Yorkshire terriers are renowned for their long, silky hair. This breed actually doesn't have an undercoat, so they shed no more than your average human. In fact, if you've got long, bleach-damaged hair, you may find yourself shedding even more than your pup. Nonetheless, you'll still probably spend a chunk of your time cleaning up pet hair, but this can be mitigated with proper Yorkie grooming. The better your pet's hair is taken care of, the less you'll be cleaning it up.
So, how do you groom a Yorkie? The breed can have variations in coat, from woolly to cotton. Depending on this, some people find short-hair Yorkies to have more manageable coats while others prefer long hair Yorkies. Either way, most fans of the breed can unanimously agree that their irresistibly adorable facial hair is a hallmark and requires extra care and styling during the grooming process. This guide will show you how to groom a Yorkie's face.
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Start with clean, brushed hair
If you're planning on grooming your Yorkie, it'll make things a lot easier if you start with clean, brushed hair that's as free of mats and tangles as possible. To do this, brush out your Yorkie's hair with a slicker brush, using a tooth comb to work out the mats and tangles. If your pup hasn't been groomed in a long time, you may need to cut out the occasional mat, but first try conditioning it with some dog-friendly conditioner.
After that, shampoo and rinse your Yorkie as you normally would, then dry him off with a high-velocity dryer. Be mindful of the ears since high-velocity dryers can be loud. Comb your Yorkie again once he's dry.
Clip your Yorkie's head and ears
How long you leave your pup's hair depends on the Yorkie grooming style you prefer, but many at-home groomers prefer to use a clipper to keep things even on the top of the head and ears. Pet Business Magazine recommends a size-A snap-on comb and clipping from the back of the head to the front. Ears should be shaved 1/3 down from the tip.
Err on the side of caution when clipping, and opt for a larger clipper size if you're not sure of length. The bigger comb you use, the more room afforded for error.
Mind the whiskers
Though you might use clippers when grooming your Yorkie, they should never be used on the face. Grooming shears give more precision. This is important because you want to avoid clipping your dog's whiskers. Whiskers are more sensitive than normal hair (think: a human fingertip) and help a dog navigate his environment.
You'll be able to spot whiskers around the muzzle and eyebrows because they're coarser and thicker than normal hair. If you accidentally clip a whisker, don't worry. They'll grow back, though your dog may be slightly disoriented in the meantime. Do your best to avoid them.
Trim around the eyes
Start your dog's face trim by sitting him down in a position where you have access to his face. Begin by trimming the hair around his eyes. Put your hand over the eye so you can trim above without any painful accidents. The hair above the eye should be kept around a quarter inch, but really, any length that doesn't impede on your dog's ability to see is fine.
Trim your Yorkie's muzzle
After the eyes, you're ready to trim the muzzle. Put your hand over each individual whisker as you trim around it. The length you choose depends on your preference. Some people prefer leaving their Yorkie's mustache and beard longer. Others like a close crop.
Clean your Yorkie's eyes
Cleaning out your Yorkie's eyes is the final step to grooming their face. Some Yorkies tear a lot and need the corners of their eyes cleaned daily. This prevents staining the coat. Too many tears can damage the health of their whiskers.
Yorkie grooming warnings and considerations
The hair under a Yorkie's eyes should not be trimmed short. Rather, this should be combed and cut as if it were part of the beard. Yorkies with silk coats are generally given longer haircuts, while those cotton and woolly coats are easier to manage when cropped. Cotton coats are prone to mats, so they're best kept short (though it's not a requirement).