Because it is a single-coated breed, the Yorkshire terrier has a coat that is fine, silky and smooth. Because Yorkies don’t shed, a well-maintained coat will grow to over 14 inches in length. But even if it isn't that long, your Yorkie’s coat still requires diligent care. Without proper grooming, it will become painfully matted.
Comb your Yorkie’s hair every day using detangling spray and a pin brush. Spray his coat with an equal mixture of water and dog conditioner. Lift his hair with your fingers and continue spraying until his entire coat feels slightly damp. Provided he has no major mats or snarls, use scissors and a broad-toothed comb to trim his hair. Trimming the hair before bathing him prevents tangles from forming during the bath. Severely matted hair requires shaving or help from a professional groomer.
Bathe your Yorkie at least once a week, even if he appears clean. Mats and tangles can’t form without dirt and body oil. Removing these weekly keeps your Yorkie’s hair silky smooth and free of snarls. Always use dog shampoo when bathing your Yorkie. Human shampoo is too acidic, and will give your dog dry hair and itchy skin. Gently apply the shampoo and massage it into his coat without scrunching or ruffling the hair. Rinse the shampoo out thoroughly before applying conditioner.
Comb the conditioner through his hair with your fingers, and let it sit for three to five minutes. Weekly conditioning treatments strengthen and moisturize your Yorkie’s hair, leaving it soft and silky. Don’t neglect the hair around his genitals. If these are ignored, small amounts of fecal matter and urine stick to the hair, creating hard, painful knots. Rinse the conditioner out thoroughly, and pat him dry with a soft towel.
Dry your Yorkie’s coat with a hair dryer after every bath and damp brushing. Keep the dryer in constant motion to avoid burning his skin. Letting your Yorkie’s coat dry naturally will chill his tiny body, and increase the risk of tangles in his hair. Comb through his locks with a fine-toothed comb once his hair is completely dry.
- Start out by keeping your Yorkie’s hair short. You can always let it grow longer once you become comfortable with grooming him daily.
- Observe a professional groomer as she trims and bathes your Yorkie. This will give you a better picture of the motions, timing and challenges associated with caring for your Yorkie’s hair.
- It's easiest to bathe your Yorkie in a sink with a spray nozzle.
- Place cotton balls in your Yorkie’s ears before his bath, and remove them afterward. Cotton balls reduce the risk of ear infection by blocking water from entering his ear canal.
Christina Bednarz Schnell began writing full-time in 2010. Her areas of expertise include child development and behavior, medical conditions and pet health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.