by Rosie Wilson
Bathing a dog sounds like a simple enough procedure, but things get a little trickier when you’re working with the unique coat of the Yorkshire Terrier. What Yorkie owners and professional dog groomers alike know is that the flowing, silky strands you see on these little dogs is much like that of human hair.
This leads to many of the same problems that humans face with their own hair: the tendency to appear greasy or stringy, the propensity to tangle easily, and the plight of being fine and easily broken. However, unlike humans, most Yorkies won’t receive a bath more than once a week.
This means that the method for dealing with a Yorkie’s hair must be adjusted accordingly.
Using conditioner before shampoo
One trick that groomers use is to slather conditioner on the coat before washing with shampoo. Why? There are two reasons: degreasing and detangling. It seems counterproductive to use conditioner to combat greasy hair, but think of it this way: like attracts like.
A high quality dog conditioner massaged well into the fur will actually help to attract and pull out that excess sebum. This is gentler and yet more effective than using an overly harsh degreasing shampoo, and comes with the bonus of aiding in detangling the hair.
Rinse and repeat Any groomer worth their salt always washes each dog twice, and there is a good reason for this. Most dogs are bathed far less than their humans take showers. More time between baths allows more dirt and sebum to collect, so it becomes necessary to take extra care in cleansing it away. The second wash ensures a clean, fluffy, and fabulous smelling dog.
Fluff drying is one of the most important and yet overlooked aspects of bathing Yorkies and other dog breeds with this type of hair. It makes a world of difference in the way the hair feels and lays after the bath, and it is an essential step for a clean, attractive haircut after subsequent clipping.
Any questions or comments? Let us know below! Happy Bathing!
What is fluff drying?
Fluff drying will take practice to master, but you can definitely do it at home.
Fluff drying involves using a blow dryer to straighten and volumize your dog's hair. Your groomer does this to make it easier to cut the hair straight. However, the side benefit is that the technique gives your dog that adorable, fluffy look.
You'll need a few specific tools:
Leash to tie your dog in place
Slicker brush (a flat brush like this one found on Amazon)
1. Wash and shampoo your dog and then rinse thoroughly.
A clean coat will respond better to the fluffing process than if it has any dirt or grease. Make sure to rinse the dog thoroughly.
2. Pat dry the dog's coat with a towel, rather than rubbing the fur dry.
If you rub the dog's fur too much, it can mat it, which isn't what you want. After you towel the dog off, run the slicker brush through its fur to get as much extra water off of your dog's coat as possible.
3. Blow dry the dog's hair using the slicker brush.
Rather than blow drying the hair flat down, you're going to add as much body as possible. Use the brush to lift the hair up by the roots, then point the hair dryer at the brush against the grain as you slowly brush through the hair to fluff it. If you're familiar with blowing out human hair, the technique is similar. Make sure the air is set to warm and not hot.
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4. Continue over your dog's entire coat, a small area at a time.
In order to keep your dog's coat fluffy, you need to take it a bit at a time. Once your dog's coat is fluffy, you'll want to double check that there aren't any mats. If you find a mat in your dog's hair, turn the hair drying on cool and blow it on low with the grain of the hair as you brush. That will loosen the mat without disturbing the fluff of your dog's coat.
Once you've freed the coat of all its mats, go over the hair once more, brushing against the grain to hold the fluff. You should have a stunning, fluffy beauty. Don't worry if your dog doesn't look quite perfect on your first attempt, the technique takes a bit of getting used to.
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A few other things to remember:
Don't let the hair dryer blow into your dog's eyes.
Do make sure to give your dog a few breaks with a delicious treat.
Don't blow the hair dryer too close to (or inside) your dog's ears, because the sound and air can be tough on their sensitive ears.
Do be careful to wash all the shampoo from your dog's coat, because the product will weigh down your dog's hair.
With a little practice, you'll make your pup look fit for a starring role with every bath.
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And we know your pup will appreciate all your extra attention.