Yorkshire Terrier

  • Overview

    Even though they are only about 7 or 8 inches tall, Yorkshire Terriers are an inquisitive toy breed who love to search for adventure and show off their runway-ready locks.

    Yorkies are popular portable pups who have become famous for their glamorous coats and cheerful expressions. They require some consistent training and socialization, not to mention brushing, to stay healthy and happy.

    View Grooming Diagram for yorkshire terrier
  • Personality

    Yorkies pack a lot of exuberance into their toy-sized bodies. It's not out of character for Yorkies to be found chasing themselves or their toys actively around the house. They make fine indoor apartment dogs, but they will resort to exercising themselves if they haven't burned off all of their energy at the end of the day. Most Yorkies love playing with toys and cuddling with their owners, but some have more independent personalities and will enjoy getting into mischief around the house. Reward proper behavior early on so that Yorkies practice polite habits. They appreciate positive affirmation and they love to be recognized, so they will respond well to consistent training that highlights their good qualities.

    Sometimes, Yorkies can be a little yappy. They are eager to announce visitors, but if they are left alone for too long or if they are not taught to quiet down around welcome visitors, they can become pests. If Yorkies are pampered, they can become dainty. If they sense hesitation in their owners, they will react similarly. Don't excessively baby these small dogs, especially not in situations they are more than capable of handling on their own. They have strong personalities and they were raised as serious vermin-hunting companions, so they will be able to withstand a walk outside or some friendly socialization.

  • Coat Care

    Yorkies win many admirers with their glamorous silky coats. The hair is almost human-like, so many allergy sufferers find they do not mind the Yorkie's presence. It is long, fine and glossy. It should always be straight and it always comes in tan with a black jacket. As they age, the black fades into the characteristic steel blue around the body and tail. When their coats are left to grow naturally, they grow into the quizzical-looking facial furnishings and the perky top knot that Yorkies are known for.

Brushing

Yorkies do not shed, but if their coats are kept long, they require significant brushing and care to prevent matting and tangles and keep the hair shiny.

Bathing

With preparation, perseverance and a positive attitude, bathing can become a fun and fulfilling part of the regular grooming cycle, while helping your dog avoid many diseases and infections.

The general rule of thumb for dog bathing is every three months but drop coated dogs usually should be bathed more frequently, most commonly every three to eight weeks. The coat should end up fresh smelling, with no loose or shedding hair. First give the dog a good brushing to remove dead hair and mats. Place a rubber mat in the tub to provide secure footing and fill the tub with three to four inches of lukewarm water. Use a spray hose, pitcher or unbreakable cup to wet the dog, taking caution to avoid getting water in the eyes, ears and nose. Massage in pet shampoo, saving the head for last. Immediately rinse thoroughly, starting with the head to prevent soap from dripping into the eyes. Towel dry. Coat should be fresh smelling, with no loose or shedding hair.

Hair Clipping

Yorkshire Terriers who are show dogs' coats are trimmed to floor length. Even though the coat requires extensive brushing, it is easy to maintain at home with occasional trimming around the feet and eyes and light scissoring to make it easier for the Yorkie to scurry about.

Nails

Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Drop coated dogs have sensitive ears and long hair that tends to grow into the ear. Their ears need to be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. Small dogs like Shih Tzus and Havanese are prone to developing tear stains around their eyes, so clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes.

Teeth

The Yorkie's tiny teeth are prone to infection, so they will benefit from being brushed almost daily to remove plaque and build-up.