Yorkshire Terriers, better known as “Yorkies,” are adorable, tiny pups that are great companion dogs. They have long hair that is silky to the touch, and their fur is woolly. Some Yorkies have a double coat, which calls for its own special grooming. In fact, most pet parents are so overwhelmed at the grooming required for a Yorkie, particularly the haircuts, that they take Fido to a professional groomer every month for this necessity.
Yorkies are terriers, and that means they are naturally curious. While some pet parents will leave their hair long, many others will keep the unique coat of the Yorkshire Terriers clipped so that matting and tangles are at a minimum. Yorkies are also prone to dental issues, and this requires regular dog teeth cleaning to prevent decay and gum disease. As if those two issues weren’t enough to keep Yorkie parents on their toes, then add to the list that Yorkies are known to be prone to allergies.
Even though Yorkies do have a lot of grooming needs, pet parents can be confident in their ability to carry out these routine procedures in caring for the Yorkie. Yes, pet parents can even clip and trim the coat—even try different Yorkie haircut styles if they so choose.
Getting Your Yorkie Prepared for Grooming
Grooming doesn’t begin with picking up a brush or a comb and running it through your Yorkie’s coat. Pet parents to dogs that will require a good bit of grooming should begin preparing them for grooming when they first come home.
Of course, bringing a puppy home is a stressful time. Certainly, we don’t want to imply that you should begin brushing Fido the very day you bring her home from the breeder. Give her a few days to get accustomed to a new home and a new family. However, within one week you should begin socializing her to the grooming process before giving any Yorkie puppy cut.
Socializing your dog to the grooming process means getting her used to things that dogs have a natural aversion to, such as having their feet handled or noisy grooming tools. However, if you begin when your dog is young, she will be so used to these elements of grooming that she won’t mind her weekly brushing, her bath, nor the occasional trim.
Begin by handling your dog’s feet and legs. Rub them, and get her used to you holding her feet as if you were planning to trim her toenails. Spend time rubbing her ears as well. Do this for a few days before adding more “grooming” to the routine. Use a dry bath cloth to wash a dog’s face. Continue to handle her feet and ears on a daily basis as well. As she begins to tolerate these activities, give her a treat and praise for behaving. Remember, these aren’t natural activities for a dog, so behaving while you carry out these activities is a sign that this part of the socialization process is going well.
After she seems fairly calm when you are handling her, then you’ll want to turn on the clippers and let her hear the noise the device makes. (If you plan to cut her hair with a pair of scissors, you may skip this step. Keep in mind, however, that a groomer may use a clipper on her in the future, so you may still want to socialize her to the sound.) After she’s had a chance to get used to the sound of a clipper, take the device and rub the handheld portion (not the blade, but the part you’ll be holding) over her body. Your Yorkie needs to see that you’re not going to harm her when this noisy device is near.
NOTE: Keep in mind that clippers made specifically for grooming dogs are usually made to exhibit a very low noise level. They are much quieter than a “traditional” pair of clippers, and they seem to cause less anxiety in dogs.
It’s recommended that you carry out this socialization to the grooming process for three weeks to a month before you ever actually groom the Yorkie. The more acclimated she is to the process, the more likely the grooming session will go smoothly. Remember, grooming is supposed to be a pleasurable experience for your Yorkie, so “practicing” for the real thing can aid in allaying your Yorkie’s apprehensions about grooming time.
What will I need to groom my Yorkie?
Here’s a shortlist of what you’ll need to properly groom Fido.
- A pin brush and a bristle brush
- A slicker brush
- Cotton balls
- Ear cleaning solution
- Dog eye wipes
- An all-natural dog shampoo
- Electric clippers
- A dog toothbrush and a dog toothpaste
- Dog nail clippers or grinders
- Treats for a job well done
Some things on the list above are fairly self-explanatory like determining today’s best dog nail grinders. However, there are some things you should know about pet shampoos.
There are lots of all-natural dog shampoos and conditioners on the market. Can’t I just choose whatever I like best?
Dog shampoos are very important not only to grooming your Yorkie properly but for her overall health. It’s important that you understand as a pet parent that not all dog shampoos are truly natural products.
Although the Food and Drug Administration does have some jurisdiction over pet products , it is important to remember there are many shortcuts that manufacturers can take that end up hurting your dog in the long run. Dog shampoo can say something on the label such as “derived from all-natural products” when it is chock full of chemicals. The FDA looks at this as being transparent, but manufacturers know that most pet parents don’t understand just because it’s “derived” from a natural source, which doesn’t make it natural.
Chemical reactions are natural, too. On the tender skin of a Yorkie, a product with harsh chemicals can make her skin itchy, dry, and raw. The wrong shampoo can make your Yorkie miserable, and all the while, you won’t realize this misery is due to a shampoo that was marketed as something it’s really not.
