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How to Breed a Yorkshire Terrier 


Yorkie breeding, done correctly, requires a wealth of knowledge and the means to provide all that is necessary. This is not something to be taken lightly. 

It's a big responsibility and the healthy of both dam and future puppies will be in your hands. A lot of thought should go into the possibility of breeding before making the decision.

This information will give you:
  • Insight into the breeding world.
  • What is involved in the process
  • How to being
  • How to improve
So let's get started to learn about producing healthy, happy purebreds...with the goal of improving the bloodlines.
basket of Yorkie puppies
A basket of Yorkie puppies!
Photo courtesy of Carrie McLelland and Kathy Collins  

Deciding to Breed

Yorkie breeding, done properly and ethically will involve a lot of elements that come into play...and come together, during the process and your program. One must consider if you will be breeding your Yorkie 1 time or if you actually wish to enter this world and learn how to breed Yorkie puppies and create a program that you will run from your home.

Those who believe that breeding will be a great method of gaining a 2nd income should be aware that most ethical, caring breeders put quite a bit of the money back into the dogs. Do note that we say quite a bit, not all...There is some profit to be made, however it will only work well if your main goal is the joy of doing this and not monetary gain.

It is an ongoing cycle of working hard to improve the bloodlines, create dogs who meet the AKC standard in regards to conformation and produce healthy pups who are well socialized and happy....all while maintaining the integrity and health of both dam and sire.

Breeding will not make you rich. Breeding a Yorkie, in the ethical way, is done to create happy, healthy puppies... and the love of the dog comes first and the money comes secondary. Only with this mindset will you have the proper goals, goals that will produce an end result of exceptional litters with puppies that are sought after.

Proper Age

It is recommended that a female is bred after her 2nd heat and before she is 5 years old. Now, a female can enter heat as young as 4 months old, this is much too young to become pregnant. It would put too much stress on the body and it is unethical and unhealthy for a growing puppy to have the additional task of the rapid growth of pregnancy.  
Yorkshire Terrier dam and pup
On the flip side, after the age of 5, with 7 being the absolute limit, the female needs to rest. If a person is only planning 1 litter and does so when the dam is 4-5 years old, another litter can be carried safely at age 7. However, if a dam has had 3 or more litters, she should be retired at the appropriate age of 5. If not, there can be many complications, not limited to the need for cesarean, uterine infection and more.

Correct Weight

When learning about how to breed a Yorkshire Terrier, one must keep in mind the size of both male and female partners.
Because this breed is so small, when a female is going to be paired with a male, the female should weigh more than the male. This is a key component in aiding the dam to carry well and deliver with the least possibility of complications. The male should be under 4 pounds (1.81 kg) or 4 pounds maximum.

The male's parents should be between 4 and 5 pounds (1.81 kg to 2.26 kg ). Doing this, will give the female Yorkie a better chance of being able to have her puppies naturally. When these guidelines are not followed, there is a greater chance that the female will need to have a cesarean section.

With this in mind, the dam should be between 5 and 7 pounds, with 7 the desired size.

The Heat Cycle and the Role it Plays

Your Yorkie's heat cycle will last approximately 21 days.

This occurs approximately every 6 months. It is not exact. All dogs are different. If you keep a calendar of when your Yorkie enters heat, you should be able to determine your dog's particular schedule.

Signs of Heat:

    * A leak of clear fluid for a couple of days
    * A change to a cream colored fluid
    * A change to blood, this may be a light pink color in toy breed dogs
    * Enlarged vulva, on a Yorkie the vulva may be moderately enlarged

When the bleeding stops, your Yorkie may still be in heat for a few days. If you carefully touch the base of her tail and she moves her tail to the side, she is still in heat.


One of the most important aspects is to be in full control of mating. A female can become pregnant by 2 different males, if she ties with both during her cycle. This can happen even if the ties occur days apart.

Ties should be planned and at all other times, the dam should be separated from any other nu-neutered males. It is amazing how many owners we have been in contact with who say, "But I only left her alone for a minute" or "I don't know how he escaped and mated with her!" One must be vigilant in keeping a close eye on all dogs.

After Breeding

A female should be retired from breeding at the age of 7 years maximum. A female Yorkie may need to be retired much younger and this will depend on the recommendation of an experienced and trusted veterinarian who makes a determination after evaluating the individual dog's health and history.

It is highly recommended to have your female Yorkie spayed if you will not be breeding her. It is certainly recommended to spay your female if you have bred her & will be retiring her. Spaying greatly eliminates the chances of developing ovarian cancer and reduces the risk of mammary cancer in female dogs. The younger, the better the odds. However, spaying at any age will help.

When a female dog is retired, she should be spayed and given a full professional dental cleaning.
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