What Are Yorkie Poos?

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Yorkshire terriers add their natural spunk and inquisitiveness to the Yorkie poo cross.
Yorkshire terriers add their natural spunk and inquisitiveness to the Yorkie poo cross. (Image: ShinichiroSaka/iStock/Getty Images)

Yorkie poos are a cross between Yorkshire terriers and poodles. Breeding together two of the world's cutest, smallest dogs results in an equally adorable mixed breed. Ideally, this combination brings out the best qualities of both breeds. Because they aren't purebreds, these hybrid canines might look and act like the mix they are, or favor one parent over the other in appearance and temperament.

Yorkie Poo Appearance

The Yorkie poo generally results from crossing a Yorkshire terrier with a toy or miniature poodle, not the larger standard poodle. The Yorkshire terrier breed standard doesn't specify a height, but most Yorkies stand between 8 to 9 inches tall at the shoulder in maturity. The breed standard does specify that a Yorkie can't weigh more than 7 pounds. Toy poodles stand less than 10 inches at the shoulder when full grown, while miniature poodles stand between 10 and 15 inches. While either size poodle parent means the Yorkie poo stays relatively small, expect a puppy with a miniature poodle mom or dad to grow somewhat larger.

The Yorkie breed standard specifies blue and tan coloration, while poodles can be any solid color. Thus, Yorkie poos might appear in a variety of shades. Like other poodle crosses, the original intention of this blend was creating a curly, nonshedding coat on the hybrid dog. Some Yorkie poos take after the poodle parent in this respect, while others favor the longer, silkier hair of the Yorkshire terrier.

Yorkie Poo Temperament

Poodles and Yorkies are both bright dogs, and relatively easy to train. The cross tempers the Yorkie's stubbornness and fearlessness -- he is a terrier, after all -- with the poodle's friendly, people-pleasing nature. The Yorkie poo is a decent watchdog, although he could devolve into yapping. This cross usually gets along well with other dogs and cats.

Because these dogs are so small, they aren't a good choice for families with little kids. Older children, who know how to properly handle a little dog, can find them fun and affectionate playmates.

Grooming Requirements

Your Yorkie poo's grooming requirements depend on which side of the family he most resembles. If he boasts a poodle-type coat, he won't need as much brushing as one favoring the Yorkie. He won't shed much, but will require a trip to the groomer every month or two for clipping. Dogs with a Yorkie-type coat need a good daily brushing. Many Yorkie poos fall into the cute scruffy dog department, mixing both kinds of hair.

Health Issues

With luck, the hybrid vigor of this crossbreed extends to common conditions in Yorkies and poodles. It's likely your Yorkie poo is vulnerable to issues shared by most small breed dogs, including tracheal collapse, luxating patellas and Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease. The latter involves insufficient blood supply to the head of the femur, resulting in limping. It requires surgical correction. Both breeds often suffer from hypothyroidism, or inadequate thyroid hormone production, as they age. Older poodles might develop Cushing's disease, resulting from overproduction of cortisol hormone by the adrenal glands, or the opposite problem -- too little cortisol production -- known as Addison's disease. Both conditions usually respond to daily, lifelong medication.

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