Grooming, along with exercise, genetic defects and temperament are critical characteristics that prospective dog owners must take into consideration before buying a dog. Ignore any one of these important issues and you jeopardize your long-term relationship with your dog.
The long, silky coat of your dog requires constant care, which should begin while the dog is only two or three months of age and the coat is still underdeveloped. If you start early and introduce your puppy to grooming properly, he will learn to enjoy the handling and grooming he will need if his coat is to reach its potential. Grooming a Yorkshire Terrier depends on whether you have a pet or show quality Yorkie. Pet Yorkie's have shorter hair and need only be trimmed once every four months. Combing the hair with a steel comb prevents knots and tangles and should be done every day. When combing, pay special attention to behind the ears and under the front legs. A daily brushing and combing with a natural bristle brush keeps the coat tangle-free and helps stimulate growth. Applying a little hair conditioner on the ends of the coat after a bath prevents unnecessary knotting of the hair. An occasional application of oil, used sparingly, on a dry coat prevents breakages.
Grooming For Show
It's a good idea to introduce or socialize your dog to professional grooming at an early age, but not before your dog has reached 4 months. This will help to introduce your dog to being handled and brushed by strangers as well as reduce your anxiety level when scheduling the next professional grooming appointment.
To achieve the final perfections of the Yorkshire Terrier's full adult coat, careful preparation must first begin when a puppy is still only a few months old. The major setback experienced in coat growing is always accidental damage caused by scratching, rubbing, or the playfull pulling of other dogs.
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The principles of shampooing and conditioning the coat are similar to those used in the treatment of the pet Yorkie, but much more care is required, when the coat begins to grow, especially during rinsing and the subsequent combing through. If you have been using special veterinary products or medicated shampoos and suddenly the dog seems irritated by or allergic to them, switch to preparations(such as baby shampoo) that are mild. Whatever oil that you use to condition the dry coat, it should be placed only on the coat, and not on the skin, otherwise irritation and dandruff may result. Clogging of the comb can indicate that a finer blend of oil is necessary, ot may be more frequent shampooing.
At approximately five months of age the tying up of the Yorkshire's coat, or "crackering", can begin. Start with the triangular section of hair taken from the central point between the eyes and the base of each ear. This section of hair should be gently combed up to the top of the head and carefully wrapped in a strip of tissue paper, which is then folded towards the roots of the hair and finally with an elastic band. Great care must be taken to ensure that the Yorkie's hair is only held in place and not pulled. When it becomes necessary to wrap the entire coat, the method used is identical to the one described above. Similar sections of hair need to be wrapped until the entire coat is held in the tissue paper curlers. A fine linen or a cotton jacket placed on the dog will serve to keep the wrappers in place and also protect carpet and furnishings from the oil.
Tradition dictates that the coat is centrally parted from down the dogs' spine, from just behind the ears to the root of the tail, and is allowed to hang smoothly and straight on either side of the body. Next the topknot is gathered up to the crown of the head. Make certain that no strain is placed on the eyes or ears, which can give the dog and undesired pop-eyed expression. The topknot should be finished with a silk ribbon bow of the appropriate color.
Regular grooming can also amount to preventive medicine by alerting you to skin diseases, ticks, infected ears and just ordinary bumps or cuts that might need the attention of your veterinarian. Yorkie's are subject to excessive tartar buildup on their teeth so, it's a good idea to brush their teeth before giving them a bath. This prevents against rotting teeth and expensive vet bills for extractions. Check with your veterinarian for the proper equipment to buy.
When bathing a Yorkie, use soap and warm water and remember not to get water in the eyes. Rinse twice to remove all soap residues. Shampoo left in a coat can do more damage to the coat and skin than anything else. Place your Yorkie in a towel and apply light pressure all over his body to remove the excess moisture. You may want to use a warm hairdryer to complete the drying process. Plan on spending about 1 hour to bathe and groom your dog.
If your Yorkie's eyes run, clean them by using warm water and a moist cotton ball. You might consider applying vaseline under the eyes. Your Yorkie's ears should be checked every day to be sure they are clean and uninfected. Using QTips helps when cleaning the ears. The Yorkie's "Top Knot" helps keep its hair out of his eyes and contributes to the Yorkie's attractiveness. When gathering and securing (use a rubber band) the Top Knot, remember not to make it too tight. Finish off the Top Knot with a pretty bow and give your Yorkie a hug and kiss to let him/her know how pretty they are.
Show Yorkies require special care of their coat, and if you have decided to keep their coat long more detailed work is required and constant care of a show coat is a must in order to show your Yorkie.