How to Groom a Yorkie Puppy

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A B C D E  A B  C E

Small, fluffy, and playful, Yorkie puppies might just be one of the cutest things in the whole world. If you’ve recently brought home one of these adorable furballs, you probably feel like you’re in heaven, but you might also be wondering how exactly you’re supposed to groom your new furry friend. Yorkies have long silky coats that require special care, but don’t worry. Grooming a Yorkie puppy isn’t complicated, and the fact that you’re introducing your Yorkie to grooming at a young age will make things way easier. With regular brushing, bathing, trims, and lots of love (and treats), your Yorkie puppy will look and feel its best.

Method
1
Getting Your Puppy Ready
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1
Start grooming your Yorkie puppy at a young age. Once your furry friend has left its mother and is settled into its new home, you can start grooming it. Getting your puppy used to grooming at a young age, like 12 weeks, will make the entire process much easier than if you were to wait until your puppy is older.[1] The earlier your puppy gets used to being handled and groomed, the more comfortable it will be with grooming when it grows up.[2]
If your puppy is already older, don’t worry! It’s not too late to get it used to grooming. It might just take more effort.
The exception to this is haircuts. Your puppy won’t really need a trim until its fur is long enough to require one, which could take several months or even a year.[3]
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2
Prepare your puppy for being handled in advance.[4] Dogs don’t always love being handled, and the grooming process involves a lot of handling. Fortunately, there are things you can do to your puppy at a young age to get it more comfortable with being touched, like holding it under its chin and touching its face and paws regularly. Give it treats and lots of praise when you do these things so it learns that being handled isn’t scary and is actually a good thing![5]
You can also practice getting your puppy’s paws wet so it’s not as shocked come bath time.
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3
Have lots of treats on hand to make the grooming experience more positive. If your puppy associates grooming with treats and love, it will be much more cooperative.[6] Get some delicious, healthy dog treats and keep them close whenever you’re grooming your Yorkie puppy. Give your puppy lots of treats and praise throughout the process.[7]
It’s especially important to reward your puppy with treats when it’s being well-behaved to reinforce its good behavior.
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4
Don’t do a full groom the first time. You don’t want to overwhelm your puppy by giving it a full haircut or bath the first time you groom it. Instead of doing a full haircut, maybe the first time you just turn on the clippers and let your puppy get used to the sound while giving it treats. For its first bath, you might just run some water in the tub and get your puppy’s paws wet. Take it slow so your puppy has time to adjust.[8]
Make this first grooming session as fun as possible with lots of treats, praise, and cuddles.
Method
2
Brushing Your Puppy
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1
Brush your Yorkie puppy every other day to avoid mats. Yorkies have long, silky fur, so it’s especially important that you keep your puppy’s fur brushed so mats don’t form. Plus, regularly brushing your Yorkie at a young age will help it get more comfortable with being handled, which will make grooming in general much easier.[9]
The longer your Yorkie’s fur, the more frequently you should brush it. If you keep your puppy’s fur long, you may want to brush it every day.
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2
Use a high-quality slicker brush. A slicker brush is a type of dog grooming brush that’s effective at removing mats and loose hair. It’s great for silky-fur breeds like Yorkies. Just make sure you’re using a high-quality brush so you don’t end up hurting your puppy when you brush it. A high-quality brush will have rubber or plastic tips on the ends of the bristles, and it won’t hurt or scratch if you run it against your arm.[10]
You can find slicker brushes online or at your local pet store.
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3
Brush in the direction the fur grows in all around your Yorkie’s body. Starting at the top of your puppy’s back, gently brush its fur down to smooth out any tangles. Follow the natural direction its fur grows in.[11] Brush your puppy’s back, legs, and tail. Gently lift each leg and brush the inside of the leg and the armpit area. Lift your puppy’s tail and carefully brush the fur around its rear end. You should also brush the fur on its neck, chest, and head.[12]
Be extra careful when you’re brushing the fur around your puppy’s face and ears. Brush gently and protect your puppy’s eyes and ears with your hands.
Hold your puppy’s chin up with one hand so it’s easier to brush the fur along its neck and chest.
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4
Check your puppy for skin and coat problems as you’re brushing it. Keep an eye out for fleas, flea dirt, ticks, or anything crawling around in your puppy’s fur. Puppies are also susceptible to skin irritation like bumps and sores. Checking for issues whenever you brush your Yorkie will help you catch problems early.[13]
If you notice any skin or coat problems, take your puppy to a vet so the vet can diagnose them and recommend the best treatment.
Method
3
Bathing Your Puppy
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1
Use just warm water and a rag if your puppy is under 3 months old. At that age, your puppy doesn’t need shampoo or conditioner. Just wet a clean rag with warm, not hot, water, and gently wipe down your puppy with it to clean it.[14]
Make sure you wipe all over, including your puppy’s paws, armpits, belly, and rear end.
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2
Start using dog shampoo and conditioner when your Yorkie is over 3 months old. Once your puppy is over 3 months old, it’s ready for a real bath.[15] You’ll need shampoo and conditioner made specifically for dogs since human shampoo can be irritating.[16]
