How Many Puppies Can a Yorkie Have?

Last Updated on July, 2024

Are you curious about How Many Puppies Can a Yorkie Have?

Yorkies, those adorable dogs, typically have two to five pups, but there’s more to it than meets the eye.

This piece will answer all your unanswered questions about these furballs. 

Quick Summary

Yorkies typically have litters of 2-5 puppies, but this can vary due to factors like age and size.

Responsible breeding and attentive care are important for the well-being of Yorkies and their puppies.

Timing and careful consideration is key when deciding on spaying or neutering a Yorkie, as it can have both benefits and potential risks.

How Many Puppies Can a Yorkie Have?

five yorkie puppies sitting together and looking at the camera

The number of puppies a Yorkshire Terrier has is like opening a SURPRISE PACKAGE! (it’s hard to guess)

Yorkies, those pint-sized furballs, typically have litters of two to five puppies. But, here is the twist: these tiny dogs have little space in their uterus – which influences litter size.

Young dogs just stepping into adulthood will pop out one to two puppies. The more experienced Yorkie’s litter (5 years and older) can go big with four to five puppies.

Yorkshire terriers are known for their relatively small pelvic openings – which affect the ease of delivery. After a Yorkie turns ten, it’s hard to predict how many puppies they will have.

It varies from one to another. So, whether it’s just one puppy or multiple puppies, these little Yorkies always bring excitement to the table!

About Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terriers are small dogs with huge personalities (just like your heart).

Yorkie size ranges from 7 to 8 inches tall, and weighs 4 to 7 pounds. They live for 11-15 years.

Yorkshire Terriers boast a silky blue and tan coat, their crowning glory.

With a personality larger than life, Yorkie puppies are feisty and loving.

But here’s the catch – they can be a tad yappy, so thin apartment walls are not their best friend!

A small Yorkie dog running with a tennis ball in its mouth

Maintenance-wise, they’re not precisely low-key. Yorkshire Terriers’ dental care requires more attention. Adopting from shelters is a top choice when bringing a dog breed into your life. But, if you go the breeder route, ensure they’re ethical.

Attention to responsible breeders! Yorkshire Terriers are intelligent and trainable puppies. But they’ve got a stubborn side. (Got any good news?) Yes, use paw-sitive rewards to get their attention!

Do you know? Yorkies are well-known for their incredible sense of hearing, too. Their finely tuned ears can hear sounds as high as 67 000 Hz, far beyond the range of human hearing.

Yorkshire Terrier History 

Yorkie breeds are popular dog breeds that have a great history.

Scottish workers arrived in Yorkshire during the Industrial Revolution bringing a giant dog named ‘Clydesdale Terrier,’ mixed with dogs like the Black and Tan Toy Terrier and Skye Terrier.

In 1861, a smaller dog was shown as a ‘broken-haired Scotch Terrier.’ Huddersfield Ben, born in 1865, is the modern Yorkshire Terrier’s ancestor.

1870, the breed was named ‘Yorkshire’ because of its origin. The British Kennel Club registered them in 1874.

A Little Brown Yorkshire terrier running in a path

The first U.S.-born Yorkshire Terrier arrived in 1872, and they entered dog shows in 1878. (Awesome, right?) This is how Scottish workers and their dogs CREATED the Yorkshire Terrier we know today!

Breeding Yorkies

Breeding Yorkies is like matchmaking for all the pups! It’s a responsibility that demands careful consideration. To ensure the health, temperament, and quality of the Yorkshire terrier puppies, you want to FOCUS ON THREE KEY ASPECTS: 

Genetic Health Screening

Genetic Health Screening is ensuring that both sire (male) and dam (female) have American Kennel Club (AKC) registration.

This registration is a prerequisite for registering the offspring with the AKC.

However, The American Kennel Club does not allow registration of dogs bred over 12 and under seven months old. (1)

Next, conduct a thorough evaluation for hereditary defects of the dog breed (especially pregnant dogs).

And, prioritize breeding dogs free from major genetic diseases common in your breed for healthy litter size.

A Brown Yorkshire Terrier Standing in the grass

Don’t overlook temperament like other dog breeds. It is inheritable in Yorkies, so avoiding dog breeding with uncertain or unfavorable characters is imperative. 

Choosing a Suitable Mate

To create a perfect pair:

  •  Imagine it like forming a dream team. 
  • If your Yorkie has fantastic fur but is small, look for a mate with a good track record for his size.
  • In simple terms, find a partner with the characteristics your Yorkie lacks.

 It’s about achieving balance – like assembling a championship squad. (How does it sound? Cool, right?)

