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Yorkshire Terriers are infamous show-offs with their perfect posture and unique, silky coats. Lacking an undercoat, Yorkie coats are thin and tend to grow long without shedding or breaking. All of these traits give the coat a distinct appearance that resembles human hair.
Since Yorkie coats are so thin, their skin is less protected and more sensitive when brushing. You need to pay special attention to the type of brush and the amount of pressure you use when brushing your pup.
There are dozens of dog brushes to choose from and all of them are a little bit different—but not all of them are ideal for the Yorkshire Terrier breed. The choices can be overwhelming, but don’t worry! We have lots of experience taking care of our Yorkie, Max, so we created this guide to help you choose the best brush for your Yorkie grooming kit.
In this guide:
- The best grooming tools for Yorkies: At a glance
- What’s the best dog brush for Yorkies?
- Other products to make brushing your Yorkie easier
- Frequently asked questions
The best grooming tools for Yorkies: At a glance
Here are the best brushes and grooming tools for Yorkies. Click the name of the product to jump down to our full review.
What’s the best dog brush for Yorkies?
Your Yorkie grooming kit will need a few essential tools to deal with all of the unique needs of Yorkie hair. Yorkie coats can be tricky, and there is a tool for every type of bad hair day your pup might face. Here are our favorites:
- The Overall best brush for Yorkies
- Best stainless steel comb for tangled hair
- Best Yorkie comb for matted hair
- Best self-cleaning slicker brush
- Best grooming gloves for Yorkies
The overall best brush for Yorkies
The pin side of this brush is stiff enough to work through light tangles but flexible enough to keep the grooming session comfortable. The bristle side provides a soothing, gentle brushing experience that leaves the coat looking smooth and shiny without giving your Yorkie PTSD.
- All-in-one design gives you most of what you need for day-to-day brushing
- Gentle bristle side is a go-to brush that your pup will grow to love
- Bristles can be used gently around face, ears, and paws for grooming delicate areas
- Bristles and pins are not going to detangle heavily matted areas very effectively
Best Yorkie comb for tangled hair
- Wide and narrow comb spacing allows you to start big gradually work to the narrow teeth as you work through tangles
- Stiff teeth allow you to work through tangles that a bristle or pin brush can’t handle
- Smooth-finish stainless teeth glide more smoothly through tangled hair
- The fine-toothed end can be carefully used to remove tear stains and dog eye boogers
- Teeth are not flexible, so extra care must be taken with sensitive pups
- Not the best for general grooming, since it tends to be a little less relaxing for your dog
Best Yorkie comb for matted hair
Sometimes your Yorkie will develop some pretty bad areas of matting and no amount of brushing will clear them. If you find yourself in this situation, it might be time to break out a dematting comb.
- This comb will work on the worst of tangles and matting
- Cuts through permanent matting more easily and gently than other combs and brushes
- The rake actually cuts the matted hair, so it may leave some areas shorter than others
- The rakes are inflexible and have a sharpened edge, so care needs to be taken when using it to not injure yourself or your Yorkie
Best self-cleaning slicker brush for Yorkie hair
- Close-set pins very effectively work through and separate Yorkie hair, especially on longer coats
- Removes any dead hair and helps prevent shedding
- The self-cleaning feature makes cleanup incredibly easy
- The short wires are not tipped and can be a little harsh for sensitive pups
- Active, outdoorsy Yorkies who have lots of tangles may find this comb pulls too much
Best grooming gloves for Yorkies
Aside from providing you with an excuse to give your Yorkie some extra pets, these grooming gloves have the side benefit of disguising themselves. If your Yorkie doesn’t like combs and brushes, these gloves allow you to groom incognito. Many dogs think they’re just getting some old-fashioned affection while you keep their coat looking fabulous.
- Grooming gloves allow you to gently groom sensitive areas around the face and ears with more control
- Taking these gloves to the dog park is a great way to quickly remove loose, dead hairs without making a mess at home
- The gloves soft nubs aren’t good for detangling fur, so you’ll need to use the tools above first if your dog has any tangles or matting.
Other products to make brushing your Yorkie easier
Along with brushes and grooming tools, there are a couple more items that will make your Yorkie grooming routine a lot easier. Two especially useful items are a good Yorkie detangling spray and a natural leave-in product for a beautiful, shiny coat.
Detangling spray for Yorkie hair
One of the best secret weapons you can use when starting a grooming session is detangling spray. Yorkie hair is fine and dry brushing can generate static electricity that will make tangles even worse. Using a good detangling spray before you brush your Yorkie will cut the static and make those mats unwind like an evening of Netflix on the couch.
