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Bath Time

The yorkies coat is not as hard to care for as many believe. It is important however, to not skip your weekly bath and at least twice weekly brushing. If you have a heavy coated yorkie, brushing every day would be a good idea. Sound hard? I am sure there is at least once a day your little friend will be cuddling on your lap. So start brushing then.

Before the bath I like to clean the ears.  By applying a small amount of Ear Powder to the ears (this enables the hair to pull out easier) you can pull the hair out in small tuffs.  This will enable you to clean the ear more efficiently and thereby preventing ear infections and ear lice.

The Bath - Make sure you have everything you need right from the get-go. You never want to leave your baby unattended while you go searching for shampoo or a towel.  Make sure you have shampoo, conditioner, towel, toothbrush, toothpaste and scissor.

Some yorkie breeders  say a weekly bath is too much and that it will dry the skin.  I allow my babies outside to play for a bit each day and they get dirty. Dirt is the hardest thing on a coat not to mention the fact that my babies sleep with me.

One of the biggest mistakes in the shampoo process is rubbing the shampoo in circular motions, or scrubbing it into the coat. You are creating many, many tangles when you do this and will brushing it out later will be murder.  Gently work the shampoo into the coat, from the body down . It is made to lift the dirt out, you don't need to scrub to get it clean. Now rinse thoroughly, and rinse again!! Any shampoo left in the coat can dry out

Follow the shampoo with a light conditioner. A light conditioner will leave less buildup in your pups coat. The residue from a heavy conditioner will only collect more dirt, and cause more tangles. Leave the conditioner in a couple of minutes and rinse again. You may want to rinse lightly this time, if your pup is extremely dry.

It's also a good idea to drain the anal sacks that surround the anus on both side.  At one time dogs could spray an attacker like a skunk does.  These sacks hold the smelly fluid and should be drained.  Many times you will see a Yorkie dragging his tail on the floor.  He is attempting to drain those sacks.

Before you are done at the sink, trim the ears. The tips (upper third of the ear) should not have any hair on them. For now just scissor the outline on the top third of the ear. It is easier to see the outline of the ear when the hair is wet, making it less likely that you will cut the ear itself. We'll get back to finishing this later.

I like to brush the teeth now. Yorkies are prone to tarter buildup which causes serious decay and possible bacterial infections if not removed.  This can really cut down on vet bills to have them clea
ned when the tarter builds up. A clean mouth is one way to prevent "doggie breath".  Don't use your toothpaste for your Yorkie, you need a paste designed for canines. 

Now hold your yorkie wrapped in a towel for a few minutes. Don't rub the coat dry, just pat! (you will create a mass of tangles again if you do!) You may want to blow dry, but only do so partially. When the coat is damp, you will want to do the brushing. Brushing damp prevents breakage of hair. One added tip for drying...Set your hairdryer up in a coffee can directed at your yorkie, so that you can brush, hold, and dry with only two hands.

Brushing the hair in sections will make your job easier. Start at the ends of the hair and work your way up to the base, next to the skin. Work out the mats as you go. Treat them with care, don't just yank through. Pick as much apart with your fingers as you can, or a small comb. The biggest hint on brushing, is never brush the coat dry. Mist it lightly with a detangling spray or "Swishy Coat". You can also make your own brushing spray by mixing a 1-3 teaspoons of conditioner or Swishy Coat to a 16 ounce spray bottle of water.

Now we are back to the ears.  You will need to shear the front and back of the dogs ears one third of the way down from the tips. A mans beard and mustache trimmer works great for this. I use the Oster brand. If you can, shear in a V shape, with the point being at the bottom. You should also shear or clip the hair from the anal area to prevent poop buildup, or impactions. If you choose you may clip the hair from between the toes and round the hair around the feet, following the outline of the paw.  Cut straight strokes all around and you will achieve a nice round paw.

This is also a good time to trim the nails. Don't be afraid, as this really needs to be done. Keep some Quick-stop on hand just in case you cut a vein and they bleed.

Equipment:

Mason Pearson Brush
Rat Tail Comb or Small knitting Needle
Correct Nail Clippers
Styptic Powder
Shampoo
Conditioner
Spray bottle
Towels
Scissor
Hairdryer
Rosin coated bands - topknot
Ear Powder
Waterproof Apron


Sprayer for faucet:

I use a really nice sprayer very similar to the ones that professional dishwasher uses.  The water is premixed so I don't worry about adjusting the temp as I'm bathing the pup.  The sprayer is controlled right at the head.  I have attached a picture of what I am referring to at the beginning of this article

 

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