The Yorkshire Terrier’s signature trademark is his long flowing silky hair. So how much do Yorkies shed with all that silky hair? You might think that the Yorkie sheds quite a bit. But you might be surprised to learn that although they do shed, they don’t shed anywhere near as other notorious shedders like Corgis.
It’s all to do with the fact that Yorkies have a single coat, and that his hair is more like ours than other dogs. Maybe you’re here because you’re about to welcome a Yorkie into your life, and you need the lowdown on Yorkie shedding. Or perhaps it’s because you want to educate yourself on hypoallergenic dogs. Either way, you’ve come to the right place.
So does the Yorkie Shed? Let’s jump in and find out. In this article, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about the Yorkshire Terrier and their shedding habits.
Yorkshire Terrier Coats
Before we continue, you need to understand the Yorkshire Terrier’s coat. And, his coat isn’t what you’d call a regular dog coat. Most dogs have double coats that work to keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The underlayer sheds all year round, but heavily during the shedding season. Where they have to make way for the new seasons’ jacket.
But not the Yorkie, he likes to do things differently. The Yorkie does not have an undercoat, and instead, he has a single layer of hair. It is fine and silky, much like human hair. Yes, his hair falls out, but it doesn’t really shed. If you think about your own hair, it falls out lightly across the year, and it is the same with the Yorkie.
Yorkie Coat Colors
Yorkshire Terriers have the choice of four coat colors. These are black and gold, black and tan, blue and gold, and blue and tan. Thankfully, each color is the same, in that it falls out as much as the other. This means the same grooming schedule for every Yorkie.
Yorkshire Terriers are very light shedders all year round, if you can call it shedding. And when it does fall out, there’s a high chance that you won’t notice much hair on the floor. When his hair falls out, it falls back into his coat. So, you’ll only see it when you’re brushing or bathing him.
Because he doesn’t have a double coat, he doesn’t ‘blow his coat’ during shedding season as other dogs do. His hair doesn’t grow in quick bursts to make way for new seasons, either. So, you don’t have to worry about seasonal shedding. And this is one of the many reasons why the Yorkie is so popular.
Because he doesn’t seasonally shed, his hair keeps growing. Which is why it is long and silky. It’ll keep growing until it reaches its length capacity, and then it will stop. Once it stops growing, his body will push it out and replace it with a new one. This is a continuous cycle throughout the year, pretty much like our hair.
The Yorkie is considered hypoallergenic, as are other dog breeds like the Goldendoodle. It’s important to understand that no dog is entirely hypoallergenic. This is a myth. But, some dogs are better for those with allergies compared to others.
Therefore, hypoallergenic dogs are less likely to cause allergic reactions in sufferers compared to other non-hypoallergenic dog breeds. But this does not mean that they are allergy-proof. The Yorkie is listed as a hypoallergenic dog.
Dander is one of the main things that causes the allergy, and the dander is attached to dog hair. Essentially, dander is the collection of microscopic dead skin cells and oils. Dog hair also holds onto their saliva and urine, which are the two other main allergens for those with pet allergies. The Yorkie doesn’t really have much dander, which is why he is better for those with pet allergies.
Other Reasons For Hair Loss
If you notice that your Yorkie is losing more hair than he should, there could be an underlying reason or medical concern for it.
Stress is a significant factor that can increase hair loss. Either something is stressing him out, such as a new pet in the home. Or he could be picking up on your stress. Hair loss for this reason usually levels out once the pressure is gone.
Increased hair loss is also a sign of pregnancy. After birth, her hormones will return to normal, and so will her hair cycle.
Hair loss could also be a sign of a skin infection, and if this is the case, you’ll notice red or inflamed skin, sores or patches of exposed skin.
Managing Your Yorkie’s Shedding
Although he doesn’t shed, he still needs additional grooming. Single coated dogs may not need the same amount of grooming as a Labrador, but they still need to be cared for. This is especially true if you opt for a longer haircut that allows them to have their distinctive long flowing frock. Here we are going to take you through how best to manage your Yorkie’s shedding and keep it under control.
This is the most crucial part of his grooming schedule. This is entirely dependent on whether you opt for the long traditional coat, or the shorter teddy bear cut.
