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Critics love the flowing mane of a primped Yorkie show dog, but the reality is that most Yorkie owners find those long locks too difficult to maintain. Luckily, there are great alternatives. One of those alternatives is the Yorkie puppy cut.
The adorably youthful and popular puppy cut is a great short haircut for Yorkies who like to take on the world one adventure at a time. It allows them to stay active, spending more time chasing squirrels and less time in the bathtub.
In this guide, we’ll lay out reasons why this cut may be the perfect Yorkie puppy haircut for your little furball. And if you’ve ever wondered how to give a Yorkie a puppy cut yourself, we’ve laid out step-by-step DIY instructions.
In this review:
- What is a puppy cut?
- Yorkie puppy cut before and after pictures
- Why we love the Yorkshire Terrier puppy cut
- DIY Yorkie puppy cut instructions
- Tips for first-timers
What is a puppy cut?
The puppy cut is an adorably short, single-length haircut that is sure to make you fall in love with your Yorkie all over again. The name comes from the youthful look a puppy has when his hair is growing in.
Typically, the hair is cut to 1 to 1.5 inches, although this length can easily be adjusted. Some groomers will cut certain areas of the head and body shorter, but leave the face a little more filled out to give your pup a plump and fluffy look.
But besides being irresistibly cute, the puppy cut is also quite functional.
Yorkie puppy cut before and after pics
Here are a few photos of our Yorkie, Max, before and after getting a puppy cut.
From the front:
From the side:
Why we love the Yorkshire Terrier puppy cut
1. It’s easy to maintain
The puppy cut is popular for a reason. It is extremely easy to maintain. That’s why we keep our Yorkie, Max, in a puppy cut at most times.
Since cutting Max’s hair short, we’ve noticed that washing and brushing his coat is a breeze. When his hair was a bit longer—approximately 3 to 4 inches—his hair frequently tangled around his head. While a good slicker brush helped get the knots out, it’s easier to avoid the tangles altogether with a puppy cut.
Less shampoo & brushing
Also, during bathtime, I notice I use less shampoo with this cut; the shampoo I do use is easier to work into his hair; and sticks, burrs, and other trail souvenirs are easier to work out.
Post bath, brushing him is a lot easier, too. And honestly, with my busy life, Max often doesn’t get a brushing after bathtime anyway. But that’s ok because his hair seldom tangles with this cut.
>> Read more: How to Bathe a Yorkie (And How Often)
A puppy cut still looks great as it grows out. Max can easily go eight to 10 weeks (sometimes more) without a trim. This means less frequent haircuts for him and more money in my pocket. It also means your Yorkie won’t shed as much hair around the house, since it will be cut long before it dies.
This Yorkie haircut works well for active dogs like Max who have little time for primping. But, if your Yorkie pal prefers elegance in the form of top-knots and bows, this may not be the style for your little furry friend.
2. It’s more hygienic
A puppy cut makes maintaining good hygiene easier as well. The short haircut reduces matting, allowing aeration of the skin. This is especially helpful if your Yorkie is prone to skin issues.
Keeping the sanitary areas clean is easier with a puppy cut, too. Just remember to ask your groomer to trim these areas very short.
Lastly, the Yorkie puppy cut makes it easier to see and remove unwanted critters, like ticks and fleas, that lurk on your Yorkie’s skin. With a short coat, applications of flea and tick treatments should be easier as well.
3. The puppy cut is quick
The puppy cut doesn’t take long to perform since the hair is basically trimmed to one length around the entire body. This may be ideal for puppies or dogs who are uncomfortable getting their hair trimmed, like Max.
4. It’s perfect for warm weather
The puppy cut is great for warm, summer weather. The short hair allows air to cool the Yorkie’s skin while also providing enough hair to protect against UV damage from the sun.
DIY Yorkie puppy cut instructions
Max has been groomed both at the puppy salon and at home. And while a professional groomer may be quicker with the clippers, they’ll certainly be more expensive, too.
After trying it myself, I can attest that you can DIY the puppy cut—with a lot of patience and a few prayers. So, if you are feeling bold, I say, try it out! Here’s how to give a Yorkie puppy haircut like a pro.
1. Begin by trimming the body
Using a 4F blade, trim the Yorkie’s body beginning at the neck and moving down toward the tail. For an even cut, be sure to trim in the direction the coat grows naturally. Repeat until you have completed trimming the body. If you prefer longer hair, choose a lower-numbered blade.
For a simple cut, continue to use the 4F blade for the entire body except for the head and sanitary areas.
2. Trim the neck
If you prefer, change to a 5 or 5F blade to trim the neck area shorter. Trim all the way around the neck.
