A Little About Yorkies
Yorkies, also known as Yorkshire Terriers, are a small breed. They are from then Terrier family and were developed during the 19th century.
As the name suggests they originated in Yorkshire. The maximum weight your Yorkie should reach is about 7 pounds.
Yorkies are very energetic, playful dogs although they do not enjoy being left on their own. It is for this reason that you will often see Yorkie owners with two pets, so that they keep each other company when left alone.
What is a Yorkies Coat Like?
The adult coat will not come into play until the dog is about three or four years old so just because the pup has one type of hair, it may not be the same in adulthood.
Neither can the colour be predicted as the dog gets older. The final colour is often black or greyish.
If the Yorkie is going to be a show dog, then the coat is often left to grow to floor length which gives the appearance of fluid movement. However, most owners will trim the hair to keep it neat and tangle free.
Traditionally the Yorkie coat is very high maintenance and will become knotted and tangled easily if not groomed regularly.
The typical Yorkie coat is fine and silky. Most of the time it is straight although it can be slightly curly.
Do Yorkies Shed?
Because the Yorkie hair is not really classed as fur, rather a hair, they do not shed as much as other breeds. The hair simply grows in place through the year. When we groom the Yorkie, then we brush the dead hair out.
Unlike other breeds where you will spend the better part of the day cleaning the house, you will find that a Yorkie does not shed anywhere near as much as other dogs.
For this reason, the Yorkie is sometimes considered to be hypoallergenic.
This is never strictly true as all dogs shed and none are truly hypoallergenic, with some shedding less than others. The things which triggers an allergic reaction is the saliva and dog dander.
So, do Yorkies shed? Yes, they do, but far less than you would expect, even when you let the hair grow longer.
How Much do Yorkies Shed?
Before we get to the answer about how much a Yorkie sheds, we should look at what makes up the dog coat.
There are three types of coat, namely:
The undercoat retains heat and keeps the dog warm in the winter months but not all breeds have an undercoat. The breeds who do not have an undercoat are known as single coat breeds. The Yorkie falls into this category.
The main coat
The main coat protects the dog from external issues such as dirt, wind, debris and parasites. Main coats can be anything, ranging from short to long and curly or wavy.
The Tactile coat
This coat is found around the face area and includes the whiskers which you may see on your pooch’s face.
Why Yorkies Shed Less.
Because the Yorkie does not have an undercoat, they are less inclined to drop hairs through the seasons.
With other breeds the springtime is the time of year when the old coat is shed, and the new coat started.
In autumn, breeds with an undercoat will start to sport a thick winter coat to keep them warm. The Yorkie does not have an undercoat to keep them warm.
When do Yorkies Shed the Most?
As with any dog, Yorkies will shed at the same time as other breeds. They will shed in the springtime and again in the Autumn, but you will find that they shed far less than most other breeds.
They do not have a thick undercoat to get rid of, so your house will have less hair in it. Additionally, these are small dogs, and the amount of hair they shed is correspondingly less than with a larger dog.
Because the Yorkie hair is hair instead of fur it tends to grow at the same rate most of the year.
Just like human hair falls out, so the Yorkie hair falls out. It does not shed. Often you may never even notice that your Yorkie has shed some hair.
What is good about Yorkies is that they do not go through spurts of shedding, they don’t have seasonal hair drops, rather they lose hair gradually over the year.
If your Yorkie seems to be shedding more than normal, you should see the vet.
This is not to say that the Yorkie does not need to be groomed. The hair can grow long and if not groomed regularly it will tangle and get knotted. The same is true for dead hair. This hair also needs to be removed to keep a healthy coat.
Are Yorkies Considered to be Hypoallergenic?
Although no dog is truly hypoallergenic, the Yorkie comes very close to this.
All dogs shed and shedding can trigger allergies, but the Yorkie sheds a lot less than most other dog breeds.
At certain times of the year your Yorkie will lose hair when you brush it, but overall your house will stay hair-free most of the year.
How to Manage Yorkies Shedding?
A Yorkie needs to be groomed at least every day. Use a good quality brush and get all the tangles out of the hair.
Bathing and shampooing should not be done too often as the skin will dry out and may become sensitive.
A good diet will go a long way to prevent hair loss or extra shedding.
Because the dog breed is very energetic, they need good vitamin and mineral additions to the diet. Adding Omega 3 to the diet along with vitamins B5, E, B3 and A will keep hair in good condition.
Check for parasites
While the hair is long and silky, there is a possibility that there could be an infection by parasites.
This may cause them to get Dermatitis so you should check after every walk, that the skin is clear.
Don’t forget exercise
Yorkies need a healthy lifestyle to keep blood circulating well. This in turn will keep hair growth healthy.
Anaemia and low blood pressure are two reasons for your Yorkie to lose hair.
Equipment Help to Manage Yorkies Shedding
Typical equipment for grooming your Yorkie should include a bubble tipped pin brush and comb set.
You may also find it helpful to include a de-matting tool for those little dogs that always seem to get tangles. If you keep the hair long, then you will not be able to do without this tool.
If you do not have at least 10 minutes every day to brush your pooch, then you may want to keep the hair a little shorter.
Every groomer has a selection of haircuts that can be adapted for short hair. Keeping the hair short means that you only need to brush it every second or even third day.
Do Some Yorkies Shed More Than Others?
If you have decided to show your Yorkie and grow the hair longer, then you can expect more hair when you groom your dog.
Typically, all Yorkies shed about the same as there are no variations of the breed. They will all sport smooth hair with no undercoat and they will all lose hair at various times through the year.
Of course, there are some medical and health conditions which mean extra hair loss but in good, healthy Yorkies the shedding is the same.
Reasons for Increased Shedding in Yorkies
One common reason why a Yorkie can shed more is because they are stressed out. Overall, they do not like to be left alone and they suffer from separation anxiety.
This is the reason why many owners have two dogs instead of one. Playing is an important part of their daily routine and if they feel they are being ignored they may shed.
As with most breeds, if the Yorkie develops an allergy to a foodstuff, it will show by shedding.
Medication, cleaning products, human shampoos and other household items may cause the dog to have adverse reactions and shed more.
Under or over production of oestrogen, testosterone and progesterone will cause your pooch to shed more than normal.
Both internal and external parasites may cause your pooch to shed more hair.
External parasites will be shown when your dog licks and scratches more and in the same place. Internal parasites will cause malnutrition and shedding will happen.
Most dogs will shed extra if their diet is not good, and the Yorkie is no different.
If you are uncertain about the diet or food you are feeding your dog, then consult your vet and take their advice.
Other Reasons Your Yorkie may Shed
- Yorkies are often the victim of diseases like Cushing’s Disease (abnormally high levels of the hormone cortisol) which will cause them to shed more.
- Pregnant and lactating dogs may shed more as will any female who comes into heat.
- Climate changes may affect the Yorkie and cause it to shed more hair. In countries where the seasons change rapidly, it is common to see a Yorkie shed a little more hair.
- After surgery you may see that your Yorkie sheds more. They can also shed more from certain medications but if they are shedding an excessive amount you should check with your vet.
- Bathing too often may cause your pooch to shed, particularly if you use your own shampoo. You should always use a shampoo that is formulated for dogs, never use your own.
For people who simply do not have a lot of time to groom a dog every day, the Yorkie is a great option.
Not only is it an energetic little dog, and fond of people, it hardly sheds at all.
This is because they do not have an undercoat and that they are a small breed so when they do shed it is far less than a large dog.
Considering how little this breed sheds, it is not surprising that they have become such a popular family pet.