How to Cut a Yorkie's Hair
Animal file: Yorkshire terrier
Yorkshire terriers, fondly called Yorkies, are popular house pets in many parts of the world. They are small, lively and intelligent companions. Yorkies have an attractive, long-haired coat which is also hypoallergenic, making them perfect dogs for allergic families. Yorkie hair grows very fast, but it is very easy to care for once you know how. You have the added advantage of choosing from a number of fun Yorkie hairstyles to give your pooch different looks.
If you don't know how to give a Yorkie a haircut at home, and you don't want to take it to a canine hairdresser, this is the article for you. AnimalWised is here to explain how to cut a Yorkie's hair step by step, so that you can groom your Yorkie without leaving home or spending extra money. Find out what materials you need, factors to keep in mind, and different Yorkie haircut styles to try out. Read on for more instructions and watch our video on how to cut your dog's hair at the end!
Materials for grooming a Yorkie at home
The first thing you need to do before you cutting your Yorkie's hair is to gather all the necessary materials for grooming and set up a convenient space. Having all your materials at hand, and using a space that is comfortable for both you and your pup will help the process go smoothly. If you are new to DIY Yorkie hair cutting, here is a list of some materials you will need:
- Electric clipper: although it is possible to trim a Yorkie's hair without an electric clipper, it is worth investing in one, especially if you groom your Yorkie at home regularly or like to keep its hair short. They are safer for trimming hard-to-reach areas such as the pads of your dog's feet or when giving your Yorkie a close cut. While using a clipper you will not unintentionally hurt your dog as sometimes can happen with scissors. There are several models to choose from on the market, and they come with different attachments which you can use depending on the thickness of your dog's hair, length and type of haircut you want to give it.
- Scissors: apart from an electric clipper, scissors are an essential tool when it comes to cutting a Yorkie's hair. They are particularly useful for shaping and cutting longer areas of the coat and achieving a smooth finish. There are several models and types available. However, it is best to use straight scissors to cut the Yorkie's body hair and use curved or smaller ones for more delicate areas such as the ears and face. Always choose scissors with rounded tips, so you don't accidentally poke and injure your dog.
- Brush or Comb: once again there are many types of dog brushes and combs that you can choose form. When it comes to your Yorkie, choose a brush that best suits the usual length of your dog's hair, which you will use to brush it regularly. Choose a different comb to use while cutting or trimming the Yorkie's hair.
- Shampoo and conditioner: before cutting your Yorkie's hair we recommend you bathe them using a shampoo specifically meant for dogs. While most dogs don't need conditioner, the Yorkie is a long-haired dog breed and using a dog-specific conditioner will help keep their hairs soft and prevent matting if your Yorkie sports a longer hairstyle. You can also bathe your dog using shampoo and conditioner after giving the Yorkie a haircut instead of before. Especially if you use a clipper, this will help get rid of any cut hairs left sticking to the dog's body.
- Hair dryer: once you have cut the Yorkie's hair, or after you've bathed it, you can use a hair dryer to quickly get rid of any remaining dampness. Remember to use low temperature and power setting so as not to frighten the dog. If you are not sure how such a small dog as a Yorkie will react to a hair dryer, consult this article getting a dog used to a hair dryer.
- Coat shine spray (optional): if you want your Yorkie to look perfect enough to enter a dog show or beauty contest, you can use a dog coat shine spray after drying. This will help the Yorkie's coat look shinier and its hairstyle to look more polished.
Things to keep in mind when cutting Yorkie hair
Before giving your Yorkie a haircut, here are some important things to keep in mind regarding the Yorkie coat and tips for grooming and coat care:
- Yorkshire terriers have hypoallergenic coats so they make ideal pets for families with members allergic to dogs. Yorkie's are also among the dog breeds that do not shed hair.
- Yorkies usually have a medium-long coat, with smooth hairs resembling human hair in texture. The hairs are prone to knotting and can accumulate dirt easily. Therefore, it is important to brush a Yorkie's hair often, preferably every 2 days if you leave the coat long, and twice a week if you cut their hair short. This will help prevent matting.
- In general, it is advisable to bathe a Yorkie every 2 weeks. However, as always, this depends on your individual Yorkie, and how dirty it normally gets. You should not bathe a Yorkie too often, especially if it is not dirty as this will strip its hair of their natural oils and the properties that make its coat hypoallergenic.
- It is recommended to trim and file your Yorkie's nails after each bath. Here is more information on how to trim a dog's nails.
