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Yorkshire Terrier Hairstyles

Most photos of Yorkshire Terriers show dogs with the long hair and top knot required for conformation shows. But when it comes to Yorkshire Terrier hairstyles, you have a couple of choices. In fact, as long as you're not participating in conformation shows, any clean, brushed Yorkie is a cutie. The two most popular hairstyles are the long coat and the puppy cut.

The long coat

The long coat is the style you typically see in breed books and on many Yorkie Web sites. It's also the standard style at dog shows. The long flowing hairstyle is a hallmark of the breed. Its color, texture, and length are outlined in the breed standard — as is the preferred coiffure (the single or double top knot).

Many people can't imagine a Yorkie without its bows.
Many people can't imagine a Yorkie without its bows.

If you want to keep your Yorkie's coat long, keep these points in mind:

  • Achieving the long, silky coat takes dedication and care. Your Yorkie requires daily brushing, weekly shampooing and conditioning, and regular trimming.

    If you plan to show your Yorkie, you'll need to keep your Yorkie's coat in show wraps (that is, winding the ends around folded papers and securing them with a band) 24/7. If you aren't going to be showing, you can skip this step.

  • The top knot and bow are musts. You can choose between a single bow in the middle or two bows on either side of a straight part, but the bow itself is required.

Some Yorkies have a coat that is soft instead of silky. Unfortunately, soft hair is easily matted, is more difficult to keep clean, and breaks more easily. The sheer work of grooming a soft coat to the breed standard probably isn't worth the trouble. You may have to resign yourself to a shorter cut.

The short coat (puppy cut)

The alternative to a long coat is obviously a short coat — also called the puppy cut. Look at a Yorkie puppy, and you get a pretty good idea what that style is. Essentially for a puppy cut, you (or a professional groomer) trim the coat into short layers all over the body and around the face.

Some Yorkies sport a puppy cut, which resembles a puppy's easy-to-maintain coat.
Some Yorkies sport a puppy cut, which resembles a puppy's easy-to-maintain coat.

Other short-style options include the modified Schnauzer cut and the modified Westie cut.

If you opt for a shorter style, keep these points in mind:

  • Shorter cuts mean less time grooming. If you love everything about Yorkies except for the grooming chores, go with a shorter cut.

  • You'll probably need a professional groomer to achieve the look you want. If you can stand having your Yorkie looking a little (or a lot) rough around the edges until your skill improves, you can learn to do it yourself.

  • A short cut doesn't get you entirely off the grooming hook. You'll still need to give her a quick brush every day or every other day, a bath about every week, and a trip to the groomer once every month or two.

Bear in mind that although easier to care for, you'll lose a lot of the traditional Yorkie appearance. Short cuts cut the blue part of the coat right off.

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