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How to Cut a Yorkie’s Hair – the Correct and Easy Way

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Besides being loving and cuddly dogs, Yorkies are adorable too. But seriously, with the right haircut, a Yorkie is a delight to just look at. 

However, like I always say, the perfect Yorkie haircut doesn’t exist; it’s made. And before you even think of giving your dog a cute haircut, you must understand the basics of how to cut a Yorkie’s hair first. 

In this article, I’ll be giving you a step-to-step guide on how to trim a Yorkie’s hair. And answering the common questions people ask about cutting a Yorkie’s hair. 

Let’s dive in. 

Step to Step Guide on How to Cut a Yorkie Hair

The first thing you have to do before you start cutting your Yorkies’ hair is to prepare all the materials you’ll need. This is important because you don’t want to stop in the middle to look for a hairdryer or something. 

What You’ll Need

Here is what you need to groom your Yorkie. 

  • Scissors. I know you’ll have an electric clipper, but scissors really come in handy for shaping and trimming the longer areas for a smooth finish. I recommend using curved scissors to trim the face, ears, and other delicate areas. For other parts, it’s okay to use straight scissors
  • Electric clippers. While it’s possible to give your Yorkie a complete haircut using scissors, it can be a bit risky, especially when you’re cutting hair that’s so close to their body. Electric clippers reduce the risk of hurting your dog during grooming. If you plan on giving your Yorkie haircuts at home, it’s advisable to invest in one. 
  • Brush or comb. There are so many options in the market. Always choose the brush or comb that’s appropriate for your dog’s hair length. When trimming your dog’s hair, you’ll need a comb and a brush to keep their hair untangled every day. 
  • Shampoo and conditioner. After the haircut, your dog will need a bath to wash off all the lost hair. As tempting as it may be to use human hair shampoo, invest in dog hair products. This is especially important when dealing with Yorkies, and using the wrong products can cause their long hair to matt. Additionally, your Yorkie may have a terrible allergy reaction to your hair products. I also love to buy coat shine spray to give my dog’s hair that extra shine.
  • Hairdryer. After bathing your Yorkie, you’ll need a blow dryer to get rid of the excess dampness. You can use your own hairdryer or buy one made for dogs here on Amazon. Ensure you use the lowest power setting to avoid frightening your dog and to protect their coat as well. 
Yorkie being groomed on grooming table

How to Trim a Yorkie’s Hair

Now that you have the tools you’ll need, it’s time to get to the real job. Let’s get started. 

1. Setup the grooming area

The best place to cut your Yorkie’s hair is on a table where you can reach them well and see all their body parts. You don’t have to have a designated hair-cutting table (although they come in handy); you can simply place clean towels on your table.

Remember to comfort and talk to your Yorkie and assure them that you’re not going to harm them. Also, during the grooming process, avoid making sudden movements that could startle your dog and make them anxious. 

2. Untangle your Yorkie’s hair

This is very important because cutting matted hair can be very painful for your dog. Unfortunately, since Yorkies have long hair, their hair is always tangling. You can see our guide on de-tangler spays if you have no idea how to start. 

3. Cut the Yorkie’s back hair

Start by cutting the hair on the back. If the hair is really long, you can begin by cutting it with scissors and then use the electric clipper to get the desired length.

Make good use of the comb to further straighten your Yorkies hair for accurate hair cutting. 

4. Cut the hair on your Yorkie’s hind legs

The next thing you need to do is cut the hair near your Yorkie’s hind legs. Again, you can start cutting the hair using scissors if needed but use the clippers to cut the hair around the footpads.

If you use scissors for the footpads, use the curvy ones and be careful not to poke your Yorkie, especially if they try to move. 

5. Cut the chest, belly, neck, and front leg hair

Some of these areas, like the neck and the belly, are very sensitive, and your Yorkie will most likely not enjoy your messing with those areas. This means you’ll need to be extra gentle and cautious when grooming these areas.

Start by petting them and making them feel comfortable before you start cutting hair around these parts. I also recommend strictly using an electric clipper to avoid any accidents. 

6. Cutting the hair “down there”

When cutting around the genitals and anus, it’s best to use clippers and set them on a shorter setting. Don’t use the clippers directly on the anus, but as close as you can get without letting the clippers touch it.

You can use the clippers on the penis of the male dog but do not use the clippers directly on the scrotum, just go around it.

For female dogs, again go close to their private parts with the clippers but don’t directly shave it.

7. Cutting your Yorkies’ face

Your Yorkie may have a small face, but it’s usually the hardest part to trim. There is the nose, the ears, and the eyes, and during haircutting, it can feel a little crowded.

The best place to start is by cutting the hair on the ears. You can shave the flap of the ear and then trim around the edges with scissors.

For the face, you’ll need to use small rounded scissors. You need to do it slowly and be very reassuring, especially around their eyes. 

How you cut the hair around their face solely depends on the Yorkie hairstyle you want for your dog. 

TIP: I like to do the face last because it’s the hardest part and usually the most stressful to the dog. However, to keep the chance of bacteria from the genitals and rectum from getting to the eyes, I clean the clipper blades with rubbing alcohol before using them on my dogs’ faces.

8. Bathe your Yorkie

Once you’re done cutting your Yorkie’s hair, bathe them to help them relax and also get rid of the loose hair. I like to use this time to gently massage their skin with the suds. They love it and you can visibly see them relax.

After the bath, you can use the blow dryer to ensure you dry all the dampness. 

TIP: I lay a small towel in the bottom of the sink to keep the dog from slipping.

Yorkshire terrier getting groomed

Final Thoughts

Grooming a Yorkie is among the most important care tips because their hair can get long and tangled. Since it has a human hair texture, it’s usually prone to tangling. 

Therefore, besides brushing, you want to ensure that you give them a haircut (unless you are showing your dog in the ring) every once in a while to manage the hair. 

If you need some ideas for haircuts, check out our post on summer haircuts for Yorkies (they are great any time of the year).

What’s the hardest part of cutting your Yorkie’s hair? Do you use a groomer or do it yourself?

Cathy signature with Yorkie drawing
Blond woman holding a Yorkie and Chorkie sitting outside

Cathy Bendzunas

Dog Blogger, Former Dog Groomer

I have adored Yorkies for well over 50 years. As a young adult, I began to show and breed them. Now, I just write about them and have several in my little pack of small dogs.

I have had dogs all my life and have trained as a dog groomer. I also have been a kennel worker, worked in a pet hotel through PetSmart, and still am a pet sitter.

Check out my bio for more information about me.