With her silky coat ending an inch or less above the ground, the Yorkshire terrier needs a bath at least twice a month. Because the coat of a Yorkie is single-layer and unusually fine, her bathing process is a little different than other dogs.
Brush out any knots or tangles from your Yorkie's coat before his bath. Spray his coat with a light mist of leave-in conditioner before brushing to protect the delicate strands from breaking. Because Yorkies have such fine hair, bathing a tangled coat will make the knots tighter and harder to remove. Although your Yorkie doesn't shed, dead strands of hair remain in his coat and cause tangles unless they're removed through brushing.
Place large cotton balls inside your Yorkie's ears to keep water out of the canals. Water inside any dog's ears increases the chance of ear infection. For a Yorkie, who already has moisture-trapping hair inside his outer ear, one careless splash can increase the risk of infection even further.
Apply dog shampoo after wetting your Yorkie with tepid water. Distribute the suds by running your fingers from his back down to his feet using firm downward strokes. Do not wash up and down. Many breeds benefit from massaging the shampoo in circular motions through the coat. However, using this bathing technique on your Yorkie will cause the coat to tangle.
Rinse the shampoo thoroughly by combing your fingers down your Yorkie's coat as you apply clean water. Yorkies are prone to dry skin, which means leaving even a small amount of shampoo residue can cause itching and irritation. Use a small, damp sponge to wipe the area around your Yorkie's face and eyes.
Squeeze the excess moisture from your Yorkie's coat with your hands and spread an oil-based creme conditioner over his entire body. Conditioning his hair during the bath not only helps moisturize his skin and hair, but it also prevents future tangles.
- Yorkies chill easily. The best way to prevent a post-bath chill is to dry your Yorkie using a hairdryer. To prevent burning your pooch, keep the blowdryer constantly moving over his coat.
- When his hair feels damp, but not completely dry, smooth out his tresses by brushing his hair with a slicker brush.
- Yorkie's are very sensitive to heat and cold. Mild, tepid water is the only temperature for bathing a Yorkie. Hosing your Yorkie down outside with a cold-water hose or underestimating the temperature of hot water can leave his skin raw and cause him to resist future baths.
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.