The Yorkiepoo—a crossbreed of a Yorkshire Terrier and a Toy Poodle or Miniature Poodle—appeared as other hybrid doodle breeds soared in popularity. While the Yorkiepoo is a relatively new breed (only about 10 years old!), these canines have quickly won the hearts of pet parents for their sassy personality, affectionate nature, and cuddle-friendly appearance.
The small, hybrid dog—which can come in a variety of solid colors from white to black to golden, plus bicolor and tricolor patterns—can be 7–15 inches tall and weigh 3–15 pounds.
Caring for a Yorkiepoo
The Yorkiepoo is a spirited bundle of energy that makes up for his small size in intelligence and attitude. Because the pup is the offspring of a Toy or Miniature Poodle and a Yorkie, he exhibits traits of both breeds. That means the Yorkiepoo is energetic and playful, yet loves downtime with his humans.
Because the small pups require only 20–30 minutes of exercise per day, they are ideal for pet parents who live in smaller quarters, seniors, and first-time pet parents. However, those who welcome a Yorkie-Poodle mix into their family should be prepared to provide their canine with early positive reinforcement training and regular mental and physical stimulation to minimize any behavioral issues that can pop up, such as excessive barking and separation anxiety.
Yorkiepoos also require a routine hair care regimen, including consistent brushing and visits to the professional groomer.
“As long as they receive adequate love and attention from their pet parents, this breed is flexible and can settle into various living situations,” says Alex Schechter, DVM. “It’s crucial to remember that Yorkiepoos, despite their diminutive size, are active, energetic dogs that require frequent exercise and mental stimulation to remain happy and healthy.”
Yorkiepoo Health Issues
Like any mixed-breed dog, Yorkiepoos inherit health issues from their parent breeds, Schechter says. Genetic testing can decrease the danger of inheriting particular diseases, and “a nutritious diet and routine vet visits can also help avoid or manage some of these health problems,” Schechter says.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, can be caused by poor dental hygiene, genetics, and the shape of the pup’s mouth. It’s a common health condition in dogs, especially in small breeds like the Yorkiepoo. The buildup of bacteria in the mouth can cause damage to the gums, bone, and other supporting structures if left untreated. Signs of periodontal disease include:
Dropping food when eating
Red or swollen gums
Gums that bleed during brushing or chewing
To avoid the progressive disease, preventative dental care for your Yorkiepoo is a must. Pet parents should have their pup’s teeth examined by a veterinarian annually and cleaned when needed. At home, brush your dog’s pearly whites with a pet-safe toothbrush and toothpaste. Consider an enzymatic water additive or oral wipes, which can be helpful tools for preventing dental disease.
A luxating patella is a common condition in dogs that involves the shift (or luxate) of the kneecap from its normal position. While symptoms can include a sporadic limp, a bow-legged stance in the hind limbs, a hunched lower back, and cracking knee joints, cases can be treated with anti-inflammatory medications, weight loss, a temporary break from exercise, and—if other methods fail—surgery. When both kneecaps are affected, which is common, your dog will have the classic “bunny-hopping” gait on and off when walking or running.
Yorkiepoos are also susceptible to thyroid disease, diabetes, and Cushing’s disease, says Pam Nichols, DVM, CCRP, CFI, past president of the American Animal Hospital Association.
Hypothyroidism in dogs is a condition characterized by the decreased production of hormones in the thyroid gland, which serve an important function in dogs’ metabolism. If the thyroid aren’t producing enough hormones, body functions slow, resulting in symptoms such as weight gain, lethargy, chronic skin and ear infections, and an unhealthy coat. The condition can be treated with lifelong oral medication and routine check-ins with your veterinarian.
Diabetes occurs when a dog’s body fails to produce enough—or to properly respond to—insulin, which is responsible for turning food into fuel or energy. Taking insulin to treat diabetes increases the amount of glucose entering the cells and reduces glucose in the bloodstream. Symptoms to look out for include increased thirst, urination, and appetite; weight loss; lethargy; dehydration; and cataracts.
Cushing’s disease, also known as hypercortisolism or hyperadrenocorticism, occurs when the adrenal gland secretes too much cortisol (a stress hormone). It usually affects older dogs (ages 7–12) and has many associated health issues, such as kidney infections, bladder stones, diabetes, and chronic skin and urinary tract infections. Treating Cushing’s in Yorkiepoos depends on the underlying causes and usually involves lifelong medications and routine checkups with your vet. In some cases, Cushing’s in dogs is treated with surgery and radiation.
What To Feed a Yorkiepoo
Feeding your Yorkiepoo the proper type and amount of dog food, and ensuring he always has access to fresh water, helps your four-legged friend maintain a healthy weight. Keeping your Yorkiepoo fit and healthy will help keep him from developing some health conditions.
How To Feed a Yorkiepoo
Nichols recommends commercial dog food made by reputable brands such as Hill’s Science Diet, Purina Pro Plan, Royal Canin, Iams, and Eukanuba that fit your dog’s life stage. “All of those manufacturers create fixed formulation foods, so you know each bag is the same as the time before,” she says. Any food you feed your dog should be approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
No matter which food you choose, feed your Yorkiepoo twice each day, once in the morning and once at night. Yorkiepoo puppies less than 1 year old should eat three to four times a day on a consistent schedule to maintain their blood sugar and avoid hypoglycemia.
