There are several common reasons why your Yorkie might dislike bath time. While Yorkshire Terriers are not known for loving or hating baths, issues like tangled fur, loud hairdryers, scary bathtubs, shocking temperature changes, and ear infections are all reasons why Yorkies may be conditioned to dislike bath time.
This article will cover common bath-related stressors for Yorkies, and how to avoid them, as well as grooming tips and bath-related safety. With these tips, you can make bath time a cinch for you and your Yorkie.
Table of Contents
- Why doesn’t my Yorkie like baths
- How often should I bathe my Yorkie?
- My Yorkie is afraid of the hair dryer! How can we stop him from smelling like wet dog?
- Where should I wash my Yorkie to reduce stress?
- What temperature water do Yorkies like?
- How do I fix tangled hair on my Yorkie without hurting him?
- When is the best time to detangle my Yorkie’s fur?
- How do I avoid tangling my Yorkie’s fur while shampooing him?
- Why doesn’t my Yorkie’s coat look silky?
- Can my Yorkie swim?
- Can I take my Yorkie to the pool?
Why doesn’t my Yorkie like baths
Yorkies can be a bit high-strung, and as small dogs, small stressors can really agitate them. Loud noises during bathing and grooming, temperature shock, and pain from pulling on tangled fur are all major stressors around bath time for Yorkies. Nevertheless, Yorkies need to be washed, so it’s important to make bath time a positive experience.
How often should I bathe my Yorkie?
According to the Yorkshire Terrier Club of America, the Yorkie needs to be bathed at least every two weeks, and up to every week for a cleaner, longer, silkier coat. Clean fur will grow faster, so if you’re going for that glamorous, competition-level coat, you absolutely need to bathe your Yorkie at least twice a month.
My Yorkie is afraid of the hair dryer! How can we stop him from smelling like wet dog?
There are two options here. The first is to simply use a dry towel (or two) to remove as much water as possible after the bath. Another is to use large cotton balls and/or a Happy Hoodie to cover your dog’s sensitive little ears while using the hair dryer.
The manufacturers of the Happy Hoodie designed the balaclava-like garment to protect dogs from loud noises during grooming. In a pinch, using large cotton balls (that cannot get trapped in the ear) will work as well. In fact, using cotton balls is recommended during the bath, as it will reduce the likelihood of water getting into the ear during the bath, which can lead to ear infection.
If you do use a hair dryer, it should be set to COOL. Using any hot settings on the hairdryer can cause your dog to overheat.
Where should I wash my Yorkie to reduce stress?
As a small dog, Yorkies may feel unsafe alone in an empty bathtub. Most Yorkies will fit in a bathroom or kitchen sink, and it can reduce the stress of bathing for them by making them feel more secure. Be sure to have the water warm and ready for them—that way, they don’t feel the added stress of the loud, rushing water.
What temperature water do Yorkies like?
One reason your Yorkie may fear bath-time is overly cold or hot water. Tepid water, or a temperature you would feel comfortable putting a baby into, is best. If you want to use a thermometer, the water should be a minimum of 78°F, although 82-85°F is ideal. (That’s 25.5°C, and 27-29°C, respectively.) Be sure to dry your Yorkie promptly after bathing to avoid them getting too cold.
How do I fix tangled hair on my Yorkie without hurting him?
Yorkshire Terriers have especially soft and fine fur—it’s why we love them! Sadly, their long, silky hair can easily become matted and tangled. To remove mats, gently work through the mat from the bottom towards their skin with your fingers. Just imagine you’re removing a tangle from a toddler’s head. You can use a detangler or a doggie conditioner to help protect and loosen the strands. For everyday maintenance, a wire brush is ideal. Just don’t yank!
When is the best time to detangle my Yorkie’s fur?
Never try to brush or detangle your Yorkie’s fur during bath time when it is wet. Water (and aggressive shampooing) will make the coat more tangled and matted, so it’s best to brush out any visible knots before the bath, rather than during or afterwards. Otherwise, your Yorkie will come to dread bathtime! Additionally, their fine hairs are more fragile when wet, so brushing while dry will help preserve the coat length.
How do I avoid tangling my Yorkie’s fur while shampooing him?
Rather than the normal, circular motions you would use for your own head (or on any other dog), it’s best to rub the shampoo into your Yorkie in one direction along their body. If you avoid scrunching or going back and forth, you can save yourself a lot of time detangling after the bath.
Why doesn’t my Yorkie’s coat look silky?
If you find that your Yorkie’s coat is not very silky, despite the best diet and frequent washing and brushing, your Yorkie may have a ‘cotton’ or ‘wool’ coat, rather than silk. The cotton coat type will be lighter, and the woolly coat darker, than the breed standard.
Cotton coats benefit from daily brushings and oil-based conditioners. Woolly coats are very thick and may need to be brushed as often as twice a day. All of the Yorkie coat types are prone to matting; however, only cotton- and woolly-coated dogs are recommended to have shorter, trimmed grooming styles.
Can my Yorkie swim?
All dogs can swim. While size, age, vigor, and coat thickness can impact how well any dog can swim, Yorkies’ typically thin coats and high energy levels make it easy for them to swim.
Although Yorkies are not water dogs, per se, they will be able to doggie paddle without training. However, for bath time, the water should be shallow enough that they can stand with their face out of the water. Otherwise, paddling will eventually become exhausting.
Can I take my Yorkie to the pool?
When taking your Yorkie to deeper and wider bodies of water, such as a pool, it is important to keep an eye on him, and it’s best to hold him at first to help him acclimate to it. As noted above, a water temperature around 80°F is ideal. Life vests for dogs are available and can give you some peace of mind.
It’s a good idea to bring filtered water for your dog to help avoid him lapping up pool or lake water. After the pool or beach, giving your Yorkie a rinse in clean water will help keep his hair clean, healthy, and silky—just like a human’s hair. Finally, dogs can get sunburnt, just like people, so applying a sunscreen to his body and nose can help protect him and help him enjoy the day.