It’s helpful to firmly hold the Yorkie’s chin hair while trimming the neck and head areas to keep the pup still.
3. Trim the belly & bottom area
You can continue using the 5 blade here or change to a shorter blade like 7 or 7F. I prefer the shorter blade on Max as it reduces the amount of debris he picks up on our hikes.
Lifting your pal’s front paws with your forearm and holding his back up against your body will allow you to easily trim his belly.
While holding your Yorkie’s tail up and out of the way, continue using the 7 blade to trim the area around the bottom. To make this easier, wrap one arm under and around the dog while lifting his tail, securing him against your own body. For sanitary purposes, it’s important to keep this area trimmed short to keep it clean.
4. Trim the legs, feet, & tail
Most professionals use shears or thinning shears to trim the Yorkie’s legs. We are happy with the results of using clippers for the majority of the legs and trimming the hard to reach areas with thinning shears. You can use a 4 blade, or 7 blade for shorter length.
If you want to try shears, try thinning shears; they cover a multitude of sins. Use a comb and fluff the hair outward so you can easily trim the hair. Follow the natural contour of the leg.
Use regular shears to trim around feet. Making small snips may greatly reducing the possibility of injuring your pet. But if the dog is very fidgety, try using bull-nose shears, which have a blunt tip.
Brush tail hair outward and use thinning shears to trim the tail to the desired length. And while you’re here, use the thinning shears to trim right around the bum area.
5. How to trim a Yorkie’s face
Start by firmly holding onto the dog’s chin hair. Using the thinning shears, trim the hair under and between his eyes. Trim short. Continue trimming all the way down the top of his muzzle or bridge of his nose.
Trim the hair above the eyes (the visor) with the thinning shears. Leave the visor a bit longer than you trimmed the eyes.
Using regular shears, trim in a long, rounded line from the dog’s muzzle to the bottom of his ears, almost as if following a human jawline. If he’s fidgety, use thinning shears.
Leave it this way for a cleaner line. But if you prefer a blended look, use thinning shears to blend in a blunt line. It’s all about preference.
Lastly, tidy around the ears with thinning shears leaving short wispy hairs around ears.
Tips for first-timers
A few good tools can make all the difference
If you don’t have the proper tools, you won’t be able to give your Yorkie a proper haircut.
Before getting started, make sure you brush your dog’s coat thoroughly to remove any tangles that might get in the way later. You’ll need at least a good pin brush and slicker brush to achieve this. If you’re not sure what those are our guide to the best Yorkie brushes will help.
When it comes time for the actual haircut, don’t try to perform the entire cut with scissors—your pup won’t have the patience, and the end result may not be even. Instead, you’ll need a good set of dog clippers. You can view our picks for the best dog clippers for Yorkies here.
Although clippers for human use look the same as the clippers for dogs, they are different. Human clippers have teeth arranged much closer together, which is ideal for thinner human hair. Thick dog coats have the potential to get jammed into your human clippers, which could be traumatic and painful for your Yorkie and could ruin your clippers. You can learn more in our guide to dog clippers vs human clippers.
Clipper blades marked with “F” stand for fine-tooth blades. The others are skip-tooth blades and used for dogs with thick coats or matted hair. You’ll want to use “F” blades on dogs with fine, soft coats, like Yorkies. This leaves a smooth, finished look.
When choosing clippers, we recommend buying a cordless set. We have found the swinging cord to startle Max while clipping. While cordless clippers are less powerful than the corded varieties, they should work well with a Yorkie’s fine hair.
Wahl’s cordless rechargeable Pro Series is an excellent choice for long Yorkie coats.
Get your pup comfortable with the tools
If this is your Yorkie’s first haircut, or if your pup is easily scared, there are a few things you can do to help your buddy get acclimated to the sound and vibration of the clippers.
Take a minute or two and allow your dog to sniff out the tools. Then, turn on the clippers, and without actually trimming him, go over his body as you would if you were cutting the hair. Repeat with the cutting shears before you begin scissoring.
Hopefully, he will quickly acclimate to the sound and you can move on. If he doesn’t calm down, you can always bribe him with treats—or bail and take him to a professional groomer.
The cut will be easier and probably faster if you have someone holding your Yorkie still. If you don’t have anyone, consider using a grooming restraint to ensure you have control over the dog.
If you choose to take your pup to a groomer, you can give special instructions on the cut according to your preferences. They will be able to adjust things like hair length or head shaping. You may want to look at similar Yorkie haircuts like the teddy bear cut or the summer cut as well.
If you choose to do your own DIY Yorkie trim, take precautions. Make sure your pal is calm, you have the correct tools, and you have plenty of time to not be rushed and potentially hurt your furry friend. And don’t forget to praise and reward him for doing a great job!