Amongst the innumerable breeds of dogs, the Yorkshire Terrier is one of the most popular dog breeds. This particular breed of dogs falls in the top ten breeds of dogs in terms of popularity. And why won’t they be popular and so well-loved? Yorkshire Terriers lovingly referred to as Yorkies, are absolutely adorable! They’re small, outgoing, and love playing and cuddling. They’re very friendly dogs and love to be the center of attention and affection. They are an amazing companion to have if you’re living alone or in a family with little children.
Although Yorkies are an absolute joy to have as a pet, they are high maintenance dogs. Yorkshire Terriers require regular grooming to ensure that they stay healthy. It is important to have a clear understanding of how to groom Yorkies.
Everything from their silky, long coat of hair, to their nails and ears, have to be brushed, cleaned, and maintained. However, the concept and practice of grooming your Yorkie can be quite daunting given how high maintenance they are. Knowing how frequently they have to be groomed, what parts of their body have to be groomed, and having the right tools and supplies for grooming your Yorkie is imperative.
If you have a Yorkie or you’re considering the idea of getting one, this article is what you need to read! Everything from grooming their hair, body, nails to ears has been discussed in detail so that you can have a clean, happy, healthy Yorkie running around your house.
What is the right time to start grooming?
Getting a new puppy home or owning a pet for the first time can be a very exhilarating time for any pet owner. However, having a puppy is a huge responsibility. So, getting a new puppy can also be quite daunting. Knowing when to get them vaccinated, taking them to the vet regularly, training them, and grooming them can all be quite challenging if you’re not well-informed about when and how to do it.
Coming to Yorkshire Terriers, given the fact that they are highly energetic and high maintenance dogs, it is important to start grooming them at the right time. Here are a few important pointers to keep in mind regarding grooming your Yorkie:
- Firstly, one of the perks of having a Yorkie is that even though they have a lot of hair, they do not shed as much as other dogs. A Yorkshire puppy’s hair grows at a slower rate than an adult’s.
- Although they don’t shed as much as other dogs, it is important to keep the hair on their body, face, and ears at a manageable length.
- The best time to start grooming your Yorkie is when it is around 4 months old. This is because the 16th week of your Yorkie’s life marks an important milestone. At around 16 weeks, Yorkies shed off their fuzzy and thick puppy coat of hair, called felting. After this, within a span of two weeks, they have an adult coat of hair all over their face, body, and ears.
- Although the 16-20 weeks period is the best time for your puppy to get a bath, an overall hair trim as well as get their nails trimmed, it is a good idea to trim the hair on their face, particularly around their eyes and ears, before the 16-20 weeks period.
Having a new Yorkie in the house can be a very happening period for any pet owner. However, when it comes to grooming and the best time to start grooming your Yorkie, don’t be scared. Having a new puppy is a period of trial and error and about learning from your mistakes as a pet owner.
How often to groom your Yorkshire Terrier
Another important aspect of grooming your Yorkie is knowing how often to groom your Yorkshire Terrier. There are a few key areas of grooming for any dog- baths, nail care, combing and brushing, and trimming.
- Bathing: Yorkshire Terriers are a highly energetic and active breed of dogs. They love running around and exploring. Therefore, giving them frequent baths is important. However, there are risks of bathing them too often or sparingly. Keeping all this in mind, it is best to give your Yorkie a bath once in 3 weeks.
- Nail care: One of the best ways to determine how often your dog needs to have its nails trimmed is to frequently check its nails. This will help you understand how fast your Yorkie’s nails are growing. On average, it is best to trim their nails once every 2-3 months.
- Combing and brushing: This is the grooming practice that must be performed the most frequently to keep your Yorkie’s luscious hair healthy and tangle-free. Although knots and tangles are a part and parcel of having a Yorkie, it is important to try to keep their coat looking smooth and tangle-free as much as possible. If your Yorkie has long hair (show coat), it’s best to brush their hair once a day. If your Yorkshire Terrier has shorter hair (puppy cut), you can get away with brushing and combing your dog’s hair once in 2 days.
- Trimming: Different parts of your Yorkie’s coat needs to be trimmed at different intervals. For the body hair, trimming it every 4 to 6 weeks is ideal. Trimming the hair on the face and around the ears has to be done more frequently.
Keeping a tab of how often you need to groom your dog can be a bit challenging initially. The best way to go about this process is to stay organized by maintaining a chart with dates of your Yorkie’s grooming appointments.
