Grooming a Yorkie Mix
Our grooming expert gives advice on a Yorkie-Chihuahua mix recovering from a bad do.
Q: We have a Yorkshire Terrier-Chihuahua mix that is about 10 months old. She resembles more of a Yorkie, with longer hair. She was starting to shed some so we took her to the groomer and told them to cut her short. They cut her very short and now she looks more like a Chihuahua. Can you tell me if her hair will grow back? Will it look different or still get long? How long does that normally take?
A: Your pet sounds like an adorable mixed-breed puppy. It sounds to me like she would look pretty with long, medium or short hair, but if you prefer her with a short teddy bear look, that’s the look your groomer should provide. Have no fear – her hair will grow back after her recent “crew cut.” It won’t change color or texture, but it may take a while since the coats on these types of dogs generally grow only about a quarter of an inch per month.
Yorkie hair is beautiful, silky and fine. Purebred Yorkies are shown in full coat with the hair gathered in a jaunty topknot atop their heads and their coat brushing along the floor. While this looks is beautiful gliding around the show ring, many pet Yorkie owners opt for a shorter cut for easier maintenance and because their dogs look so cute this way. The name of this cut varies from one salon to the next, but it’s usually called a "teddy bear trim," "puppy cut" or "comb cut" because groomers use a snap-on comb blade attachment to trim the coat to the length owners want.
The dog’s back may be clipped short with #4 or #5 blades or left longer with a #1 snap-on comb, depending on how much coat you want to keep. The legs can be clipped with a #1 ½ or #2 or an #A snap-on comb, touched up with scissors after the dog is bathed and blow-dried for a smooth even look. The legs should look slightly longer than the body, resembling rounded columns with the feet scissored and rounded to the same width. Trimmed to resemble the trademark “dish face” of the West Highland Terrier, the dog’s face is adorably framed with rounded cheeks and whiskers. We use thinning shears remove stray hairs near the corners of the eyes and the top third of each ear is shaved and scissored to a neat point.
Such haircuts require far less upkeep at home than maintaining a long coat but you‘ll still need to give your baby a good brushing followed by a comb-out once or twice a week. Due to its silky texture, Yorkie-type hair mats up very easily. In order for the groomer to be able to execute a trim like this, that coat must be kept free of mats and tangles. When dogs come in to see us with severe matting that cannot be brushed out, we have no choice but to clip them down short, shaving underneath those mats and re-growing the coat.
It’s probably her Chihuahua ancestry that is causing her to shed but if you keep her on a regular schedule with the groomer to get this type of trim – usually every four to six weeks – and brush her regularly in between appointments, it will keep the shedding at bay and you will be pleased with her new “do.”
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