Your delightful Yorkshire Terrier comes with the task of maintaining his beautiful coat of hair, whether it is cut short or long as in the traditional show dog.
The texture and type of coat will vary with each dog, so your Yorkie is very unique.
According to the Nest, you should be combing your furry friend every day. Below are some tips on taking care of the coat of the Yorkshire Terrier.
Is it hair or fur?
The coat of the Yorkshire Terrier is hair that is closer to human hair than fur.
According to PlayBarkRun, it is a single-coat breed, which has hair that grows continuously.
Because of this, it needs to be cared for with cutting and trimming.
The good part is that it does not shed, like dogs that have fur; this is where the Yorkie gets his reputation as “hypoallergenic” for owners who have allergies.
Different coats and cuts
Most Yorkies have either the AKC Standard show cut, with silky long hair or the shorter “puppy cut” that is popular with dogs with wavy textured hair.
The cut of your Yorkie will determine the kind of brushing that you do.
There are several types of coats. They include:
- Puppy coat
- AKC standard silky coat
- Wire, wooly and wavy coat
Yorkie “Puppy Coat”
Differing from the adult coat, the coat of the puppy has a darker feature with tan highlights and black markings that may be prominent.
As they grow to be adults, this may change significantly.
This coat keeps them warm as puppies and protects them until their adult coat is grown into.
AKC standard silky coat
Silk coats meet the Standard of the American Kennel Club and are typical of dogs that are shown.
Hair is long and contains a metallic sheen that appears glossy. There are no waves, just long straight hair.
The hair just touches the floor, and the long hair on the head is tied back with a bow.
Wire, wool, wavy or cotton coat
This coat is textured and does not brush like the silky coat; it is also thicker.
It looks double-coated, although it does not grow more than a few inches.
This hair has a tendency to mat and requires regular grooming to prevent tangles.
Tips for Caring for the Coat
Slicker Brushes and Combs
You may need the following when getting ready to brush your Yorkie:
- Slicker brush
- Greyhound comb
- De-matting conditioner
The slicker brush should be of a high quality; it will remove matting, yet is gentle on the skin. Another tool that will be useful in taking care of your dog’s hair is a greyhound comb.
Wavy, wire and wool coats:
1- Inspect the coat for matting (A mat is hair that is tangled. It should be addressed, not left alone). Especially look around armpits, neck and groin areas. If the matting is already too thick, you may need the help of a groomer to shave the areas.
2- Using a slicker brush of good quality, brush hair towards the growth of the coat. Try not to go over the same area more than 3 times, which might cause irritation. Work the entire coat.
3- Use a greyhound comb to find any mats that may have been missed with the brush. This type of comb is long pinned and is good for reaching the mats that were not found while brushing.
4- The next step may be bathing if you are having problems getting the mats out. Apply a de-matting conditioner directly to the matted area, wait 5 minutes to let it stand and then rinse out. Dry your dog with a towel and then, while still damp, try to brush out the mats with the slicker brush.
5- Brush with the Slicker brush every 3 days to ensure that there are no mats, especially around areas where your Yorkie wears a harness.
Silky coat (called Line Brushing):
1- Lie the dog down on its side, ensuring that the dog is relaxed, rested and calm.
2- Begin 2/3rds of the way down on your Yorkie’s body. Use the greyhound comb and gently brush away from your body, separating the hair until there is a line that is horizontal where the skin is seen.
3- While keeping this line, comb the entire hair below it until the comb goes through easily.
4- Separate a new strip, in an area a few inches above the first one. Do the same thing. Repeat and do this for the whole coat on each side. The end result will be a Yorkie that is mat free, fluffed and ready to show.
Why using the right brush matters
According to the Yorkie Info Center, the right brush is of utmost importance.
“Texture: In worst case scenarios, the wrong brush (like those meant for high-shedding breeds) can strip off hairs. And, other times, a brush can cause the hairs to frizz or split which can easily make a Yorkie look unkempt.
In these cases, owners often back away from brushing, assuming that the more they brush the coat, the worse it will be. But, the key in this is to use the right brush to enhance the texture of this breed’s coat. If so, the more you brush, the better your Yorkie’s hair will look.”
The right brush should feel good to the dog; quality tension and the best pins offer an experience that feels more like a good massage that the owner enjoys. Most dogs will also enjoy this feeling. Some things to look for in a brush include:
- Rounded pinheads
- High-quality pins
- The right tension
- Correct sizing to reach all the areas
A young pup might need a bristle brush, like a boar bristle brush; shaved dogs can also be brushed with this type of tool.
An adult Yorkie needs a brush that will distribute the oils, stimulate hair follicles and promote a healthy texture and shine.
Your dog will have a healthy coat with regular brushing and elimination of matting. He will be happier and more comfortable as well as look more appealing.
There are five unique styles which can give the Yorkie a different appearance.
Ask your groomer, if you are wondering which style may be right for your Yorkie. Here are the types of grooms:
- Show Groom
- Outline Groom
- Teddy Bear (Puppy Cut)
- Kennel Cut
- Schnauzer Trim
The Outline is similar to the Show Groom but is shorter. Head and mustache have a shorter cut and the skirt is cut just above the floor level.
Silky Yorkies do well with this cut, which is easier to maintain.
The Teddy Bear or puppy cut is the most popular; it makes a grown Yorkie look like a puppy again and is very cute.
Hair is cut to 3/4 inch and it is similarly cut throughout.
The Kennel Cut gives a more shaved appearance and is popular in warm climates during the hotter summer months.
Bathing your dog
According to groomers, bathing the Yorkie should be about every 6 weeks, which keeps them looking and smelling great.
If you bathe your dog at home, remember that the Yorkie has a tendency to dry skin, so a gentle and moisturizing canine shampoo and conditioner should be used.
Now you have an idea of what grooming is required to keep the coat of your Yorkie looking good and in top shape.
Use these tips for regular care and visit a groomer when the time comes for a great new haircut.