The Yorkshire Terrier, one of the most beautiful of the smaller dog breeds, and one famed for its gorgeous coat. Whether long or short coated, the Yorkie requires a lot of care when it comes to grooming, and not just for the coat.
If you are thinking of choosing a Yorkshire Terrier puppy, this is the rundown of what you need to know about grooming!
The Yorkshire Terrier Coat
First things first, Yorkshire Terriers have a coat of hair, not fur! What’s the difference you say?
Well first off hair usually grows much longer than fur, and it goes through a longer cycle of growth, so Yorkies are not frequent shedders!
Most Yorkshire Terriers have a soft, silky coat, and have sensitive skin.
The AKC breed standard describes the Yorkie coat as ‘glossy, fine and silky in texture’. It is also straight and can grow quite long. This is the ‘show dog coat’.
With silky coats, the biggest challenge is to keep your Yorkie’s skin properly moisturized since the fine, silky hairs offer little protection. You need to keep the hairs in good condition since they can lose their lovely texture. Dryness and split ends can occur, and in longer coats, the dredded tangles.
Some Yorkies have a very different type of coat – a ‘cotton coat’. To breeders this is a major fault and should not be bred. However there is nothing wrong with having a pet Yorkshire Terrier that has a cotton coat. Be prepared though, more grooming is required.
These coats are thicker, shorter, and are usually wavey. The coat cannot reach floor length, but does curl back, so it can be very dense and get matty. Most owners opt to keep this coat very short.
How to Brush a Yorkie Coat
The simple truth is you should brush and comb your Yorkie once a day if it has a long “silky show coat” and every two days if the dog has a shorter “cotton coat”.
If you don’t, then get ready for tangles!
You should always dampen the coat before brushing, but don’t soak the hairs.
And also before brushing, a double sided small metal comb with wide teeth on one side and fine teeth on the other is perfect to get out tangles. For long coats, a medium toothed metal comb works well.
Washing a Yorkshire Terrier coat
Let’s get one thing straight, if you give too many baths, this will happen:
1. You will strip away oils too frequently, and your Yorkie’s skin will dry out.
2. Too much scrubbing will be abrasive to the skin and coat. Hairs will lose their strength and the coat will weaken.
But …. if you give a bath too infrequently, then:
1. The coat will get very oily.
2. The coat will get stinky.
3. Long hairs will get all tangly and knotted.
So what is the right amount of time – we suggest every 3 weeks on average.
Always brush first before bathing. And make sure you rinse out all shampoo and conditioner. Any leftover shampoo will get stuck in the hair and clog up those skin pores.
And always, always use proper dog products, your 3 in 1 human wash will not do!
How to groom a Yorkie’s face
Let’s talk about that ‘top knot’.
Yorkies with long ‘show coats’ will need this. And you can have a short cut coat with longer hairs on the head too. Pulling the hair into a cute top knot keeps the hair out of your Yorkshire Terrier’s eyes, allowing them to see, but also keeping the hairs from scratching against the eyes.
Different Yorkie Hairstyles
There are so many to choose from! These are just the standard few!
❏ Short puppy cut
❏ Close Shaved
❏ Medium length
❏ Show Long
None is better than the rest, it’s all down to your preference. But remember in general, the longer the hair, then the more thorough the grooming must be.
Nails and Ears and Teeth
Of course it is not just the coat that needs keeping in check.
Regular cleaning of the teeth, with special dog treats designed for healthy gums, as well as regular check ups at the vet, are all a must.
Regular clipping by your vet is also a benefit for their nails.
And a gentle wipe out of any dirt in the ears, will prevent any likelihood of infection.
Don’t fret! While this may sound a lot, it isn’t a very long or burdensome task. With a little regular maintenance, you can keep your Yorkshire Terrier looking spick and span. Now you know the facts, you can go out and look for your perfect Yorkshire Terrier puppy!