How Many Litters Can a Yorkshire Terrier Have?

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As a Yorkshire terrier owner, you probably have fond memories with your adorable furry friend when it was younger. If you are thinking of breeding it, you might wonder, how many litters can a Yorkshire terrier have? This information will help you know if you can be able to take care of them.

How Many Litters Can a Yorkshire Terrier Have?

A Yorkshire terrier can have an average of 10 litters in a lifetime. A female Yorkie should be bred when she is two years and breeding should stop when she is seven years.  Although a Yorkie can be bred up to three times a year, it is recommended to breed it twice a year.

Graphic image of three black and brown Yorkie puppies with a text explaining that Yorkshire Terriers can have 10 litters in a lifetime

If a Yorkie is tiny, it has less space to carry a large number of puppies. In rare cases where the number of pups is higher, the chances of them dying a few days after birth are high. Some will be stillborn. The fewer the number of pups, the higher the chances of survival.

What to Consider Before Breeding Yorkshire Terrier

It is crucial you understand the basics of breeding Yorkshire terriers before you get into it.  The following are some of the most important considerations to take into account.


Depending on who you ask, you will get different opinions when it comes to inbreeding. Breeders have for a long time bred relative Yorkies in a bid to improve the quality of the bloodline. However, one of the cons of inbreeding is it increases the chances of your puppies having genetic defects.

Some of the genetic health problems they inherit include:

  • Luxating Patella
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Fragile bones
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Entropian
  • Portosystemic shunt
  • Trachea collapse

To have Yorkies that have any kind of genetic degeneration, avoid inbreeding. Do your research to ensure the parents are not related before proceeding with the process.

an image of a Yorkshire terrier liter

Age of the Female

Some female Yorkies go into heat as early as four months, while others can go up to 18 months old before they go into heat. On the other hand, the males start producing sperms when they are six months old and have to wait until they are at least two years old to be allowed to breed.

The age of the mother plays a vital role in the successful birth of healthy puppies. An older mother will have a more developed uterus and is able to carry the pregnancy to term and give birth to a healthy litter.

Breeding it after it has reached seven years exposes it to the risk of having pregnancy related complications and the litter may not be as healthy.

Size of the Male

A liter of Yorkshire terrier

To avoid complications during pregnancy and when giving birth, it is essential that you consider the male’s size into consideration. The male should weigh less than the female. This is to ensure that the size of the puppies will not be large and cause complications to the mother by straining the uterus.

Breeders recommend the ideal weight of a male Yorkie before breeding be under five pounds. This will give the female Yorkie an opportunity to be able to give birth naturally without having to undergo a cesarean section.


How healthy is your Yorkie? If it is overweight and unhealthy, the chances of it giving birth to a healthy litter are slim. Ensure that you feed it food that is healthy and has no adverse effects on its health.

Foods that are rich in protein are especially helpful when it is pregnant as it provides energy to the mother and sustains the pups. The milk from the mother also gives the pups nutrients to grow strong and healthy.

A yorkshire terrier mother showing how many liters it can have

Related Questions

Other similar questions you may have are answered below.

How Many Times Can You Breed a Yorkie?

You can breed a Yorkie 2-3 times a year until seven years old. However, it is unethical to do this as the Yorkie will become tired and even suffer health complications. Most ethical breeders breed their Yorkies once a year, then let them rest for a year or two before breeding them again.

How Do I Tell if My Yorkie Is Pregnant?

You can tell for sure if your Yorkie is pregnant by having a vet carry out a blood test. Change in appetite, a firm stomach, weight gain, and being sleepy than usual are some signs that you should be on the lookout for.

How Long Do Yorkies Stay Pregnant?

Yorkies, like other small breed dogs stay pregnant for an average of 63 days. It is, however, considered normal to deliver two days before or after the set time. If your Yorkie has not been delivered by the time 68 days are over, it is crucial that you get her to the vet as soon as possible.


When making the decision on breeding your Yorkie, it is important that you get in touch with a veterinarian. Their expertise and guidance will be helpful in making the best decision for your furry friend.