When are Yorkies ready for breeding?


Yorkshire Terriers, commonly known as Yorkies, are small and energetic dogs that make great companions. Breeding Yorkies can be a rewarding experience for dog owners, but it is important to know when these dogs are ready for breeding. In this article, we will explore the various factors that determine when Yorkies are ready for breeding.

1. Age of the Yorkie

The age of a Yorkie plays a significant role in determining its readiness for breeding. Yorkies typically reach sexual maturity between the ages of 6 and 9 months. However, it is important to note that breeding a Yorkie at such a young age is not recommended. It is generally advised to wait until a Yorkie is at least 1 year old before considering breeding.

1.1. Physical development

Before breeding, it is crucial to ensure that a Yorkie has fully developed physically. This includes reaching its full adult size and weight. Breeding a Yorkie before it has reached its full physical development can lead to complications and health issues for both the mother and the puppies.

1.2. Emotional maturity

In addition to physical development, it is essential for a Yorkie to be emotionally mature before breeding. Breeding can be a stressful experience for dogs, and an emotionally immature Yorkie may not be able to handle the responsibilities of pregnancy and motherhood.

2. Health considerations

Before breeding a Yorkie, it is crucial to ensure that the dog is in good health. Breeding a Yorkie with underlying health issues can lead to complications and risks for both the mother and the puppies. Here are some health considerations to keep in mind:

2.1. Genetic health testing

Genetic health testing is an important step before breeding any dog, including Yorkies. This testing helps identify potential genetic health issues that can be passed on to the puppies. By conducting genetic health testing, you can make informed decisions about breeding and ensure the health of future generations of Yorkies.

2.2. Overall health check-up

Before breeding, take your Yorkie to a veterinarian for a thorough health check-up. The vet will examine the dog’s overall health, including its reproductive system and any potential issues that may affect breeding. This check-up will help ensure that the Yorkie is physically ready for breeding.

Breeding Yorkies

3. Breeding readiness signs

While age and health are important factors, there are certain signs that indicate a Yorkie is ready for breeding. These signs include:

3.1. Regular heat cycles

Female Yorkies go through heat cycles, also known as estrus cycles, which indicate their fertility. A Yorkie is ready for breeding when it has regular and predictable heat cycles. The average length of a heat cycle in Yorkies is around 21 days, but it can vary from dog to dog.

3.2. Behavioral changes

During heat cycles, female Yorkies may exhibit behavioral changes such as increased affection, restlessness, and marking territory. These changes indicate that the dog is ready for breeding. It is important to closely monitor your Yorkie’s behavior to identify these signs.

4. Breeding considerations

When breeding Yorkies, there are several important considerations to keep in mind:

4.1. Finding a suitable mate

Choosing a suitable mate for your Yorkie is crucial to ensure healthy and desirable offspring. Consider factors such as temperament, health, and genetic background when selecting a mate for your Yorkie.

4.2. Breeding methods

There are two common methods of breeding Yorkies: natural breeding and artificial insemination. Natural breeding involves allowing the male and female Yorkie to mate naturally, while artificial insemination involves the collection and insertion of semen into the female’s reproductive tract. Consult with a veterinarian to determine the best breeding method for your Yorkie.

5. Pregnancy and care

Once a Yorkie has been successfully bred, it is important to provide proper care during pregnancy. Here are some essential aspects to consider:

5.1. Prenatal care

Regular prenatal care is crucial to ensure the health of the pregnant Yorkie and her puppies. This includes regular veterinary check-ups, proper nutrition, and appropriate exercise.

5.2. Preparing for whelping

Whelping, or the process of giving birth, can be a challenging experience for a Yorkie. It is important to create a comfortable and safe environment for the mother and her puppies. Prepare a whelping box with clean bedding, provide warmth, and ensure easy access to food and water.

6. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQ 1: Can I breed my Yorkie with any other small breed?

While it is possible to breed a Yorkie with another small breed, it is important to consider the potential health risks and genetic compatibility. Always consult with a veterinarian or a professional breeder to determine the best match for your Yorkie.

FAQ 2: How many times can I breed my Yorkie?

The number of times a Yorkie can be bred depends on various factors, including its overall health and well-being. It is generally recommended to limit breeding to a maximum of four to five litters in a Yorkie’s lifetime to ensure the dog’s health and prevent overbreeding.

FAQ 3: How long does a Yorkie pregnancy last?

A Yorkie’s pregnancy typically lasts around 63 days, although it can vary by a few days. It is important to monitor the pregnant Yorkie closely during this period and be prepared for the arrival of the puppies.

FAQ 4: What should I feed my pregnant Yorkie?

During pregnancy, it is important to provide a pregnant Yorkie with a balanced and nutritious diet. Consult with a veterinarian to determine the appropriate type and amount of food for your pregnant Yorkie.

FAQ 5: Can I breed my Yorkie after she has had a cesarean section?

Breeding a Yorkie after she has had a cesarean section should be done under the guidance of a veterinarian. The vet will assess the Yorkie’s health and determine if she is physically capable of going through another pregnancy and delivery.

FAQ 6: What should I do if my Yorkie experiences complications during pregnancy or delivery?

If your Yorkie experiences complications during pregnancy or delivery, it is crucial to seek immediate veterinary assistance. Delayed treatment can be life-threatening for the mother and her puppies. Contact your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary clinic for guidance.


Breeding Yorkies can be a fulfilling experience, but it is important to ensure that the dogs are ready for breeding. Age, health, and readiness signs are crucial factors to consider. Proper care during pregnancy and whelping is essential for the well-being of the mother and her puppies. Always consult with a veterinarian or a professional breeder for guidance throughout the breeding process.

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