A Quick Guide to Grooming Yorkies
A Yorkshire Terrier is an irresistible pet with that priceless adoring look that is so typical. If you have a Yorkie or you find yourself grooming Yorkies for friends or clients then it is a good idea to master a few grooming styles particular to the Yorkie breed.
It is also a good idea to learn the particulars of this breed because each breed has variations in the hairstyles they are known for. Cockapoo haircuts, for example are unique, just as Poodle styles are. And your Yorkshire Terrier will welcome his own breed style, or at least you will.
When it comes to grooming a Yorkie puppy or a Yorkie adult dog, there are a few tips you should follow and a few rules to stick to.
The Unique Coat of a Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkies tend to have long, silky hair that is nearly identical to that of a human. This makes them great for people with allergies and also for those who do not want a dog that sheds, but the coat can be difficult to maintain; especially since it continues to grow.
Yorkies are also prone to dry hair if over washed or a conditioner is not used, and their coat can also become oily if too much conditioner is used, or they are not washed properly.
Popular Hair Cuts for a Yorkie
When it comes to hair cuts, personal preference is always best. However, there are 3 extremely popular cuts that many owners choose for their furry friend:
1. Puppy Cut
This is probably the most common and the best choice for summer. The Yorkie receives a full body cut. The fur is trimmed all over, not shaved but trimmed, producing a short, even length that is uniform across the body of the dog.
2. Schnauzer Cut
Typically, this cut requires the black patches of fur on your Yorkie to be shaved while trimming or scissor cutting the tan fur. Sometimes, the back and part of the sides are shaved, leaving a “skirt” of fur wrapping the length of your dog.
3. Westie Cut
For this style, the entire body is trimmed except for the face. The length of the fur on the face is left alone, though it may be trimmed slightly to even out the hair lengths. The body may also be shaved instead of just trimmed.
How to Trim a Yorkshire Terrier’s Face
When trimming the face, you should always do so slowly, carefully, and patiently.
Yorkies are easily excited and may fidget, so take your time.
With one hand, tug gently at the fur around the face, referred to as the beard, until it is even and directed downward. Using short, slow strokes, cut evenly across until both sides match in length.
You can also trim the fur above the eyes by gently pulling it with one hand, pinching the hair between the lengths of your middle and index fingers and then cutting straight across to create a shorter, even length. Take care not to cut your fingers or pull too hard.
Trimming the fur around the nose near the eyes can be tricky, but it is recommended since eye gunk can build here. Gently lift the fur around the base of the nose, directing it away from the eyes. Lightly hold your dog’s face with one hand, while resting the scissors against your dog, clipping the fur as gently as possible. Again, take care not to cut your dog’s face.
Other Grooming Needs
Your Yorkie also has other specific grooming needs. Typical of many breeds, Yorkies are particularly prone to tartar build up and bad breath. Hard food should always be part of the diet as this helps break up the tartar. Regular brushing, both by the owner as well as a professional groomer, should also be part of the grooming routine.
Dog breeds with long hair also tend to get significant hair growth inside the ear canal. This can cause wax build up, ear infections, itching, and irritation. Your groomer should always take care to remove the hair from the inner ear as well as gently clean the ear to remove dirt and wax. Yorkie ears can attract dirt, mites, infections and wax, so this is another good reason to book your Yorkie in for a regular appointment at a grooming salon. Then, your groomer can check the ears as part of the grooming process and thus clean them and check for mites and infections.
One part of the Yorkie that often goes unnoticed is the nails. Like humans, their nails continue to grow and need to be routinely clipped. Even outside dogs will need their nails clipped; do not assume that walking or chewing is enough for your dog’s nails. Toenails that grow too long can hinder your dog’s movement and make it painful to walk.
As mentioned earlier, Yorkie coats can be oily or dry if not properly cared for. Avoid washing your dog more than once a week unless necessary. This will keep your dog’s coat from drying out.
Using shampoos with jojoba extract and softeners are also good for keeping your dog’s fur moisturized and you can even apply a dog conditioner. (For example: SOLID GOLD 937773 Jojoba Skin and Coat Conditioner for Pets, 8-Ounce )
To avoid oily build up, always rinse your Yorkie thoroughly and use only products specifically designed for your dog. Also, brush your Yorkie regularly to avoid mats; their soft fur tangles easily and check their bottom periodically for fecal matter that has been trapped by their skirt.
Tools for Grooming a Yorkie
A number of customers have favored either one of the clippers displayed on this page. The Wahl clipper is an all time favorite.
It can take a little time, as well as patience, to clip your Yorkie according to your preferred style. So, make sure that you are not bending over in an uncomfortable position. If you find that your back is troubling you after every grooming session, you might want to reconsider your choice of grooming table.
Yorkie owners love the range of gifts that are available, depicting cute images and Yorkie-sayings. Here is just one from a designer. If you wish to see more just click on the image and you can then access the whole catalog.
~ Guest Post ~
Teaser image courtesy of SOMMAI, Freedigitalphotos.net