How to Cut a Yorkie's Hair

Updated July 20, 2017

Yorkshire terriers, or Yorkies as they are often called, are descendants of the much larger Skye terriers, watershed terriers, and paisley terriers through cross breeding. The dogs were bred to be smaller companions for working-class people, especially weavers. Though originally named the broken-haired Scottish terrier when presented in 1861, the name was officially changed to Yorkshire terrier nine years later. Yorkies usually have one of two types of grooming: either their hair will be long in a "full coat" cut or short in a "puppy cut." Cutting a Yorkie's hair takes concentration to avoid hurting your pet.

Combine shampoo and warm water -- one part shampoo to eight parts water -- in a plastic application bottle. Use the mixture to wash the Yorkie's hair and rinse him with warm water. Apply a second shampoo and rinse the shampoo out completely. If the hair is damaged, consider using a reconstructing shampoo.

Mix 4 tablespoons of conditioner with a gallon of warm water either in a stopped up sink or plastic tub. Stand the Yorkie in the mix and use a cup or a scoop to pour the conditioner and water mixture over the Yorkie's coat. Rinse the conditioner out with warm water.

Towel dry the Yorkie to remove excess moisture. Brush out the coat with a pet hair brush to make sure no tangles are left behind. Separate the coat down the spine so the hair parts equally on both sides.

Apply colour if you desire. These colours should be a spray colour specifically designed for Yorkshire terriers, like the Aztec gold and black silver from Pure Paws. Only apply colour to a humid coat and distribute the colour with your hands.

Dry the coat with a brush and hair blow-dryer and flat iron the coat if necessary. Trim the hair around the paws and between the toes. Place the dog along the edge of the table so that the hair hangs down off of the edge. Use the scissors to cut the hair hanging past the edge of the table, making one even layer.

Trim the ears using an electric razor. Use the scissors to cut the hair along the edges of the ears so the hair is almost even with the skin.

Separate the hair you wish to use for the top knot and plump up with a volumizing foam. Tease the hair closest to the scalp to build a bubble shape. Center the bubble and anchor it with a hair rubber band and a bow. Spray it with hairspray. Tuck the tuft of hair sticking up from the bow back down into the bow to make a "fan" on top.

Shampoo and condition the coat just as you would with a long coat. Dry the coat before cutting it. It's best to cut clean hair so there's less chance of binding the razor.

Use a 40 blade on your electric razor to cut the hair on the bottom of the Yorkie's feet. Be sure to trim the hair from between the pads of the foot, but take care not to cut the pads.

Change the blade to a number 8.5 on the electric razor. Start cutting the hair at the base of the skull, moving the blade in short strokes down the neck toward the tail.

Cut the hair on the spine along the direction of the spine, but follow the coat down the legs and stomach when cutting the hair on them. Lift the tail and use the razor to cut the hair in the anal area.

Lift the Yorkie's chin and cut the hair on the front of the neck and chest area using the same short strokes moving away from the Yorkie's face. Use the scissors to trim the hair around the edges of the feet before trimming the face.

Trim the hair in the ears and cut the hair along the edges of the ears so the hair is almost even with the skin of the ears. Brush the hair of the eyebrows forward so they stick up a bit and trim them so they're even. Trim the hair around the mouth if needed.


Only cut the long coat after drying so you have accurate length.


Take extra care when cutting around leg joints and anal area because even an electric razor can tear the soft skin there.

Things You'll Need

  • Shampoo (reconstructing shampoo if necessary)
  • Conditioner
  • Application bottle
  • Warm water
  • Clean towels
  • Pet brush
  • Specialised spray colour (optional)
  • Hair blow-dryer
  • Flat iron
  • Hair cutting scissors
  • Small hair rubber bands
  • Hair combs
  • Electric razor
  • Hairspray (long coat)
  • Volumizing hair foam (long coat)
  • Hair bow or tie for top knot (long coat only)
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About the Author

Sara Welsh has been writing professionally since 2009. Her areas of interest and writing expertise lie in the arts industry and she has published work for online publications such as Real TV Addict, Digigasms and Robodustrial. She holds a Bachelor of Music in music with elective studies in theater from the Shenandoah Conservatory.