Yorkies are beautiful.
But beauty takes work.
You need to groom your Yorkie regularly to maintain it’s gorgeous coat of hair.
And it’s not just about looks.
Grooming also ensures your pup remains healthy.
But regular grooming costs money. That’s why it pays to learn how to groom a Yorkie at home.
It’s not difficult and the grooming tools you need do not need to be expensive.
Keep reading to learn how you can groom your Yorkie yourself, plus what you’ll need to do it.
How To Groom A Yorkie At Home
The first thing to clear up is what exactly grooming entails. Basically, it includes a number of procedures that all related to a good appearance and better health for your puppy.
Every Yorkie needs constant grooming to ensure a healthy lifestyle. When you do proper grooming, it will essentially help your dog to live a longer and healthier life.
The frequency of your grooming procedures depends entirely on how long the hair is, plus the age and health condition of your pup.
Some basic grooming procedures include:
- Hair brushing
- Nail cutting
Grooming is not just about giving your dog the occasional bath. Let’s take a closer look at each of these grooming procedures.
Yorkshire terriers require regular hair brushing, because they have a single coat. In order to keep the coat silky and smooth, your pup needs proper brushing.
Otherwise the coat may end up painfully matted. Brushing the silky smooth coat on a daily basis eliminates the tangles and mats.
More importantly, you also need to have the proper equipment. This means you need to have the right brush for Yorkies. A good soft brush is best.
You should also have a spray bottle full of water or a diluted conditioner made specifically for dogs. Do not use a conditioner made for humans on your Yorkshire terrier.
In order to make the brushing smooth, you’ll want to train your Yorkie. Teach your pup to withstand the brushing routine on a daily basis.
To do this, place a towel on a table, or other appropriate location on which your dog reaches your height. Then start brushing your pup. You can also make the brushing process fun by giving your Yorkie treats during this procedure.
The very first time you place your pup on top of the table, you need to praise her or him. Perhaps give it a treat or two, as well.
Continue this praise on subsequent occasions. Every time you put your dog on the table for brushing, be sure to offer praise. This will encourage it to accept the routine. After a few days of praises and treats, your dog will be happy to stand ready for the brushing on its own.
You can make the brushing routine easier for both you and your dog by giving it a bath before the process. This keeps your Yorkie clean and ensures the coat is soft and free from dirt when you are brushing your dog. Generally, bathing your dog a few times per week is enough.
We’re not trying to become professional Yorkshire terrier haircutters. We just want to learn how to maintain proper hygiene for your pup.
We usually recommend taking your Yorkie to a pet salon for its haircuts, but doing some trimming work yourself between haircuts.
That means you’ll need to get your pup’s hair cut much less often, saving you quite a bit of money. That said, it is certainly possible to learn how to cut a Yorkie’s hair at home.
Here are the parts of your Yorkie that will need regular trimming.
Yorkshire terriers don’t have any control over how their hair grows. But that’s pretty much the basic struggle for any living creature.
However your pup’s hair grows, you need to help control it.
The ears are usually the first place to grow excess hair. The fur on top of your Yorkie’s ears can sometimes even place so much weight on the ear that it falls.
You can control this by trimming the fur behind and on top of the ear. Trim it using a dog grooming shaver. To get the best results, start by using a 0.8 mm blade.
Form a triangle shape around the ear since this is the shape of the ear. This will help relieve the pressure. Our post on ear grooming for Yorkies has a step-by-step guide to ear care for your pup.
You should always ensure that the vision of your Yorkie is not hindered by long hair. Stray hairs can also cause other issues. Ensure you cut all the hairs that might project towards or around the eyes using scissors.
You also need to note that this is a very sensitive area. Be very careful. On top of that, some cut hair may fall into your pup’s eyes. Therefore, we do generally recommend you have a professional cut around the eyes, unless you are able to do so safely yourself.
This is a very important area. All the hairs on the paw pad should be completely cut. Additionally, try to cut even the hairs between the fingers as best as you can. You can use professional grooming scissors meant for dogs. This will help you to be as precise as possible.
A bath is an important aspect of the overall grooming of your Yorkie. Just like they are for us, baths are refreshing to your Yorkshire Terrier. So how often should you give your Yorkie a bath?
You can give your furry friend a bath as often as once every week, but at least once every 2 to 3 weeks. It depend on how dirty your dog tends to get.
It should also be logical that Yorkies with longer hair need to be washed more frequently. That’s because longer hair gets dirty more easily than shorter hair.
This can make the hairstyle you choose for your pup a harder decision, if you like long hair on your Yorkie. Short hair has definite advantages and is much easier to clean and maintain.
If you keep your dog’s hair short, it is unlikely you will need to bathe your pup every week. In the end, the hairstyle is entirely up to you. We just wanted to point out that longer hair means more work.