But listen, temperament and health are deal-breakers. 

Male dogs must be physically and mentally fit. No EXCEPTIONS!

Breeding Yorkies Process

Remember, a Yorkie’s pregnancy aims to enhance the breed’s quality, NOT JUST CREATE MORE DOGS!

So, begin by objectively evaluating your Yorkshire Terrier, acknowledging its im-per-fections! 

Always have a realistic perspective (don’t see your dog through those rose-colored glasses).

Take a step back and analyze its strengths and weaknesses. During the process of dog breeds, seek comparison by comparing your Yorkie to others.

A Brown and black Yorkshire Terrier dog Looking up

The best thing is to attend dog shows to gauge how your dog stacks up against the breed’s best.

These steps aren’t just about producing puppies; they are responsibly breeding Yorkshire Terriers (as dog owners) that shine in healthy temperament and contribute paw-sitively to the breed’s evolution.

How to Tell if Your Yorkie is Pregnant?

As dog lovers and future Yorkie parents, you might have wondered how to tell if your female dog is expecting more puppies.

The biggest worry of Yorkie owners? Sadly, the Yorkshire Terrier slips out of the house during her heat cycle, and a male dog comes along.

BOOM! So yes, I know it’s both thrilling and time-sensitive.

Recognizing the early signs of pregnancy is crucial, as immediate care preparations are essential for a smooth delivery process.

I’ve got you covered. WAIT FOR THE SIGNS! 

A Yorkie terrier laying on the wooden table

First Clues 

  • Your dog’s behavior will change. It will act a bit lazy and less playful.
  • Her (Yorkie’s) belly will feel a tad firmer than usual.
  • Yorkie’s little nipples will grow big and might even pop out!

Anything interesting? Oh yes, you will notice her grooming herself like she’s getting ready for a BIG EVENT. And she will start nesting – gathering stuff for her cozy puppy palace.

Follow-Up Clues

  • Around weeks 3-4, her tummy will noticeably expand.
  • Yorkie’s appetite will increase, so be ready to fill that food bowl
  • Expect her to gain around 1.2 to 2.1 pounds – about 30% of her ideal weight.

A gentle reminder: A pregnant Yorkie needs regular Veterinary care. And your VET will tell you how often to bring your dog for check-ups.

Yorkshire Terrier Pregnancy Care

Gestation Period of Yorkshire Terrier 

A Black and brown yorkshire terrier dog sitting in the grass

Yorkie pregnancy lasts for a period of 58 to 68 days. This time frame coincides with the third phase of a Yorkie’s heat cycle. For dog owners, it’s essential to keep the pregnancy timeline of your pregnant dog.

Because. Each. Day. Is. Crucial.

For. Your. Attention! A VET can confirm pregnancy in a Yorkshire Terrier with a blood test by the 21st day of gestation. Between days 25-35, your VET will use an ultrasound to detect the fetus and check for the yorkie puppies.

After day 45, an X-ray will show how many fetuses (Yorkshire terrier puppies) are there because their bones aren’t fully formed until then.

Remarkably, toy breeds like Yorkshire Terriers have a higher maternal death rate due to their small size. But, the good news is that being proactive and monitoring your Yorkie pregnancy will help ensure a PEACEFUL PREGNANCY for her. (Relaxed?)

How to Care for Your Pregnant Yorkie?

Caring for a pregnant Yorkshire Terrier may sound scary, but don’t worry! It’s all about patience, love, and staying alert.

Keep a close eye on your dog as she blossoms into a mom-to-be.

And if your Yorkie gains extra weight or becomes anxious, DON’T SWEAT! 

Relax! Relax! Relax!

It’s perfectly normal when expecting a little bundle of joy!

A Little yorkie terrier sitting in the bed with its tongue out

Imagine your pregnant Yorkshire Terrier as a VIP at a luxury resort. Won’t she expect a retreat and some yummy balanced diet? (I can read your mind.)

But FIRST, Satisfy her yearnings for a peaceful pregnancy. And remember, if any mysteries pop up or your dog cries for medical support – Trust me, your VET is your Best friend forever! Vet. Immediately.

Providing a cozy resting place during a dog’s pregnancy is essential. As female Yorkies go through their pregnancy, they will start wanting more alone time due to the hormonal changes.

They will choose to be in a quiet corner of a room, even if they’re very close to their human family. 

And, as Dam’s hunger grows, consider switching from set meal times to free feeding. But REMEMBER to maintain food freshness!

You should exercise pregnant dogs to prepare for delivery – so that the dog’s body is in good shape. But avoid running and jumping. And, two 15-20 minute walks on flat sidewalks daily work well.

