Yorkshire Terriers are a popular choice among companion pets. The price of purchasing a Yorkie puppy can vary widely based on the breeder, whether the puppy has documentation proving it’s a purebred, and the puppy’s appearance and health, just to name a few.
Keep reading to learn about the factors affecting a Yorkshire Terrier’s price and what to look for when searching for a puppy.
In this guide:
- How much is a Yorkie dog?
- What affects a Yorkshire Terrier’s cost?
- Don’t want a puppy? Adopt a Yorkie from your local shelter!
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How much is a Yorkie dog?
The cost of a Yorkshire Terrier puppy ranges greatly from about $300 to a whopping $10,000. The price varies so much due to a variety of reasons, with the greatest contributor to the price being proof of lineage.
There are also a variety of places you can purchase these pocket-sized puppies, but they are not all equal. Buyer beware—you get what you pay for.
Generally speaking, the more information the seller can give you about the puppy, the puppy’s parents, grandparents, and lineage, the living environment, and the puppy’s recent health history, the more satisfied you should be with your puppy and the more expensive your puppy will be.
These records (and the corresponding price tag), show the litter was bred responsibly and screened for important health defects. Typically, you’ll get good records from licensed breeders, and limited or no records from pet shops and unlicensed breeders.
Pet shops & unlicensed breeders
Purchasing a Yorkie puppy from an unlicensed breeder or pet shop could cost between $300 to $800 (and sometimes as much as $1,500, even though their breeding doesn’t merit it). The lower price is a strong indication that the dogs came from a backyard breeder or puppy mill. These sellers do not typically go through the steps to be licensed through their state, and there tends to be no documented proof of the puppy’s lineage or health.
Pet shop puppies are often sourced from puppy mills, and chances are good that these puppies were not bred with the specific goal of producing the healthiest litter.
Because no licensing standards are in place, you may not be able to guarantee that the puppy’s parents have good living conditions or are free from genetic abnormalities. Nor will you be provided with a health contract that guarantees against genetic issues for a set amount of time. You may not pay as much initially, but it’s possible that you’ll pay more in vet bills in the long run.
With all this being said, purchasing a puppy without papers from either a pet store or an unlicensed breeder does not mean that you can’t get a healthy puppy. It just means you will have to do a bit more questioning and digging to ensure the puppy’s parents are healthy and free from genetic abnormalities.
Don’t hold back from questioning the seller about the healthcare the puppy has been provided. If they can’t readily provide this information, walk away.
Licensed breeders without papers
Puppies from a licensed breeder are going to be more expensive. You can expect to pay at least $800 to $1,200 (and sometimes more) for a puppy with or without papers, that is not American Kennel Club (AKC) certified.
Professional breeders may be required to have a license issued by their state or federal organization or both. In at least 19 states, breeders must comply with specific standards of care or they risk fines, revocation of their license, or criminal penalties.
Because of this, licensed breeders are thought to be more reputable than those who are not. However, each state varies in its requirements to qualify for a license, so this assumption is not always true.
Chances of obtaining a healthy puppy are better with a licensed breeder, but you should still look for breeders who abide by certain standards, such as waiting to adopt puppies at an appropriate age (8–12 weeks), breeding out genetic defects, and providing a health guarantee and health records.
They should also be able to tell you about the parents and the conditions of where they were bred. Take your time and do some research on breeders before you purchase a puppy. Asking for testimonials from past customers or other breeders is a great place to start.
Licensed breeders & dogs with AKC papers
To be considered purebred, a dog’s lineage must be documented through a recognized breed registry. There are a variety of breed registry organizations, but the strictest and most well-known registry is the American Kennel Club.
You can expect to pay the most for puppies that have AKC papers. The average price for a purebred Yorkie is between $1,200 to $2,500.
You’ll also need to factor in that most breeders require a non-refundable deposit of $200 to $500, to place a ‘hold’ on a puppy. This deposit may or may not be included in the final sale price.
These puppies will come with documented health records, vaccination records, a purebred lineage, and a health guarantee. The breeder will also have health records for the puppy’s parents and provide documentation that both the parents and grandparents have been professionally evaluated (and possibly tested) for the purpose of breeding out genetic diseases.
While these precautions do not guarantee your dog will not experience any health issues, it is your best bet in getting a healthy puppy. Paying more upfront may cost you less in vet bills down the road.
In your search for AKC puppies, you may find more expensive puppies that cost $3,000 to $5,000 or more. These higher price tags are generally associated with puppies from champion bloodlines, which are sold with the intent showing the dog at exclusive competitions, rather than merely a companion pet.
