Yorkshire Terrier Grooming

Yorkshire Terriers are dogs whose grooming needs are very high maintenance. Whether you are doing it yourself or having a professional groomer do the work, there is a lot of work to make sure these dogs are properly groomed, remain looking good and are kept healthy both for and because of the grooming. This page will detail the many aspects of how to groom your Yorkie, how to make sure he is groomed properly and how to ensure he is ready for grooming.

Yorkshire Terrier Coat Care

There are many things that you should know if you wish to learn how to groom a Yorkie. The longer the hair, the more important it is to keep it carefully brushed to keep mats from forming, tangles from occurring and skin infections from happening. This will help prevent foreign material from getting caught and remaining in the hair. Yorkie grooming is not the easiest task — especially if you want to have a dog whose cut is not the typical "puppy cut." It is best to hire one of the many Yorkie groomers available and then be present or at least to watch. Even if you can't be inside, there usually is a window for viewing.

Understanding the many things that are bad for their skin when grooming Yorkies is essential. Knowing the kind of trimmer, type of blade, the best method, what not to trim and what to do if a nick of the skin is made are just a few of the things that need to be known when grooming a Yorkie. This breed needs daily brushing as well as early coat clipping so as to get him used to being handled in this fashion.


This page will help you learn how to brush a Yorkie. Picking the best comb and brush for Yorkies is essential to the dog's health.

First, make sure you have everything you need. Lay out everything you need on a towel: spritz bottle, comb, brush, etc. Have an extra towel ready too. You might even play some good music to help make a copacetic setting.

Since you won't be bathing your dog every day, the conditioner/water spritz will be sprayed. Brushing a dog's coat when it's dry can cause damage. Spray the coat with the spritz mixture detailed elsewhere on this page.

You may want to have more than one Yorkie comb. There are body, face and de-matting combs. You may have to use the de-matting comb first but otherwise use the body comb first. The face comb can be used before or after the actual brushing with a brush. There are sets available such as the Master Grooming Tools Face & Finishing Ergonomic Comb, but for budgets, there is the Andis Pet Steel Grooming Comb which will do as an all-in-one.

There are many brushes for Yorkies, and an excellent example is the Madan Pin Brush. You want a Yorkie hair brush that will not tear out hair but will be strong enough to get the job done while not harming his skin. They should have well-made pins, a moderate amount of tension and high-quality bristles.

Brushing once a day is ideal for the Yorkie's long, silky coat.

Getting Out Tangles

The Yorkshire Terrier coat is a complex topic. There are three types of coats, and you should first know which kind yours has. From there, you can learn how best to prevent tangles and remove them if they do occur. You can also understand which comb is best for yours. While there is not a universal one that's best for this breed, there are some which help prevent Yorkie hair from matting.

The Fulminator is often the go-to brush for dog owners. It is meant for dogs with fur, however, and Yorkies have hair. Many Yorkie owners and groomers swear by the Madan pin brush. It has the right tension to get through any Yorkshire Terrier hair but not scratch the skin. Avoid cheap combs, pin brushes that have no heads on the metal pins, and harsh brushes.

Some tips:

  • Use a spray bottle to moisten the hair.
  • Use your fingers to gently "comb" the hair to find any tangles or mats.
  • Be sure to check and comb the entire body, top and bottom.
  • Check the eyes to make sure they're not matted.
  • If you find the job difficult, consider a groomer.


Bathing a Yorkie is not difficult if you are prepared. They are small dogs who, if socialized early, should be fine when handled, bathed and groomed. Below are some basic steps to help with a Yorkie bath. Some of you may ask, "How often should you wash your Yorkie?" It's recommended you bathe him once a week.

The most important thing is to have the proper Yorkie conditioner and shampoo. The best shampoo for Yorkies will have a pH balance for dogs, and the same goes for conditioners. (Soaps made for humans will destroy the dog's natural oils and quickly lead to skin irritations, broken hair and worse.) It's best to get a shampoo that's all natural and organic. You should further dilute the shampoo to make sure there is no reaction when using it, especially if you bathe him once a week as suggested.

