With his long, silky coat, the Yorkshire terrier is a small dog with big grooming needs. Yorkies in full coat sport hair that brushes the floor as they trot about, with little top knots bobbing atop their heads. Keeping that coat in good condition requires frequent brushing and regular baths.
Brush your little Yorkie daily to prevent tangles and mats. Yorkie hair looks, feels and acts much like human hair, as it is single-layered, smooth and sheds very little. Daily brushing with a pin brush or comb removes tangles before they form more difficult mats.
Spritz your pooch's coat with a conditioning or detangling spray before you brush to prevent hair breakage. Start at his shoulders and work down his back, brushing in smooth strokes. Remember to comb his legs too. Comb his head last, and wipe away any eye discharge and tear stains with warm water and a cotton ball.
Give your Yorkie a bath once a week. Generally speaking, the longer your dog's hair is, the more frequently the coat needs washed. Since Yorkies in full-coat are practically all hair, he'll need a bath once a week to keep it looking clean and healthy.
Wet your tiny pooch thoroughly and apply some dog shampoo. Work the shampoo into a lather and run your fingers through his hair to remove dirt without introducing tangles. Wash his head carefully and rinse thoroughly. Apply conditioner, let it sit for a few minutes and rinse again. Keep rinsing until you're sure all the conditioner and shampoo are gone.
Dry him thoroughly, brushing as you go to prevent tangles. Do not give in to temptation to let your pooch air dry, as this may encourage tangles to set or give your pup a chill. A dog dryer or hair dryer on a low heat setting work well to dry him without overheating or burning him.
Squeeze the excess water from his coat, then use a towel to blot away the excess moisture. Don't rub with the towel, or you'll tangle his hair. Spray on a leave-in conditioner while he's still damp and comb it through to prevent tangles. Dry him in sections, combing as you go.
Brush your Yorkie's teeth daily to promote good dental health. Tartar forms quickly on his pearly whites, and he may lose his teeth if you don't step in to encourage good dental hygiene. Develop a routine to brush is teeth every day and have your vet give his mouth the once over at least once a year to remove any stubborn tartar or plaque.
Check his little pointy ears for signs of trouble and clean them weekly. Watch for any unusual redness, discharge or swelling that may indicate an infection, and see your vet if something seems amiss. Clean them with a cotton ball soaked in warm water or ear cleaner to promote good health.
- Check your Yorkie's nether regions after he goes outside to potty. His long hair may trap undesirable substances which need cleaned to keep him healthy, comfortable and smelling good.
- Pull the hair on the top of your Yorkie's head into a top knot to keep it from covering his eyes and blinding him, or getting into his food as he eats. Secure it with a non-elastic band to prevent pulling and snagging when you try to take it out later.
- Place cotton balls into your Yorkie's ears to prevent water from dipping inside during bath time.
- Your Yorkie's nails need trimmed regularly, but this chore can prove difficult for inexperienced owners. Dog nails have a vein in the middle called the quick, which bleeds and causes pain if nicked. Seek help from a professional groomer or your veterinarian for guidance on keeping his nails short and prevent hurting your dog.
- Hair grows in your Yorkie's ears and needs plucked regularly to prevent infection and keep him comfortable. Have a groomer or your vet show you how to do this properly to make it a quick and painless experience, for both you and your dog.
Jane Williams began her writing career in 2000 as the writer and editor of a nationwide marketing company. Her articles have appeared on various websites. Williams briefly attended college for a degree in administration before embarking on her writing career.