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Yorkshire Terriers are famous for soft, head-turning coats that are unique in the canine world. But all that beauty comes at a cost. Maintaining a Yorkie coat can be a lot of work—and sometimes a complete nightmare if you don’t know what you are doing.
In addition to the hassle of keeping your pup neat, the wrong Yorkie grooming style can also contribute to Yorkie skin problems, like bumps and itchy skin.
Luckily, we’ve been down that road already and we’re sharing our favorite tips for keeping Yorkie coat-care easy and headache-free. Read on for our favorite Yorkie cuts and tips.
On this page:
- Are Yorkie coats hard to maintain?
- Best Yorkie haircut styles for easy care
- Easy Yorkie hair care tips & tricks
Are Yorkie coats hard to maintain?
We all know Yorkshire Terriers aren’t exactly a low-maintenance breed. But are Yorkie coats hard to maintain? Well, yes and no. If at least a little bit of effort isn’t put into regularly maintaining a Yorkie coat, things can get messy in a hurry.
Yorkie fur isn’t really fur at all; in fact, it’s more like human hair that grows without shedding (for the most part) until it is cut. That’s why Yorkies are considered hypoallergenic. Imagine if you had a full head of hair that was rarely washed, combed, or cut? You’d end up with a mess, too.
Thankfully several of our favorite Yorkie haircuts can go a long way toward simplifying care for your pup.
>> Read more: Best Dog Clippers for Yorkies
Best Yorkie haircut styles for easy care
If you’ve ever seen a dog show, you know the lengths some Yorkshire Terrier owners are willing to go for elaborate Yorkie hairdos. However, these types of haircuts for Yorkies require a huge investment of time and energy, as well as a lot of money spent at the groomer.
We prefer to keep our Yorkie, Max, in a simpler cut, both to make life a little easier and because we think he’s cuter that way. Here are a few of our favorite Yorkie cuts:
Yorkie summer cut: The hot-weather Yorkie hairdo
Warm weather means it’s time to stay cool however we can. That goes for little Yorkies, who can easily overheat in the summer weather, as well.
An easy way to keep your pup cool is a shaved Yorkie summer cut. This buzz-cut style involves shaving a Yorkie’s hair all the way down to almost nothing, keeping their natural insulation to a minimum.
Be careful, however, because this summer Yorkie cut can also result in more sun exposure on your dog’s skin and increases the risk of sunburn. No matter how long or short your dog’s coat is, always take care to limit their time in the hot sun, provide a shady resting place, and always have cool, clean drinking water nearby.
Tip! At the groomer:
When talking to your groomer, ask for a “summer cut” or “shave cut” and be sure to discuss how long they will leave the coat to make sure you are on the same page. This cut typically involves also trimming the face down to the natural contours of the head, with minimal shaping. However, different groomers will have their own flair, so be sure to let them know how short you would like the face trimmed.
The groomer may also ask if you want to keep the hair longer on the legs or take it all the way down. If the hair is left longer on the legs, it will end up looking very similar to a Schnauzer cut (typically seen on—surprise!—Schnauzers), so keep that in mind as a possible option as well.
If you’re cutting your Yorkie’s hair yourself, keep in mind that the #10 blade that comes with most clippers will leave the hair at just 1/16th on an inch. If this is shorter than you’d like, use a guide comb to increase the length.
The puppy cut: A cute and easy Yorkie haircut
One of the most popular, low-maintenance haircut options is the Yorkie puppy cut. This haircut involves cutting the entire coat the same short length. It typically includes trimming a Yorkie’s face somewhat close to the head’s natural contours but leaving a bit more length to fill out the face.
This coat style gives a Yorkie a youthful, puppy-dog appearance while also being very easy to maintain. Regular, quick brushing sessions will generally be enough to prevent matting and to keep your pup comfortable.
This is a great haircut for active Yorkies who like to get messy in the backyard or who can’t resist a romp in a mud puddle. The puppy cut makes bathtime very easy. A quick lather and rinse is all you need with such a short coat length, and you rarely have to deal with nasty tangles.
The puppy cut also provides a little bit more insulation against temperature swings when your dog walks in and out of air conditioning or on cool evening walks.