Gently rinse your Yorkie with warm water and be sure to keep the ears dry and the water force low. Start by running your fingers through their hair to help get the dirt out, identify any knots or tangles, and make sure there are no skin problems that a comb might make worse. Once he is all wet and you have finger-brushed his coat and perhaps even carefully combed it, you can apply some shampoo. Starting at the rear of the neck, go down the spine. Don't forget to get the underside and rear areas, legs, and paws. After a loving scrubbing, it's time to thoroughly rinse. There should be no soap left as this can cause itching and other problems.

Now it's time to apply the conditioner and do the same: make sure all of it is rinsed out. For his face, it's recommended to use a small sponge instead of spraying or pouring water. Be sure to inspect the eyes, ears, and nose for any redness, discharge or bad odors. The anus should be carefully cleaned, and the area inspected for rashes, scratches or unusual debris.

Once all this is done, "brush" with your hands to get as much water out of the coat. Dry him by patting with a towel (rubbing will create tangles) and get ready for a full combing and brushing session!

Yorkshire Terrier Styling & Haircuts

When it comes to Yorkie haircuts, there seems to be no limit. From the Yorkie puppy cut to the Schnauzer Cut to some out of this world styles, there are countless Yorkie cuts. Some of the other cuts are the Top Knot, Yorkie mohawk, Yorkie lion cut, Top Knot, Squared Puppy Cut, the Westie Cut, and much more. These all come in modified versions too, and can themselves be further modified.

There are Yorkie hairstyles for males, Yorkie hairstyles for females and cuts that make them look like other dogs. There are dog hair dyes of all colors, skin safe decals and patterns you can fashion in the remaining hair. You may want to check out the pink Yorkies, or the ones with other embellishments, or even the occasional Yorkie with pink bow that is a step up from things!

Start by taking your Yorkie to a professional groomer, and then learn as well as watch. In time, you'll learn safely how to trim a Yorkie and style his or her coat. Research clipper sets. Noisy or large ones are not recommended. One that is favored by many groomers is the silent hair clipper set called the Scaredy Cut Silent Clipper.

If you want to learn how to trim and style your Yorkie, here are a few tips you should keep in mind:

The blades (or scissors) used to trim the body are not the same ones that should be used for delicate areas such as the face.

Don't trim the ears too closely, as even a tiny nick here could be very problematic.
Trimming around the anus is essential for the dog's health and which must be done carefully.
Whatever style you do, be sure your Yorkie doesn't have hair in her eyes once done.
Finally, never make the trimming a chore. It's best to do the work when it will be enjoyable for your Yorkie.

Whatever you want to do, there is a galaxy of Yorkie haircuts pictures to provide inspiration — and Web sites where you can post pics of YOUR Yorkie hairstyles!

Paw Care

Understanding the sensitivity of your pup's paws is essential. Dogs use their feet to perspire, for instance, and they have blood vessels in their claws. You can easily learn how to cut Yorkie nails with videos online, or take her to a groomer and watch them.

Trimming nails can be made easier by handling your Yorkie's paws when she is a puppy so she gets used to the experience. It's best to trim them after a bath as they will be softer and easier to cut. They should be trimmed every couple of weeks or when you hear them clattering loudly on the ground. You should also trim the hair between her paws so it's even with the pads, and inspect between the pads for anything stuck in there.

When you learn how to trim her nails, you should also know about the quick. The quick is the area where the nail comes out of the paw and has blood vessels. Yorkie nails are black and sometimes make it hard to find. The nail tends to be reddish from the paw itself to where the blood vessels and sensitive area ends. You can also find the quick by trimming carefully until you see a bit of black "pulp" start to appear inside the nail. (At first, the nail will be crumbly and white — which is all dead tissue.) Don't trim past or above the red area or where the "pulp" in the center is seen, as that is where nerves are also located.

Just in case you do clip a nail too closely, a styptic stick (or powder), corn starch or flour is good to have on hand to help stop the bleeding. Regular trimming should make the quick be shorter over time and make clipping easier. Using a dedicated tool such as a QuickFinder deluxe nail clipper will help greatly too.