Leave-in conditioners for a beautiful Yorkie coat
That famous Yorkie shine doesn’t always happen by itself. The best grooming routines rely on a little leave-in conditioner magic for the last step. The best part is, many of these can be super simple, natural products that create enough sparkle to make Liza Minnelli jealous.
Choose something that is safe, effective and doesn’t include lots of extra chemicals.
We recommend BarkLogic’s Calming Lavender Leave-In Conditioning Spray. It’s chemical-free and plant-based, and it’s made with lavender essential oil and aloe to calm your pup and moisturize their coat before and after brushing sessions. And the best part—it doubles as a detangling spray.
Frequently asked questions
Which type of brush do I need for my Yorkie?
At a minimum, you will need a pin brush and a bristle brush (to keep things simple, go for the combo brush we’ve reviewed above!). Additionally, you will most likely want to have a stainless steel comb on hand for particularly bad tangles and matting.
If you find your Yorkie is frequently developing large mats, you may also want to purchase a slicker brush and step up your grooming game to three-to-four times a week. This will help prevent really nasty snarls from developing and will keep the natural oils of your Yokie’s coat evenly distributed throughout the hair.
Lastly, the heavy artillery option in your kit should be a dematting comb (sometimes called an undercoat rake). This bad boy only comes out as a last resort, when mats are so bad you need to cut your way through them.
How often should I brush my Yorkie?
Ideally, you should spend a few minutes every day brushing a Yorkie’s coat and checking for matting and tangles. At a minimum, you will want to give your Yorkie’s coat at a thorough brushing at least once per week.
Keep in mind, the longer the time between brushings, the more tangles a Yorkie will likely develop in its fine coat, and the more painful detangling sessions your Yorkie will have to endure. So keep the brushings frequent and brief if possible.
As an added benefit, regular brushing will keep the natural oils from your Yorkie’s skin distributed throughout the coat, and it will help remove dead hairs that tend to accumulate at the root of the coat. If left to accumulate, these hairs can lead to dry skin and other Yorkie skin conditions.
Do Yorkies shed when you brush them?
Yorkies do shed, however not very much and not all at once. So slightly, in fact, that Yorkies are considered hypoallergenic.
While many breeds experience shedding on a seasonal cycle (looking at you, Huskies) Yorkie hairs fall out slowly and fairly evenly throughout the year. If your dog’s hair appears to be falling out at an accelerated rate, read our guide to Yorkie hair loss.
Yorkie hair tends to grow as long as you allow, greatly reducing the amount of shedding. With consistent brushings and regular baths, a Yorkie will shed so little you just might not notice it at all.
Do Yorkies have an undercoat?
Yorkies do not have an undercoat. Like the Bichon Frise, Maltese, and Poodle, the Yorkie breed is a single coat dog. Because of their single coat, they have less insulation, a thinner coat, and produce a lot less shedding.
My Yorkie has Cotton Coat. Do I need a special kind of brush?
Though rare, some Yorkies have a wavy coat known as a “cotton coat.” This type of coat does not meet the AKC standard and disqualifies a Yorkie from the show ring, but otherwise is not a significant issue or defect.
A cotton coat Yorkie does need regular maintenance because it is very prone to matting and tangles, but the tools covered above should get the job done. You can learn more about cotton coats on our guide to Yorkie hair.
How do I untangle Yorkie matted hair?
First of all, don’t panic! Matting happens to Yorkie coats from time to time. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad puppy parent. It does mean you’ll want to pour a glass of wine and get comfortable though—you have some work to do.
How to groom a Yorkie with matted hair
- Thoroughly dampen the matted area with some detangling spray.
- Using the widest teeth of a stainless steel detangling comb, begin working on the matted area from the outside end of the coat.
- Continue rewetting with detangling spray and working your way up the matted area bit by bit. Use your fingers to grasp the coat closest to the skin to help prevent pulling and irritation if necessary.
- When the majority of the mat has been separated, begin using your stainless steel comb to gently comb through small sections of the previously matted area, gradually working your way from the wide-toothed end of the comb to the narrow-toothed end. Never yank, jerk, or force tangles out—this causes pain for your dog and they’ll probably hold a grudge.
- Once the comb moves through the coat easily, use your pin brush or slicker brush to do a gentle pass through the coat, separating any remaining tangles.
If the mat proves too big to detangle with the method above, it is time to pour a second glass of wine.
Pull out your dematting comb and gently and slowly work around the matting to prevent irritation. Large matted areas take time to work through.
And remember, if worse comes to worse, you can always call your favorite groomer for an especially tough tangle. They’re experienced with these things, and they also haven’t just had two glasses of wine.
If you have any favorite brushing techniques or tricks, be sure to share them in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!