This is a great question, whether you own a Yorkie right now or are planning on buying one. You see, the Yorkie coat isn’t so much fur as it is hair. Their fur is more like our own hair, which is thick and long (for some people anyway!)
Do Yorkies shed? The answer is, yes! But why?
It’s all in the fur.
This is much different than the dual layer of fur most dogs have, consisting of an undercoat and a topcoat. Yorkie owners just have to deal with a single layer of hair when it comes to brushing and grooming their dogs.
The very best-looking Yorkies- as in, the ones who compete in dog shows or appear in TV commercials- have coats that are clipped appropriately and shine thanks to a quality diet. In some adults, the coat can almost look metallic. It looks splendid when your dog is in the sun especially.
There’s way more to this than you might think, so read on to discover all you need to know.
Do Yorkies Shed? And If So, How Much?
There seems to be a tall tale circulating that Yorkies don’t shed at all because they have hair and not the typical fur we see on other breeds.
But the fact of the matter is that ALL DOGS shed in some way, shape, or form when their new hair comes in. It’s just as it is for us humans- we all shed some hair each day as the new ones grow in. It’s completely natural and normal for us- and your dogs- to do this. You can see this in action when you find hairs from your dog/yourself on clothing, grooming brushes/human brushes, and furniture.
Yorkshire terriers are no exception to the rule. They are always replacing their shed hairs, but they don’t do a mass shed during the different seasons as other canines do.
Watch That Hair!
Thus, we have the answer to our query- “Do Yorkies shed?” – the answer is yes, and they do their shedding year-round, regardless of the season.
Surprisingly enough, you’re most likely to notice the shedding of hairs from your Yorkie during bath time and grooming sessions. This makes it easier to contain and clean up the shed hairs.
Loose hairs can get trapped in the coat of your dog, so you may notice a bunch of them when you brush your pup. Don’t beat yourself up and say, “I am making my dog go bald!”
It’s no secret that regular brushing is a great idea as it keeps the hair from falling out all over your clothing and furniture. We certainly love this brush for Yorkies:
It helps keep knots and mats out of the fur of your precious pooch.
So keep your eye out for that Yorkie hair. Not only is it hygienic to vacuum it up, but if you notice it en masse, it could mean your dog has a medical issue that a vet must address.
Hormones can make hair fall out, or it could be an illness that requires medication prescribed by a vet.
The bottom line? Be vigilant and understand that shedding is normal.
Regarding Hormonal Changes & Your Dog’s Hair
If you got your Yorkie as a puppy, chances are you witnessed them going from puppy to full-grown dog and you saw all the changes that came with it.
This includes the changes that occur in your dog’s coat. If you are a new Yorkie owner or considering buying a Yorkie puppy, pay close attention. This section will help you understand the differences between a Yorkie puppy coat and a Yorkie adult coat.
A Yorkie puppy will get rid of its first coat – their puppy one- and grow in their adult coat as they reach adulthood. This usually happens at about ages 5-6 months.
If you do own a Yorkie puppy aged 5-6 months and you find that they are losing more fur than usual, don’t stress too much. This likely just means their hormones are firing up and they are becoming adults, which includes a new coat.
Hormones just make the process go faster- hair falls out quite fast. You might notice your dog has a thin coat of hair during this time, but rest assured it’s normal and it will come back.
This refers to Yorkies who are pregnant- not loving pet parents! Birth and pregnancy are two factors that will make a female Yorkie shed. This is a very busy time for the Yorkie’s body, as hormone levels are very high and hair can fall out quickly. Many female Yorkies will experience hair loss, sometimes in patches, as hormones levels rise. Once pregnancy and birth are over, you will find that hormones go back to regulating themselves and their hair goes back to the way it was.
Yorkie Health Issues
If pregnancy or growing up isn’t the answer, it’s time to consult your vet. There could be an underlying health issue that your dog is facing.
For example, hypothyroidism affects dogs as it does humans- hair will fall out as a symptom. With this ailment, the thyroid becomes slow, hormone levels change, and your dog could gain weight, have poor hair health, and generally not feel well.
It could be the reason why your Yorkie’s hair is falling out/breaking/brittle.
