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Yorkie Grooming and Top-knots

Excuse the poodle - I could not find a yorkie in the bath!!

The yorkies coat is not as hard to care for as many believe. It is important however, to not skip your weekly bath and at least twice weekly brushing. If you have a heavy coated yorkie, brushing every day would be a good idea. Sound hard? I am sure there is at least once a day your little friend will be cuddling on your lap. So start brushing then.

The Bath - Make sure you gather everything you need before you start. You never want to leave your yorkie unattended while you go searching for supplies.

Some pet owners I know say a weekly bath is to much. They claim it drys out the coat and skin. My opinion is it is necessary to bathe your yorkie when his coat is dirty. Dirt is the hardest thing on a coat. Be your own judge, but if the dog is dirty, he needs a bath!!.

One of the biggest mistakes in the shampoo process is rubbing the shampoo in circular motions, or scrubbing it into the coat. You are creating many, many tangles when you do this and will pay for it later!! Gently work the shampoo into the coat, from the body down . It is made to lift the dirt out, you don't need to scrub to get it clean. Now rinse thoroughly, and rinse again!! Any shampoo left in the coat can dry out You can use a no tears shampoo around the face and eyes, and a sponge to rinse their face, as they don't care for water being sprayed in their face.

Follow the shampoo with a light conditioner. A light conditioner will leave less buildup in your pups coat. The residue from a heavy conditioner will only collect more dirt, and cause more tangles. Leave the conditioner in a couple of minutes and rinse again. You may want to rinse lightly this time, if your pup is extremely dry. At this time you can use oil. Dilute the oil as directed, and pour over the coat. Oil can help keep flyaways down, and help prevent tangles til the next brushing. The recommended oil is Summerwinds Protect-A-Coat and it can be ordered at (619) 445-4800

Before you are done at the sink, trim the ears. The tips should not have any hair on them. For now just scissor the outline on the top third of the ear. It is easier to see the outline of the ear when the hair is wet, making it less likely that you will cut the ear itself. We'll get back to finishing this later.

Now hold your yorkie wrapped in a towel for a few minutes. Don't rub the coat dry! (you will create a mass of tangles again if you do!) You may want to blow dry, but only do so partially. When the coat is damp, you will want to do the brushing. Brushing damp prevents breakage of hair. One added tip for drying...Set your hairdryer up in a coffee can directed at your yorkie, so that you can brush, hold, and dry with only two hands! :)

Brushing the hair in sections will make your job easier. Start at the ends of the hair and work your way up to the base, next to the skin. Work out the matts as you go. Treat them with care, don't just yank through. Pick as much apart with your fingers as you can, or a small comb. The biggest hint on brushing, is never brush the coat dry. Mist it lightly with a detangling spray or "Miracle Coat". You can also make your own brushing spray by mixing a 1-3 teaspoons of conditioner to a 16 ounce spray bottle of water.

Now you are almost done. You will need to shear the front and back of the dogs ears one third of the way down from the tips. A mans beard and mustache trimmer works GREAT for this. I use the Braun brand. If you can, shear in a V shape, with the point being at the bottom. You should also shear or clip the hair from the anal area to prevent poop balls, or impactions. If you choose you may clip the hair from between the toes and round the hair around the feet, following the outline of the paw.

This is also a good time to trim the nails. Don't be afraid, as this really needs done. Keep some Quick-stop on hand just in case you get a little close and they bleed. You may also choose to brush your little guys teeth at bathing time. Yorkies are prone to tarter buildup which causes serious decay and possible bacterial infections if not removed This can really cut down on vet bills to have them cleaned when the tarter builds up. Brushes and paste are available from your vet supply. Visit this great site on Dental information Dog Beach Dentisty

Now the fun part!! (I think,) Putting in your "Yorkie Bow." You can purchase yorkie bands at your pet supplier, or use the kind of bands dentist use for braces.

You must first find the proper place to put the topknot. You want it to be on the very top most part of the head, when the dog is walking, usually it's a little to the front side of the ears.

Using a comb with a metal tail, or a knitting needle with the pups face towards you take the knitting needle and make a part from the corner of each eye back to the center of the head. Hold up the hair and brush the sides down. Next put the rubber band in a smidgen back from where you want your bow to go. I usually twist the band three times. Add your ribbon or bow and you're done.

The last note is "Don't lose patience!!" If you do, they don't need topknots to be beautiful!! And if bathing and grooming the coat is to much for you, then I would recommend a puppy cut from your groomer. The important thing is a happy, healthy dog!!

Shampoos and grooming products you may want to look for are:

Miracle Coat
Pet Silk
Many of these products are concentrated, so they last a long time. However, if these products are more than you want to spend, I would suggest a no tears formula baby shampoo and Aussie Slip for the conditioner, detangler.

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