Grooming Tips

IMPORTANT: I recently stumbled upon a forum where pet owners (not professional groomers) were discussing the fact that they use flat irons to straighten their Yorkies hair so I have to address this: PLEASE DO NOT USE A FLAT IRON OR ANY OTHER HOT APPLIANCE ON OR NEAR A LET’S TALK YORKIE PUPPY OR ANY OTHER PET!

EARS

A Yorkie puppy’s ears may not stand up permanently until they are about 6 months old. I am sometimes asked about this when someone purchases a puppy with erect ears, only to have the ears drop again a few weeks later when the puppy is cutting it’s adult teeth. I have seen a puppy’s ears be up one day, down the next and back up on the third day so puppy parents should not be concerned. I will teach you how to tape your puppy’s ears before you take him/her home.

TIP: Keep the hair on the ears trimmed very short until your puppy is 6 months old to allow them to set without the added weight of the hair.

EYES

Because Yorkies have so much hair on and around their faces, they should have special attention paid to their eyes. The hair should be prevented from falling into their eyes, which can irritate them and in some cases cause infection. You can do this by either by tying it back (see How to Make a Casual Top Knot below) or by trimming it. You can also use a small dab of Vaseline to hold your puppy’s hair in place and out of its eyes.

TIP: To remove residue from the eyes, dampen a cotton ball and wipe.

TEETH

Like most Toy breeds, Yorkies tend to have tartar build-up on their teeth. Most groomers know this and make sure to brush their teeth thoroughly during their regular grooming so this should not be a serious problem.

COAT

Yorkies do not have an undercoat to keep them warm, and even if their hair is kept long they can become chilled very easily. Like most Toy breeds, Yorkies prefer the comfort of coziness and warmth so when going outside in cold or wet weather be sure they have a warm dog coat to wear. When at home they will enjoy a warm comfy bed.

FLEAS

The number one worst thing for a Yorkie’s coat is fleas! Not because of the fleas themselves but because even one teeny-tiny flea can cause so much itching and scratching that before long a Yorkie’s coat is a tangled mess!

I use Revolution which is a prescription monthly topical medication used to protect your pet from heart worms, fleas, and ear mites. We recommend this treatment done year round.

TIP: Due to the small size of our Yorkies we use the Revolution for Puppies and Kittens on our adults too – ask your vet which one they recommend based on your pet’s age and size.

We also spray our yard monthly in the warm weather with a NON-TOXIC spray – ask at your local gardening center for product recommendations.

I wash all of my dog’s bedding and soft toys weekly and dry them on the highest/hottest setting on my dryer. Have done this over 25 years and so far so good (you can’t see me knocking on wood for good luck but I am!).

TIP: You can put most hard toys in top rack of the dishwasher, just be sure to squeeze hollow toys to remove water before giving them back to your dog.

A Yorkie has hair (not fur) and like our human hair it will keep growing unless you cut it. While beautiful, keeping your Yorkie’s coat long takes a lot of time and effort so most pet Yorkies have their coats trimmed short for convenience and hygiene. There are a number of different styles for you to choose from – consult your groomer or do an internet search for Yorkie hair styles for ideas.

BRUSHING

Frequent brushing is essential regardless of coat length.

Use a good Conditioning Spray when brushing your Yorkie’s hair. These products can be used as a daily brushing aid or as a freshener between baths. Look for one that moisturizes the hair and reduces static.

Always work in small sections. Start brushing from the bottom/end of the section of hair and little by little work up toward the body. If you find any mats along the way break them apart with your fingers then use a brush or metal comb to remove them.

BATH TIME

IMPORTANT! Before bathing your Yorkie, brush their coat to remove any tangles and mats because hair swells when wet. This will cause any existing knots to become tighter and more difficult to remove. Follow the steps below. 

STEP 1: WET the coat – Yorkies are sensitive to extreme temperatures so use warm water for their bath.

TIP: The most common mistake people make when bathing their dog is not wetting the hair enough at the beginning. The purpose of the water is to distribute the shampoo so be sure not to miss any areas.

STEP 2: Apply the shampoo to the palm of your hand, rub your hands together to distribute it then work into the coat. Pay extra attention to the feet and tush but DO NOT SCRUB! Scrubbing doesn’t make the hair cleaner; it just tangles it and makes more work for you later.

STEP 3: RINSE – Again, DO NOT SCRUB! Let the water do most of the work for you being sure to cover the puppy’s ears so no water gets inside and to shield their eyes from the soap. When you think all of the shampoo is out, rinse it again. Shampoo residue can irritate the skin causing your dog to scratch which creates knots.

STEP 4: CONDITION – Put a small amount in your hands, rub hands together and apply evenly being careful not to tangle the hair. Follow directions on your conditioner for how long to leave it in.

STEP 5: Rinse thoroughly!!! I’m beginning to sound like a broken record but DO NOT SCRUB! Again, protect the eyes and ears and let the water do the work.

STEP 6: Squeeze out excess water from the coat being careful not to tangle the hair then towel dry. DO NOT RUB! – using the towel dry by squeezing and patting to remove the extra moisture.

STEP 7: Set a blow dryer to a LOW temperature (but not cold and definitely not hot!!!) and the LOWEST / SLOWEST speed. Be careful not to whip damp hair around and create tangles!

STEP 8: Spray on Conditioning Spray, brush and you’re done!

A Bow-aholic

My name is Susan and I am a Bowaholic. It all started when I got my first Yorkie in 1984. Mon Ami went everywhere with me and it soon became our ‘signature look’ for her to wear a bow to match my outfit. In the 35 plus years since then, my collection of and obsession with bows has grown to the point that it now verges on obsession; the point where:

  • all of my fur-babies could each wear a different bow every day for a month and I would not have to repeat a bow;
  • I order bows online and have them shipped to friends houses so my family doesn’t know I bought more
  • the owner of my local doggie boutique calls to tell me when a new shipment of bows arrives

Yes, I admit it, I am a Bowaholic! You’d think someone like me would also be an expert at making fancy topknots but sadly I am not. I simply make a neat, casual topknot like this and top it off with a beautiful bow:

How To Make A Casual Topknot

1. Start by combing the hair on your Yorkie’s head until all knots are out and the hair is smooth.
2. Carefully make a parts from the outside corner of the eyes back over the ears to the center of the head and a third part across the head from ear to ear connecting the other two parts.
3. Separate this hair into two sections (one will be the hair nearest the face and the other nearest the back of the head).
4. Wrap an elastic band around the front section of hair. Use a non-irritating gel (I like Pet Silk Top Knot Gel) to hold short hairs in place.
5. Using only one of the bands attached to your bow, put the bow on the front section of hair above the first band by wrapping the band around the hair one or two times – the tighter you make it, the harder it will be to remove later.
6. Combine the back section of hair with the front section (with the bow) and use another elastic band to hold the two sections together – this band should be above the other bands (keeping the bow’s band between the other two is what holds the bow in place).

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