How to Trim a Yorkshire Terrier

While most Yorkshire terrier owners keep their pet’s coat shorter and more manageable than what can be found in the show ring, these haircuts can still be quite challenging.



Yorkshire terriers (or “Yorkies,” as they’re more commonly known) are very popular pets, so it’s no surprise that we, as pet groomers, see quite a few of them in our salons. The majority of pet Yorkies are kept in a short, manageable haircut rather than a show coat. Even after grooming for more than 20 years, I find these to be some of the most challenging haircuts. Yorkies are small delicate dogs (my shears are longer than their legs!), but small doesn't always equal easy. Their very straight hair shows every scissor mark in their coat, so thinning shears are your best friend when grooming these pets.



This month, my model is Poppy, a pet that I have groomed twice before. She is about eight years old and comes into our salon every six weeks with her brother, Squishy.


Step 1: Bathe

Start in the tub with a good bath. I choose to wash Poppy with a deep-cleaning oatmeal shampoo.


Step 2: Dry

Use a high-velocity dryer to blow as much water out of the coat as the dog will tolerate. Notice my bather has put a Happy Hoodie around Poppy’s ears to protect them and dull the noise of the dryer.


Step 3: Detangle

Using a slicker brush and stand dryer, move methodically through the coat, drying, straightening and removing any knots.


Step 4: Nails & Ears

Trim and file nails, and clean ears.


Step 5: Clip Pads

Clip the pads of the feet with a #30 blade.


Step 6: Sanitary Trim

Shave the sanitary areas with a #10 blade.


Step 7: Trim Ears

Shave the tips of the ears on the inside and outside with a #15 blade.


Step 8: Clip Eye Corners

Clip the inner corners of the eyes with a #10 blade. Thinning shears can be used as an alternative.


Step 9: Clip Body

Use a #1 snap-on comb to clip the entire trunk of the body. It is important to start right behind the occiput, as well as clip from the jaw line. This will help make the head pop. Back brush the hair on the trunk of the body and clip to get the hair as smooth as possible. Use the snap-on comb in reverse on the belly.


Step 10: Clip Rear Legs

Use the same #1 snap-on comb on the back and outside of the rear legs. Do not back brush here.


Step 11: Skim Front Legs

Skim the top of the front legs.


Step 12: Clip Head

Using a size-A snap-on comb, clip from the back of the head forward. Then clip from under the cheek up over the top of head on both sides. Always start with a longer snap-on comb and go shorter if needed.


Step 13: Trim Rear Feet

Pick up the rear foot, comb the hair toward the pads and trim anything hanging over.


Step 14: Finish Rear Feet

Place each foot on the table and trim them round.


Step 15: Finish Rear Legs

Trim the rear legs to follow their natural angles. Comb the hair on the inside of the rear legs up and out, then trim parallel lines.


Step 16: Finish Front Feet & Legs

Trim the front feet round. Comb the hair on the front legs up and out, then trim into columns.


Step 17: Trim Tail

Trim the tail into a small carrot shape.


Step 18: Finish Ears

Edge the tips of the ears. No hair from the head should go past the clipped part of the ear.


Step 19: Trim Visor

Comb the hair on the top of the head forward and trim a visor.


Step 20: Finish Visor

Continue the visor about a ¼ in. out from the outside eye corners.


Step 21: Trim Sides of Face

Using the ears as guides, trim the sides of the face, from the clipped part of the ear to the chin hair.


Step 22: Finish Face

After trimming both sides of the face, comb the chin hair down and connect the cheeks. This makes a cute, round face.



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