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Newborn Yorkies

newborn Yorkie puppy
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 whose 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 high quality food and snacks. 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 that 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 ro bark. At 3 weeks, you can begin to offer toys to a newborn Yorkie puppies. At this time milk teeth can begin to erupt and puppies may enjoy having something to gnaw at.

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 week old newborn Yorkshire Terrier puppy
4 to 5 Weeks Old

Weaning will begin at this young age. Newborns at the age of 4 weeks old should start the gradual transition to solid food. 

It may seem like a very young age, but a 5 week old Yorkie puppy can begin house training. Many breeders will start this, so that new owners have a "head start" on housebreaking issues even though this will be done with pee pads or newspaper as opposed to going outside.

At this stage, the dam needs her space and newborns are full of curiosity and energy. While they will still sleep quite a bit, time awake is filled with almost non-stop playing.

Pups will tumble over each other, wrestle, nip each other (often with the dam stepping in if things get too rough) and will investigate everything within reach. 
The puppies should all be held and touched each day. This is very important part of socialization and touch desensitization. A puppy should become used to the human touch, human noises, being washed down with a warm soft washcloth, being handled and having his mouth, teeth and paws touched. This allows that puppy to then go on to be a happy, well socialized family member in its new home. 

In addition, 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 de-worming 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.
6 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 but is very close to understanding it. It is a good idea to say the name quite a bit, since big changes will be happening soon.

A Yorkie of this age will be very curious and want to explore their "world" even further than the one room he/she has been in most of this time.

Weaning will be just about done now, with the puppy on an 80:20 solid food to liquid ratio. The dam will be producing much less milk now.  However, if it appears that the pups are going to her too often to nurse, you may opt to place a 'canine 'bra' on her to discourage this. 

Less nursing allows the dam to spend play time with the puppies and not be giving milk all of the time; however independent time is needed now as well. 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.
6 week old newborn Yorkie
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 round of shots. This will be a combination shot vaccine for Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza and Coronavirus.
More Puppy Information
  • 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
  • Odd Eating Habits
  • 24 Behavioral Issues
  • 34 Yorkshire Terrier Health Issues....And so Much More
  • Without doubt, the most helpful, comprehensive Yorkshire Terrier book that exists. Now in Print & eBook.
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