Caring for a Yorkie’s coat is not as difficult as most people think. It requires 10-15 minutes each day. Think of this time as your special one-on-one time with your puppy. Make it an enjoyable experience for both of you.
You will need both a brush and a comb. Begin with the comb. Always start at the end of the hair. Comb through the outer third removing any tangles. You should hold the other two-thirds of the hair with your other hand to avoid pulling the hair and hurting your puppy. Continue moving toward the skin combing out small sections at a time until the comb moves smoothly through the hair from the roots to the ends.
Once finished combing, you will need to brush your puppy’s coat. This will massage your puppy, remove any loose hairs and stimulate circulation. Pay special attention to the hair on the belly, armpits, and under the tail. Once all the hair has been combed and brushed thoroughly, you will need to work on the topknot. I simply tiny latex bands to tie up the hair to keep it from falling in front of its eyes. Brushing and combing your Yorkie takes patience.
Many puppies do not enjoy grooming at first. Give it time. If you begin to feel stressed, stop. You can try again later. You may feel you will never be able to do the brushing and topknot, but with practice and patience it will become easier and easier. You will finally enjoy sitting quietly with your puppy, as you brush and comb it out. If you feel this is too much, you can keep your Yorkie in a “puppy cut.” This is a short haircut which is best done by a professional groomer.
Because the Yorkshire Terrier is a long-coated breed, bathing can be as frequent as once every 2 weeks. You can give additional baths as needed. With a young puppy this will not be necessary. You can bath your puppy once a month until the age of 6-8 months. If you bathe your pet too frequently, its hair and skin often become dry and chapped.
Prior to beginning the bath, I clean my Yorkie’s ears, under their eyes (where mucus has gathered), brush their teeth, clip nails (once a month) and comb out their hair (this makes for easier and quicker brushing and blow drying).
I bathe my Yorkies in the kitchen sink. It saves my back from having to bend over the bathtub. I place a plastic mat made for the sink on the bottom to prevent the puppy from slipping. I use the sprayer to wet the entire coat (I leave the face for last). I begin by placing the shampoo (make sure you use a dog shampoo, the PH of humans and dogs are not the same) along the entire length of the back. DO NOT scrub the shampoo in the shampoo down the length of the coat. Make sure to clean their bellies, legs, feet, and chest. Check under their tails for any feces that might have gotten caught on the hair. Rinse thoroughly.
Next use a conditioner. Allow this to stay on the hair a short while. Continue to spread it down the coat, keeping the Yorkie occupied. I also use this time to wash its face. Most puppies do not like water on their faces. Use a small washcloth containing a small amount of shampoo to wash the face or try to get them used to the sprayer (on a lower setting) to wet their head, then both sides of their face. Make sure you get all the shampoo off the face before getting back to the conditioner. Make sure you thoroughly rinse the conditioner out. You need to make sure both the shampoo and conditioner are completely out of the hair. Dirt is easily attracted to a coat with these products left in.
Then it is time to blow dry your Yorkie. Wrap the puppy in a towel. DO NOT scrub the puppy dry. Gently pat as much water as you can out of the hair. DO NOT use a high setting or place the dryer too close to the puppy (use your basic instinct). Hold the dryer with one hand, and comb the hair with the other (as you would your own).
Once dry it is now time to put up their hair in a topknot. Tying up the hair is a skill that takes time to master. The puppy has to understand that you are the boss and that this will be done.
At first the puppy will do everything in its power to remove the band, bow, etc. Given time, it will get used to the tie and leave it alone for the most part. You are now finished. Your puppy will probably run around crazily, rubbing itself all over the carpet or bedding. This is normal - they all seem to do it.
It is important to get your puppy used to regular dental care.
You can do this by rubbing a soft cloth with some doggie toothpaste over your pet’s teeth once a week. Once your puppy is accustomed to you working in its mouth, you should begin using a toothbrush. You can buy a child’s toothbrush at the grocery store. This is the perfect size for their small mouths. I know several Yorkie owners who recommend using a children’s battery operated toothbrush. They said that they have had better success with them then a regular toothbrush.
You should also give your puppy something to chew on. This will discourage chewing on things that should not be chewed on and help to keep that tartar from forming on the teeth. This is why it is important to feed your puppy and adult dog dry food. The chewing of the kibble reduces the amount of tartar build up on the teeth.
In addition, you will need to check your puppy’s mouth regularly for baby teeth that are not falling out on their own. Many vets will recommend that you wait until you spay/neuter your puppy before having these teeth taken out by the vet. Unfortunately not all Yorkie’s baby teeth will be ready to be removed at the time they are to be spayed/neutered.
The hair on and between the pads of your Yorkie’s feet must be trimmed regularly. This keeps them from slipping when walking on floors versus carpeting. You must also trim your Yorkie’s toenails regularly. Have your veterinarian show you how this is done so that you don’t cut into the partmof the nail that contains the blood vessel.
You should check the corner of your Yorkie’s eyes daily for matter that may have collected there. You can remove this with a damp face cloth (a baby’s face cloth may be better depending on the size of your Yorkie).
I clean my Yorkie’s eyes weekly with an eye cleaner and a Q-tip to remove any mucous that may have dried on their hair under their eyes.
You will need to clean the inside of your Yorkie’s ears weekly. I use an ear cleaner and a Q- tip. Make sure that you do not stick the Q-tip too far into the ear. You should be cleaning its ears as you would your own.
Yorkie’s ears may also need to have the hair removed from the inside. Your groomer will do this for you. If you choose to groom them yourself, you will need to pluck the hair with your fingers that grows inside the ear canal. It can be done by simply pulling a small amount at a time after applying an ear powder. It is safest to have your groomer or veterinarian show you how to remove the hair properly or have them do it for you.
About once a month or so, you should shave the upper third of each ear with a small trimmer. Shave both the inside and outside of the ear creating a “v” shape.
You should regularly check under your Yorkie’s tail to make sure the hair in this area is trimmed to prevent fecal matter from becoming attached to the hair. You can use a small trimmer or a pair of scissor to do this.