- If you do not want an ordeal each time you brush, bathe or cut your Yorkie's hair, it is best to accustom them to these activities from a young age by making it a regular habit. If you are wondering when you can give a Yorkie pup its first bath check out our article on bathing a puppy for the first time.
- And if your Yorkie's hair gets tangled or matted, apply a dog-specific conditioner before you bathe them. Let it act for 5 minutes, then shampoo and condition as normal. You'll notice that the tangles comb out much more easily afterwards.
- Finally, trim your Yorkie's hair whenever it gets too long, to keep it healthy and in good condition.
How to cut a Yorkie's hair - step by step
If you want to groom your Yorkie comfortably, we recommend that you put down a few old towels or newspapers on a table of comfortable height, and place your dog on top. This will help you reach all parts of the dog's body, and make it easier to clean up the cut hairs afterwards. Pet your Yorkie to reassure them and make them feel safe. While cutting their hair, don't make any sudden movements that could make them nervous or cause them to jump off the table.
Now you are ready to give your Yorkie a haircut. If this is your first time trimming your Yorkie at home, here are simple step by step instructions you can follow:
- First, comb the Yorkie's hair to get out any knots and tangles. This is an important step, whether you bathed your dog beforehand or not.
- Start by cutting the hair on the Yorkie's back. Especially if its longer, first cut the hair with scissors. You can then use the clipper to reach the desired uniform length, or if you want a shorter style. Although a Yorkie's hair is smooth, you can use a comb to smooth it out further as your cut. If the Yorkie's coat is dry, spray it with a little water to moisten it as you comb and cut.
- Next, cut the hair along the hind legs,using scissors to reach the desired length. Again, a clipper is better for finishing small areas such as the foot pads. If you decide to cut your Yorkie's hair with scissors only, work very carefully and always use a pair with rounded tips to avoid accidentally poking the dog if it moves.
- Now cut the hair on the neck, chest, belly and front legs. Again, you can use both the scissors and the clipper to shorten and and level the hair. We recommend using an electric clipper for the Yorkie's pads and belly area, so you can cut closer while ensuring you won't hurt them by mistake.
- Finally we come to the most delicate part of grooming: cutting a Yorkie's face hair. Start bu cutting the hair on the ears, both inside and out. Do this slowly and carefully, using a pair of small, rounded scissors. To groom the Yorkie's face, use the same. Always work slowly and with great care, especially when cutting the hair around the Yorkie's eyes. Pause to pet and reassure your pup if you find that it appears nervous. Depending on the style you choose, you will have to cut the more or less hair around the Yorkie's head and face.
- Once you've finished cutting your Yorkshire's hair, you can give them a quick bath to remove any remaining hairs. If their coat is already clean or you bathed them before the haircut, skip the shampoo and use just a bit of conditioner to keep the hairs smooth and shiny.
- Finally, use a hair dryer on a low heat and speed setting to quickly dry the Yorkie's coat. Use a brush to smooth and define the hairs as you dry. Finish with a coat shine spray and accessories, if desired.
Yorkie haircut styles
There are many types of haircuts styles for Yorkies. Here are a few suggestions of popular Yorkie haircut styles you can choose from use as inspiration for creating your own. Think about style that you and your family will like, but also one that will be comfortable for your pet:
- Puppy style: one of the most popular Yorkie haircut styles, this is ideal for small dogs with long coats. It involves cutting the ends of the hair to the same length all around, keeping them at a maximum of 3 cm.
- Westie style: as its name suggests, this haircut style is reminiscent of the West Highland white terrier breed. For this hairstyle, the hair on the Yorkie's body is cut short, while the hair on the face and ears is kept slightly longer.
- Schnauzer style: for this style, the hair on the Yorkie's back is shaved very short, while the the hair on their legs is left longer. Face hair is also kept long, leaving a visible beard, to imitate a Schnauzer look.
- Pekingese style: another Yorkie haircut style is based on the look of Pekingese dogs. For this style the hair on the face and ears are left particularly long, while the legs are slightly shaved.
- Spanish water dog style: this hairstyle requires less maintenance than others as the idea is to get the Yorkie's hair to like the curly hair of Spanish water dogs. Keep the hair at medium length and uniform across the body. Don't use any tools to smooth or straighten it out.
In addition to different haircuts for your Yorkie, you can always use accessories like clips, hairpins, small slides and hair bands to adorn its hair and change its style whenever you want.
For a more detailed look at Yorkie haircut styles, check out our article on 10 haircuts for Yorkshire terriers. Watch the video below for instructions on how to cut your dog's hair at home.
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