While small in size, Yorkshire Terriers are loving dogs and companions. In fact, they’re one of the most popular breeds in the US. They also go by the name “Yorkie,” and are always a lot of fun to have as your family fur baby.
Are you searching for a Yorkie to buy? Then you may have sticker shock when you find out these little purebred dogs are pretty expensive. Why do these small dogs cost so much?
In this article, we’ll take a look at the reasons these adorable little dogs are so expensive, and what goes into their price.
Quick Fun Facts about Yorkies
We’ve put together some fun facts you may not know about Yorkies! Let’s get started!
- Yorkie coat similar to human hair: did you know the Yorkie’s coat is similar to human hair in texture? Their long, flowing silky hair is beautiful. However, it also takes a lot of time to care for it properly. A Yorkie’s fur tangles easily and requires regular brushing. What is regular? Every day. The nice thing is that Yorkies don’t have an undercoat and they don’t shed too much, like other breeds!
- War hero Yorkie: back in WWII, a Yorkie named Smoky save the lives of soldiers. She did this by dragging a communication cable through a culvert. It’s also said that Smoky was the first therapy dog because she visited the wounded soldiers in hospitals. She was found by an American soldi in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. When he returned to base with the diminutive Yorkie, the soldier’s commanding officer said they could keep the dog.
- Yorkies are called the “tomboy toy”: what a strange distinction! However, these little dogs have a big personality, and they can be pretty rough and tumble. This is because they have a lot of confidence and don’t scare easily. These little self-assured dogs can do everything from agility sports to therapy work.
Yorkies with Papers Cost More
When a dog is purebred, this means the dog is recognized in the breed’s registry. In the US, the American Kennel Club is the main breed registrar, though there are other breed registries. The AKC has the most strenuous requirements for each breed, which is one of the reasons it’s so popular.
If you are searching for Yorkies that are pedigreed, the first step is to find a breeder that has AKC-registered puppies. AKC-registered puppies are arguably the most expensive out there, and understandably so.
Having dog breeds registered at the AKC and other places means the dogs are guaranteed to be purebred. The dogs also have to go through rigorous health testing, so they’re not going to be prone to diseases or genetic defects.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for you to find a healthy, loving Yorkie pup for a lesser price that’s just as true as a certified purebred. However, the papers just add that extra layer of proof and guarantee. Plus, you can make sure you’re getting a healthy puppy if it comes with all the necessary papers.
As you begin the search for a Yorkie breeder, look for a breeder that registers their puppies and dogs with the AKC. Yorkies that have papers are more expensive but are also usually healthier and properly socialized.
The average cost for a purebred York, with AKC papers, the price range may be anywhere from $1,200 to $1,500 and higher for one puppy. In addition, some breeders may request a non-refundable deposit during the application process. This can cost between $200 and $300.
Don’t be surprised if you find a puppy that has a price tag somewhere around $10,000. These puppies have very elite bloodlines and are used for competition or breeding purposes, rather than as a companion.
Yorkies without Papers are Cheaper
Yorkies without papers tend to be cheaper and may be a better option for your budget. However, keep in mind the lower the price for a Yorkie puppy, the higher the probability the puppy is coming from a backyard groomer.
Backyard breeders are usually amateurs who may not breed the dogs in an ethical or standard way. These breeders are not registered with the AKC (American Kennel Club), and may sell their puppies on Craigslist, in pet shops, or even out on the curb.
In addition, the puppies may not be healthy due to inbreeding or being raised in an unclean environment. Backyard breeders usually don’t offer a lifetime return policy, such as those offered by registered breeders. And they may sell puppies that are too young to be separated from their mothers.
So, if you find a Yorkie at a very cheap price, consider the breeder. If they are offering the puppies so cheap, without papers, and more, then you may want to choose adopting a Yorkie from a shelter.
There are many Yorkshire Terriers who are in shelters and need to find a furever home. Here, rather than paying for the dog or puppy, you’ll have to pay an adoption fee. These vary, depending on where you live, but you’ll have a loving Yorkie companion who will appreciate their new home!
