GROOMING & MAINTAINING THE YORKSHIRE TERRIER FOR SHOW
by Jamie Bennett
I have been exhibiting Yorkshire Terriers and other long-coated Toy breeds as both an owner-handler and a professional handler for the past 19 years. I have had the pleasure of handling several beautiful Top 5 Yorkshire Terriers, with all garner- ing Best in Specialty Show wins. My very first Yorkie special was Ch. Caraneal Laurel Glen Minute Man that won the Yorkshire Ter- rier National in 2007. He was bred by Georgette Franzoni and owned by myself and Georgette. I have a great love for the Yorkshire Terrier and enjoy everymoment spent grooming and handling them. In my opinion, there is nothing more beau- tiful than a Yorkshire Terrier in full coat, showing its little heart out. In this article, I will attempt to give insight into one of the many ways to maintain and grow a coat on a Yorkshire Terrier. I have gleaned my knowledge over the years through mentors of the breed and through the trial and error process. This is what works for me. Remember, if you are growing coat on your Yorkie, you must be doing something right! I have found that each Yorkie’s coat is a little different. What works on one coat may not necessarily work on another. So, keep this in mind when working with your dog’s coat. The first most important thing in maintaining and growing coat on a Yorkie is proper nutrition. Always feed a high quality food. This is ex- tremely important in maintaining both healthy skin and healthy coat. I do not use any supplements. I feel that if their food is of a good quality, sup- plements are not necessary. On a side note, always be sure that your Yorkie is free from internal parasites!
The second most important thing in maintaining and growing coat on a Yorkie is tomaintainhealthy skin. The skin should not be flakey, oily or dry. You can achieve this by bathing your Yorkie regularly with a high quality shampoo and conditioner. If you find you are having skin problems, address those issues immediately! One night of scratching can ruin a coat. Be sure that you inspect your Yorkie for fleas each and every time you come back from an outside trip! There are two types of “bathing” for a show Yorkie; the maintenance bath and the show bath. When you are bathing for maintenance, your shampoo/conditioners should be high quality products that moisturize and condition the coat. Product qual- ity does matter. Don’t skimp, ever! A properly conditioned coat grows fast! A maintenance bath should be given as needed. I find that some Yorkies need to be bathed every three or four days, whereas others only require once a week bathing. Basically, when a brushwill not easily run through the coat, they need to be bathed. Before bathing the dog, brush the coat out completely. Gently and slowly work out any tangles that you may find, being careful not to break the coat. Examine the inside of your dog’s ears for excess hair and any waxy dis- charge or foul smell, and examine the ear leathers for signs of leather ear. I have found that leather ear comes from high humidity and a lack of sun- shine, which causes a waxy build-up on the ear which leads to hair loss. If your Yorkie is kept in an area that is bright with sunlight and low in hu- midity, you should never get leather ear. If you do get leather ear, scrub the ears daily with a shampoo to degrease
them, and put them in the sun- light! You will see hair start to grow back immediately. Next you should trim your dog’s nails. Long toenails will not only cause your dog pain, they will screwup your dog’s movement. Your dog’s nails should be short enough to allow the foot to sit flatly on its pads and allow the foot to roll forward naturally when moving. It’s time to bathe. Wet your Yorkie’s coat thoroughly with warm, not hot, water. Be cautious not to get water into the ear canal as this can cause ear infections. I always start with the head. I start at the top of the head and work down to the muzzle and fa- cial furnishings, then the sides of the head. Pay close attention not to get product in the eyes, which can cause corneal irritation. I then scrub the ear leathers and massage them gently to guard against leather ear. Move to the body and work the shampoo into the coat, gently. Try not to tangle the coat with your movement. Once the coat is saturated with shampoo, mas- sage the skin. This will help to keep your Yorkie’s skin healthy. Move on to the legs and feet. I always check my
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