How to Grooming Your Yorkshire Terrier Step by Step
The best way to learn about grooming your Yorkie in the right way is to focus on one body part at a time. This is because different parts of a Yorkshire Terrier have to be groomed in different ways. Some parts are lower maintenance such as the nails. On the other hand, the body needs to be bathed, trimmed, and combed. A detailed description about how to groom each and every part of your Yorkshire Terrier follows below:
When it comes to grooming your Yorkie’s face, first you need to focus on brushing and combing the hair on the face. As mentioned earlier, it is best to comb your Yorkie’s coat once a day (if your Yorkie has floor-length hair) or once in two days (if your dog has shorter hair). Make sure you are very gentle and careful when you’re brushing the hair around your Yorkie’s face. Even if your dog is compliant, it is best for you to be patient and steady. Make sure you’re using a rubber-tipped pin brush for the face. Be very careful while brushing the hair around the eye area because Yorkies have very sensitive eyes.
It is important to clean the eyes of your dog before bath time. Always remember to remove excess accumulations around the eye area, especially the tear duct of the eyes. This should be done before bathing your Yorkie. These dogs have very sensitive eyes so when you’re trimming the hair around the eye area, be very careful. The best thing to do is to trim just enough hair so that your dog’s field of vision is not obstructed in any way.
Ear hygiene is also very important for having a well-groomed Yorkie. Keeping your Yorkie’s ear clean is imperative for a healthy dog. You should frequently check the ears and be on the lookout for any discharge, redness, or odor. If you spot any of these abnormalities, book an appointment with your vet at the earliest.
The best time to clean your Yorkie’s ears is before bath time. The outer ear needs to be washed with warm water. After cleaning the outer ear, use a cotton swab for cleaning the inner ear. However, remember that you only want to remove any wax or dirt from the outer part of the ear. Do not try and insert the cotton swab into the ear canal or near it. After cleaning the ears, gently dry the ears with a towel.
Another important aspect of ear grooming to be remembered is that the top section of the ear (top 1/3rd section) needs to be trimmed to prevent the ears from looking droopy.
Dental hygiene is very important for any dog, including your Yorkie. Preventive care is extremely important and effective. It is ideal to brush the teeth once a day. However, you must make sure that you at least brush your dog’s teeth twice a week. Using mouthwashes, periodically checking your dog’s teeth, and using treats geared towards proper oral hygiene are also great ways to ensure that your Yorkie has healthy teeth and gums.
One of the most important grooming practices for the body is ensuring that you brush your Yorkie’s hair once a day or once in two days. Using a boar bristle brush is the best option for brushing and combing the body hair. Gently brushing the coat keeps it looking healthy and shiny, and ensures that it doesn’t get matted.
Although tangling is a common occurrence for dogs with long hair and even shorter hair, the occurrence of tangling can be reduced with regular brushing and combing. To avoid breakage of hair, it’s best to spray a good leave-in conditioner before you start combing.
Comb gently. Another great tip is to spray the coat section-wise and then comb through the sections. The best way to deal with tangles is to apply conditioner to the tangled section and then detangle with your finger before running the brush through the tangled portion.
When it comes to bathing your Yorkie, always use shampoos and conditioners formulated for dogs and massage the body properly while shampooing the hair for healthy circulation. Bathing should be limited to once in three weeks.
When it comes to trimming, the body hair needs to be trimmed every 4-6 weeks. It is best to invest in good quality clipping tools for your Yorkie’s trimming sessions. Also, remember to trim the hair around the rectum for hygiene reasons.
Just like the rest of the body, the hair on the legs needs to be trimmed every 4-6 weeks. Your Yorkie’s legs should be washed as often as the rest of the body. When you’re brushing the hair on your Yorkie’s legs, make sure that any dirt or dust is wiped away to keep your dog and your house clean.
House dogs need to have their nails clipped every 2 months or so. You can do this by gently pressing on the paw pad. This exposes the nails. Then just clips the ends of the nails. Don’t try to clip the nails too high because you might end up cutting the pulp off where blood vessels and nerve endings reside. It can be painful for your furry friend.
Trimming the hair on the paws of your dog is very important. You need to check the underside of your Yorkie’s paws and if you see any stray hair in this area, it needs to be removed. Trim the hair on the paws to the extent that the length is limited to the paws and does not go beyond the paws.
How to handle bath time?
It is very important to get your Yorkie accustomed to bath time. A list of important tips to be kept in mind to make bath time a pleasant experience for you as well as your furry companion:
- Firstly, there is a possibility that your Yorkie might be scared of bathing. It is quite common for dogs to get nervous, at least initially, about bath time. So, it is better to bathe them in a sink or a tub, or even a basin. Make sure you fill the basin with lukewarm water.
- Water temperature is very important. Using very warm water might irritate your dog’s skin, causing dryness and shedding. Using very cold water might be unpleasant for your dog too. Lukewarm water is ideal.
- Using a shampoo and conditioner made for dogs is also important. If you use your shampoo on your dog, the high pH of the product can dry your dog’s skin and cause hair to fall and tangle.
- It is very important that you make sure that you avoid the shampoo from getting into your Yorkie’s eyes because they have very sensitive eyes.
- Make sure that you don’t scrub too hard or too much because that can weaken the strength of the coat.
- Start by working up a lather between your palms and massage the shampoo from the neck. Move back towards the body, legs, and tail.