What About Teacup Yorkies?
Teacup Yorkies are another popular type of Yorkie. The only difference between them and their full-sized cousins is that the Teacup Yorkie is quite a bit smaller. Normal-sized Yorkies usually weigh between 4 to 6 pounds, while Teacup Yorkies weight between 2-4 pounds.
Why We Love Miniatures
Miniature dogs are just so cute! In fact, teacup dogs may resemble puppies most of their lives. What’s more adorable than a tiny, cute puppy? Humans tend to nurture anything that’s small. This is one of the draws of tiny dogs, such as the micro teacup Yorkie.
Teacup Yorkshire Terriers are not a recognized breed and there’s some controversy about these tiny, amazing dogs. While we humans love miniature animals, it’s not always in the animal’s best interest to be so small.
Unfortunately, because of their small size and unethical breeding methods, Teacup Yorkies (alongside most other toy breeds, in fact) suffer from wide range of health issues including:
- Brain issues
- Heart problems (heart defects/disease)
- Liver problems
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- Collapsing trachea
- Bone problems (their bones are more fragile and break easily)
- Sensitive stomachs, which can lead to dehydration and malnutrition
- Psychological issues
In addition to these health problems, Teacup Yorkies have a shorter life expectancy. More specifically, they usually live to about 7 to 9 years on average. In comparison, their full-sized cousins have an average lifespan of 11-15 years. That’s quite a difference.
Furthermore, Teacup Yorkies are usually higher in maintenance compared to regular-sized Yorkies, and owning involve juggling a lot of risks. Some of these risks and considerations, aside from the health risks mentioned above, include the following:
- Special care: While you are preventing accidental injuries, you are also regularly, even hourly, dealing with feeding and potty-training problems. It is very hard to potty train Teacup Yorkies because they have smaller bladder than regular-sized ones. Because of this, they’re a lot more vulnerable to bladder problems, such as urinary incontinence. Furthermore, because they are very small, Teacup Yorkies can have a difficult time keeping themselves warm in colder environments. They must be watched and taken care of during extreme weather and must be dressed appropriately.
- Accidents: Unfortunately, tiny dogs are far more vulnerable to accidents compared to regular dogs. Because the bones of your teacup puppy are very delicate, you should take care that they do not fall or get stepped on. You’ll want to prevent them from jumping on and off high spaces, and keep them away from young kids who may not realize how delicate they are. They also are not a naturally outdoorsy breed, and should be kept under a watchful eye when outside.
When it comes to costs, breeders usually charge quite a bit more for these small puppies. Because not everyone understands that Teacup Yorkies are not a registered breed, breeders may charge the average price of anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 for a miniature teacup Yorkie puppy.
However, keep in mind that some of these sellers of teacup breeds may not be reputable. This is because creditable breeders will usually refuse to breed dogs who weigh below four pounds. So, it’s important that you do extremely thorough research about the breeders. Don’t get too excited when you see an unusually low Teacup Yorkie cost!
As a whole, although Mini Yorkies can be adorable, it’s best to avoid buying one. Keep in mind that these teacup puppies are usually small due to unethical breeding methods such as inbreeding. In addition, inbreeding can cause a wide range of genetic issues, which can mean more money spent at the vet in the long run. If you are a small dog lover, you should consider some of these issues before you decide to go out and adopt a Teacup Yorkie.
Factors that Determine the Price for a Registered Yorkshire Terrier
What factors are used to determine the price of a registered Yorkie? Let’s take a look:
Gender: female Yorkies are usually more expensive than males. This is because females can be used for breeding. However, most ethical breeders have a spay/neuter clause in their adoption contracts. This is meant to ensure the dogs will not be used for breeding. If you’re looking at a male and female Yorkie puppies from the same litter, don’t be shocked if you find the price can average from $300 to $500 more for the female.
Coat: when it comes to Yorkies, the AKC recognizes 4 color combinations as standard. The coat must be fine, silky and glossy. For puppies with a coarser coat, you’ll usually find they are cheaper to buy. However, for puppies that have those lovely locks, expect to pay a premium price.