Look for a plant-based shampoo that’s pH balanced and free of chemical additives since it will be the most gentle on your puppy.[17]
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3
Fill a sink or tub with a little lukewarm water. There only needs to be enough water for your puppy’s paws to be submerged.[18] Avoid cold or hot water since it will make your puppy uncomfortable.
Try placing a floating toy in the water to keep your puppy distracted during bath time.
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4
Place your puppy in the water. Give it a moment to adjust to the feeling of the water on its paws. Now is a great time to give your puppy treats and praise.
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5
Shampoo your puppy’s fur very gently. Use a soft stream of lukewarm water to wet your puppy. Then, work a tiny dollop of dog shampoo into its fur, moving your hands in the direction its fur grows in. Be careful not to scrub here—puppies are very sensitive and you don’t want to hurt your furry friend. Once you’ve cleaned your whole puppy’s body, use a gentle stream of water to thoroughly rinse out the shampoo until there are no more suds.[19]
Be extra careful that you don’t get any shampoo in your puppy’s eyes, nose, or ears. Use only a little shampoo when cleaning your puppy’s face, and gently pinch the base of its ears closed when you’re washing its face so shampoo doesn’t get inside.
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6
Apply conditioner just like you did with the shampoo. Gently work the conditioner into your puppy’s fur, moving your hands in the direction the fur grows in. Use minimal conditioner around the face and ears. Then, thoroughly rinse out the conditioner with a soft stream of lukewarm water. Keep rinsing until you’re sure that any stubborn conditioner residue is gone.[20]
Shampoo strips the moisture out of fur. Conditioner helps restore that moisture and keep your puppy’s skin from drying out.
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7
Use a blow dryer to dry your puppy’s fur. Use a small blow dryer set to the lowest setting. Blow dry your puppy’s fur in the direction the fur grows in until it’s fully dry.[21]
If your puppy is afraid of the sound the blow dryer makes, you can practice turning the blow dryer on without using it on your puppy’s fur. Give your puppy treats and praise to help it feel more comfortable.
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8
Bathe your puppy once a month. All puppies should be bathed monthly to keep their fur clean and healthy. Bathing your puppy on a regular schedule will help it get used to the process and make things easier for both of you. Consistency is key.[22]
Choose a specific day to bathe your puppy every month so it’s easier to remember. For example, maybe you’ll bathe your puppy on the first day of every month.
Method
4
Trimming Your Puppy’s Fur
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1
Get electric dog grooming clippers and a couple of clipper guards. Clipper guards, or the attachments that go on the clippers to change the length of the cut, come in different lengths. The right clipper guards will depend on how short or long you want your puppy’s cut to be. A 5 guard and a 4 guard are good lengths for a Yorkie cut. A 5 guard will leave about 1⁄4 inch (0.64 cm) of fur behind, and a 4 guard will leave about 3⁄8 inch (0.95 cm) of fur behind. You can always go shorter or longer depending on your preference though![23]
The higher the number on a clipper guard, the shorter the cut will be.
You can find a variety of great electric dog grooming clippers and clipper guards at your local pet store or online.
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2
Use the clippers and the shorter guard to trim your puppy’s back and sides. Plug in the clippers, attach the shorter guard, and turn the clippers on. Run the clippers down your puppy’s back and the sides of its body, following the direction its fur grows in. Go over the back and sides a few times so everything is even.[24]
Remember to give your puppy treats and lots of praise!
You might need to ask for someone’s help with holding your puppy if it’s moving around a lot while you clip it.
If your puppy is moving around a lot or seems scared, try this: turn the clippers on and run the back of the clippers, not the blade, against your puppy’s fur for a few minutes to help it get used to the sound and vibration. Once your puppy settles down, you can try clipping its fur for real again.
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3
Switch to the longer guard and clip around your puppy’s neck. Get the back of its neck, the sides, and down its chin and chest. Run the clipper downward in the direction of the fur growth.[25]
Hold your puppy underneath its chin to stop it from moving while you do this.
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4
Clip the fur along your puppy’s belly. Gently hold your puppy so it’s standing on its hind legs and its belly is exposed. Using the same guard as you used for the neck, run the clippers down your puppy’s belly to trim the fur there.[26]
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5
Clip the fur around your puppy’s rear end. First, reach your hand underneath your puppy’s belly and out between its hind legs. Gently grab your puppy’s tail and hold it off to the side so it’s not in the way. Then, run the clippers downward along the fur around your puppy’s rear end to trim it.[27]
If your puppy won’t sit still, ask someone to hold it while you do this part so it’s easier.
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6
Use thinning shears to trim the fur on your puppy’s legs. Thinning shears do exactly what you’d think—thin your puppy’s fur. Working on one leg at a time, use the shears to trim any long, unruly hairs that stick out further than the rest. Then, use a comb to gently brush against the direction of the fur to fluff it up, and trim the fur a bit more with the shears. Carefully trim any long hairs that extend beyond your puppy’s paws. Repeat on your puppy’s other legs.[28]
If your puppy won’t sit still, definitely ask someone to help you hold it for this part. You don’t want to accidentally nip your puppy with the shears.
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7