When it comes to shampoos, first, look at the ingredients list—not the label on the front, but the ingredients on the back. Look for words such as parabens, phthalates, and BHT. Each of these can be naturally “derived” but they can be detrimental to your dog’s tender skin. Once you’ve looked at the ingredients, then open the bottle. If the shampoo is bright pink, purple, blue, or red, then it’s best to avoid the product. Why? Well, there are actually two reasons. Those bright colors are a sure sign that artificial coloring—again, harmful to Fido’s tender skin—has been added to the product. Second, a truly all-natural shampoo should be a dull yellow color (sometimes the color will be so light that it looks clear).
So, we’ve determined the ingredients list as well as the appearance of the shampoo, but there are other things to consider when it comes to a truly all-natural shampoo. Take a good sniff of the product while you have the top off. It should have very little if any scent. The added fragrance is another chemical that can detrimentally harm your dog’s skin, leaving it dry and itchy. Finally, if possible, pour just a dab in your palm. The consistency of a truly all-natural shampoo should be thin, like water.
Choosing a truly all-natural dog shampoo is perhaps one of the most important parts of the grooming process. An all-natural shampoo will clean and protect the Yorkie’s tender skin and help keep her happy and healthy.
Brushing Your Yorkie’s Hair
You’ll want to brush your Yorkie weekly with a pin and a bristle brush to remove any tangles and mats. It’s very important that you never yank or pull at tangles in your Yorkie’s fur as this is extremely painful for the dog, and it could turn what has previously been a pleasurable experience for your dog into a nightmare.
Once you’ve removed the tangles, then it’s time to back over her fur with a slicker brush. A slicker brush will remove dead hair from your Yorkie’s hair, and you’ll need to go slow and easy with this part of the brushing process too.
Cleaning the Yorkie’s ears
You’ll want to use a damp cotton ball (dampen with lukewarm water ONLY) to wipe out the Yorkie’s ears. You can do this with each bath, but you should also check after the weekly brushing to make sure there’s no gunk building up between cleanings too. Never use a cotton swab when you clean dog ears.
Cleaning your Yorkie’s eyes
Yorkies are prone to dog tear stains, so it’s important to wipe her eyes with vet-approved eye wipes. Never use soap and water around the Yorkie’s eyes as they are prone to developing allergic reactions. Between bathing sessions, you can use a damp bath cloth (water only) to clean her eyes.
There are several popular Yorkie haircuts. Unless a pet parent plans to enter their Yorkie in a dog show, most pet parents keep a Yorkie’s coat trimmed close for easier care.
The Puppy Cut
One can give their Yorkie a “puppy cut” at any stage of life. It is a cut that is about one to 1.5 inches in length, and the hair of the face is generally a little longer than the rest of the body hair. The Puppy Cut can help prevent tangles, and it’s easier to maintain between grooming sessions if you have your dog professionally groomed. You may also try the squared puppy cut where the facial hair is trimmed in square shape.
The Teddy Bear Cut
The sweet Teddy Bear Cut trims the hair on the body to about one inch in length while leaving the facial hair at least two inches long to give the face a fuller look—it’s one of the most popular Yorkie haircuts.
Brushing your Yorkie’s teeth
Because the Yorkshire Terrier is prone to dental issues, it is a good idea to brush her teeth at least twice weekly, but daily if possible. This helps to remove excess food as well as rids the gums of plaque and decay.
Clipping the Yorkie’s nails
Because the Yorkie has dark nails, it is difficult to see the “quick” of the nail bed. Cutting into the quick of the nail can be painful and cause bleeding in your dog – plus it can affect his ability to walk if the cut is bad enough.
Consider using one of the best nail grinders in the market with a guard that can prevent accidentally cutting the quick of your dog’s nails.
After you complete each stage of grooming, be sure to treat Fido for being on his best behavior! Grooming can actually be a time of bonding between you and your dog, so always work to make it a pleasurable experience for him.
1. What is a typical Yorkie haircut?
The puppy cut or the teddy bear cut is a typical Yorkie haircut for most pet parents.
2. What is a teddy bear cut for a Yorkie?
The teddy bear cut leaves the facial hair longer so that the facial area looks broader and more cuddly. The body hair is about one inch in length.
3. How do you cut a Yorkshire terrier’s hair?
Most pet parents use a dog clipper to cut their Yorkie’s hair, but you can use scissors to trim the hair as well.
4. How do you cut a long-haired Yorkie?
You’ll want to brush the dog first to remove any tangles or matting. You’ll want to cut the ends of the hair, leaving it about two inches in length all over the dog. You’ll need to trim the facial hair so that it does not fall in the dog’s eyes. Keep the hair around the mouth trimmed too.