Want to learn how to brush a Yorkie, but struggling with a dog who hates brushing?
Yorkies can be stubborn dogs, and if they decide they don’t like brushing, they can make grooming difficult for their owners! But if you are having difficulty brushing your Yorkie, it doesn’t mean that grooming time needs to be a headache forever.
It’s not time to throw in the towel just yet–here are 7 tips for how to brush a Yorkie, even if he hates being brushed!
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1. Don’t even try to brush out matted fur
If your Yorkshire Terrier has mats in his fur, don’t even try to brush them out. Mats are incredibly painful for Yorkies, who have sensitive, delicate skin. It’s much better to cut out the mat, even if it means taking a chunk out of your Yorkie’s fur, than to try to yank your way through it. When your Yorkie’s fur mats, it actually becomes felted. You can’t brush out mats like you can tangles; you nee to cut them out.
Remember while you’re learning how to brush a Yorkie to put yourself in your dog’s shoes. This can be painful for him if you haven’t carefully maintained his coat in the past, so don’t yank through tangles!
2. Have special “grooming treats”
Even if your dog doesn’t enjoy brushing, though, you can turn it into an enjoyable exercise. Treats can be a huge help with training your Yorkie to not be afraid of brushing. Wondering how to brush a Yorkie using treats? First of all, use small, easy-to-eat treats like Fruitables that your dog won’t have to run away and gnaw on to enjoy. You want easy, small, quick treats to reward your dog for sitting still, or cooperating.
You can also make your Yorkie look forward to brushing by making Yorkshire Terrier grooming into a game. Start by brushing him and saying, “Brush” and then giving him a treat. Increase the number of times you say “brush” between treats, like duck, duck, goose.
Your dog will learn that brushing is a good thing that leads to treats and his attitude will begin to improve.
3. Start them early, or with a clean slate
If you adopted your Yorkshire Terrier as a puppy, you have a wonderful opportunity to start yorkshire terrier grooming early in her life. Start early, start slow, and teach her that brushing isn’t something to be afraid of, and is actually something to look forward to as some good quality bonding time with mom or dad!
If, however, you are like the majority of Yorkie owners and either (a) didn’t start brushing early and now your Yorkie is older and hates brushing, or (b) adopted an adult Yorkie who wasn’t used to brushing.
My husband and I fall into the latter category. We adopted our Yorkie, Winston, when he was 7 1/2 years old. Winston came from a family who loved him, but didn’t have the time to take care of him. As a result, when we brought him home he was completely matted.
After trying to tease out some of the mats to see if we could restore his coat, it became clear that (a) I did not know how to brush a Yorkie well enough to try saving his fur and (b) he was terrified of brushing since his previous owners did not brush him ever.
So we took him to the groomers and got him shaved.
After we shaved Winston, we started brushing him every day, even though there wasn’t much fur to brush. We did this to train him that brushing doesn’t have to hurt. As a result, brushing became less frightening.
Even if you want to save your dog’s coat, it’s often better to start with a clean slate. Allow him to learn to enjoy brushing when it’s easy and painless, and then when you need to work through some tangles later he’ll be much calmer.
4. Train them not to be afraid of your brush
Figuring out how to brush a Yorkie who is scared of the brush can be difficult. Many dogs will cower or curl up into a ball and not allow you to come near them with a brush or comb in hand. Yorkshire Terrier grooming revolves around brushing, though, so training your Yorkie to lose that fear can be a huge help.
Start by engaging in everyday activities while holding a brush or comb. Feed your dog, cuddle with your Yorkie, or go for a walk while holding the brush. Teach your Yorkshire Terrier that the brush isn’t scary by bringing the brush along on his favorite activities.
You can also teach him not to fear the brush by using treats, like earlier. Reward him for increasingly difficult tasks regarding the brush. First, he gets a reward just for looking at the brush. Then for having the back end of the brush touching him. Then for having the back end of the brush touching him and him not showing any defensive movements. Eventually give him rewards for allowing you to do one brush sweep across his back without flinching, turning away, or defending himself in any way.
Teaching your Yorkshire Terrier that she doesn’t need to be afraid of the brush will make it easier to teach her to be cooperative with brushing later.
5. Invest in high-quality tools
Not all dog brushes are equal. Yorkies have very sensitive and delicate skin, so make sure you have a brush that won’t scratch or pull on your dog’s skin too hard. Finding a cushioned brush with massaging particles on the end to ensure that they are gentle on your Yorkie’s skin can make Yorkshire Terrier grooming 10 times easier.
We love this curved slicker brush:
As well, when it comes to how to brush a yorkie’s face, a brush just doesn’t cut it. But flea combs do the trick! Flea combs make navigating the tricky areas on your Yorkie’s face much easier. We recommend these combs (you get 4 of them for less than $6):
6. Brush your Yorkie often
Brushing should be a part of your Yorkshire Terrier grooming routine. It doesn’t need to take long if you are brushing your Yorkie frequently, but you should be brushing your Yorkie once every two days at least, and if he has a long coat then once a day.
If you are brushing your Yorkie once a day or once every other day, then brushing doesn’t take long at all. But taking 10 minutes or so while you’re watching Netflix to brush your dog can improve his quality of life by ensuring that his coat won’t cause him pain by matting.
7. Keep his hair short
Finally, if you have a Yorkie who hates brushing, or you just don’t know how to brush a Yorkie and don’t feel ready to learn, or you simply don’t have the time or inclination to put in the work that is required for a healthy Yorkshire Terrier coat, keep your dog’s hair clipped short. Go to your groomer and ask them to give your Yorkie a puppy cut, and bring them back whenever the hair gets long enough to mat.
Learning how to brush a Yorkie is vital if you want your Yorkshire Terrier to sport a long, luscious coat. But if you aren’t interested in the long-haired Yorkie look, keeping your pup’s hair short can be an easy solution that keeps your dog happy, healthy, and looking sharp.
What are some of your best yorkshire terrier grooming tips? What do you wish someone told you about how to brush a yorkie? Let me know in the comments below!
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