If you want to decorate her nails, go for it! Yorkie nail art is fun to do and to show off. And be sure to have a treat ready for when you're finished so she understands that once it's done, she gets rewarded!

Fleas, Ticks, & Other Pests

There is always the possibility of ticks and fleas on Yorkies. It's a constant battle to prevent these parasites from gaining a toehold in your house, but it's far less work than letting them turn your Yorkshire Terrier into a taxicab for pests.

Keeping the house clean, swept and vacuumed is one thing that helps prevent these bugs. Daily inspections of your dog's coat, combing (don't forget a spritz of water/conditioner!) and a good diet are other things that help a lot. Researching which medicine you want to use is also very important. Keep alert for scratching, aggravated skin conditions or other unusual behavior. If you see it, inspect your Yorkie for any bugs or eggs (or signs of either). Keep your doggie's bed properly washed to prevent pests or to kill any eggs that may be deposited.

There are a lot of different medicines to help prevent fleas from invading and ticks from hanging on. You will want to make sure that whatever you get is not harmful to Yorkies and in particular to your dog. Some medicines are toxic to dogs, and some dogs are reactive to certain chemicals in medicines made for dogs. If you prefer holistic health preventives and cures, there are certain herbs and ingestives that will help repel Yorkie fleas, ticks, and other pests.

Combing will help to find ticks, reveal fleas and dislodge any eggs. Have a small dish of soapy water nearby to frequently rinse the comb and drown the fleas. If you find your Yorkie has fleas, it's time for isolation, a bath, and a thorough combing, brushing, and inspection. When bathing, start at the neck to chase the fleas away from his head, and get the entire body from just behind the ears to the tip of the tail. (Fleas tend to run to the underside, so expect to find them hiding on the belly once the rest of the body has been shampooed.) If he has a tick, you will need to extract it carefully so that the head is not left in the skin. You'll want to get a vet visit as soon as possible to check for Lyme and other diseases.

Maintaining a healthy diet and plenty of exercise will also go a long way. Robust dogs have a healthy immune system that can help repel parasites, and active dogs are harder targets for such pests.

Other Care

Tending your Yorkie's teeth is a bit of a chore at times, but keeping her teeth clean and her breath fresh means she's in good health and happy too. Small dogs are prone to dental issues, and Yorkies are particularly problematic. Their small jaws, their baby teeth, and their tender tummy can all create issues.

Yorkie baby teeth fall out over time, and while it may not happen as quickly as you think it should, it may take several months. Having chewy snacks and chew-toys can aid in loosening their baby teeth. Yorkshire Terrier teeth removal can be done when you have your dog spayed or neutered.

Their teeth should be cleaned daily to prevent plaque buildup. A gentle wiping and brushing should do the trick. There are plenty of wipes, brushes, and toothpaste specifically for dogs, and it's not hard to learn how to brush Yorkie teeth.

Bad Yorkie breath should not include mere dog food smell or breath that is just slightly not so pleasant. Truly bad odor such as rotting food or the smell of feces indicates a problem that could be gum disease, a poor diet, diabetes or intestinal parasites, among other health issues. Making sure your dog's teeth are clean, that they have a proper diet and that they are hydrated can sometimes resolve Yorkshire Terrier bad breath. If the odor persists, there may be complicated problems that a vet should check out.

As puppies when they are teething, they can have "milk breath," which is both unpleasant and normal. This will pass in time. Puppies are said to be too young to get halitosis, but if the smell is very bad, there may be an intestinal problem. This might be remedied with supplements and doggy mouth rinses along with daily brushing. One gastrointestinal tract helper is Fortiflora which promotes good bacteria.

Also of concern are Yorkie tear stains. This can be a buildup of mucus or other goo in the eyes, and it is believed that this can lead to whisker rot, skin irritation and bacteria buildup. Keep your Yorkie's eyes cleaned by gently wiping them with a damp tissue. If there is discoloration, a constant accumulation of fluids or other things that seem odd, have your vet check it out.

Yorkshire Terrier Care

See the complete guide on how to care for Yorkshire Terriers.

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Authored by:Dog-Learn
Updated:March 28, 2018