The Warning Signs of a Whelping Yorkie

Updated April 17, 2017

Because they are smaller dogs, pregnancy can be difficult for Yorkshire terriers, commonly known as "Yorkies." It is important to keep an eye on a pregnant yorkie so you know when she begins whelping. There are several warning signs that a yorkie is whelping, and getting ready to give birth to her litter.


Your best early indicator of a whelping Yorkie is her temperature. Once you know she is pregnant, you should take her temperature daily. Normal body temperature for a dog is between 38.3 degrees C and 39.2 degrees Celsius. When it drops below this, she has entered labour. Take her temperature every two hours from this point on. When it gets down to 100 or below, you have less than 24 hours.


Yorkies begin to act differently as they near whelping. Throughout the pregnancy she is slower and less energetic, but as she nears whelping she becomes restless. She will not be able to get comfortable, and may try to stretch out on her side. She may also seek a dark, quiet place like under a bed. When she gets very close to whelping she will try to start digging.

Physical Signs

A yorkie begins crying or whining as she gets close to whelping. Her eyes also become dilated and she begins examining and licking herself. She may vomit and have more frequent bowel movements and urination. She will seize up and whine regularly when contractions begin. When this occurs, whelping generally occurs within 24 hours. Just like a human, a yorkie's water also breaks.


Several things can go wrong with a yorkie pregnancy. If she has been pregnant for more than 70 days, you should carefully take her to a medical professional or have an animal care doctor come to her. You should also seek professional help if she still has not whelped 24 hours after her temperature drops. Also, puppies should not come more than two hours apart, so if it has been longer than that after a puppy is delivered and you know there are more puppies coming, seek help.

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About the Author

Michael Larkin has been writing since 2005. He has worked as a photojournalist for CBS affiliates in Spokane, Washington, and Boise, Idaho. He has also freelanced for ESPN and PBS. Larkin currently writes a wide range of material, including corporate newsletters, blogs and ad copy, as well as the occasional magazine article. Larkin holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism/mass communication from Whitworth College.