How Often Do Yorkies Go Into Heat?

Last Updated on September 7, 2021 by Marco C.

The first question breeders and owners usually ask regarding Yorkies is “how often do yorkies go into heat?”. Heat is the reproductive cycle that makes female Yorkies able to have puppies. This stage is not easy for your Yorkie because she experiences several changes that you have to be aware of. Keep reading to know more information about breeding yorkies in heat, and how to deal with them during this period.

How Often Do Yorkies Go Into Heat?

Female animals go through menstruation as humans. You can call it “heat” or “menstrual cycle” or “period”. Yorkies go through their heat two to three times per year but for aged Yorkies, they can have just one cycle per year. Female Yorkie goes into heat for the first time as early as four months or as late as 18 months, with an average of 10 to 12 months, however, keep in your mind that not every female yorkie in heat can be ready for conception. It is not recommended to conceive your Yorkie in her first period because she is not fully mature. In the first heat cycle, her uterus is not ready to carry puppies.

Yorkie Heat Cycle

The heat cycle consists of 4 stages, the first two stages (Proestrus and Estrus) are bleeding stages that last between 14 and 21 days while the last two (Diestrus and Anestrus) are rest and recovery stages. In case of conception, Yorkie can be pregnant in the last two stages.

Proestrus Stage

Proestrus is a preparatory stage in which the vulva becomes swollen and dark followed by bloody discharge from the vagina. The discharge is thick and dark red at the beginning then changes to become watery and blood-tinged. This stage lasts from 7 to 10 days and she does not accept male advances. You will notice that your Yorkie’s tail is down and may lick her vulva to clean herself.

Estrus Stage

Estrus is the stage of conception in which the Yorkie is at her most fertile. Vulva becomes soft and enlarged, discharge decreases and becomes pink in color. This stage lasts from 3 to 4 days or more and usually ends around the 14th day. The highest fertility day is day 11.

Diestrus Stage

Here the female does not accept mating anymore and may be pregnant. It lasts from 60 to 90 days or until birth in case of pregnancy. The vulva returns to its non-swelling state, hormonal levels decrease, and discharge disappears.

Anestrus Stage

This is the stage between the end of the diestrus and the beginning of the next proestrus, it lasts between 30 to 90 days.

Yorkie In Heat Symptoms

The heat cycle is a tough stage for your Yorkie, she could have the following symptoms

  • Appetite fluctuation: She feels tired and exhausted due to hormonal changes that is why she might eat more or less than normal.
  • Nesting: Motherhood is a natural instinct that your dog may feel during the heat. She may take some toys or objects into her area however, not all dogs show this behavior.
  • Mood changes: She may be moody because of hormonal changes. Sometimes she would like to be alone, other times she would be social or aggressive.
  • Swollen vulva: The vulva becomes swollen during the first stages then returns to its normal state at the end. Sometimes large and soft, other times dark in color.
  • Discharge: At the beginning, a bloody dark discharge will be excreted from its vagina then it turns to be pink in color with a lesser amount.

Breeding Yorkies In Heat

The Yorkie could have its first heat in the ages between 4-18 months. If she did not have her first cycle by the age of 18 months, go to the veterinarian for a quick check-up. It is not recommended to conceive your Yorkie in her first period because her uterus is not well prepared to carry babies.

Days 10th and 14th are the most fertile days with a high chance of pregnancy although she can get pregnant any time during the heat cycle. To determine the ovulation period to conceive your Yorkie, the vet can perform the following tests: vaginal smear and Serum progesterone test. If you are not interested in breeding her, opt for spaying.

spaying a yorkie

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How To Take Care Of Your Yorkie In Heat

During the heat cycle, she suffers some hormonal fluctuation that makes her feel depressed and aggressive. Keep her away from males when she shows this behavior, it is preferred to introduce males just during the estrus stage. Keep males away as they can know females during the heat cycle from their smell.

Make sure she has a quiet place to stay away from noise and children. Give her a bath or use wipes to clean any hard sticky discharge from her hair. During the bleeding stage, the discharge could stain the furniture causing some mess so try to use disposable or washable diapers.

Feed the highly nutritious food that contains sufficient vitamins and minerals to meet her needs during the cycle. Ask your vet for a diet plan specific to your Yorkie because it may differ. Also, exercise her frequently for shorter periods in a day, for instance, 10 minutes a walk 3 times per day.

Do Yorkies Experience Menopause?

No, they do not experience actual menopause however, the number of heat cycles decreases by age. Senior female Yorkie can have just one heat cycle per year. However, this does not mean that you let her be conceived because she can suffer some health issues because of her age. Additionally, it depends on the number of pregnancies so do not put a lot of stress on her body.


Yorkies go into heat two or three times per year depending on their age. She could have her first heat cycle by the age of four months to 18 months. They never experience menopause however, aged Yorkies may go through the heat cycle once a year. Keep your eye on her as she would suffer hormonal and mood changes. Keep a diary of her daily food intake to identify appetite changes. For more questions, please leave your comments below.

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