Yorkie Poo:  Cute but Defiant?  

By Janice Jones     |Last Updated 05-16-2023

The Yorkie Poo is a combination of a toy or miniature Poodle and the Yorkshire Terrier.  While not a purebred dog, this hybrid screams small dog with a big dog personality. 

When creating this mix, breeders hope that all the usual characteristics of both breeds blend to make a highly trainable, intelligent, people oriented loving puppy. 

A Yorkshire terrier mother with her yorkie-poo pups

Genetics of Hybrids

Genetics has a mind of its own, however, so puppies may also inherit some of the less desirable traits of their parents or even grandparents. 

We don’t always think of the Yorkshire Terrier as being a terrier at all, but they still retain some of those feisty terrier characteristics – independence and stubbornness. 

Poodles, on the other hand, are intelligent and very athletic.  They are also known as one of the most hypoallergenic of dog breeds.  They shed little making them ideal for people with allergies.  They can also be clingy, and suffer from separation anxiety, and some are also high-strung, neurotic dogs.

Characteristics of the Yorkie Poo


It is not always easy to predict the traits of a hybrid, but know what the parents are like will help you decide if this combination is right for you. 

Unfortunately, many breeders specialize in only one or two breeds and will rarely mix the two.  Lovers of the Yorkie Poo are left trying to find their puppy in a pet store or rescue where little is known about the parents.

In the very best scenario, the Yorkie Poo is smart, energetic and affection.  Be prepared cuteness overboard when you see a puppy that is playful, bold and inquisitive.  The little spark of mischief often present in their eyes is hard to resist.

Children and Other Pets

They do equally well in apartments and houses, rural and urban locations.  They may not be the best choice for families with young children. 

Older, respectful children enjoy their playful behavior and get along fine.  Much depends on the actual temperament of the individual Yorkie Poo.

They generally do well with other dogs and cats, especially if they have been raised together.  If you have smaller pets such as hamsters or gerbils, go slow with introductions.  

They are likely to do fine, but you don't want to take any chances.

Energy and Activity

Both breeds are active and have plenty of energy.  They meet much of their exercise needs by following you around the home.  They are more active indoors than outside, but they are also likely to enjoy an outdoor game of fetch and a neighborhood walk. 

Puppies, no matter what the breed are going to be very active.  So, if there’s a photographer in you and you want to take puppy picture, wait until they are exhausted, or they won’t sit still.


If watchdog tendencies are of interest to you, this is a good choice.  They are alert and will bark.  Barking may also be a problem, so take that into consideration if you live in an apartment with neighbors living nearby. 

If you work full time, you may want to consider hiring a pet sitter, dog walker, or doggie day care for at least part of the day.  Long separations from the favorite human may lead to separation anxiety.


It is hard to say what appearance the puppy will take.  They may have long silky hair or tight curls typical of poodles. 

Yorkies are 4 to 7 pounds, and toy poodles can reach 10 pounds.  If bred with a Miniature Poodle, their weight will be more.  Height at the withers (shoulders) ranges from 7 to 12 inches.

The Yorkie Poo will fall somewhere between these extremes.  Colors will blend to reflect the colors of the parents.  Poodles can come in cream, silver, apricot, gray, white, black, blue or shades of brown. 

Yorkies have two colors:  Black and blue mixed with either tan or gold.  It is not uncommon for each puppy in a litter to have a different color.

Ease of Training

A young yorkie poo puppy is sitting in a basket

There is a bit of difference when it comes to training the Toy Poodle and the Yorkshire Terrier.  Poodles are known for their intelligence and ease of training. 

Yorkies still retain those terrier characteristics that made them great ratters at one point:  Tenancy, Independence, and Stubbornness.

Ideally, the Yorkie Poo will inherit the training capabilities of the poodle, but there is no guarantee, and your cute Yorkie poo could be equally stubborn and require more patience when it comes to training.  They are trainable but keep in mind that some will master skills faster than others. 

House training is likely to be more difficult because small breed dogs are notorious for being hard to housebreak.  The good news is that Poodles do very well if placed on a predictable schedule, so use that trait to your advantage when training the puppy to eliminate in your chosen area.

It will be much easier to live with a Yorkie Poo puppy if you plan ahead and do some puppy proofing.


Each breed has a different coat which makes it difficult to make a determination about grooming.  Either way, they are likely to need professional grooming every 6 to 8 weeks if you do not plan to do this yourself. 

Both Poodle and Yorkshire Terrier hair continues to grow, and most people opt to keep the coat short because it is much easier to manage.

Brushing and combing the coat several times a week will be necessary to keep it from matting.  Bathing about every 2 to 3 weeks is sufficient.  Both breeds are relatively clean dogs. However, they also love to run and some roll and dig in the dirt.  

Besides brushing and combing and clipping every two months, the other grooming tasks that will be necessary include:

Infographic of the Yorkie Poo breed


Contrary to popular opinion, hybrids are not necessarily healthier than purebred puppies.  They are susceptible to the health concerns that occur in either or both parents.  Here is a couple of issues seen in both breeds.

  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease affects the hip joint and can lead to limping and muscle atrophy. It is correctable by surgery.

  • Hypothyroidism is a disorder of the thyroid gland that produces symptoms such as hair loss, lethargy, obesity and other skin issues.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy:   It begins with the dog losing his sight at night and then eventually leads to total blindness.  Many small breed dogs including poodles and Yorkshire Terriers have this eye problem.

  • Ear Problems:  Poodles are prone to ear issues because of the way their ears hang. Hair continues to grow on and in the ears creating a warm, moist environment for bacteria and other germs to thrive and multiply. 

Yorkies have prick ears which mean they stand up straight.  In purebred Yorkshire Terriers, the breeder may even tape the ears to train them to stand up.  This type of ear structure is less prone to ear problems. 

In Yorkie Poos, the ears are likely to floppier, and breeders rarely tape their ears.  Hair continues to grow in both breeds especially the poodle.  Good grooming practices will lessen or prevent ear infections from occurring.

When one encounters a “perfect” Yorkie Poo for the first time, they see a smart, affectionate dog that is more athletic than the typical Yorkie. 

In the real world, however, unlike purebred dogs, it 's hard to predict specific temperament traits, appearance or health issues. 

If you are interested in this hybrid, the best advice to give you is to research both the Yorkshire Terrier and the Toy or Miniature Poodle.  Know you will be getting some of the treats of both breeds.

Here is a Charming Yorkie Poo litter caught on tape while making it through their day.  Put yourself in the mind of a tiny new puppy. 

Everything is exciting; everything is new, everything out there is waiting to be discovered, investigated and understood.  That is no small task for tiny puppies who have only been alive a few weeks. See how they do it.


  • Smart
  • Entertaining and Playful
  • Affectionate
  • Do not require too much exercise
  • Small sized puppies are cheaper to own
  • Easy to train


  • Being a hybrid, you won’t know the temperament until the puppy grows up
  • You will always need to be one step ahead of a smart breed (or hybrid)
  • May not be a good choice for a family with small children
  • Will need a fair amount of grooming
  • May be stubborn making it more difficult to train.
  • May like to bark

All About the Yorkie Poo 
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All about the Yorkie Poo Pin Image

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About Janice (author and voice behind this site)

Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, Janice served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu, but she has also lived with poodles, Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, beagles, English bulldogs, carin terriers, and a Cocker Spaniel.

When not writing, reading, and researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, husband, and family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu and Smart-Knit-Crocheting

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