Our question this week was:
I have a male and female Yorkie (Yorkshire Terrier), and I want to ensure the female is safe from the male during her first heat. At what age do they first come into heat?
Hi Robert – thanks for your email. You wrote that you have both a male and female intact Yorkies and want to know when she will come in heat so you can keep her from being bred.
My first question is – do you eventually want to breed them? If not, I'd recommend having her spayed and him neutered. That will solve your problem right now. Call your veterinarian for their recommendations. For more information – go to What Is an Ovariohysterectomy (Spay)? and What Is a Castration (Neuter)?. Another article that might be helpful is Pros and Cons of Spaying and Neutering in Dogs.
To answer your questions – female dogs can reach sexual maturity as early as 4 months and as late as 1 ½ years. During this time, they will come in heat. There is a lot of variation between dogs and even between breeds as to exactly when this happens.
The safest thing to do is to keep your dogs separated using crates at the first hint of heat. And be very strict not letting them have contact.An article that might be helpful is The Heat Cycle of Dogs.
Best of luck!
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