How Many Babies Can Yorkies Have? (Solved & Explained!)

Depending on the size and age of the dog, Yorkies can give birth to between 1 and 8 babies at one time. On average, Yorkies give birth to a litter of 4 puppies. If giving birth to over 5 puppies, Yorkies can experience certain health complications.

The rest of the article will explain in detail how long Yorkie pregnancies last, the signs that will show you when a female Yorkie is pregnant, the correct age Yorkie’s should start being bred, the female Yorkie’s heat cycle and how to care for them during this time, and the best practices for breeding Yorkies.

How many puppies can Yorkies have in a litter?

Yorkies can have up to 8 puppies in a litter at the most, but they usually have around 4 puppies on average. According to Yorkie Info Center, Yorkies can have between 1 and 5 puppies in their first litter, but there’s a greater chance of some puppies being stillborn or passing away shortly after birth when in a litter is greater than 5.

How long do Yorkie pregnancies last?

Yorkie pregnancies progress much the same as typical dog pregnancies, lasting an average of 62 to 64 days. It’s important to acknowledge the telltale signs in order to determine if a Yorkie is pregnant as soon as possible to allow it adequate care and to keep track of its gestation period.

What are the signs a Yorkie is pregnant?

According to The Goody Pet, these are the telltale signs a female Yorkie is pregnant:

  • Fluctuating appetite
  • Reduced physical activity
  • Larger and darker nipples
  • Weight gain (especially around the belly area)
  • Nesting behaviour

Noticing these signs early can ensure their gestation period is properly catered for, as it’s the time in their lives they are most vulnerable in terms of health.

How can owners care for a pregnant Yorkie? provides the following important nuances in parental care for owners when their Yorkie is pregnant:

  • Protection from any possible injuries, fall, jumps, stresses, etc
  • Given a quiet place to rest from loud noise and physical attention
  • Reducing the length of outdoor activity on cold days
  • Installing a litter tray at home as Terriers will urinate more often when pregnant
  • Ensuring hygiene of nipples and genitalia – the dog will clean themselves
  • Regular clean bedding and resting area
  • An adequate exercise so the Yorkie’s muscles aren’t weak during and after pregnancy

When should a female Yorkie be allowed to breed?

The Yorkie Info Centre recommends a female Yorkie to be bred only after her 2nd heat and before she is 5 years old. Even though a female can enter heat as young as 4 months old, it would put too much stress on their body and is unethical and unhealthy for a growing puppy to undergo.

How old are female Yorkies when they first go into heat?

Yorkies can go into heat from as early as four months or as late as 18 months old, with an average of 10 to 12 months. It’s worth taking a trip to the vet to rule out any medical issues if your female Yorkie hasn’t had her first heat cycle by 18 months.

What are the signs that a female Yorkie is in heat?

According to the Yorkie Info Centre, the following are the main signs that female Yorkies are in heat:

  •     A leak of clear fluid for a couple of days
  •     A change to cream coloured fluid
  •     A change to blood – this may be a light pink colour in toy breed dogs
  •     Enlarged vulva – the vulva may be moderately enlarged with the Yorkie breed

Yorkies can be in heat for a few days after bleeding stops. When the base of her tail is touched, she will tilt it to the side, indicating that she is still in heat.

How often does a female Yorkie go into heat?

Female Yorkies will have a heat cycle every five to six months at full maturity and will most likely go through more heat cycles than larger dog breeds. As they age, female Yorkies may only have one cycle a year.

How long does a female Yorkie’s heat cycle last?

The heat cycle of the female lasts from 18 to 21 days. Britannica states the first stage (called proestrus) begins with mild swelling of the vulva and a bloody discharge and lasts for about 9 days, although it may vary by 2 or 3 days.

How can owners take care of a Yorkie in heat?

Yorkie Passion has outlined smart ways owners can approach this delicate time and let Yorkies in heat know they have their full support:

  • Give them privacy and space from other animals
  • Keep male Yorkies fully separated from them to avoid any attempts of mating
  • Make sure any discharge is cleaned with regular washes and using deodorant – using diapers is also effective
  • Balancing space and giving them well-needed love and attention

How much should Yorkies weigh when breeding?

When breeding Yorkies, it’s crucial to allow an appropriate size of dam for the female to carry well and deliver her babies with the least chance of health complications. For this reason, male Yorkies should weigh less than females, and ideally a maximum of 4 pounds, according to Yorkie Info Centre.

What is the correct age to breed a male Yorkie?

Even though male Yorkies can begin producing sperm from 6 months, they aren’t yet socially mature at this age. They don’t usually start mating until 2 years but can do so earlier, and a veterinarian can easily help guide owners through this process.

What’s the breeding retirement age for Yorkies?

Depending on a professional veterinarian’s analysis of the dog’s health, a female Yorkie should be retired from breeding at the maximum age of 7 years. Unlike female Yorkies, males are able to continue producing sperm until they are of senior age, yet the older they are, the less likely their sperm is to help a female conceive.