How Long Does It Take for a Yorkshire Terrier to Push Puppies in Labor?

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Yorkshire terriers are known for having sensitive health that comes with their delicate and small bodies. Owners can feel alarmed when their Yorkie is pregnant and worry about their dog’s health and want a smooth delivery, which leaves them asking, how long does it take for a Yorkshire terrier to deliver puppies into labor?

How Long Does It Take for a Yorkshire Terrier to Push Puppies in Labor?

Yorkshire terriers have two out of three stages of birth that come with contractions or pushing. The first stage can last up to 3 to 12 hours with minimal contractions, while the second stage, which is the actual birthing stage, can last up to 10 to 30 minutes of straining and pushing for each puppy.

Cute Yorkshire terrier hiding in curtain

Yorkies have delicate and sensitive bodies due to their health and size. However, owners should not be alarmed during this process as it was natural and innate for mother Yorkies, also known as dams. Still, knowledge about Yorkie pregnancy and labor is important to help them during this stage.

Things to Prepare Before Yorkshire Terrier’s Labor

To make things much more comfortable and easier for your Yorkshire terrier, it is vital that you need to be prepared before their actual labor.

This way, you can make sure that their birthing station is equipped with the necessary things they need for sanitation and health purposes. Here are the things to prepare before the Yorkshire terrier’s labor:

  • Get newspapers for the birthing station for easy cleaning and sanitation.
  • Cut out a whelping box for the birthing station for added comfort and security big enough to fit the litter size.
  • Towels for the birthing station for added comfort.
  • Clean towels for puppy and dam’s cleaning after birth.
  • A heat lamp or heating pad.
  • Thermometer for temperature checks.
  • On-call veterinary clinic for blood test and emergencies.

Yorkshire Terrier’s Birthing Process

Pregnancy in Yorkshire terriers is easy to detect since there will be observable changes in their physical and habitual aspects.

Pregnant Yorkies spend 62-64 days carrying pups before their labor, and by this time–a healthy litter of puppies should be fully developed after the actual birthing process.

Early Signs Before Yorkshire Terrier’s Labor

Before labor begins, your female Yorkie should be isolated in order to protect them and their newly born puppies against viruses coming from adult male dogs.

During the first signs of dog pregnancy, monitor weight gain and your Yorkie’s temperature using a canine rectal thermometer taken through their rectum. If their body temperature dropped below 100 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s a clear sign of labor within 24 hours. You must take your dam to the vet in cases of accidental breeding.

Yorkshire terrier having fun playing on the grass

Three Stages of Labor

Yorkshire terrier’s labor comes in three stages.

  • The first stage of Yorkshire terrier pregnancy is when small contractions begin around the cervix to prepare for the actual birth, which lasts around 3 to 12 hours.  During this time, your Yorkies will be frantic and restless while giving birth. They will travel in and out of their birthing station or nesting box and can vomit.
  • The second stage comes with stronger contraction, which causes the cervix to dilate and push zall the puppies into the birth canal for the actual birth. The hard contractions and straining in this stage usually last around 10 to 30 minutes, with an interval of 45-60 minutes for one puppy. Yorkies can take a break from straining for energy replenishment.
  • The final stage of the Yorkshire terrier’s labor is passing their placenta. Monitor how many placentas are. The placenta distinguishes as a mass of fetal membranes that are green and black in color, which calls as afterbirth. This can also expel after each puppy’s birth, and it is normal for dams to chew the umbilical cord, and ingest and eat the placenta.

Yorkshire Terrier After-Birth Care

After birth, there are a few necessary things to check and take proper care of your Yorkshire terrier and her newly born puppies. This will ensure they are all safe and healthy during and after the birthing process. Here are a few of them:

  • Ensure that the birthing station is cleaned so your Yorkie and her newly born puppies can rest comfortably. If that is not the case, create a new nesting place for them using soft blankets and towels for added comfort and heat.
  • Sponge-bathe your Yorkie using warm water to get rid of the dirt and blood during the birthing process.
  • Your Yorkshire terrier will lick her litter of puppies clean. However, you can also help her clean out her puppies by gently wiping them with a clean, soft towel.
  • Make sure your Yorkshire terrier has all-day access to water and dog food near her nesting place for energy replenishment.
  • Place a heat pad or lamp in the puppies’ nesting place since they need to keep warm. Make sure that the dog’s temperature should be around  85 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Monitor your Yorkshire’s health and behavior. After the pregnancy, it is normal for them to have light red, pink, or brown discharge. If the color of their discharge is unusual, particularly black or green, seek veterinary supervision as soon as possible.
  • Monitor your Yorkie’s litter and ensure they are also nursing and warm. In some cases, there are one or two puppies that may seem weaker than others. If they are having difficulties with natural nursing, you can resort to manually nursing them with appropriate milk for newborn puppies.

Be vigilant with the changes and observations you see in your Yorkshire terrier and her newborn puppies. If there are irregularities in their behavior and health, make sure to contact a trusted veterinarian for assistance.

Little Yorkshire terrier playing on the grass

Related Questions

How Can I Help My Dog Push Her Puppies Out?

You can help your dog push her puppies out by grabbing the puppy using a clean towel and gently pulling it in a slight downward angle. That way, your dog will have an extra pull for her puppies to come out. If that method doesn’t work and your dog is straining for more than 30 minutes, call for veterinary assistance.

Why Is My Dog Not Pushing Her Puppies Out?

This type of birthing behavior is called uterine inertia which commonly occurs when the uterus can no longer contract due to uterine exhaustion from a long straining and pushing period. The size of the puppies can also be a factor for uterine inertia. With that, veterinary assistance is needed and advised.


Yorkshire terriers have three stages of labor. The first stage can last around 3 to 12 hours of mild contraction, while the second stage, which is where the actual birth happens, can last around 10 to 30 minutes of strong straining and pushing. Due to exhaustion, Yorkshire terriers can rest during the second stage for energy replenishment.