- Don’t over rinse or under rinse. Rinse your dog till you see the bubbles disappear.
- Follow up bath time by using a towel to gently pat your Yorkie dry and then use a blow dryer set to the cool setting. Do not use hot air to dry your Yorkie.
Top grooming styles for your Yorkie
Having a well-groomed Yorkie also includes making your canine companion look adorable. There are different hairstyles for Yorkie’s, with the main options mentioned as follows:
- Puppy cut: You can keep your Yorkie’s coat length quite short with the puppy cut. This means that their face shape is made quite prominent by keeping the hair on their face at a short length as well as the coat length of their body quite short. This is a relatively lower maintenance get-up for your Yorkie.
- Topknot: You also have the option of maintaining a show-cut coat length for your Yorkie. This means that the hair on the face, especially above their eyes and their body is long and, in some cases, almost floor length. The best hairstyle for such Yorkies is a top knot. This keeps the hair off of their eyes.
- Bows: You can even choose to tie the hair on your Yorkie’s head into pigtails with a bow. This looks absolutely adorable!
Essential accessories and tools for grooming your Yorkie
One of the most important parts of having a good grooming routine is investing in the right tools and products made for grooming. The accessories and tools that you’ll need for having a set grooming routine for your Yorkie have been listed as follows:
- Rubber-tipped pin brush: This is essential because you’ll be using it for combing your Yorkie’s luscious coat every single day or every other day. Just make sure that the brush has a moderate spread so that you can cover an adequate section of the coat every time you brush through the same.
- Boar bristle brush: This is the second step of the brushing routine. A boar bristle brush is very useful for Yorkies because it can efficiently distribute the natural oil on your dog’s coat as well as the leave-in spray conditioner you’ll be using while brushing, in an even manner. Combing with such a brush is a great finishing step.
- Dog shampoo: You cannot use shampoo for humans on dogs. No matter how good it is, shampoos for humans have a high pH value that can really dry out your dog’s delicate skin and cause irritation and shedding. Shampoos made for dogs have a lower pH value which is beneficial for them.
- Conditioner and leave-in conditioner: Using a good conditioner after shampooing your Yorkie’s coat is essential. Yorkies have a thick, luscious coat so it is important to use a conditioner after shampooing to maintain that silky texture and prevent matting and drying and tangles. A leave-in conditioner spray is important when you’re brushing your Yorkie’s coat. It is protective and helps in the detangling process.
- Pet nail clippers: Getting a good clipper for cutting your dog’s nails is a necessity.
- Dry towel: This is important for bath time. After shampooing and conditioning your Yorkie, you need to first pat dry your dog in a gentle manner before using a hairdryer. So, keep a dry towel handy.
- Hairdryer: After you’ve bathed your Yorkie and gently towel-dried his/her coat, you need to use a hairdryer to completely dry the coat. Just remember to only use the cool air setting to dry your dog’s coat.
- Electric trimmer: Your Yorkie needs to be trimmed every 4-6 weeks. Although scissors are an option, it is easier and more efficient to use a trimmer to give your dog an even trim. For the face, it is best to use 0.8 mm blades to trim your dog.
- Grooming scissors: You’ll need grooming scissors for trimming the long hairs on the paws and in-between the toes of your Yorkie. Trimmers can be a risky choice for this particular part of the trimming routine.
- Cotton swabs: You’ll need cotton swabs to remove dirt and wax from your dog’s ears.
The most useful grooming tips for your Yorkshire Terrier
Here are some additional tips to be kept in mind for grooming a Yorkshire Terrier:
- You should comb and brush your Yorkie’s coat both before and after bath time to get rid of all possible tangles and a thorough cleanse.
- Make sure that all the shampoo and conditioner have been rinsed out thoroughly because if there is any product left, it can clog skin pores and cause clumping and tangling.
- Use canine cleansing wipes to wipe off any urine that collects on the coat for good hygiene. Remember to do this every day after their last trip to the bathroom.
- Make sure you wipe the rectum region of your Yorkie to remove any feces to prevent any infections.
Question: How much exercise does your Yorkshire Terrier need?
Answer: Although Yorkies are active, energetic dogs, taking them out for a walk every day is all the exercise that they require. They do not require a rigorous exercise regime to stay fit and healthy.
Question: What kind of toothbrush and toothpaste do you need for your Yorkshire Terrier?
Answer: It is important to brush your Yorkie’s teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush, at least twice a week, to prevent any dental issues. You should not use human toothpaste for brushing your dog’s teeth because that can cause liver damage. Use a dog toothpaste.
Question: What kind of diet should one give the Yorkshire Terrier?
Answer: It is important to feed your Yorkie high-quality, breed-appropriate pet food. Yorkies need to have 2-3 meals a day. Sticking to portion sizes recommended on the food packaging is also important. Dry treats are also helpful for maintaining oral hygiene.