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Yorkshire Terrier - Appearance & Grooming

Source: PetWave, Updated on May 26, 2016
Yorkshire Terrier


Yorkshire Terriers are small, long-haired toy terriers with compact and well-proportioned bodies. The coat is long and silky and should be steel blue and gold. All puppies are born black with tan points, and mature into their adult coats after one year. The hair is parted down the dog's back and grows to the flow. The head is flat with a medium-length muzzle. The bright eyes are dark with dark rims, and the button nose is black. The ears are small, triangular and erect. The tail of the Yorkshire Terrier is customarily docked to half the original length.

Size and Weight

The average height for a Yorkshire Terrier is 7.5 inches at the shoulder, and they should not weigh more than 7 pounds.

Coat and Color

Their coat is their distinguishing feature and must be fine, silky, perfectly straight and have a high gloss. The hair on the face is very long; the topknot between the ears typically is tied with one bow in the center or parted in the middle and tied with two bows, while the long hair on the muzzle is kept natural. Coat color is of prime importance in adult Yorkies. The body (from the back of the neck to the root of the tail) must be a dark steel-blue, not a silver-blue and not mingled with bronze, fawn or black hairs. The tail typically is a darker shade of the same color. The head, chest and lower half of the legs must be a rich golden tan, with individual hairs being darker at the roots, shading to lighter, brighter color at the tips.

Puppies are born with a black coat, and as they mature, it changes to blue and tan. Individuals who lighten before they are a year old are usually gray at maturity, rather than blue. The blue hair runs from the back of the head to the tail tip. The head is gold, as is the headfall. The hair at the base of the ears and on the muzzle is slightly darker, and no tan should reach beyond the ears. There is tan on the legs, but it should not go above the elbow.

Grooming Needs

Soft haired Yorkshire Terriers are prone to tangles, so brushing should be a daily occurrence to prevent mats and to keep the coat clean. Silky haired Yorkies need to be brushed at least three times per week, but their hair is not as prone to tangling. Regardless of coat texture, if the dog is not being shown, there is no practical need to keep the hair long, and many owners opt to clip the coat short in order to reduce maintenance.

Check the ears on a weekly basis for signs of infection, irritation, or wax build up. Cleanse regularly with a veterinarian-approved cleanser and cotton ball. Brush the teeth at least once per week to prevent tartar buildup and fight gum disease. Small dogs are prone to dental problems, especially later in life, so the more the teeth are brushed at home, the better. Additionally, nails should be trimmed once per month if the dog does not wear down the toenails naturally.

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