Another thing to consider is neurodermatitis, which your vet can diagnose. This is an ailment in which dogs lick their coats so much that the hair falls out. And since they lick in a single spot, the hair tends to fall out in that patch and causes alarm to owners everywhere.
This could come about as a result of boredom, anxiety, or stress. It could happen during times of change in a dog’s life that cause stress- for instance, if the owners are moving or a new dog is introduced. Have a vet look over your dog and make recommendations to cure them.
More Possible Reasons Why Your Yorkie Is Shedding
Ask your vet about allergic dermatitis. This happens when a dog comes into contact with something that causes an allergic reaction. The trouble is that you might not know what the dog is allergic to until you discover the patches of red, itchy skin and retrace your steps about where or what your dog was into that caused it.
The effect is a coat that ends up thin and full of broken hairs. This can be helped by keeping your dog away from what caused the reaction and treating the affected area with a vet-recommended medicine or cream. One cream we use is Natural Dog Company’s Healing Balm.
Lastly, alopecia could be the issue. The reason behind this ailment is an autoimmune disorder, occurring when the dog’s body responds to a sickness. The hair will become thin and eventually fall out, minus other symptoms. Upon the resolution of this ailment, the alopecia will fix itself and the hair will come back.
This particular condition is uncommon but tends to happen in Yorkies more than in other breeds.
Protect Your Yorkie’s Coat By Taking Good Care Of Their Hair
A few good grooming tools will help your dog and you stay on top of coat care. Just make sure you choose quality grooming tools and shampoos. The correct brush will do great things for your dog’s coat.
A bubble-tip brush gets into the coat and pulls out dead hair with ease. A good shampoo and conditioner is a great way to make your dog smell great and feel clean while strengthening hair.
The grooming process goes a lot easier if your dog is comfortable and happy while grooming takes place. You can train your dog to be nice and calm by following this excellent program we used with our Yorkies, called “Brain Training For Dogs.” And on a side note, we also potty trained our Yorkies using another program called House Train Any Dog.
Both programs worked wonders- Sheba and Maddie are the two most well-behaved pups anyone ever met!
That goes for grooming time, too-they have learned to stay on their blankets when it’s time for a brushing.
Make sure your dog has a comfortable place to sit or lie while you brush them.
Ideas For Good Coat Health
Want some ideas to keep your Yorkie’s coat looking like a show dog? Read over these easy suggestions and ask your vet how you can incorporate them into your pet’s daily life.
Oatmeal Based Shampoo: A shampoo with oatmeal as its base is perfect for soothing doggy skin and helping their coats shine. You can also prepare a DIY oatmeal soak for your dog. All you have to do is grind some regular oats into a fine powder, run a bath of warm water, and pour in the ground oatmeal. Then, simply allow your pet to soak in the warm tub. Massage them for about 10-15 minutes to get the oatmeal into their skin, rinse your pet off, and let them relax.
Fish Oil: You can get quality fish oil supplements on Amazon or at your local pet shop. You simply add them to your dog’s food or in our example, give them a chew to enjoy each day. You can also add salmon, sardines, or other oily fish to your dog’s diet. The important thing is to keep servings small as an excess of oil can cause digestive upset.
Nutrients: You will want to feed your pet quality food. Make sure your dog’s food is free of filler ingredients like soy, wheat, and corn. These are allergens and don’t bring much to dogs in the way of nutrition. By feeding your dog quality foods, you can help them enjoy a shiny, strong, and beautiful coat. You should ask your vet for recommendations about what foods are best for your particular pet. We love Royal Canin food for our dogs:
We hope our article about “Do Yorkies Shed” has been helpful for you. We hope it opened your eyes to the fact that, yes, Yorkies do shed- not as much as other breeds, but still enough that you must regularly groom and vacuum!
The positive side of all this is that Yorkies are low-maintenance pups so long as you stay on the up and up with grooming. Also, please keep your eye out for hormonal changes and issues with their health. Regular vet checkups will help you with this.
So yes- Yorkies shed, but not as much as bigger breeds/ working breeds shed each season. They mainly shed when becoming adult dogs, and when pregnant or after giving birth. The main thing owners must do is monitor their dogs for anything out of the ordinary AND serve their pet a quality diet to ensure coat health.