Bloodline: this is the main factor when it comes to determining a Yorkie’s price. If the puppy’s parents are AKC champions, for instance, the puppies will be more expensive. It can make a difference between a puppy costing about $1,000 or one that costs $10,000—the more expensive puppy will have those award-winning parents.
Size: breed standards dictate that the standard Yorkshire Terrier should weigh between 4 and 7 pounds. However, some breeders will sell smaller dogs, including tiny teacup variations of the Yorkie dog, at a higher price. Larger Yorkies will be less expensive, and are usually the better option, especially if you’d like to have them participate in agility competitions.
Age: You can find that many adult Yorkies have been through some basic training and socialization. You will skip the costly puppy phase of raising a Yorkie. Furthermore, when you adopt an adult Yorkie, it is possible that the dog has already been neutered or spayed. So, that’s one more thing you can subtract that from your overall maintenance costs.
Remember, when buying from a registered and reputable breeder, always ask to see proof of the puppy or dog’s bloodlines, registration, health certificates, and any other papers. Some breeders may advertise their dogs and puppies are registered, when that’s really not the truth.
Maintenance Costs to Consider
As a Yorkie owner, you’ll need to know the costs of maintaining your dog. If you’re new to owning a Yorkie, this may be something you’re not familiar with.
When looking at the price of a Yorkie, keep in mind that the cost of buying a dog includes the initial purchase and ongoing maintenance costs. This includes things like food, vaccinations, grooming and health care.
Most people think that owning a dog is just about buying food and keeping it fed. But if you are not careful, you may end up spending more than expected on your new Yorkie pet. Below are some things to consider when buying your first Yorkshire Terrier:
- Vet Bills: Keep in mind that you will have to get your Yorkie spayed or neutered. It’s best to do this before your dog reaches sexual maturity. The surgery can cost between $150 and $240, depending on your pup’s size. You may also need a heartworm treatment, flea and tick treatment, and sometimes even an annual rabies vaccination. Depending on the area you live in, these costs can be minimal or they can be a lot more than you expect. You can also look into joining an established club such as the AKC that offers discounts on vet bills.
- Dog Food: If you’re looking for an inexpensive option for your new pet, look into kibble or canned food instead of the more expensive raw diets that some breeders suggest for their dogs. Canned food is often cheaper and will last longer than kibble. Plus, raw diets are very expensive in general and can get pricey depending on what type of diet you choose to feed your dog.
Another Factor: Breeder Location
Keep in mind that if you’re buying a Yorkie Terrier from a breeder who is close to where you live, you’ll save money. This is because it won’t cost as much to travel to the breeder and back home again. On the other hand, if you live quite a distance from the breeder, you’ll need to factor travel costs into the cost of the dog.
Most breeders to prefer that you come to personally pick up your dog; however, there are some that are willing to transport the dog to you. This will add another $300 or more to the cost of the Yorkie. Another option is to hire a pet transport service to pick up and bring the dog to you. This can be a little cheaper than the other options. But you’ll need to choose a reputable business to transport your new fur baby.
Avoid Backyard Breeders – Choose to Adopt
Remember that it may seem like you’re getting a great deal by buying your Yorkie from a backyard breeder. However, you also run the risk that you’re purchasing your fur baby from an unethical breeder.
Even a backyard breeder who breeds Yorkies as a hobby may not know about the best breeding protocols. This means you could be buying a puppy or dog that has been inbred and will develop some very serious health issues somewhere down the line. So, if you want to be a responsible pet owner, you’re better off finding reputable breeders.
If you’re unable to afford a Yorkie from a breeder, then do consider adopting a dog from a local rescue or shelter. These dogs need and deserve forever homes. They long for a family of their own and would just love the chance to become your adorable little companion! And they’re cheaper. Yorkies from a shelter will usually have been spayed/neutered, and have all their shots, and more. This makes them a great deal for anyone who wants a Yorkie without high prices charged by breeders.