Skip to main content

PawTracks may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

4 common mistakes people make when grooming their Yorkie

Developing a regular grooming habit for your Yorkshire terrier (Yorkie) is not just about making him look good. Grooming provides important health benefits along with keeping your little friend comfortable. When you’re grooming your dog, you’re not only keeping his coat, skin, feet, ears, and teeth healthy, you’re also getting to know his body, which helps you catch any problems early on.

Yorkies have different coat types

The American Kennel Club (AKC) describes the show-quality Yorkie as a compact terrier of no more than 7 pounds whose “crowning glory is a floor-length, silky coat of steel blue and a rich golden tan.” According to breed experts at the Yorkshire Terrier Club of America (YTCA), not all terriers inherit this “correct coat.” Pet Yorkies come in a range of colors, and their coats can be silky, wavy, or woolly. The silky coats grow long and straight, while the wavy or woolly coats don’t grow as quickly or as long. Most owners opt to keep their Yorkies’ coats trimmed short, with the most popular looks being the puppy cut and the teddy bear cut. While clipping is best left in the hands of a professional, it’s up to owners to keep up a regular maintenance grooming routine between visits.

Common mistakes people make when grooming Yorkies at home

1. Not training the dog at a young age to accept grooming

Since coat grooming is an essential part of basic care for Yorkies, training experts at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) say that the earlier you get your terrier comfortable with being brushed, the better. And remember, a good grooming routine includes bathing, nail trimming, and cleaning the ears, eyes, and teeth. You can prepare your dog for these grooming sessions by getting him used to being handled as a puppy. Positive-motivation training helps with this. Keep sessions short and use lots of praise and treats to reward your dog for allowing you to brush his coat and to touch his paws, ears, and mouth.

Woman training Yorkie.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

2. Not brushing the coat every day

Because a Yorkie’s hair is similar to human hair, it can easily become matted. A “good brushing every day will keep tangles away,” say experts at the YTCA. Here are some tips for brushing your Yorkie:

  • Spray his coat with water or conditioner before you begin brushing to help the brush run freely through the strands. The hair should be damp but not saturated.
  • Use a good pin brush with a rubber back, as natural bristle brushes can break your Yorkie’s fine hair.
  • Pay special attention to the groin, armpits, and around the neck, as these are the most likely places for the hair to get tangled. Any mats should be gently pulled out with your fingers first and then with a wide-toothed grooming comb. A little detangling solution can help with this process.
  • You may need to trim the hair around your Yorkie’s face to prevent eye irritation between trips to the groomer. Some owners opt to use bows or elastic hair bands to pull the hair away from their dog’s face.

3. Not giving regular baths

Breeders at the YTCA recommend bathing your toy-sized terrier once every week or two, with some dogs needing a bath more than others. Since frequent bathing can dry the skin, grooming experts at the ASPCA recommend using a prescription shampoo that won’t strip away moisture. You should also use a good conditioner to help soften and bring out the natural luster of your Yorkie’s coat. Following are some tips for bathing your terrier:

  • It’s extremely important to brush your terrier’s coat to remove any tangles before bathing him.
  • Make sure to rinse the coat thoroughly after shampooing. Use a small sponge to rinse the face and avoid getting water into the nose and mouth.
  • Check the hair around your dog’s anus as it can become matted with feces. Grooming experts recommend clipping the hair right around the edge of the anus if needed between professional grooming visits to prevent your dog from having problems when pooping.
Two Yorkies in bathtub.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

4. Not brushing the teeth regularly

Yorkies, like many other small breeds, are at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease. According to the American Veterinary Dental College, periodontal disease is an infection that can cause the loss of teeth and jawbone. The infection can also spread throughout the body, damaging vital organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys. To help keep your Yorkie’s mouth healthy, veterinary experts recommend annual professional cleanings. In addition, you should clean your dog’s teeth and gums every day or at the very least a few times a week. The American Veterinary Medical Association provides a video demonstrating the correct way to clean your dog’s teeth.

Establishing a good grooming routine is so important for the well-being of your Yorkie and will help him live a long, healthy, and happy life. It also makes you take time out of your busy schedule to focus on your pup and provides a wonderful bonding opportunity for you both.

Editors' Recommendations

Vera Lawlor
Contributor
Vera was the pet columnist for 201 Family magazine and has contributed pet and animal welfare articles to Bone-A-Fide Mutts…
Everything you need to know about the munchkin cat: Some facts may surprise you
Get to know the scoop before you adopt a munchkin cat
A gray munchkin cat kitten stands on top of a white dressing table

Watching cute cat videos has become a hobby in of itself in modern times, and we're here for it. Some particularly cute kitties seem to go viral all the time, and it's no surprise that many of the most popular videos on TikTok feature an adorable munchkin cat. Whether you're a longtime fan or you recently discovered the breed online, you may wonder what a munchkin cat even is. Let's find out more about these curious kitties.

Munchkin cats: Getting to know the breed
With their short, stubby legs, elongated bodies, and insatiable curiosity, munchkin cats are a unique breed in the world of cats. In fact, these short-legged stunners wouldn't look entirely out of place in fantastical literature. (Is it just us, or do munchkin cats look like the noble steeds of fairy kings and queens?) Munchkin cats have appeared and disappeared many times throughout history because this genetic mutation can pop up anywhere. However, the modern-day munchkins come from the tiny town of Rayville, Louisiana.

Read more
How cold is too cold for dogs? What you should know
Signs that your dog is too cold in the outdoor winter conditions
An Australian shepherd playing outside in the snow

Your dog is more than just your constant companion; he's also a beloved member of the family. No matter the season, frequent exercise, a well-balanced diet, and outdoor playtime are essential to your dog's health and happiness.

Not only does exercise prevent obesity, but it also provides the mental stimulation your pup needs to lower the risk of mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. We're all aware of the potential dangers of overheating, but what should we do when temperatures drop? At what point is taking your pup outside for a walk more harmful than helpful? How cold is too cold for dogs?

Read more
3 scientific benefits of being a cat person – you’ll be surprised with what we found
Here's what we know about the health benefits of having a cat in your home
A dark-haired woman wearing a green sweater holds a tabby cat on her lap

Any pet can brighten your day and improve your mood, and cats are no exception. They're our best friends, our constant companions, and our furry, purring lap warmers. Whether they're making you laugh at their silly antics or warming your heart (and lap), there's no doubt that cats are great to have around.

What you might not have known is that cats can also improve your health! It's true -- and these are the top three cat health benefits. We'll explain why sharing your home with a feline companion is one of the best things you can do for yourself. In case we convince you, we'll also recommend some of our favorite beginner-friendly cat breeds. Let's jump in!

Read more