If you opt for a long coat, you’ll need to brush every day. The hair that his body has pushed out will most likely be caught up in his coat, and you need to brush it out. Otherwise, it’ll become tangled, which eventually leads to painful matting.
If you opt for the shorter coat, you’ll only need to brush him a few times every week. His hair will still fall out at the same rate as a longer cut, but the risk of tangling is minimized. And so he won’t need as much attention. You will need to keep your Yorkie’s hair shorter by using a set of dog grooming clippers to keep it close.
Because he has hair and not fur, he’ll only need a single brush rather than deshedding tools. The best brush for the Yorkie’s coat is a bubble tipped pin brush. This will penetrate his coat and sweep away the dead hair.
It’s essential that you buy a bubble tipped brush because these are softer on his delicate skin. Remember that he doesn’t have an underlayer, and without these protective bubbles, you risk scratching his skin.
Finding the right shampoo for your Yorkie is important, and you should bathe him once every two to four weeks. Again, considering that his skin is more exposed than regular dog coats, and that he needs bathing more frequently than other dogs, you should get a delicate shampoo. Choose one that is made from natural ingredients, such as oatmeal shampoos.
Some shampoos also contain conditioning ingredients. These are great for the Yorkie because they leave his hair feeling extra soft. They also go a bit further to prevent matting, which is particularly useful if he has a longer coat.
Your Yorkie’s diet also has an effect on his skin and coat health. Always look to feed your Yorkie a high-quality kibble that provides omega fatty acids. Omega fatty acids will nourish his coat from the inside out, by keeping his skin supple and his locks strong and shiny. Great examples of omega fats to look out for are fish, fish oil, egg products, flaxseed, and canola oil.
Fish oil supplements are also another way to make sure he gets the omega fats that he needs, and they come in pill or liquid form. They have a variety of other health benefits too, such as joint support, better nutrient absorption, brain, and cardiac health.
Frequently Asked Questions
Because Yorkies have such a low shedding reputation, there are some common questions we often get about their coats. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to the Yorkshire Terrier, their coats, and how to manage their shedding.
Why is my Yorkie Shedding So Much?
As we’ve already covered, Yorkies do shed. But if you see excessive hair around your home, make sure there’s no recent changes in diet, stress levels, or daily lifestyle routine. If you’ve welcomed a new pet into your home, this could also contribute to their stress. Yorkies are also known for being anxious when away from their owners. So if someone in your house has gone back to work, or isn’t around when they normally had been, this can cause a stress reaction in your pup.
When is it Time To See The Vet?
If you suspect that your Yorkie is losing hair more than he should be, it’s time for a trip to vets. It is more than likely that everything is fine, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you notice sore skin or that he is losing hair in patches, you definitely need to schedule an appointment as this shouldn’t be happening.
I’ve Found a Tangle in My Yorkie’s Coat. What Can I Do?
Tangling is a common issue with the Yorkie’s coat, even if you groom him regularly. Try to tease it out with your fingers rather than with a brush at first. You can also mist the tangles with leave-in conditioner, which will also help to work them out. If you still can’t, simply snip it out. Leaving it in will only make it worse, and his hair will grow back quickly in any case.
Yorkies shed, albeit very lightly. There’s no way around that. But if you are looking for a low shedding dog breed, then the Yorkshire Terrier is likely a great canine companion for your home. They not only shed less than other breeds, but they also are smaller and have less volume per square inch of hair compared to other smaller breeds. Their hair still falls out, and they need just as much grooming compared to other dogs. Thankfully, there are things you can do to keep your Yorkie looking and feeling their very best.
August 1, 2021 at 2:28 pm
Great article, I have a beautiful little Yorkie female, she is 12 now and you are bang on with everything you said. They are a beautiful breed, great companion, very loving, good to travel, and the best pet you could ever own!
They are great with children, however, I don’t recommend having small kids around them as they tend to drop them, also because of their size, kids wand to play with them and usually hurt them, we had one sit on our girl and put her knee out! I couldn’t have any other breed now, but I would get another in a heartbeat. They love their bath, grooming and looking pretty! Real babies!
August 3, 2021 at 2:55 am
Thanks for commenting, Judith! Sounds like you've had a lovely little pup!