It is important to know when a Yorkshire terrier is ready to breed, especially if you are thinking of breeding it. The Yorkie is a small breed and is usually around seven inches tall. They were initially bred to catch rodents in mine shafts. The dog usually comes in heat in six-month cycles and the first one is seen when the dog is six to 18 months old. For small breeds such as the Yorkshire terrier, the first heat comes sooner.
A Yorkie becomes sexually mature from six to 18 months old. During this period the female dog comes into heat. Male Yorkie usually start producing sperm during their sixth month. At this age, the dogs are not yet socially mature and they can’t find a mate until they reach the age of two. There are three parts to the heat cycle.
These are proestrus, estrus, and diestrus.
- Proestrus is the first phase and is often indicated by the swelling of the vulva as well as the bloody discharge from the vagina. The female will not want to mate with any male. The phase can last up to around nine days.
- Estrus is the second phase of the heat cycle. The discharge from the vagina becomes lighter in color and a reduced amount. During this phase, the vulva swells more compared to the first phase. The female will now entertain male dogs. The phase can last between three and eleven days. The veterinarian can perform a vaginal smear to determine whether it is the right time to breed the dog.
- Diestrus is the last phase of the heat cycle. It starts as soon as the second phase ends. The vulva starts to decrease in size and the discharge becomes redder. If the Yorkie is not pregnant, the last phase lasts from 60 to 90 days. If the dog is pregnant, then the phase continues until the dog gives birth.
If you’re not familiar with the Yorkie heat cycle and want to know if your female pup is going through it, we have a few pointers that could help you. A few indicators can help you learn how to tell if your Yorkie is in heat, including physical and behavioral changes.
Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll enjoy: Yorkies in Heat: Signs, Cycles, Length & Symptoms
Physical Signs of Yorkie Heat Cycle
When your Yorkie is in heat, it means she’s in a period where her body is changing to accommodate mating with a male dog. For this reason, you’ll notice just a few physical changes that can indicate the Yorkie heat cycle.
For one thing, you may notice that the vulva is swollen in appearance. Sometimes, it may even become darker than usual in terms of color. In terms of menstrual discharge, it’s completely natural during the Yorkie heat cycle. Typically, any discharge should be within the color range of red to light pink.
Changes in Behavior
Behavioral changes might be easy to spot if you’re able to monitor your pup. She might start gathering her toys and nesting them near her, an instinct caused by increased hormone production. Or, you might notice a change in her appetite because of the hormones, which could mean she eats less or more.
If you notice mood changes, this is completely normal in the Yorkie heat cycle. Try to make sure that she’s extra comfortable at all times and isn’t experiencing separation anxiety during the heat.
Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll enjoy: Is Your Yorkie Licking and Chewing Their Paws? All About Dog’s Excessive Licking Habits
Taking Care of Yorkies in Heat, and How Long are Yorkies Pregnant?
When you have a Yorkie in heat, you’ll want to know a few things that could help you best take care of her needs during this time.
First things first, it might be a good idea to keep potential male mates out of her vicinity for the first heat stages, since they sense her pheromones early on. Initially, Yorkies, including Teacup Yorkies, in heat might act aggressively towards male dogs, as they won’t be receptive to them until later on in the cycle.
If you don’t want her to mate, she should avoid all males during this period.
Try to keep her in a contained area for this period and off any furniture or rugs you wouldn’t want to remove stains from. You could even use disposable diapers for her comfort and easy cleaning.
As general cleaning goes, you can give her regular baths or purchase gentle canine wipes to remove any remaining discharge that might adhere to her coat.
Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll enjoy: How to Make Your Yorkie Less Aggressive and Angry – You Must Do This
Yorkshire Terrier Pregnancy Symptoms
A Yorkshire terrier that is going to be bred must first pass the breed standards and be free of congenital defects, such as cardiomyopathy, luxation, and hypothyroidism. This will prevent the mother from passing ad genes that could contaminate the breed’s gene pool. It could also result in unhealthy puppies.
The dog should also be free of any bacterial infections and brucellosis. These can be passed on to puppies during pregnancy. Aside from the mother, the stud must also be healthy and the owner of the stud should be able to show a statement from a veterinarian attesting to a clean bill of health.
The size of the Yorkie is also a factor to consider. Dogs that are under five pounds are not considered fit for breeding and could die during the whelping.