>> Read more: Are Yorkies Hypoallergenic?
What affects a Yorkshire Terrier’s cost?
The greatest factor affecting the price of a puppy is its lineage. If the puppy is a mixed breed or if it does not have documentation, you are less likely to know exactly what you are getting (e.g. exercise needs, adult size, temperament) and therefore, it should cost less.
In theory, (if the breeder is good) puppies with a known health lineage will be healthy and will not be predisposed to major health issues as they have been meticulously bred out over generations.
This expectation is the main reason people choose purebreds. However, this isn’t the only factor affecting a purebred Yorkie price. Some breeders breed for certain desirable traits, such as temperament or coat color, which could affect the cost.
As stated above, puppies from elite champion bloodlines are going to cost the most.
Professional breeders often breed the same champion dams and sires with the hopes of producing puppies with award-winning traits. Some champion studs are flown across the country specifically to mate with an elite dam. As you can imagine, the cost of one of their offspring will be extreme—up to $10,000.
Breeders run the gamut from hobbyists and unlicensed backyard breeders to fully licensed, professional breeders of champion lines. The more selective the breeder is, the better the chance of having a healthy puppy with a good disposition—and the higher the Yorkie’s price.
This does not mean you can’t find a healthy, happy puppy at a reasonable cost. What it does mean is that you need to do research on the breeder to ensure they are taking proper precautions with dogs they breed and with the care given to the mother and puppies.
Reputable breeders welcome you to visit the dogs (and parents) before making a decision, provide you with information on the parents and grandparents, breed sparingly with only healthy dogs, and specialize in one or two breeds.
It’s a big red flag if you are unable to visit the puppies before agreeing to adopt, or if you’re unable to see the mother.
Typically, female Yorkie puppies cost more than male puppies, around $300 to $500 more. The higher cost is due to females being more desirable, often for the intent of breeding. However, many breeders do not allow their puppies to be bred. Read through the contract carefully if you’d like to breed your puppy in the future.
The dog’s health
A puppy in any litter can become sick, even if they’re the offspring of the healthiest purebred parents. Honest breeders will alert you of any known defects and, therefore, reduce the price of the puppy.
If you come across a puppy with a lower-than-average price, ask the breeder about the puppy’s health and health guarantees, and check the health records, the living environment, the other pups in the litter, and the reviews from prior customers. It’s possible that the issue may not be a deal-breaker.
On the other hand, some breeders may attempt to hide a defect and end up costing you a lot of time and money at the veterinarian’s office. This is why it’s a good idea to have a health guarantee in the contract, preferably for at least one year.
At birth, a purebred Yorkshire Terrier will be black and tan. Within a few months, they should gradually change to one of four AKC-recognized Yorkie color combinations: black and tan, black and gold, blue and tan, and blue and gold.
There are a few nonstandard variations of the breed, such as the Chocolate Yorkie, the White Yorkie, or the tri-colored Parti Yorkie, which may have brown, white, and red mixed in. But because these are nonstandard colors, the price of these pups should be lower.
This, however, is not always the case. Some breeders use nonstandard coloring as an excuse to increase the price tag. Watch out for breeders who breed for specific colors, rather than with the goal of producing the healthiest puppies.
The AKC standard for the Yorkshire Terrier’s coat states that the coat must be glossy, smooth, fine, and silky in texture. Anything different, like a coarse or fluffy “cotton coat,” is considered nonstandard. A puppy with this type of coat will most likely cost less. You can learn more about these differences and how to maintain a glossy coat in our guide to Yorkie hair.
The standard size for a Yorkshire Terrier is 4 to 7 pounds. You can learn more specifics on the probable adult size of your Yorkie puppy with our Yorkie growth chart.
If you find breeders breeding specifically for small size or asking for a higher price for a “teacup Yorkie,” you should beware. Although these micro-pups are popular, they often have significant health issues. They tend to be bred for size rather than for the purpose of obtaining a healthy puppy.
Don’t want a puppy? Adopt a Yorkie from your local shelter!
Adopting a Yorkshire Terrier from a local pound or rescue shelter can help save a pup from euthanasia and it will be far cheaper. Shelter dogs often cost as little as $50 to $500 and come up-to-date on all of their vaccinations if they are adults.
Adopting is also a great way to skip all of the hard work of training a Yorkie puppy.
Some rescue dogs come with pre-existing conditions, and others are perfectly healthy. But the advantage of rescuing is that most of these issues should already be known, and the caregivers of the dog will also be familiar with the dog’s personality and should be able to give you a pretty good indication of whether the dog will be a good fit for your lifestyle and family.