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How to Get the Traditional Yorkshire Terrier Look

When most people think of a Yorkshire Terrier, they picture the traditional Yorkie long hair style. This long flowing hairstyle is a hallmark of the breed and is required for conformation shows. However, it takes a bit of work to get the traditional Yorkshire Terrier look.

A Yorkie's show-quality coat is beautiful, but time-consuming to achieve.
A Yorkie's show-quality coat is beautiful, but time-consuming to achieve.

To get your Yorkie's sporting a show coat, you need to be prepared to put in some extra time and effort regularly perform the following tasks.

Brushing the coat

Plan to spend time every day brushing out your dog's coat. Mats and tangles can cause the beautiful long hair to break.

If you use show wraps, you won't have to brush every day. Save it for when you take out the wraps before a bath.

  1. First spray the coat lightly with a mixture of water and conditioner.

  2. Use a pin brush and work out any tangles (move from the ends toward the skin).

    Sectioning the hair makes it easier to control while brushing.

  3. For stubborn knots, use your fingers combined with the comb to pull the hairs apart.

  4. Finish by running a fine-toothed comb through the hair.

    If you come across a particularly stubborn knot, you'll probably have to cut it out with scissors.

    Sectioning the hair makes it easier to control while brushing.
    Sectioning the hair makes it easier to control while brushing.

Blow drying your Yorkie

Although you don't have to blow dry your Yorkie's coat, it is the easiest way to create the sleek, smooth look you want.

  1. First towel dry the coat and brush it to remove any snarls.

  2. Set the dryer to medium. Begin drying the back and then move towards the head.

    If you can comb the hairs while drying, it will dry faster.

  3. When you get to the head, turn the dryer to low.

  4. Switch back to medium and tackle the hair under the tail and on the chest.

  5. Finally, dry the upper part of her inner thighs and her "arm pits."

  6. When your finish brush again with a fine-toothed comb.

Adding the bow

A little bow-ribbon is one of the immediately identifiable features of the Yorkshire Terrier breed. Sure it's cute, but the bow actually serves a practical purpose: to keep all that hair out of your dog's eyes. Putting in the bow isn't difficult, but it does take practice.

You'll need a comb, three small latex bands, and a bow, all of which you can get from a pet-supply store.

  1. Using the comb, part the hair across the top of the skull, from ear to ear.

    To put in two bows, create a center part and work one side at a time.

  2. Part the hair from the outer corner of each eye up to just above the ear.

  3. Put the first latex band on the hair and work it to the center, between the ears.

    Don't use rubber bands, which tear and pull at the hair. Use the latex bands sold in the beauty department at drug stores or pet stores. Also, don't pull the hair very tight when securing the band — this can damage the skin and lead to (sometimes permanent) hair loss.

  4. Pull a couple of strands of hair loose (but not out) to create a little poof over your dog's brow and put the second latex band in about an inch above the first one in the same section of hair.

    Although some people forgo the second band, the second band makes creating a nice little top knot that much easier.

  5. Fold the hair so that the second band is behind the first band forming a top knot. Secure the top knot with the third band.

  6. Finish with your bow.

    Practice until you get the look you want. Before you know it, you'll be banding with the best of them.

    A Yorkshire Terrier's bow is both pretty and functional.
    A Yorkshire Terrier's bow is both pretty and functional.

If you have a puppy or a Yorkie with a short cut, you may still be able to put a bow in. If the hair is too short to create a top knot, just let the hair stay loose above the band and add the bow.

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