GROOMING YOUR YORKIE
The Yorkshire Terriers most distinguishing feature is its beautiful silken coat. Adult dogs are cloaked in soft, luxurious hair of shining blue and bright gold, while young pups start out with shimmering black hair with tan appointments. As a pup matures, the proper color of dark steel blue emerges on the body, while the head, ears, legs and undercarriage transform into a rich gold that is darker at the roots than in the middle and shades to a still lighter gold at the tips. Not all Yorkies have the correct coat color, and variations often exist.
Yorkies hair can grow quite long and require considerable care if not of the proper texture, which breeders describe as “silky” with a feel that is much like human hair. The proper textured coat is easy to maintain. It requires regular bathing, usually every 7 to 10 days and an occasional brushing in between baths. The topknot should be redone daily as it tends to look pretty scraggly in a very short time. (Much as if we didn’t brush or comb our own hair each mourning.) If the topknot is not redone daily, it can become matted and difficult to groom.
The pet owner who has neither the time nor the inclination to maintain the show coat would be well advised to trim the coat to a manageable length, as the Yorkie looks better and feels happier with a short carefree clip than a longer but not cared for coat.
Supplies you’ll need for grooming.
The type of coat that your yorkie has will affect what shampoo and conditioners you will be using. Just as the type of water you have, hard or soft will affect the performance of the different products. I use the Coat Handler Shampoo and the Coat Handler Conditioner on my Yorkies. The shampoo when diluted in hard water is 15 to 1,( 1 gallon of shampoo concentrate will make 15 gallons of shampoo) in soft water you can dilute the concentrate up to 30 to 1. It is cosmetic (human grade) quality and very mild. The Coat Handler Conditioner is a “leave in” conditioner that is a detangler, antistatic, and fragrance all in one product. The conditioner enhances the natural shine and keeps the dog cleaner it dilutes 15 to 1. For every day brushing I use 1 ounce of conditioner to 15 ounces of water in a spray bottle, mist the coat as you brush.
You need to check the coat for snarls and mats. Snarls can be pulled apart with your fingers, then using a pin type brush go though the coat before bathing. If the coat is matted, you are not grooming often enough or the coat is a soft type. A soft coat is much more difficult to maintain than the silk coat. Start brushing at the ends of the hair and gradually work up the strand of hair. I never brush a dry coat, I mist with diluted conditioner it helps to work out the tangles and not break the coat. Before the bath is the best time for brushing the teeth. Many Yorkies are prone to excessive tartar that causes premature tooth loss. If you do not brush the teeth your dog will have bad breath from the tartar build up; this will cause tooth loss and can lead to bacterial infections.
Check the ears before each bath if there are any offensive odors, redness or a reddish brown discharge have your Vet look at them. All could be signs of infection and need to be treated if so. If there is hair in the ear channel remove it by pulling it out with your fingers. R-7 Ear Powder is a good product to use before plucking the hair out of the ear. The dogs seem to tolerate this procedure better if you pluck the hair quickly. After I have removed the hair from the ear I clean the ears using R-7 Ear Cleaner hold the ear up and squirt a little of the cleaner into the ear clean the ear out using a cotton ball.
I use the Wahl Trimmer to trim the pads of the feet. Hair grows from between the pads and it should be trimmed to be level with the pads. Check between the pads to make sure there are no foreign objects stuck between the pads. Trimming nails should be done with almost each bath, if you are diligent about trimming the nails all you will need to do is remove the tips. After I clip the nail tips I use a human nail file for a smoother finish. Some prefer to trim the hair around the foot at this time before bathing. If you have a lot of excess coat it wouldn’t hurt, but you’ll find that after bathing it will need to be trimmed again.
Make sure the coat is entirely wet apply your shampoo distribute it by running your fingers though the coat. I like to use a small sponge to work the shampoo through the coat. One of the biggest mistakes in shampooing is rubbing the coat in circles this causes mats. It is extremely important to rinse all shampoo out of the coat. Shampoo left in a coat can do more damage to the coat and skin than anything else. I shampoo then rinse well then I shampoo again the second rinse really concentrate on getting all the shampoo out. When I think that all the shampoo is removed I look at the clock and continue rinsing for an additional 5 minutes. After finishing rinsing I pour the diluted conditioner over the dogs body, work the conditioner through the coat with your fingers.
After the bathing is finished wrap the dog in a towel. Do not rub the coat with the towel. If you hold the dog for just a couple of minutes wrapped in the towel it will cut down on the drying time. Lay the yorkie on it’s back and begin brushing the chest and stomach area; brush starting at the end of the coat not the base of coat next to the skin. Never use your dryer on hot use medium setting. Many yorkies after getting accustomed to the dryer enjoy the warm air and the brushing.
All you need to do now is trim around the ears, feet and anal area. The anal area should be trimmed using scissors do not use clippers for this sensitive part of the body. The feet should be rounded follow the outline of the foot itself. You will first brush the coat down straight around the foot, stand your dog holding the leg hair up and out of the way. Trim the excess coat off around the foot that hits the table you are grooming on. It isn’t easy to obtain a neat rounded foot at first, but each time you groom you will improve getting that neat look. Just take your time.
Use the Wahl clipper for the ears, clip the excess hair on the inside of the ear leather about 1/3rd way down. Then clip the same amount on the backside but trimming the hair off in the shape of a V.
Fold a small hand towel into thirds roll tightly secure with yarn or rubber bands. You now have a small neck pillow. Use the command down and pull the front feet forward. Collect the hair starting at the outer corner of the eye, part back at an angle toward the center of the head. Repeat for the other side. Brush this hair up and place a latex band or a small ponytail holder on the topknot. Check the corners of the dog’s eyes making sure that the topknot isn’t in too tight. A bow is all you need now for your glamorous little yorkie.