The Yorkshire terrier, with distinctive long, silky hair, is one of the most recognizable breeds of small dogs. The dog's long bangs are often pulled out of the face with a bow, creating an almost doll-like appearance. However, the characteristic long, flowing show cut is often not practical for pets. Don't worry — there are many other Yorkshire terrier haircuts from which to choose.
The Yorkshire terrier, often called a Yorkie, is a delicate dog in stature but not personality. A true terrier at heart, the Yorkie is feisty and strong-willed, never forgetting his lineage as a vermin chaser in mills and mines. However, from puppy to show cut, there are different Yorkie cuts to accentuate whichever Yorkshire terrier characteristic you wish to showcase.
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Easy Yorkie cuts
One of the easiest haircuts for Yorkies is the very short puppy cut. The entire coat is cut evenly over the dog's body and legs to a length of about 1 or 2 inches. The face is evenly trimmed, including around the muzzle and ears. With practice and a good pair of clippers, the puppy cut can be done at home.
The puppy cut is clearly the most practical cut for very active dogs and requires brushing only two or three times a week. Similarly, the shaved cut clips the body and legs even shorter than the puppy cut but keeps the hair on the face, head, and ears longer than 2 inches to retain that flouncy Yorkie look and enough hair for a top knot.
Classic Yorkshire terrier haircuts
The classic show cut is what most people visualize when they think of Yorkshire terriers. This is the long, to-the-floor, flowing dog coat that highlights the natural shine of this breed. The show cut is usually equal length all over the body but is combed to perfection and anchored with a top knot and bow on the head, allowing full view of the Yorkie's cute, dark eyes.
Similarly, the Westie cut — a look clearly borrowed from the West Highland terrier — is a slightly shorter and more manageable variation of the show cut. The fur on the Yorkie is still long but not floor length. Also, the fur around the face is trimmed and squared, similar to the look of a clipped Westie.
Other haircuts for Yorkies
An experienced groomer should be able to accomplish a teddy bear cut, which is a common small-dog cut that also works on a Yorkie, giving the dog a rounded head. The entire coat is trimmed to a length longer than the puppy cut — about 2 to 3 inches — even around the face. Then, using scissors, the head is trimmed to be round and fluffy.
Another Yorkie cut that maintains the classic Yorkshire terrier look is called a layered stack. Essentially, the fur is long and almost floor length but is trimmed in distinct layers, thinning out the fur. Like the show cut, a layered cut requires almost daily brushing.
Yorkie grooming tips
Grooming at home is possible and so are grooming touch-ups between professional grooming visits if you have the right tools, including several types of brushes. The Yorkshire terrier coat is fine and requires frequent brushing to avoid tangles and matting. Several times a week is ideal but at least once a week is the minimum. A leave-in conditioner sprayed on the coat is also helpful to avoid tangles, especially if you opt for a longer Yorkie cut.
Bathing your Yorkie about every three weeks is recommended but do not do it more often unless she's had a particularly dirty outdoor romp. Never use human shampoo on any dog because the pH balance is different. Yorkie hair is best treated with shampoo designed for the unique consistency of fur on this particular toy breed.