by: Rose Lenk
The reported sales for Yorkshire Terriers is phenomenal. Over the past few years, the popularity of this breed as a family pet and as the dog to breed has seen tremendous growth. In fact, the requests for adorable Yorkie puppies is greater than the supply. This fact has many Yorkie owners wondering if they should look into the possibility of breeding their pet.
While breeding Yorkshire Terriers is a worthy goal, it is not for everybody or every dog. There are many things that should be considered before making the decision to breed your Yorkshire Terrier, the least of which regards whether or not you have the time and space to devote to breeding the energetic Yorkshire Terrier.
Many experts reserve the right to breed dogs to the professional breeder, and they will discourage anyone who has a idea to breed Yorkies from doing so. Though this may sound manipulative, there are good reasons why they discourage casual breeding. While I believe that there are many people who should not even consider breeding their Yorkie, I also feel that there are many intelligent people that can incorporate breeding into their lifestyle responsibly. To find out which category you fall into, consider the following points.
Pedigreed and registered doesn't equal breeding material
Yes, a pedigree and registration are requirements before breeding any purebred dog, but their presence does not mean that you have a Yorkie worthy of breeding. Let me explain. The AKC and other registry organizations certify pedigrees and registrations that guarantee the authenticity of your pet as a purebred Yorkie; they do not certify quality. What this means is that an AKC registered Yorkie can have certain traits that are undesirable for breeding such as congenital health defects which are not discernable to the eye and undesirable behavioral traits, which can become more pronounced in the dog's offspring.
Even breeders that possess dogs with Yorkie bloodlines of the highest quality do not breed all of their puppies. In fact, only a very select few ever get used for breeding. The ones that do are carefully evaluated for health quality, behavioral traits and breed standards in an attempt to continually improve the quality of the Yorkie breed. Randomly breeding registered Yorkies does the exact opposite, often resulting in sickly and below-standard puppies.
Breeding Yorkies is not an income opportunity
Breeding Yorkies for monetary gain is not a good reason to pursue breeding this exceptional breed. First, finding a bitch and sire of high enough quality to breed can be an expensive undertaking. Caring for your breeders and puppies until they are old enough to be sold can also be very expensive.
Think about it this way. The average Yorkshire Terrier litter is from one to four puppies. Now, you may be able to sell these puppies for $1,000 to $1,500, but Yorkies require veterinary attention and breeder care for the first three months of their life. Add on to this the cost of a possible Cesarean section and the fact that you cannot whelp more than one litter per dam per year, and you may find yourself in the hole rather than coming out ahead.
Time and dedication
It is estimated that the average breeder spends 120 hours per month caring for their Yorkies and pups. This 120 hours cannot be scheduled around other obligations; other obligations must be scheduled around your puppies. The small size of Yorkie puppies make them extremely susceptible to hypoglycemia and instant death during the first three months of life if they are not cared for properly. So, having a litter of Yorkies pretty much takes a considerable chunk of time and independence from your life.
And it doesn't end when they are three months old. A good breeder will carefully screen and interview all potential buyers to ensure that their puppies get placed in only the best homes. They will also offer support to the puppy's new family to make sure that they are properly prepared to care for the Yorkie, and they will stay available to help out any purchasers in need, even if it means accepting the puppy or full-grown Yorkie back into their home if problems arise.
If you are still not deterred after considering all of these breeding realities, you may just have what it takes to successfully breed Yorkshire Terriers. The next step is to find out all you can about Yorkies and how to breed them. The AKC is a great place to start. Good luck!
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