King Charles Yorkie

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic
fast facts

About King Charles Yorkie

8-13 inches
7-18 lbs
12-15 years
Not applicable
Best Suited For
Active seniors, families with older children, people who live in an apartment, people living in home with a backyard, singles
Sweet, devoted, intelligent, velcro dog, affectionate, friendly, playful, curious, lively, energetic
Comparable Breeds
Yorkshire Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
King Charles Yorkie Basics

An adorable little hybrid, the spunky King Charles Yorkie will charm you with his looks and cheerful attitude. These small breed dogs are friendly, playful, and very affectionate- it’s hard not to fall in love with them in an instant. The bond they create with their owners is exceptional, and they’ll be the most loyal pet you’ve ever had.

King Charles Yorkie is a designer dog breed, which means that they are a result of crossing purebreds. The parents of this mix are a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Yorkshire Terrier. The combination of the two small companion dogs results in a breed with varying looks and traits, but that’s always well-suited for the companionship role. Owing to their parents, these hybrids usually tend to be sweet, lively, and eager to please, which only increases their appeal.

Also known as the Cava-Yorkie, York-A-Lier, or Yorkalier, this mixed breed dog is popular with seniors, singles, and people who live in an apartment. They have many qualities that set them apart from other hybrids- read on to find out what makes King Charles Yorkie so special.

These small breed dogs are friendly, playful, and very affectionate- it’s hard not to fall in love with them in an instant.


As a designer dog breed, King Charles Yorkie doesn’t have much history to speak of. In fact, there’s very little we know about the origin of this popular dog breed. Before designer dogs became a trend, all purebred mixes were thought of as mutts. So, it’s hard to say when or where was the King Charles Yorkie first created, because there have probably been countless Yorkie and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mixes throughout history. The moment when the mix of the two purebreds got a name – King Charles Yorkie – and became a result of intentional breeding efforts is what experts consider the origin of the breed.

Unfortunately, no breeders currently claim that King Charles Yorkie was their “creation”. Since there is no accurate information, the best next thing is to assume that the breed came to be in the last 20 to 30 years, somewhere in the United States- same as most other hybrid dog breeds.


The King Charles Yorkie is a cross between two purebred dogs: a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Yorkshire Terrier. In most (if not all) cases, this designer breed dog is first generation mix, or a 50-50 percent combination of the two parental breeds. First generation mixes are the most unpredictable types of hybrids. Since the mother and the father of the litter come from two different breeds, it’s hard to predict what their puppies will look like. More often than not, the littermates are very different from each other. Some will favor the Yorkie more, others will look more like their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel parent. In other instances, though, the puppies will inherit traits from both their parents and have a unique appearance that sets them apart from the rest.

To make sure that the breed becomes more uniform and to create a standard, breeders turn to multigenerational crossing. Depending on which of the parental breeds they want to be more influential in the mix, they will further mix the King Charles Yorkie with an unrelated Yorkie or Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Another option is crossing a King Charles Yorkie with another dog of the same designer breed. However, as this is still a recent and rare breed, there are not that many multigenerational dogs out there.

Since this is a mixed breed dog, the American Kennel Club doesn’t recognize it as a breed. As a result, King Charles Yorkie puppies are not eligible for registration and won’t have official pedigree papers.


To make sure your dog gets to live out a long and healthy life, it’s important to provide them with a well-balanced diet. Dogs are omnivores and need variety in their nutrition to thrive. Meat, fiber from dog-safe vegetables, healthy fats, and carbs, as well as an array of vitamins and minerals all make up the perfect diet for dogs. In most cases, all of these dietary requirements are met with high-quality dry food for dogs. It contains all the important nutrients and experts claim it improves the oral health of small breed dogs.

King Charles Yorkie will do well on premium dry food that’s formulated to meet his needs. Usually, the requirements of small breed dogs are very similar, so small breed formula is a good match. The caloric value and nutrients will be just right for dogs of their size and activity level. Another important criterion should be if the formula suits your pet’s age. Puppies, seniors, and adult dogs all have different needs, so make sure their diet reflects that.

The breed is also known as Cava-Yorkie, York-A-Lier, or Yorkalier.


In general, King Charles Yorkie is a very trainable dog breed that won’t be too difficult for a beginner to teach. However, you should be aware that most toy dogs, this hybrid included, are notoriously difficult to housebreak. Unless you had previous experience with potty training dogs, it’s highly likely that training King Charles Yorkie to go to the bathroom where and when you want them to could prove to be too big of a challenge. Nevertheless, for a patient and consistent owner with the right approach, success is all but guaranteed.

