Yorkshire terriers, commonly called Yorkies, are part of the toy group of dogs. When fully grown, they weigh between 4 and 7 pounds. Because their fur is long and silky, they have some unique bathing and grooming needs. Once you learn the required actions, you'll be comfortable bathing your Yorkie.
You'll need several items to properly bathe your Yorkie. Gather and put them in a handy place before you begin bathing. Have on hand nontoxic doggie shampoo and conditioner, a comb, a brush, bath towels and nail clippers. Also make sure you have ear cleaning supplies, such as cotton balls and swabs. Although not necessary for bathing a Yorkie, a pet shower sprayer that attaches to your shower nozzle makes baths simpler and more pleasant for you and your dog.
Before getting your Yorkie into the tub, gently brush or comb her fur to remove and untangle any knots or matted areas. If you brush or comb her regularly between baths, this job will be quicker and much easier. Place a bathmat or towel on the bottom of your bathtub so you have a nonskid surface that will prevent your Yorkie from slipping and falling. Add warm water to your bathtub to a level that will reach about halfway up your Yorkie's legs. Place cotton balls in your dog's ears to keep them dry during her bath.
After removing her collar, gently place your Yorkie into the tub. Firmly hold onto her while thoroughly wetting her fur. Then add a dab of shampoo to her back, and massage in straight lines from her neck to tail. Bathing in this way can help to prevent fur tangling. After lathering, rinse with warm water. If you use conditioner, put a dab of it on your Yorkie's back area and gently massage into the fur over her whole body. Completely rinse out the conditioner. Dampen a washcloth with warm water, and gently dab and wipe your Yorkie's face. After you've completed the bath, drain the tub and gently lift your Yorkie out. Dry her with soft towels.
After you've bathed and dried your Yorkie, it's time to comb and brush her fur. Do so carefully and gently, because her long fur is prone to tangling and knotting. If you've learned how to do so, trim her fur. Otherwise, have a groomer handle this task. Clip her nails short enough but not too short that you cause damage to the nail area. Here again, if you're not comfortable with the task, hire a groomer to do it. Finally, clean your Yorkie's ears with cotton balls or swabs moistened with warm water. As you do all of these tasks, inspect the various areas of your Yorkie's body for any signs or problems, such as ear sores or skin problems.
If you have allergies, keeping your Yorkie clean by bathing her often enough is extra important. Ask your veterinarian for the definitive answer on how often to bathe your dog; generally, it's a good idea to do this no more often than about once a month. If your Yorkie develops dry skin problems from too-frequent baths, bathe her less often than you have been. Your dog's fur length and type will also affect how often you need to bathe her. Yorkies with longer fur and those spending more time outdoors need baths more frequently. If you have allergies, buy and use hypoallergenic shampoos and conditioners, and keep your Yorkie's fur cut short.
Judy Wilson has writing and editing expertise in health, technology, pets, business and travel. She has contributed to USAToday.com, SFGate.com and numerous other publications. Wilson earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she completed Mini Medical School.