Yorkies sometimes eat their puppies (i.e. canine cannibalism) when there are very clear underlying issues with the parent dog, or in the wild when a new alpha takes over the pack, or if the parent dog feels they cannot protect their puppies or starvation.
Canine cannibalism does happen but fortunately is it incredibly rare. So long as the mother is happy and healthy, your Yorkie will not eat her puppies. Canine cannibalism is a very sad and traumatic event for dog owners, as well as the dogs.
Table of Contents
- Why Would A Yorkie Mother Eat Her Puppies?
- Why Is My Yorkie Biting Her Puppies?
- Will a Male Yorkie Kill Its Puppies?
- How Do I Stop My Yorkie From Eating Her Puppies?
- Why Is My Yorkie Bringing Me Her Puppies?
- Will My Yorkie Mother Reject Her Puppies If I Touch Them?
- What Should I Feed My Yorkie After She Gives Birth?
Why Would A Yorkie Mother Eat Her Puppies?
For a healthy, mature, domesticated Yorkie mother to eat her puppies, there is either a problem with her psychology or the environment – usually both.
Stress is the number one reason why any dog eats their young. If your Yorkie experienced a busy and chaotic birthing area, she may become hyper-stressed and react by eating her young.
Another reason could be a lack of recognition. This happens with very young mothers. The parent dog may not recognize the pups as her own and mistake them for rodents. It is therefore imperative that you wait until your female Yorkie is of age before breeding her.
Why Is My Yorkie Biting Her Puppies?
Yorkies will bite their young to apprehend them for doing something they do not want them to do. It is the human equivalent of spanking.
It is best to leave your Yorkie to discipline her pups as she sees fit in their first few weeks of life. This is how puppies first learn boundaries, and they are not yet developed enough to understand human commands.
However, if your Yorkie mother is breaking the skin of her puppies when she bites, is being overly aggressive, or biting them when they are doing nothing or sleeping, then separate them temporarily and consult your vet.
Due to puppies needing milk, they should not be separated from their mother longer than a few hours. If your vet believes that the puppies should be separated permanently, they will guide you through alternative feeding methods to support the growing puppies.
Will a Male Yorkie Kill Its Puppies?
It is advised to keep males away from the mother and the litter for at least 15 days after birth. Keeping the male away from the mother just before she gives birth is best.
Although a Yorkie male won’t necessarily kill their puppies, there is a chance that they may not recognize the puppies as their own and become threatened, or may do them harm inadvertently.
Also, the mothers tend to become extremely defensive and aggressive immediately after giving birth. She is so protective of her pups that she may attack the male if he comes too close.
Your male dog will be fine to interact with the pups once they are a little older and can hold their own. He will enjoy bonding and playing with them like they are any other dog, not necessarily because he knows they are his children.
How Do I Stop My Yorkie From Eating Her Puppies?
Canine cannibalism is very rare. However, if you have a reason to believe that your Yorkie mother may eat her young, there are a few steps you can take to help prevent this unfortunate situation – even if it is just for your own peace of mind rather than genuine concern.
- Monitor mothers behavior leading up to birth
- Make a comfortable birthplace and do not disturb it
- Let the mother spend time in the birthing place before she gives birth, let her make it her own
- Do not let anyone enter the birthing space except for one recognized individual (just in case there are problems)
- Do not let other pets enter the birthing space
- Make sure the birth space is quiet and away from activity. Hallways and doorways are not appropriate
- Make the birthing space feel secure by adding some kind of covering. In the wild, female dogs retreat underneath bushes and inside caves to give birth.
- Once the babies are born, do not let anyone interact with them, only the recognized caregiver
- As the recognized caregiver, only interact when necessary
- Make sure that the mother has all the food and water she needs
- Monitor mothers behavior over the coming weeks
- Closely monitor the health of the puppies
After 15 days or so you can begin to interact with the pups, once the mother feels safe that they are secure.
It is still unwise to let lots of people come and go from the birthing space, and do not let strangers approach until the puppies are at least 6-8 weeks of age.
Why Is My Yorkie Bringing Me Her Puppies?
When a female dog of any breed brings you her puppies, it is the highest compliment you can receive.
This means that she trusts you to take care of them, and may be in need of a little time out for herself.
She also wants to show off her new puppies and is very proud of them. A Yorkie mother bringing her puppies to her owner is a way of declaring her puppies as new members of the pack and letting them spend time with her favorite pack member.
Will My Yorkie Mother Reject Her Puppies If I Touch Them?
There is a myth that touching a dogs’ puppies will make them reject them, this is not true.
The belief is centered around smell, and if someone touches the puppies their smell will alter and the mother will no longer recognize them.
Familial scent is hormonal and runs deeper than skin level. You can touch your Yorkie mothers’ puppies so long as she is happy and comfortable and not showing signs of aggression towards you.
In general, if you have a close relationship with the Yorkie mother, she will be more than happy for you to interact with her pups.
What Should I Feed My Yorkie After She Gives Birth?
Wet food is preferable after Yorkie mothers give birth. It is wet and provides some water to prevent dehydration and help her to produce more breast milk.
Dry food is fine, but it means more trips to the water bowl, which may not be comfortable right after birth.