
- They make wonderful pets whose small size make them ideal for city life.
Organizations dedicated to the Yorkie Poo:
There are no breed organizations at this time. Below are breed organizations for the founding breeds and the rescues may include crosses such as the Yorkie-Poo.
- The Yorkshire Terrier Club of America
- Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue, Inc
- Save a Yorkie Rescue
- The Poodle Club of America
- The Poodle Club of America Rescue Foundation, Inc