How to Breed Yorkies

Two Parts:Deciding Whether to Breed Your YorkieBreeding Yorkies

If you plan to breed your Yorkshire terrier (Yorkie) there are some very important issues to consider long before you mate your dog. You need to evaluate the dog’s suitability for breeding, its physical and breed characteristic traits, how the process of reproduction might effect the dog, and the potential pitfalls and complications of having a litter of pups. If you consider all of these issues before breeding your dog, and you still go through with it, your evaluation will prepare you better for the realities of the breeding process.

Part 1
Deciding Whether to Breed Your Yorkie

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    Determine if your Yorkie is old enough to breed. A female Yorkie should not be used for breeding until she is 2 years old.[1] A male Yorkie will generally have viable sperm when he is over a year old.
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    Assess whether your dog has the right physical traits for breeding. Does your dog have desirable breed traits? Does it meet breed standard minimums? According to the American Kennel Club a Yorkie should exhibit these traits:[2]
    • The Yorkie's body should be compact and well proportioned.
    • In addition, a Yorkie's head should be “small and rather flat on top, the skull not too prominent or round, the muzzle not too long, with the bite neither undershot nor overshot and teeth sound. Either scissors bite or level bite is acceptable. The nose is black. Eyes are medium in size and not too prominent; dark in color and sparkling with a sharp, intelligent expression. Eye rims are dark. Ears are small, V-shaped, carried erect and set not too far apart.”[3]
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    Assess whether your dog has the right temperament for breeding. It should appear confident but should be friendly towards people and not fearful. Fearfulness in dogs can be hereditary or a learned trait but you do not want to risk perpetuating a bad hereditary trait.[4]
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    Determine whether you have the financial stability to breed your dog. A dog pregnancy could result in complications, which could cost you a lot of money. Possible complications to consider include an emergency C-section or serious medical conditions occurring in the mother. These can include hypocalcemia, metritis, or mastitis.
    • Are you prepared to raise any unsold puppies? All the puppies in any given litter do not always sell, so you need to be aware that you may be taking on a lifelong financial responsibility for a new puppy.
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    Be realistic about whether you have the time to devote to breeding your dog. Raising puppies is a full-time job. You will need time for daily handling and socializing the puppies, as only puppies that are socialized to humans make good pets.
    • The time spent playing and bonding with the puppies is in addition to the time it takes to care for them. Feeding and cleaning after puppies is no small job.
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    Contact a breeder to adopt a Yorkie that you can then breed. If you are looking to adopt a Yorkie you can breed, you should get the name of a well-respected breeder that has a good track record with successful offspring. Good breeders will encourage you to visit them, have good looking and social dogs and puppies, give the dogs plenty of room to roam, will only breed one type of dog, and will interview you about how you will raise the dog they bred.[5][6]
    • Contact local Yorkie clubs for a list of local breeders that do not run puppy mills.[7]
    • If there are no well-established breeders in your area, you may need to travel to get a dog that has all the positive breeding traits you want.
    • When you are interacting with a well-regarded breeder, pay attention to how the person conducts business and how he or she interacts with the dogs. You can learn a lot just from watching how a professional conducts business.
    • Make sure to assess all aspects of the breeding process. Use a checklist to make sure you have covered your bases, like the one provided by the Humane Society.[8]

Part 2
Breeding Yorkies

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    Understand the reproductive system of the male Yorkie. The external parts of the male Yorkie’s reproductive system are the penis and the scrotum. The scrotum is a pouch that holds the dog's testicles. The sperm, which fertilize the female's egg, are produced in the testes.[9]
    • Male dogs should ideally have two testes, which move from inside the body down into the scrotum during puberty. A mature male's testes are located outside the abdomen because the internal body temperature is too warm for sperm to grow normally. Because of this, dogs with undescended testes (testicles that do not move down into the scrotum) do not make good candidates to breed, as the problem can be inherited. They should be neutered because undescended testicles can cause health problems later.
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    Understand the reproductive system of the female Yorkie. Most of the female Yorkie’s reproductive system is located inside her body. The only visible part is the vulva. Inside, the ovaries produce eggs and the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone.[10]
    • After eggs are fertilized by sperm, they attach to the uterine lining and grow into puppies.
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    Get a physical veterinary examination of both dogs. About one month before you breed your Yorkie it should be examined by a veterinarian.[11] The vet should make sure the female is healthy enough to carry a pregnancy to term and that the male is free of diseases and physical problems.
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    Watch for signs that the female is physically ready to mate. Track the female's reproductive cycle so that you know when she will go into heat next. In general, a female dog generally goes into heat twice a year.[12]
    • The heat cycle starts with a preparatory stage, proestrus, when the vulva swells and a light bloody discharge occurs for 7-9 days. After this stage the bleeding slows down and the dog becomes receptive to breeding. This stage is called estrus or standing heat and is the most fertile time for breeding.
    • Your veterinarian can determine if your dog is in heat by swabbing the inside of her vagina with a cotton swab. By examining the cells on the swab under a microscope the vet can determine if it is the right time for breeding.
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    Place the male and female together. When the female is physically ready to breed, she will bow to him and back into him. The male will usually reciprocate this interest and mount her for breeding. This process usually occurs naturally, without any outside intervention needed.[13]
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    Advertise the puppies before they are born. You want to have people lined up who are going to adopt the puppies when they are born. The last thing you want is to be stuck with too many dogs.
    • Advertise your puppies on local list-servs for Yorkie owners or with your local chapter of national dog organizations.
    • Make a list of potential buyers. Since you won't know exactly how many puppies your dog will have, you need to basically make a waiting list. Let potential buyers know where they fall on the list, so that they know there is a chance they will not get a puppy in this litter.


  • Talk to an experienced Yorkie breeder about his or her experiences with breeding. This can help you understand the realities of breeding and help you to determine if you want to take on this big responsibility.
  • If you decide not to breed your dog you should have it desexed. This will help prevent unwanted puppies in the future and it also lessens the risk of some health problems later in life.

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Categories: Breeding Dogs