A reputable breeder knows that there’s no such thing as a Teacup Yorkie and a mature one must be around five to seven pounds. Anything less than that is considered a defect.
Once you have chosen a stud and the two dogs have been chosen as good candidates for breeding, timing has become a factor. Female dogs go into heat once or twice each year. Indicators of when a female dog is in heat are:
- vulva is swelling
- menstrual bleeding
- reduced appetite.
This stage is known as proestrus and can last from 4 to 20 days.
The next phase is estrus and indicated by the lightening of the secretions of the vulva and its willingness to be mounted. This is the right time to allow the stud and female to breed. If the mating is successful, then the female would enter her pregnancy stage.
If the female is pregnant, the vulva will remain swollen. Pregnancy lasts around nine weeks and there should be no discharge from the vulva. A discharge is an indicator of a miscarriage. During the fifth week, the dog will start swelling around the middle and the nipples start to darken.
At week eight, the owner must start preparing for the delivery of the puppies. There must be an area for the birth and introduce the pregnant dog to it. The area should be private, soft, and warm.
During labor, the dog will refuse to eat or drink water.
The dog should not be left alone until after the last puppy is born.
The dog requires help during the delivery and neglecting the dog could mean its death and its puppies. After birth, the puppies must nurse the mother and care for them right away.
What To Do When Your Yorkie is Pregnant – How to Tell, and Next Steps
It is rather exciting to learn that your Yorkie is pregnant but there are a lot of things to take care of and there is a lot of information you need to learn.
An owner of any Yorkie needs to know the signs of pregnancy and extra care should be provided immediately.
First of all, you need to decide whether you want to have puppies or not. Having your Yorkie sprayed is crucially important if your Yorkie is not ready to have puppies.
Besides, this procedure may be rather beneficial for the general health of your Yorkie as it decreases the risk of your dog catching such diseases as ovarian and mammary types of cancer. You may not be so sure that your Yorkie is not pregnant. The situations may be rather different and your dog may leave your house without your noticing it and, as a result, you will be able to learn the consequences afterward. But, if you managed to notice that, you will want to learn if your Yorkie is pregnant as soon as possible.
The first thing you need to do is to visit a vet and ask to perform an ultrasound or x-ray. The service is rather expensive and you might want to leave everything as it is to save money for puppies. Among the most vivid signs of the pregnancy of your Yorkie is that she may feel tired all the time. Besides, the tummy of your Yorkie will expand rather fast and you should not think that your dog gains weight.
If you decide to let your dog have puppies, then you need to choose an experienced veterinarian to monitor the pregnancy. The pregnancy in Yorkies does not last too long and, after 63 days, you will be able to see the puppies.
If you don’t want to breed a female Yorkshire terrier, then it is best to spay her. But if you are going to breed the dog then you should keep in mind that the Yorkie can get pregnant the first time she mates with a stud. There are indicators to check whether your Yorkshire terrier is pregnant.
- When a Yorkshire terrier is pregnant, she often sleeps more than the usual number of hours. She often stays in a corner where it is cozy and out of the way. She will not be as playful as before and just want to snuggle with you. Her appetite will also be lost and will be grooming herself more often than she normally would.
- A pregnant Yorkshire terrier will also suffer from morning sickness but it will just be for the first couple of weeks of the pregnancy. She will also discharge water-like liquid that is not urine. If her vulva is swollen then it is a sure indicator that the Yorkie is pregnant.
- The size of the Yorkie’s stomach will increase and be firmer when pregnant. The nipples will also become more prominent than before. Once you see these signs, you must take her for a checkup with the veterinarian. The dog requires regular veterinary care and must be examined to ensure healthy babies.
If it is the first time to deliver puppies, it is best to take the Yorkshire terrier to an animal hospital so that professionals can supervise the process. The owner is allowed to remain in the room in order to keep the dog relaxed.
If the puppies are delivered at home, then there’s a need for a whelping box as well as newspapers in order to absorb the mess. There must also be soft blankets to create a comfortable nest for both the mother and puppies.
This article covered the main things you need to know about the Yorkie heat cycle and how to adequately care for a Yorkie in heat. It can be an uncomfortable time for your female pup, so you should do everything you can to help her through.
Overall, she’ll appreciate it! We’d recommend getting her spayed if you’re not looking to breed her in the near future.
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