Preparing your pup for a bath is not a hard thing. But some dogs are afraid of the sound of water. Therefore, a bathtub is the best idea.
Place your pup in the bathtub after you’ve filled it up in advance. Once your Yorkie is in the water, make sure you wet all of its hair.
The most important thing to do here is to watch out for the eyes, ears and nose. Make sure the water, and especially the shampoo, doesn’t get inside the ears or eyes.
The next step is to apply a good dog shampoo from the neck downwards. Spread the shampoo properly around your pup’s body.
A good trick is to never pour the shampoo directly onto the fur. Put a little on your hands and rub it against your dog’s body. This way, you don’t end up using too much.
We usually recommend washing the head last. We find it best to wash the entire body before getting to the sensitive areas on the head. Take you time with that part, to avoid getting shampoo in the nose, ears and eyes.
Another important factor is that you shouldn’t use human shampoo on your dog at all. Even if you’ve used up all the dog shampoo, you should hold off the bathing routine until you can get a new bottle.
Do not use your shampoo on your dog. Even using baby shampoo on a Yorkshire terrier is not a good idea.
You should only use quality shampoo made specifically for dogs. Humans and Yorkies have completely different PH levels. That means you risk harming your dog by using human shampoo.
Others actually believe that using baby shampoos on your dog is a better idea. Trust me, it’s not.
The next step after shampooing is to rinse your dog. Rinse your pup with clean water until bubbles stop forming on the hairs.
If you leave any shampoo on the body, it will end up causing irritation, loss of hair and redness on the affected areas. Make sure to always rinse your dog thoroughly, until you are completely sure that there’s no shampoo left.
After the bath, take a clean towel and dry your Yorkie as much as possible. Afterward, take a hair dryer and blow dry the fur until it is mostly dry.
But make sure you don’t dry the hair completely. Also, if your dog has long hair, you should use a comb to help with the drying.
However, the paws need to be dry completely. If you leave the paws wet, then there’s a slight chance they might develop fungus.
When using a blow dryer make sure it is in the cool air mode. This will obviously increase the time you spend on the drying process but it’s much better for the skin of your pup.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the sound your Yorkie makes when he or she walks around with long nails. If they get too long, the nails end up curling into the paws, which might be painful for your dog. They may also affect how your pup walks.
To keep the nails short, you need to cut them on a regular basis. Each dog has a different frequency when it comes to the growth of their nails.
This means there is no standard time as to when you should cut the nails. You might have to study your Yorkie for a few days to see if it needs to have its nails trimmed.
In general, you should cut the nails at least once every two months. But again, this will depend entirely on the growth of the nails. It’s your responsibility to check on your dog.
Keep in mind that the rear nails usually stay shorter on their own, if you take your pup for a walk regularly. You’ll need to cut the front nails more often than the rear ones.
The inside of the nail is known as the pulp. It’s completely filled with nerves and can be painful for your Yorkie when cut. You need to be careful when doing the nail cutting.
Stripping is the process of ridding your dog of dead hair follicles. You can either do it by hand or by simply brushing through the coat of your pup.
Hand stripping involves pulling out the hairs using your hands. Stripping ensures your dog grows new fur that is softer and healthier.
You are basically removing the top layer of the dead fur, so that the coat looks fresher. Before you try this yourself, you need to have a professional groomer show you how to do it.
Additionally, you will need a second pair of hands to help you out. They will hold down your dog while you strip.
Start by gently rubbing your hand on your dog to relax it. Then take a few strands between your forefinger and thumb and pull them gently.
If the hair is ready to be stripped, it will come out easily. Removing dead hair causes very little, if any, pain. Do a little bit of hair at a time. You don’t need to do it all at once. Take it section by section.
How Often To Groom Your Yorkshire Terrier
As you’ve figured by now, the grooming process entails a number of different procedures. Each of these procedures will need to be performed with a different frequency, depending on the length of your dog’s fur, the age, and the appearance you are trying to achieve.
It is best to eventually work out a standard routine, wherein you perform each procedure regularly, but not necessarily at the same times.
With time, your pup will help you understand the frequency of grooming he or she needs. Additionally, you can check with a professional groomer to get a better understand of your furry friend’s grooming needs.
We also have an entire article that answers the question: how often do Yorkies need to be groomed.
How To Groom A Yorkie: Final Thoughts
A dog is the best friend you could ever ask for, particularly a Yorkshire terrier. So treat it as such. Take care of it properly.
It is your duty to make sure it is always happy and healthy. That means you need to groom your pup regularly.
More than most breeds, Yorkies are known for their incredible fur. If you want to maintain that beautifully smooth and soft hair, you must be willing to dedicate your time (or your money) to grooming.
Doing the grooming yourself at home is certainly cheaper, but it also take time. That said, it can be enjoyable time. I always view it as a good bonding experience between me and my pup.