Tidy up the chest and chin area with the thinning shears. Hold your puppy by the tip of its chin so it stays still. Then, use the shears to trim any long, unruly hairs coming off of your puppy’s chest and chin area. Keep trimming until the fur looks even and blended.[29]
Your puppy might not like having its chin held, so don’t forget to give it lots of praise here and remind it of how good of a job it’s doing!
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8
Trim your puppy’s tail using the thinning shears. Fluff up the fur on your puppy’s tail with a comb by gently combing against the direction it grows in. Then, use the thinning shears to trim any long hairs. Trim the long hairs that extend off the tip of your puppy’s tail as well. [30]
If your puppy doesn’t like having its tail touched, ask someone to hold the front of your puppy’s body while you work on the tail.
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9
Trim the fur around your puppy’s eyes with the thinning shears. Hold your puppy by the chin, then carefully use the thinning shears to trim any long hairs under your puppy’s eyes and at the inner corners. Brush the fur above your puppy’s eyes down and trim it shorter if it’s covering your puppy’s eyes. Be super careful here and make sure your puppy isn’t moving around as you do this.[31]
If your puppy won’t sit still for this part, it’s safer to wait and have a professional groomer take care of the face. You can also try again another time after you’ve practiced holding and touching your puppy’s face more.
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10
Comb and trim the fur on the sides of your puppy’s head with straight shears. Straight shears will give you a more precise cut. Comb the fur straight down on one side of your puppy’s face, then use the straight shears to carefully trim the ends of the fur, creating a curve from your puppy’s chin to the base of its ear. Then go back in with the thinning shears to blend the cut. Repeat on the other side.[32]
If your puppy is moving around a lot, you can always just use thinning shears for this part since they’re safer.
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11
Clean up around the ears with the thinning shears. Gently hold up your puppy’s ear and carefully trim any long, unruly hairs that extend past it. Follow along with the natural shape of your puppy’s ear as you go. Use the shears to trim back any long hairs that stick outside of the inner part of the ear as well. Once you’ve worked your way around one ear, repeat on the other ear.[33]
It might help to have someone hold your puppy’s chin while you do this part.
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12
Give your Yorkie a haircut every 6-8 weeks for a shorter style. Cutting your Yorkie’s fur regularly will keep it looking neat and tidy. Don’t worry if you go longer than this between cuts though. It won’t hurt your puppy! Your Yorkie’s fur will just continue to grow into a longer style, which some Yorkie owners prefer.[34]
Method
5
Clipping Your Puppy’s Nails
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1
Get nail clippers made specifically for dogs. Human nail clippers or even nail clippers made for cats won’t work for your puppy. Dog nail clippers are made to match the shape of a dog’s nails, and they’re much safer for use on dogs.[35]
You can find dog nail clippers at any pet store or order some online.
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2
Clip just the tips of your puppy’s nails the first time. Clipping a puppy’s nails can be a little stressful, especially if it’s your first time. You don’t want to accidentally cut too much off and hurt your pup. That’s why it’s usually a good idea to start slow. By just clipping the tips of your puppy’s nails during your first nail-clipping session, you won’t have to worry about hurting your puppy, and your puppy will have time to get used to its paws being handled.[36]
To make things even easier, ask someone to help you hold your puppy the first few times you clip its nails.
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3
Hold your puppy’s paw and firmly grip one toe between your index finger and thumb. You’ll be working on one paw at a time, one toe at a time. If your puppy wiggles around or tries to run away, wait patiently for it to settle down. Then, reward it with a treat and lots of praise.[37]
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4
Clip your puppy’s nail with the clippers. The most important thing to remember when clipping your puppy’s nail is to never cut into the vein in the nail, called the “quick.” The quick has nerve endings and blood in it. If your puppy has white or transparent nails, you can easily see the quick—it’s the pink part of the nail that extends out of the toe. In that case, just make sure you’re clipping below, and not into, the quick. If your puppy has dark nails, you won’t be able to see the quick. Just clip the very tips of your puppy’s nails so you don’t risk cutting into the quick.[38]
If you do accidentally cut into the quick, don’t panic. Apply styptic powder or alum to stop the bleeding. This isn’t an emergency, but you want to treat your puppy’s nail so it doesn’t get infected. If the bleeding continues for several minutes, call a vet.[39]
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5
Repeat the process on the rest of your puppy’s nails. Once you finish one nail, clip the next nail. After you’ve clipped all of the nails on one of your puppy’s paws, do another paw. Once you’ve clipped all of your puppy’s nails, you’re finished!
Give your puppy lots of treats and praise throughout this process to make it more enjoyable.
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6
Clip your puppy’s nails once a week. Clipping your puppy’s nails routinely will keep them from getting too long. Overgrown nails can put stress on your puppy’s ankles and make it harder for it to walk.[40]
The more often you clip your puppy’s nails, the easier it will get. Don’t get discouraged if it’s hard at first—treats, praise, and consistency will help! If you’re not comfortable clipping your puppy’s nails on your own, you can always bring it to a professional groomer.

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A B C D E  A B  C E

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