Your Yorkshire terrier has a unique coat that requires specialized care and grooming. While many owners pay to have their Yorkie's grooming done by professionals, as the owner of a dog that is a known biter you can be liable for damage or harm your dog does while at the groomer. Choosing to groom your biting Yorkie yourself can save you some money as well as eliminate any concern you have about your dog being punished in a way you think is inappropriate due to behavioral issues.
Get proactive about dealing with your dog's aggressive behavior. If your dog is a habitual biter, he needs more training to be a safe companion. Enlist the services of a professional dog trainer to help you work through your dog's aggressive behavior. Everyone will be happier in the long run if you can curtail the biting now.
Talk to your veterinarian about whether a mild sedative can be given to your dog so you can groom him. A mild sedative will make his reflexes slower and take the edge off of his aggression.
Invest in a good quality muzzle and use it when you groom your Yorkie. Choose a muzzle that has an open end covered in a metal cage that will allow your dog to pant and drink water. The muzzle will make grooming the head a bit more difficult but it will keep your dog from biting you.
Maintain your dog's coat regularly to make grooming a less painful process. Yorkies have delicate hair that mats easily and requires a significant amount of brushing and detangling. If you wait to groom your dog until he is a matted, wet mess, you should not be surprised when he gets tired of the process and reacts negatively to your efforts. Gently work through the tangles with a brush or stainless steel comb. Consider using a detangling spray to loosen the tangles. Make sure your dog's coat is free from knots before you bathe him. Wet knots are more difficult to get out and all that pulling on his coat makes him uncomfortable.
Have a trusted friend or family member gently restrain and soothe your dog while you perform basic grooming tasks such as trimming his bangs and ears or clipping his coat. Place a loose leash around his neck to prevent him from escaping and have your helper simply hold the dog on a hard, flat surface. Try to keep your Yorkie as relaxed as possible during the grooming process. A dog who is having a pleasant experience is less likely to behave aggressively the next time you groom him. Take breaks when your dog becomes stressed or reacts negatively.
- When you're grooming your dog at home and you know the dog is aggressive and doesn't enjoy the process, there is no need to add stress by attempting elaborate hairstyles. Make your Yorkie's haircut a simple and functional process designed to keep him cool and comfortable. If your dog hates being groomed and isn't a show dog, there is no need to try to grow out a long, flowing coat that is going to tangle every time he scratches himself.
Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.