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Yorkie Hair Cuts

Different Grooming Styles

When someone has a Yorkshire Terrier, they may think that they only have two options when it comes to haircuts....The long show dog style or the puppy cut.

However, with clean, healthy hair there are actually many different grooming styles of various lengths and styles that an owner may wish to try out.

When you don't shave the coat short, you can experiment a lot...And if you have shaved close, the coat will grow relatively quickly, thus allowing you to try out different styles soon after.

Many choose a style based on the home environment and the normal day to day activities of the family....For example, longer styles will need more grooming.
They will also need more upkeep with trimming done more often. This is a good choice if you want the hobby of grooming your dog, which some people find to be rather fun; and of course, it's needed for show. Though it's time consuming, no one can argue how beautiful the dog looks in a longer cut. With this said, it really is an option for those who have consistent, long-term time to put into it.

For those with active dogs that play outside a lot or for owners who do not have the time to devote to longer styles, a shorter Yorkie haircut may be in order. Close puppy cuts options will not develop as many tangles...and the dog will stay cleaner, in general.  

Shaping via layering is one of the most popular hair style choices for this breed. And the nice thing about trimming the coat is that it really makes the Yorkie look neat and tidy. 

While it doesn't last long without touch-ups, its one of the best ways to show that you put time and effort into your dog's 'style'. While shorter coats are easier to brush, comb and keep mat-free, shaping the coat with layered streamlining is also one of the most effective ways to give your Yorkie a pleasing 'put together' appearance. 

One of the great things about this breed is that different styles are basically endless....You can begin with the base of an idea and then add you own personal touches, to create a truly unique look. Since the coat can grow rather long and it is safe to shave any area of the body short (just so long as skin is not showing), you may choose any area(s) to clip or grow out, which gives you unlimited styles. So, let's take a look at your top choices!  
Yorkshire Terrier Flared Hair Cut
This is the Flared Cut and as you can see, is super cute. The body is shaved short, yet the hairs from the hocks down is left long and allowed to flare out. The forehead hairs are allowed to stay long, flopping over & around the ears with a nice clean angle. Photo of Emma (2 years old), courtesy of Karen Lipp
West hair cut Yorkshire Terrier
This is called the Westie Cut...and it is a great look for the active dog and the owner who still wants their Yorkie to have a lot of style. For this one, the whole body is trimmed to fall approximately 1 inch from the floor. Starting at the base of the ears and down the entire side of the face, hairs are rounded out.  Side sections curve inward and almost meet under the chin. Forehead hairs can either be put back into a topknot or shaved short to keep the eyes clear. 

As with other Yorkie haircut styles, this one also has different one can decide to go a bit shorter or a bit longer on the body. A good leave in conditioner and a good shine spray completes this look.
Yorkshire Terrier hair style squared puppy cut
This is the Squared Puppy Cut. It is an advanced take on the basic Puppy Cut. When trimmed this way, the main coat is shaved, however the facial hairs are neatly trimmed to create a square bob...Forehead hairs are left approximately 1 inch long...And with a touch of gel, they will stand erect, finishing the cube shape.

There are different versions of this haircut...As one may opt for longer facial hairs in order to keep a topknot...or even rounded pompoms on the ankles..It is all up to the owner.

With this style, chances of tangles are zero, the face is neat and tidy and since it allows the skin to breath, it's good for summer months.
Yorkshire Terrier stacked hair cut
This is one of our favorites and one of the most interesting Yorkie haircut styles. This is the 3 Layer (also known as the 3 Stack).  The entire head is trimmed to 1 length - approximately 1 and 1/2 inch passed the shoulder. As you can see, this is squared off so that it clearly shows and one can easily differentiate between the stacking that is done. 

The 2nd layer will be the back hairs, which are trimmed to fall just about 1 and 1/2 inches above the floor. The last and 3rd layer will be comprised of all 4 legs which are trimmed to floor length. With this Yorkshire Terrier, the coat has grown out for about 1 month since the grooming...however, as you can see, he still looks terrific and well-groomed.
Yorkie before haircut
Yorkie after haircut
Tilly, 1 year old. Before & after a nice haircut. Photo courtesy of owner: Stephanie Thorley

Helpful Tips

If you are thinking about changing your Yorkie's hair cut, unless you have a LOT of experience in grooming and cutting, it is highly recommended to have a professional dog groomer do this. It is always best to shop around first. You have ever right to have a short interview with the groomer before any decisions are made.
It will be helpful to ask him or her if they have any experience if giving Yorkshire Terriers the haircut that you have chosen...If they have not, try to judge their confidence in being able to do so. 

While they may not have given the cut to a Yorkie, they may have done so to a different breed, so it can be helpful to ask about that if they do not offer the information....and certainly ask to see pictures.

Speaking of pictures, it is always highly recommended to bring in a photo of the desired cut...As much as you can explain it to the groomer, a photo speaks a 1000 words...and it will make this a much easier job for him or her if they have a clear photo to go by.  

Another thing to remember is to always get a style for your dog not only based on what looks beautiful but also based on what you can afford to maintain...and how much time you have to properly groom if it is to have pieces of longer hair that will need to be brushed out to avoid mats and tangles. 

Keep in mind that squared off or layered styles will need more upkeep with more touch-up trims...while simply Puppy Cuts can be left to grow out for quite a while and will still look nice as long as proper combings are done to keep it tangle free and baths are given.
Yorkie with shaved coat
Close Shaved Coat - This little cutie pie has a very closely shaved coat, just about as short as you can get on the main body. Hair is left a bit longer on the legs and the face, in which we see the 'squared puppy cut' featuring nicely trimmed hairs that fall into place on the cheeks.

Tabitha, at 3 years old, Photo courtesy of Tiffany & Ty Howard

Age of the First Haircut

We have received several emails asking us at what age a Yorkie should be for his or her very first hair cut. We recommend waiting until the adult coat has grown in. When this breed is very young, it will hold a puppy coat, which is composed of finer, thinner hairs. The changeover to adult coat happens gradually, owner may not notice until one day they suddenly notice that the dog has a thicker coat.  

Little trimmings here and there to "touch up" the appearance of the Yorkie are just fine when the pup is young. However, an all-over body cut to such thin, fine hair may leave sparse patches. Furthermore a short cut on such texture will not produce a fluffy, full look as the hairs will be much too fine to do anything other than lie down.

Over the course of the puppy months, the coat is going to grow in thicker and the Yorkie will eventually have a nice, full coat of hairs, thicker and with more follicles per square inch than when younger. The age that this process is complete does vary, however waiting until the Yorkie has reached the one year mark is a good way to play it safe...And if the dog does not need a whole body trim yet, wait until he or she does. 
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