Don’t give supplements without VET approval. Because during the pregnancy period, both extra calcium and excessive loss of calcium will make the Yorkie mother susceptible to health problems such as post-pregnancy Eclampsia infection.

Keep in mind that a health check before mating prevents genetic issues. If accidental mating happens – you should schedule a quick check-up to detect the dog’s safety as early as possible.

Factors Affecting the Yorkie Pregnancy and Yorkie Puppies

A White and brown mix yorkshire terrier running in peddy

How many puppies a Yorkie has would be off-topic in this context without discussing the factors affecting the pregnancy. A Yorkie’s average litter size depends on factors like genetics and environment.

There is no precise formula, but these factors together decide. For instance, if both parents are small, the litter will be smaller, too. Here are some factors:

Health

Think of it like this: A healthy individual dog is like fertile soil for growing plants. As fertile soil yields more crops, a healthy mother dog tends to have larger puppies. 

Age

Age also influences litter sizes. Younger and older dogs usually have one litter or smaller litter. Many dog breeders have noticed this in the Yorkie breed.

Food and Nutrition

Proper nutrition is vital during a Yorkie’s pregnancy. It affects aspects like litter size, giving birth, and the health of both mother and puppies.

Essential nutrients like calcium, protein, and folic acid support a smooth pregnancy. It reduces health problems and ensures a healthy umbilical cord for the puppies. (Awesome, right?)

Medical Conditions

Listen, medical conditions often impact a Yorkie’s pregnancy. A dog with health issues during the heat cycle will have fewer puppies than the average litter size. This can also affect giving birth and the need for specialized puppy food for larger litter.

Previous Pregnancies

A Yorkie’s previous pregnancy also affects the next one. For instance, if a dog had a difficult time in her last pregnancy, the chances of having a smaller litter or health issues in the next one are higher.

How to Help Your Yorkie Whelp?

Helping your dog through her first litter is an adventure filled with joy and responsibility.

But first, I will reveal some secrets to ensure a smooth whelping process and keep your dog and her puppies safe.

It’s a bit like a magical story with tiny, adorable protagonists.

But there’s work to do to have a happy ending. 

A Yorkshire terrier lying inside the dog bedding

Creating a Cozy Nest

Start by setting up a comfy WHELPING BOX in a quiet place. Think of it as your dog’s maternity suit. Line it with layers of newspaper for easy clean-up, just like a fresh and clean sheet for a newborn.

Temperature Check

Keep an eye on your Yorkie’s temperature. Start monitoring it a week before her due date. If it drops below normal, prepare for the pitter-patter of puppies within 24 hours.

Labor of Love

As labor begins, your dog will lose her appetite and even have a bout of vomiting. It’s like her version of morning sickness. TRUST ME, there’s nothing to worry about – it’s just a part of the process. 

Comfort in Labor

Keep in mind you’re the supporting actor in this play! Be there for your dog as contractions start.

She will cry and shake. ONLY YOUR PRESENCE will offer reassurance.

But remember, no medications without consulting your VET!

Puppies Galore

Puppies will now make their entrance, often spaced about two hours apart.

A Yorkshire terrier Sleeping in the couch

But if two hours pass and no more puppies arrive, it’s time to call the VET! I repeat, call the Vet without delay.

Clean-Up Duty

Yorkie will now naturally clean up herself, including eating the birthing tissue – cords, sacs, and all. It’s her way of keeping the whelping area tidy. (Wait, what?) Don’t stress yourself by noticing this behavior of your dog. That. Is. Normal.

Feeding

As a caring owner, YOUR DUTY is to keep the bedding clean and dry for the puppies. Help the more miniature and weaker puppies find a good feeding position. All the puppies need regular feeding to avoid hypoglycemia, a sugar crash that’s no fun for anyone!

Post-Pregnancy Care for Female Yorkie

A person is grooming a small yorkshire terrier

TRUST ME. Your Yorkie has been through an extensive journey without a doubt. Now, she needs your care and support to ensure her well-being. I have got you some interesting methods to give her the best care.

Start by placing Dam and her little ones in a warm, clean, quiet area with soft blankets. Although she may not eat immediately, she always has her food and water accessible.

MONITOR any discharge from the Dam for up to a week. (it should be pink, red, or brown) If you notice excessive or unusual colors like green or black – it’s DANGEROUS! Contact your VET without delay.

Maintain the whelping box temperature at 85°F for the first week and 82°F in the following weeks, ensuring no drafts. Regular VET check-ups are essential to track her health. 

