Birth to 3 Weeks Old
Pups should start gaining right away - 2 to 20 grams the first day is expected. Keep an eye out for puppies who's weight goes down. Pups should double their birth weight when they are about 10 days old.
Remember the nutritional requirements of the dam while nursing is very important. Remain feeding the dam puppy food and supplying supplements. Fresh water must be constantly available, as not enough fluids can lower her milk supply.
In the first 3 to 4 weeks, the Dam will be the sole caretaker with you to watch over and make sure that all is going as it should.
She will feed them and clean them. If a Yorkie newborn puppy is having a hard time getting to the dam for milk or is constantly pushed away by its litter mates, you can remove the other pups for a little while and allow that particular one to nurse by him or herself for a little while. You may also find that you have a puppy who needs to be bottle fed...this will happen if he or she is underweight and just does not have the strength to nurse...Or in rare cases, if the dam rejects them or is ill.
Not receiving constant nutrition can quickly send a puppy into Hypoglycemia ( a fast drop in blood sugar level). Signs are weakness, weight loss, fainting, confusion...and if not treated, coma and ultimately this is fatal.
Keep nails trimmed so they do not tear at the dam with sharp claw tips.
At 3 weeks, the pups are becoming more active and able to walk around. Eyes are open by now. The door from the whelp box should be removed so that puppies can venture out to explore and relieve themselves. It is best to set up newspaper that is about 2 times the size of the whelping box. It is important to keep the bed in the whelping box clean and smelling fresh,
however, only change the newspaper once in a while. Why? Because a puppy will learn by the scent on the paper that that is the area in which they should eliminate urine and feces. They learn to go outside to eliminate very quickly, usually by week 3, they have developed their sense of smell, and will start to understand where to go. A pup this age is much too young to bring outside.
Note: From birth to just about 3 weeks, the dam stimulates the newborn to eliminate....there is no bladder or bowel muscular development yet...and she will instinctively lick each puppy to trigger the elimination.
They are beginning to play a little with their littermates, and are becoming more aware of their environment, and slightly vocal. At this age, vocal cores are being discovered... little ones may begin to try and bark. At 3 weeks, you can begin to offer dog toys to a newborn Yorkie puppies. At this time teeth can begin to erupt & they can begin to lap liquids. A very shallow water dish should now be made available to them.
The 1st deworming may be done.
Make sure that your dog's veterinarian approves. This will depend on the weight of the puppy and the pup's health.
5 Weeks Old
It may seem like a very young age, but a 5 week old Yorkie puppy can begin house training. Many breeders will begin this, so that new owners have a "head start" on housebreaking issues.
The puppy will now be eating a very small amount of puppy food, softened with warm water to create a "mush".
Once a pup starts eating solid food, and the mother no longer cleans it up because they can walk at this point too, (at this point the mama wolf and den mates would have trained the pups to eliminate outside the den) it is the breeder who will know work quite a bit to keep the whelping box very clean. This causes the puppies to want to venture out to the newspaper. The pup is much too young to go outside yet and will not be able to understand the concept of the litter box or pee pads.
The whelping box should now be enlarged to include a play area. The interaction a puppy receives by playing with their litter mates is important.
The puppies should all be held and touched each day. This is very important socialization, that allows a puppy to become used to the human touch, human noises, being washed down with a warm soft washcloth, hearing regular household noises and being cuddled. This allows that puppy to then go on to be a happy, well socialized family member in its new home. Gradually, a newborn should be exposed to regular household noises such as the TV on at a normal volume...the radio, the dishwasher....noises that one would expect in any home. In this way, he or she will remain calm and not be startled throughout the day.
The 2nd deworming may be done now. As with the 1st, always wait for your vet to approve this, as the exact time to do this will be determined by the pup's weight, health and progress.
Six Weeks Old
When a Yorkie is 6 weeks old, he or she has fully developed its sight and hearing. The puppy, is however, a bit too young to respond to its name. A Yorkie of this age will be very curious and want to explore their "world". Weaning will be slowing down quite a bit. The transition from weaning to eating puppy food must be done very slowly and in little steps. A sudden change in diet can trigger Hypoglycemia. At this time, the puppy food should still be a "mush"; however you can add a bit less water. To help a puppy stop going to Mama for nutrients, one may opt to put a weaning "bra" on the dam.
This will allow the mother to spend play time with the puppies and not be giving milk all of the time. As her production slows down, it will put stress on her body to try and "force" feedings. She will gradually need and want time to herself, away from the litter.
A 6 week old should be encouraged to walk around the home, investigating new sights, sounds and smells...Of course, he or she must be supervised...And even so, one is strongly encouraged to "puppy proof" the home first...This is best done by looking at each room from the ground up...What is in reach? What is small enough to be chewed on? What can be moved to higher placement?
The puppy should still be cleaned by the owner with a soft & warm wash cloth. Although, it is almost time to begin giving regular baths and begin proper grooming!
At 6 to 7 weeks, the Yorkie puppy should receive its first shot. This will be a combination shot vaccine for Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza and Coronavirus.
More Puppy Information
- What you must have on hand with any Yorkshire Terrier under 4 months old
- What you must know about the downside to vaccinations to keep your Yorkie safe
- Introduction to Home, Family & Other Dogs
- Fixing the 9 Reasons a puppy barks
- Professional House Training, Litter Box Training and Set-Backs
- Training the Older Yorkie
- Odd Eating Habits
- 24 Behavioral Issues
- 36 Yorkshire Terrier Health Issues....And so Much More
- Any questions, answered Direct & Personally From the Yorkie Experts...For FREE...For Life...Click to Learn More