Overall, the puppy cut is one of our favorite haircuts for Yorkies. It keeps your Yorkie cleaner, more comfortable and looking cute without all of that famous Yorkie coat maintenance.
Tip! At the groomer:
Ask your groomer to take the overall length down to one inch or less in order to make the cut last longer, and be sure to discuss how short you would like the face trimmed. If you want to maintain a bit more length on the face, you may want to ask for a “squared puppy cut,” which will leave the length of the facial hair a bit longer. This gives a more rounded appearance on the face that can leave enough length to do top-knots if your Yorkie has strong opinions on hair accessories.
Teddy bear cut: A short-but-cuddly Yorkie haircut
If you are headed into the fall or cooler weather, the teddy bear cut might be the perfect style for your pup. This haircut is a good balance of manageable length and good coverage, providing a bit more warmth without being overly complicated to maintain.
A typical teddy bear cut leaves the entire coat length of a Yorkie at two-to-three inches, including the face. This cut gives a slightly poofy, very cuddly, floof appearance that will result in a considerable loss of time because you won’t be able to resist picking up your dog for a squeeze every time they walk by.
The teddy bear cut does require more frequent trips to the groomer to maintain the right length, and it will also demand regular brushing to prevent knots and matting. However, this cut is still relatively low maintenance.
Tip! At the groomer:
When getting a teddy bear cut, be sure to agree on the desired length and have your groomer take the cut just a quarter of an inch shorter than they normally would, to make the cut last a bit longer.
Other favorite Yorkie haircuts
If you want to be a bit more adventurous—or if you have a Yorkie who is an attention-soaking diva—you can try these more complex (and often higher maintenance) haircuts as well.
The Westie cut
Borrowing some style from the perky West Highland Terrier (or Westie) this haircut tends to be medium-to-long and emulates the traditional haircut of that breed. It does require more frequent brushing to prevent knots, and regular conditioning is recommended. But a cute little Yorkie with a Westie cut is hard to resist!
The show cut
This is the classic, look-at-me Yorkie haircut that showcases the natural beauty of the Yorkshire Terrier’s coat. The show cut allows the coat to grow to floor-length around the body.
Be warned, though: this haircut will require regular trips to the groomer and a lot of brushing, conditioning, and bathing.
>> Read more: Best Dog Clippers
Easy Yorkie hair care tips & tricks
While Yorkies tend to be more of an inside breed that isn’t known for roaming the great outdoors, these little dogs still possess an incredible curiosity about the world around them.
Little Yorkies manage to get pretty messy even during short visits to the backyard, and when they do, it is important to keep their coat clean and free of debris.
Bathing your Yorkie at least every few weeks—or as necessary when they’ve had a particularly messy adventure—is a great way to keep the maintenance on their fine coat to a minimum. And always remember to use a high-quality Yorkie shampoo—never a hair-care product designed for humans.
Regular brushing and grooming
After bathtime, some careful grooming is in order. Regular brushing is the best way to keep a Yorkie’s coat from becoming knotted or matted.
The longer a Yorkie’s coat, the more frequent the brushings will need to be. If possible, give your pup a quick brush daily or every other day. At the very least, weekly grooming is needed to keep their coat clean and tangle-free.
Also, make sure you know which kind of brush to use for the type of grooming or tangles you are dealing with. Yorkie coats require a few different types of brushes to make sure you’re addressing all of the issues that can arise. Our guide to the best brush for Yorkies will explain what types of brushes to use, and when.
After you have bathed and groomed your dog, the last step to keeping a Yorkie coat beautiful is a good leave-in conditioner.
As with shampoo, never use a conditioner designed for humans or other animal species. Not all products are created with the pH balance of a dog’s skin in mind, so take care to select a quality conditioner made specifically for dogs.
We recommend DerMagic’s Rosemary Mint Conditioner Bar if you want to condition during the bathing process. But if you want a natural leave-in conditioner that you can spray on even when your dog is dry, BarkLogic’s plant-based calming leave-in conditioner is an excellent choice.
Yorkie hair care has a reputation for being notoriously time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With a simple, low-maintenance haircut and regular grooming, caring for a Yorkie is as fun as their crazy little personalities.
We’d love to hear from you! Let us know what your favorite Yorkie haircuts and hair care tips are in the comments below!
>> Read more: Can You Use Human Clippers on Dogs?