How Long Do Yorkshire Terriers Stay in Heat?


Yorkshire Terriers, also known as Yorkies, are a popular small breed of dog known for their beautiful long coats and lively personalities. Like all other dogs, female Yorkies go through a reproductive cycle known as the heat cycle or estrus. Understanding the duration of a Yorkie’s heat cycle is essential for responsible pet owners, breeders, and those considering breeding their Yorkies. In this article, we will explore the various stages of a Yorkie’s heat cycle, how long it typically lasts, and important considerations for owners during this time.

Understanding the Heat Cycle in Yorkshire Terriers

The heat cycle in Yorkies is a natural process that occurs in intact (not spayed) female dogs. It is the period when a female dog is receptive to mating and can potentially become pregnant. This cycle consists of several distinct stages, each characterized by different hormonal changes and behaviors. It is crucial to understand these stages to effectively manage and care for your Yorkie during this time.


The heat cycle in Yorkies begins with the proestrus stage, which is the initial phase of the cycle. During this period, the female Yorkie’s reproductive organs prepare for potential pregnancy. The proestrus stage typically lasts around 9-10 days but can vary from 7 to 14 days.

Some common signs of proestrus in Yorkies include:

  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting
  • Swollen vulva
  • Increased urination
  • Changes in behavior, such as restlessness or irritability


The next stage of the heat cycle is estrus, also known as the mating stage. During this phase, the female Yorkie is most receptive to mating and can conceive if bred. The estrus stage usually follows the proestrus stage and lasts for approximately 7-10 days.

Signs of estrus in Yorkies include:

  • Changes in vaginal discharge (becomes lighter and less bloody)
  • Increased friendliness and attention-seeking behavior
  • Flagging the tail to the side when approached by male dogs
  • Urge to roam and escape to find potential mates


After the estrus stage, the diestrus stage begins, which is the period where the female Yorkie’s reproductive system prepares for pregnancy or returns to its normal state if mating did not occur. Diestrus typically lasts around 60-90 days.

During diestrus, the female Yorkie may exhibit the following signs:

  • Decreased interest in mating
  • Gradual reduction in genital swelling
  • Reversion of behavior to normal


The final stage of the heat cycle is anestrus, which is a resting phase where the reproductive system is inactive. Anestrus lasts for an extended period, typically ranging from 4-6 months.

During anestrus, the female Yorkie will not exhibit any signs of being in heat. This is the time when the reproductive system is regenerating and preparing for the next heat cycle.

How Long Does a Yorkie Stay in Heat?

The duration of a Yorkie’s heat cycle can vary depending on various factors, including the individual dog and environmental factors. On average, the entire heat cycle from the beginning of proestrus to the end of anestrus can last approximately 18-24 weeks or 4-6 months.

Here is a breakdown of the average duration of each stage:

Stage Duration
Proestrus 7-14 days
Estrus 7-10 days
Diestrus 60-90 days
Anestrus 4-6 months

It is important to note that these durations are average estimates, and individual Yorkies may have slight variations in their heat cycle lengths.

How Long Do Yorkies Stay in Heat? | Yorkies in Heat |

Important Considerations for Owners During a Yorkie’s Heat Cycle

When your Yorkie is in heat, there are several essential considerations to ensure her well-being and prevent unwanted pregnancies:

Supervision and Control

During the proestrus and estrus stages, when your Yorkie is most receptive to mating, it is crucial to supervise her closely and prevent any encounters with intact male dogs. This can be achieved by keeping her indoors or in a securely fenced yard. If you plan to breed your Yorkie, consult with a reputable breeder or veterinarian to ensure responsible mating.

Hygiene and Cleanliness

Due to the vaginal bleeding that occurs during the proestrus stage, it is essential to keep your Yorkie clean and maintain good hygiene. You can use doggy diapers or special pants designed for dogs in heat to prevent staining and make cleaning easier.

Proper Identification

It is advisable to have your Yorkie microchipped and ensure she wears a collar with identification tags. In case she accidentally escapes or gets lost, proper identification will increase the chances of her being safely returned to you.

Spaying Considerations

If you do not plan to breed your Yorkie, spaying is a recommended option. Spaying not only prevents unwanted pregnancies but also eliminates the risk of certain reproductive diseases, such as pyometra and mammary tumors. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the optimal age for spaying your Yorkie.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQ 1: Can Yorkies get pregnant during their first heat cycle?

Yes, Yorkies can get pregnant during their first heat cycle. It is crucial to supervise and prevent any mating if you do not intend to breed your Yorkie at a young age.

FAQ 2: How often do Yorkies go into heat?

Yorkies typically experience heat cycles every 6-8 months. However, this can vary between individual dogs.

FAQ 3: Can male dogs detect when a Yorkie is in heat?

Yes, male dogs can detect female dogs in heat due to the pheromones they release. This is why it is essential to keep your Yorkie away from intact male dogs during her heat cycle.

FAQ 4: Can I bathe my Yorkie during her heat cycle?

Yes, you can bathe your Yorkie during her heat cycle. However, it is important to avoid any water contact with her vaginal area to prevent infections. Consult with your veterinarian for specific bathing recommendations.

FAQ 5: Can I walk my Yorkie outside during her heat cycle?

Yes, you can walk your Yorkie outside during her heat cycle. Ensure she is on a leash and supervise her closely to prevent any encounters with male dogs.

FAQ 6: How can I tell if my Yorkie is in the proestrus stage?

Signs of proestrus in Yorkies include vaginal bleeding or spotting, a swollen vulva, increased urination, and changes in behavior such as restlessness or irritability.

FAQ 7: Should I let my Yorkie mate during her heat cycle?

Deciding whether to let your Yorkie mate during her heat cycle depends on your intentions and responsibilities as a pet owner. If you are not an experienced breeder and do not have the resources to care for a litter of puppies, it is advisable to prevent any mating.


Understanding the duration of a Yorkie’s heat cycle is crucial for responsible pet owners. The average heat cycle in Yorkies lasts approximately 18-24 weeks or 4-6 months, with variations between individual dogs. By closely monitoring your Yorkie during her heat cycle and taking necessary precautions, you can ensure her well-being and prevent any unwanted pregnancies. Consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice and guidance regarding your Yorkie’s reproductive health.

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