How do I know if my Yorkie is in labour?

Updated July 20, 2017

For the tiny Yorkshire terrier, pregnancy, labour and birth can be a scary, confusing time. If your Yorkie is pregnant and approaching the end of her gestational period, knowing the signs of labour allows you to give her comfort and care during these events. If you can tell that your dog is in labour, you can keep a close eye on her, and watch for the arrival of puppies and any potential emergency situations.

Take your Yorkie's temperature with a rectal thermometer. A temperature below 37.8 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) means your dog will go into labour within the next 24 hours.

Monitor your dog for signs of discomfort, including pacing, shivering, and panting, which occur when your Yorkie's cervix begins to dilate and contractions begin.

Monitor your dog for stomach upset. If your Yorkie refuses food or begins vomiting, she is in the beginning stage of labour.

Watch your Yorkie for "nesting" behaviour, where she will nudge blankets around to create a nest for the birth process.

Listen for persistent whining or whimpering. The feeling of contractions and labour can be frightening for your dog, and she may make sounds to show her anxiety.

Watch for a tan coloured liquid to pass from your dog's vaginal opening. This occurs when the placental water sack breaks, which occurs during labour, soon before the puppies are born.


If your dog's temperature has dropped below 37.8 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) and 24 hours have passed without any puppies born, take her to the vet right away. If the Yorkie gives birth to one puppy but goes 2 hours without giving birth to more puppies, take her to the vet right away. A Yorkie's pregnancy should not last more than 70 days. If 70 days pass without signs of labour or puppies being born, you should take her to the vet right away.

Things You'll Need

  • Rectal thermometer
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