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King Charles Yorkie Dog Breed Guide: Pictures, Info, Care & More

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on May 24, 2024 by Dogster Team

King Charles Yorkie_ StefanieMueller, Shutterstock

King Charles Yorkie Dog Breed Guide: Pictures, Info, Care & More

While this crossbreed is relatively new to the dog scene, the parent breeds have a long history and loyal fans worldwide. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a revival of an old royal breed resurrected in the 1900s. The Yorkshire Terrier is the product of a triple crossbreed that has evolved from a rat-hunting dog to a beloved lapdog.

Breed Overview


7 – 12 in


6 – 18 lbs


12 – 14 years


Tan, Blue, White

Suitable for:

People who live in apartments, People who have yards, active seniors


Affectionate, Playful, Protective

Sometimes referred to as a Yorkalier or a King Charles Yorkie is a playful and intelligent crossbreed of King Charles Cavalier and the Yorkshire Terrier. They’ll capture your heart with their adorable faces in the colors of the Yorkie or the Cavalier. They take the best parts of the Yorkie and Cavalier heritage and are adept at sporting, hunting, and doing tricks. These tiny pups fit great into any family, and with socialization, they can get along great with just about any person or animal!

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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King Charles Yorkie Puppies

King Charles Yorkie puppies tend to be expensive, but it will always depend on where you’re purchasing the dog. It’s essential to always buy from a reputable breeder who does their due diligence when it comes to their breeding stock! Due to its resurrection’s breeding practices, King Charles Cavaliers are prone to severe health issues. Those looking to purchase a Cavalier crossbreed should be vigilant about what breeders they patronize. A responsible Cavalier breeder will be able to furnish genetic testing results for their breeding stock if asked.

King Charles Yorkies tend to be very loyal and affectionate dogs that create a strong bond with their families. They’re also highly trainable so when your puppy is ready, start training and socializing your dog so it becomes friendly and obedient around other people and animals.

Image By: Left – Lenkadan, Shutterstock | Right – otsphoto, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of King Charles Yorkies

Both the Cavalier and the Yorkie are rather playful, but the Yorkie is a far more energetic breed than the Cavalier. The temperament will be mainly determined by which parent the puppy takes after. Puppies that take more strongly to their Yorkie heritage will be more excitable and boisterous than their Cavalier-heavy siblings.

Both Cavaliers and Yorkies have predispositions towards separation anxiety. So, keep in mind that your pup may not want to be far from you for long. Your dog won’t be happily crated alone while you’re away. They’d much rather be by your side all day.

Are King Charles Yorkies Good for Families?

Their small size and generally friendly temperaments make them great family dogs. Good socialization can help them get along with just about any other creature, human or animal. A well-socialized King Charles Yorkie is an excellent companion for people with children. Their small size means they don’t bear the same risks as bringing a big dog in with young children.

Having more people that can ease these pup’s loneliness isn’t bad either.

Are King Charles Yorkies Good with Other Animals?

King Charles Yorkies can be nippy with small animals as the Yorkshire Terrier is a dog bred for rat hunting. Still, proper socialization with other animals can rectify any outstanding behavioral problems. Their small stature means that similarly sized or larger animals sharing the home are primarily safe except for some bitten ankles.

Things to Know When Owning a King Charles Yorkie

Food and Diet Requirements

One of the most challenging parts of owning a King Charles Yorkie is their dietary needs. As a pup, they may need encouragement to eat enough. Yorkies are known for their energy and generally don’t have trouble keeping off weight, but Cavaliers are known to pack on the pounds if given the opportunity. Monitoring their diet to help them maintain a healthy weight is an absolute must!


The Yorkie has a lot of energy and will want to play often, while the Cavalier can be a bit more mellow. A daily walk will help keep their minds and bodies stimulated and in shape. It will help suppress any destructive behaviors that might arise from a lack of mental or physical stimulation and help keep off those Cavalier pounds.


The Cavalier is a show dog that is known for its intelligence and trainability. Yorkies aren’t dimwitted either, as they’re bred from a long line of rat-hunting dogs. This crossbreed is considered very trainable, though they can have a stubborn streak from their terrier heritage.

Grooming ✂️

The King Charles Yorkie has a medium-to-long length coat that is straight and fine. The length of the skin may seem like one that would shed heavily, but fine-textured coats don’t shed too badly! The King Charles Yorkie has moderate grooming needs. Regular brushing will help their coats stay smooth and shiny, but they don’t need to be brushed daily.

Health Conditions

The King Charles Yorkie breed isn’t linked to any particular health conditions on its own. However, the parent breeds are prone to several minor and severe health conditions that the pup may inherit.

When it comes to health issues, the Cavalier is a considerably unhealthy breed. Almost all purebred Cavaliers will inherit Mitral Valve Disease; they’re also prone to syringomyelia and other severe conditions.

Minor Conditions
  • Allergies
  • Dry Eyes
Serious Conditions
  • Heart Problems
  • Luxating Patella
  • Syringomyelia
  • Retinal Dysplasia
  • Hip Problems

Male vs Female

Though males can be slightly larger, there are no notable differences between the two sexes for these two breeds.


3 Little-Known Facts About the King Charles Yorkie

1. One of the most famous WWII dogs is a Yorkie named Smoky.

A WWII soldier found smoky in the jungles of New Guinea. Another American soldier bought the dog and took her on as his companion. He would split rations with her because she didn’t qualify as a war dog.

Despite — and even because of — her small stature, she accomplished great things! She would accompany soldiers on missions and alert them to the presence of enemies long before the soldiers could hear them approaching. She would go on rounds with the nurses to raise the morale of injured soldiers.

She even ran a telegraph wire through a 70-foot pipe. Since the line had just an 8-inch diameter, the job would have taken days for men. Smoky ran through the pipe with the wire attached to her collar. She brought the wire through the pipe in just minutes, saving time and keeping the men out of danger.

2. King Charles II was accused of neglecting his kingdom for his Cavalier Spaniels.

King Charles II, for whom the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is named, had such an affinity for the breed that it is said he refused to go anywhere without at least three spaniels at his heel. His love for the dogs was so great that he was often accused of neglecting his kingly duties to tend to the needs of his many dogs.

He loved his dogs so much that he even decreed that they could not be denied access to any building, including the Houses of Parliament and other high-security areas.

3. The Yorkie coat is said to be long and silky because it is the product of a loom.

The Yorkie was bred to hunt rats in clothing mills. This association with the clothing mills and their workers led to a popular joke that their long, silky coat was the product of the looms and weavers they were bred to protect.


Final Thoughts

Two beloved toy breeds have come together to create a new but quickly beloved crossbreed. The King Charles Yorkie is a good dog for anyone looking for a small dog with a big personality and heart to add to their family.

Given the Cavalier’s poor health record, any person considering purchasing one of these dogs should be vigilant in vetting their breeder. The practices and forms that they can produce for you will help determine the future health of your pup and help you get on top of any health issues they have before they become a problem.

With proper consideration, the King Charles Yorkie is an excellent addition to any family, no matter how big or small. We hope that you’ll love them as much as they love you!

Featured Image Credit: StefanieMueller, Shutterstock

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