yorkie puppy

To Spay or Not to Spay

adult yorkie

When it comes to spaying or neutering your Yorkie, the consensus of experts is that pet owners should get it done. There are some things you should know about spaying and neutering, and here we will attempt to give you some information about when and why you should spay or neuter your Yorkie.

Spaying and neutering are forms of surgical sterilization for your Yorkie. Spaying is the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus of a female dog. Neutering is the surgical removal of a male dog’s testicles. Both spaying and neutering make reproduction impossible. There are a myriad of benefits to spaying or neutering.

Why should you have your Yorkie spayed or Neutered?

The main benefits of sterilization of your Yorkie are:

  • Preventing pregnancies
    • Can be a health risk for the mother
    • Can create numerous problems if the owner is inexperienced
    • Contributes to pet overpopulation
  • Preventing issues related to sexual organs and hormones
    • Reproductive Cancers
    • Hormone Related behavior issues

When should you have your Yorkie spayed or neutered?

In general, Yorkies should be spayed or neutered by about 6 months of age.

For female Yorkies , the best time to have your Yorkie spayed is before their first heat cycle. The actual age varies from Yorkie to Yorkie, but generally, female Yorkies reach maturity at 8 – 10 months.

For male Yorkies, the best time to have them neutered is around 6 – 8 months of age. Males reach maturity a little faster than females.

Some people advocate waiting until teething is finished before spaying or neutering. Teething ends for each Yorkie at different times, but generally somewhere between 6 – 8 months. The reason for waiting is that Yorkie puppies have a tendency to retain baby teeth after their adult teeth grown in, and those retained teeth need to be surgically removed. It is easier to remove baby teeth at the same time as the spay or neuter in order to reduce the number of times your Yorkie goes under anesthesia.

What are some good reasons to not spay or neuter your Yorkie?

There are, of course, Yorkies who aren’t spayed or neutered, and for good reason. First, there are times when health conditions prohibit surgery. Only your vet can make this determination. Secondly, Yorkies who participate in AKC confirmation events must not be spayed. Finally, breeding Yorkies must have their sexual organs intact. Yorkies selected for breeding should be of top quality, conform to the breed standard, and be free of genetic and health issues. Also, only experienced, responsible breeders should participate in breeding activities.

What are some bad reasons to not spay or neuter your Yorkie?

There are many bad reasons people use to keep their Yorkie intact.

  • My friends want puppies
    • If you are not an experienced breeder, do not start learning for any reason other than the love of the breed and the desire to preserve the qualities outlined in the breed standard. If your friends want puppies, they can find a quality breeder and adopt a puppy of their own. The risk of breeding your companion dog far outweighs any possible benefits. One of the many reasons to not breed your pet Yorkie is that many Yorkies need c-sections and being inexperienced can lead to the death of your Yorkie while whelping (delivering the puppies).
  • I want to teach my kids about the miracle of life
    • Your Yorkie should not be a teaching tool for your children. The risk to your Yorkie is way too high. There are lots of other ways to teach your kids about childbirth and the miracle of life.
  • I want my Yorkie to experience being a mother
    • Dogs are not like humans – having puppies does not fulfill some need for them to become parents. Again, the benefit versus risk points directly to having your Yorkie spayed.
adult yorkie

There are hundreds of other reasons why people say they want to breed their Yorkie, but unless your Yorkie is an excellent example of the breed, has been fully tested for genetic health issues, and you have fully tested the mating partner (and the mating partner is also an excellent example of the breed), there is simply no reason to breed your Yorkie and risk your Yorkie’s health and safety.

If you want to learn about breeding, contact a local breeder and start learning, go to some AKC dog shows and talk to breeders, find out about the genetic issues Yorkies can have, and simply educate yourself about the breed standard and the breeding process. Breeding is not something to enter into lightly.