Not unlike most dogs, King Charles Yorkie will also respond well to positive reinforcement method of training. Using rewards, such as praise and treats, is certain to get your pooch the motivation they need to learn. This mixed breed dog comes from very intelligent parents, so picking up on commands and tricks shouldn’t be an issue. In fact, if your pet shows a proclivity to it, you can train them for competitions such as agility or flyball.


The parental breeds of this mix are both small dogs, but Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can be twice as big as the Yorkshire Terrier. For that reason, it’s always the Yorkie that fathers these mixes and not the other way around. This difference in weight is also responsible for the fluctuation in size common for the King Charles Yorkie. The average weight of this breed varies from 7 to 18 pounds- a significant difference.


There’s plenty of good reasons why King Charles Yorkie was created in the first place, but the primary one has to be their temperament. Both the Yorkshire Terrier and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel have been bred for generations to exhibit all of the ideal traits of a companion toy dog, and their mixed breed offspring should stand to inherit plenty of lovely qualities. The affectionate, sweet nature and the unparalleled loyalty of this mix make him truly the man’s best friend in name and in practice. Of course, to make sure your pet’s friendliness extends to people outside the family and other animals, you’ll need to train and socialize them on time.

The love and devotion these hybrids feel for their owners turn them into velcro dogs. King Charles Yorkie won’t want to spend a second apart from you and will always be trailing you around the house. He’ll expect to be a part of every family activity! However cute this might seem, though, their closeness to their owner often evolves into separation anxiety. If you work long hours and don’t have anyone at home while you’re away, King Charles Yorkie might not be the best choice.

The alert and intelligent King Charles Yorkie will make an excellent watchdog. They are protective and tend to be barkers- so you’ll always know if someone’s coming around. Of course, they’ll probably greet the stranger with a tail wag- so don’t count on them to be the one to ward off intruders!

Common Health Problems

Some might think that the fact that King Charles Yorkie is a mixed breed dog somehow means that they’re healthier than their parents. While the risk for some issues can be minimized through proper breeding, designer dogs still stand to inherit any of the problems their purebred parents are prone to. The best way to make sure your pooch is healthy as can be and doesn’t have any “hidden” genetic issues is to get a King Charles Yorkie puppy from a reputable breeder that offers a health guarantee. Puppy mills and pet stores often knowingly sell sick puppies that have been badly mistreated, so always avoid them.

As for the common health problems that still remain a possibility for the breed, those include patellar luxation, retinal dysplasia, syringomyelia, heart conditions, portosystemic shunt, and tracheal collapse. If not provided proper care throughout his life, your King Charles Yorkie will also be prone to obesity, diabetes, and early tooth loss.

Life Expectancy

Like all small breed dogs, King Charles Yorkie has a good life expectancy. On average, they live for 12 to 15 years.

Exercise Requirements

The lively and energetic King Charles Yorkie comes from dogs that were hunters and retrievers far back in their history. While decades of breeding and, now, crossbreeding, ensure that those instincts are now minimal, they still remain- and make this breed a spirited, driven dog. Despite their tendency to be slightly more active than your average toy dog, King Charles Yorkies are still low-maintenance when it comes to their exercise requirements.

A dog of their size doesn’t need more than 45 to 60 minutes of daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. They are moderately active and will be happy in a home with a small backyard where they could safely play or in a condo with an owner that takes them out for walks a few times a day.

This breed doesn’t need more than 45 to 60 minutes of daily exercise to stay healthy and happy.

Recognized Clubs

Even though King Charles Yorkie has a few alternative names, clubs recognize the breed only under the official one. The AKC and major canine clubs might not think of designer dogs as actual breeds, but there are many smaller organizations that do. American Canine Hybrid Club, Designer Breed Registry, Designer Dogs Kennel Club, Dog Registry of America, and International Designer Canine Registry all recognize the King Charles Yorkie.


The parents of King Charles Yorkie both have soft, fine hair and their offspring will be no different. These dogs have a smooth, lustrous coat that’s a joy to pet and not too demanding to maintain. Combing them a few times a week will make sure that there are no tangles or matting. These hybrids are moderate shedders, so there won’t be too much dead hair to brush out, either.

As for the coat colors, King Charles Yorkie can come in a variety of shades and patterns. Possibilities include Blenheim, tricolor, ruby, black and tan, blue and tan, blue and gold and black and gold.


King Charles Yorkie puppies are cute, mischievous and very fragile, Their tiny size requires extra attentiveness and care with handling, as the smallest thing could lead to a serious injury. For that reason, it’s best not to leave the puppies alone with children, who could inadvertently hurt them in play.

As soon as you get your King Charles Yorkie puppy, it’s time to start with basic training and socialization. The earlier you start, the greater your chance for success. Be sure to use only reward-based methods and be patient- and your new designer breed puppy will grow up into a wonderful dog.

Photo credit: StefanieMueller/Shutterstock; otsphoto/Shutterstock

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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