How Much Should You Feed a Yorkiepoo?
How much to feed your Yorkiepoo depends on his age, size, activity level, and other factors. Talk to your veterinarian to determine the best quantity, but you can also use the guidance printed on your dog food bag as a resource. “Calories for a dog are very easy to calculate, and your veterinarian should be able to tell you how much to feed him,” Nichols says.
Nutritional Tips for Yorkiepoos
Yorkiepoos that consume a complete and balanced diet don’t require nutritional supplements unless a veterinarian recommends them. They also shouldn’t be fed an excess number of treats. In fact, treats should make up only 10% of your dog’s calorie intake and never replace a meal, according to the Pet Food Institute.
Behavior and Training Tips for Yorkiepoos
Yorkiepoo Personality and Temperament
While Yorkiepoos aren’t built to be rough-and-tumble exercise partners, they are playful, energetic pups that benefit from light physical activity (20–30 minutes a day via a walk or romp in the yard) and mental stimulation. “They are really lovely little dogs that don’t require a ton of exercise,” Nichols says.
Because of his petite stature, the Yorkiepoo is suitable for apartment living. With the proper training and socialization, he can bond and play with other dogs, feline friends, and young children.
“Yorkiepoos may live with other dogs in a household, but it’s crucial to make the proper introductions,” Schechter says. “They get along well with youngsters in general; however, young children should be watched when playing with them due to [the dog’s] small size to avoid unintentional harm.”
Don’t be fooled by the Yorkiepoo’s size: He is a small dog with a big personality! While the breed is charismatic and affectionate, these pups also aren’t afraid to voice their opinions, especially when they want attention.
To prevent excess barking, Nichols advises pet parents to keep their Yorkiepoo mentally stimulated and train him from an early age, even though the breed can be stubborn. “I believe every dog can be trained to not bark,” she says. “A Yorkiepoo just might be slightly more complicated, and you might have to be extraordinarily consistent.”
Yorkiepoos are independent but also adore spending time with their families, so it’s best not to leave them home alone for too long. Doing so can cause the pups to develop separation anxiety and can encourage negative behavior, like the constant barking.
Because Yorkiepoos are bright and eager to please, they are highly trainable. The breed responds well to positive reinforcement training, which involves using healthy treats (like dog-safe veggies) and praise to reward good behaviors.
“The secret to successfully teaching a Yorkiepoo is consistency, patience—and a tough but kind attitude,” Schechter says. “Socialization and obedience training are also crucial to help them develop into well-behaved and self-assured canines.”
Fun Activities for Yorkiepoos
Yorkiepoo Grooming Guide
Regular brushing, washing, and hair trimming are all essential parts of a Yorkiepoo’s grooming regimen. Pet parents should also clean and check their pup’s ears regularly, trim their nails to avoid overgrowth and cracking, and brush their teeth to support dental health, Schechter says.
Every four to six weeks (or if your pup gets dirty or stinky during playtime), Schechter advises pet parents to bathe their Yorkiepoo. Use a pet-specific shampoo (not yours!) and lukewarm water in the tub or sink, and dry him afterward with a towel.
Yorkiepoo hair often mats easily because of the curls and waves, so routine brushing is required to keep their coat healthy. To prevent their beautiful locks from becoming a tangled mess, Nichols urges pet parents to brush their pups daily (something they can even be trained to enjoy, especially if you start when your Yorkiepoo is a puppy) and take them to the groomer every four to six weeks. Those who give their Yorkiepoo proper hair care are rewarded with smooth, snuggle-worthy coats that are coveted for their low-shedding qualities.
While Yorkiepoos don’t require an eyecare routine, pet parents should have their pup’s eyes checked annually to prevent potential congenital eye issues, such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and cataracts.
Considerations for Pet Parents
The small but mighty Yorkie-Poodle mix is an energetic and charming addition to households of all sizes, including apartments, and homes occupied by seniors and small children. This clever dog thrives under the care of pet parents who can give their bundle of spunk the proper amount of consistent positive-reinforcement training and socialization, which can help prevent common Yorkiepoo quirks such as excessive barking.
They need a daily dose of exercise (about 30 minutes of play or walking will do), an abundance of affection, and a trip to the groomer 10–12 times a year to live their happiest, healthiest lives.
Is a Yorkiepoo hypoallergenic?
Yorkies and Poodles are both low-shedding breeds that can be a good fit for some people with allergies. Though no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, Yorkiepoos inherit their low-shedding hair from their parent breeds and can be a good pet for some people who sneeze around dogs. Before bringing home a Yorkiepoo puppy, spend time with the breed to see how your allergies react.
How much does a Yorkiepoo cost?
A Yorkiepoo puppy can range from $900–$3,000, depending on the breeder, lineage, location, and other factors. Pet parents should consider connecting with a Yorkshire Terrier rescue organization (they rescue Yorkiepoos, too) to find the new addition to their family.
What is the lifespan of a Yorkiepoo?
The average Yorkiepoo lifespan is 10–15 years. Pet parents can ensure their Yorkiepoo enjoys a long, healthy life by providing plenty of affection and playtime, a nutritious and balanced diet, and daily exercise.
Featured Image: iStock/Renphoto
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