As the Dam recovers, gradually reintroduce lightweight exercises to help her regain her strength. These steps will ensure the well-being of your female Yorkie and its litter size.

Tips on Caring for Newborn Yorkshire Terrier Puppies

Puppies should be cared for differently during their 03 different stages: one from birth to three weeks old, another from four to five weeks old, and the third at six weeks old. Every tip here is a treasure for you to raise happy, healthy dogs.

Birth to 3 Weeks Old

  • Monitor puppies’ weight: they should gain 2-20 grams daily.
  • Ensure mother Yorkie has a high-quality diet and access to fresh water for milk production.
  • Puppies should double their birth weight by day 10.
  • Watch for hypoglycemia in puppies (as it can affect their health).
  • Trim puppies’ nails to prevent harm to the mother.
  • At three weeks, allow puppies to explore outside their whelping box on newspaper.
  • Introduce toys – as milk teeth emerge for the puppies’ entertainment and health.
  • Consider the first deworming under veterinary approval (it’s essential for the health of the puppies, including the first litter).

4 to 5 Weeks Old

  • Start giving solid food around four weeks.
  • Begin house training using pee pads or newspapers.
  • Puppies become more active. They NEED play time and socialization (e.g., handle and touch puppies daily for socialization).
  • Expose them (no matter how many puppies) to household noises.
  • The 2nd deworming should be done – under VETERINARY GUIDANCE.

6 Weeks Old

  • Puppies fully develop sight and hearing at six weeks old.
  • Continue giving 80:20 solid food to liquid ratio.
  • Limit nursing to allow independent play.
  • Start gentle cleaning and grooming Yorkie larger litters.
  • Give the first round of vaccinations at 6-7 weeks for various diseases.
  • Introduce Little Yorkies to their name.

Keep in mind: All care should be guided by your veterinarian’s recommendations and tailored to your Yorkie pups’ specific health and progress!

Spaying and Neutering Yorkie

Do you know? Spaying and Neutering are surgeries done to make dogs unable to have puppies.

Spaying is for Dam (their ovaries and sometimes uterus will be removed).

And Neutering is for Sire (their testicles are taken out).

Should you Spay or Neuter your Yorkie?

Thinking about Spaying or Neutering your Yorkie? That’s like having a heart-to-heart chat with your VET! 

A Fluffy Yorkshire terrier Sleeping in the Bed

Spaying and Neutering offer several benefits. But timing is key. It should be discussed with a veterinarian to balance the health benefits with the potential impact on growth and development.

Ultimately, this decision should be based on the dog’s health, lifestyle, and the expert advice of a veterinary professional.

Benefits of Spaying and Neutering

Reputable breeders promote spaying and Neutering for significant reasons, such as safeguarding their breeding interests and addressing the issues of excessive and unwanted pregnancies.

These procedures have notable benefits, reducing unwanted pregnancies, the risk of reproductive health problems, and curbing behavioral changes due to the heat cycle.

It also lowers the chances of cancer. (Great, right?)

A Fluffy Yorkshire terrier Sleeping with a rabbit toy

However, thorough research is vital before stepping into this process. REFLECT ON YOUR MOTIVES!

Other guides and tools you might need when training your dog:

Final Thoughts

The number of puppies a Yorkie can have is a delightful surprise, typically ranging from two to five.

Responsible breeding and attentive care ensure the well-being of these beloved pets. Whether you’re a seasoned owner or just starting, embrace the journey with your Yorkshire Terrier family! 

FAQs

Teacup Yorkies are small breed dogs that typically weigh between 2 to 4 pounds and are around 8 inches tall. Due to their size, they also tend to have smaller litter sizes. These dogs come in a variety of vibrant colors.

The duration of labor for a Yorkie can range from 3-12 hours, depending on the number of puppies she is carrying. It can be compared to a mini movie marathon.

Yes, a Yorkie can potentially become pregnant at 7 months of age. However, it’s recommended for them to be fully grown and mature before having a large litter, as they may experience health risks if pregnant between 6-12 months of age.

The recommended age for breeding a female Yorkie is around 2 years, while a male Yorkie should have viable sperm at approximately 1 year of age. It is important to ensure that the dog possesses necessary physical qualities before considering breeding.

Young female Yorkies usually have 1 or 2 puppies, while older ones (5 years or more) tend to have 4 or 5 puppies.

A Yorkie’s pregnancy typically lasts between 58-68 days. It’s important to contact a veterinarian if the Yorkie has not given birth by day 67.

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Laura Vinzy
Laura Vinzy is one of our contributors. She is also a certified professional dog trainer & currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and her two rescue dogs.

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