You might have noticed how beautiful a Yorkie looks after a visit to the hair salon! This is oddly a good term to describe where a Yorkie gets their hair done, since they do not have fur…
Yorkshire terriers have hair and not fur. Their medium-length hair is in one layer, and so does not have the thickness or density of fur that you see in some other dog breeds that is usually in two layers.
Just as regular hair looks better when it is fully groomed, so does a Yorkies coat of hair.
There is hardly anything more beautiful than a well-looked after Yorkie with a lovely shiny coat of hair. They can also manage many styles with their hair, including tiny pigtails, ponytails, and even hair straightening of sorts.
Their hair is the closest to human hair as one can get. In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about a Yorkie’s hair, it’s growth, how to groom it, and any other top tips you need to know.
What is the difference between hair and fur?
It might surprise you to know that there is a difference in coats between breeds of dogs, and that hair and fur are very different.
Fur is finer and often has two layers.
Avid dog lovers say that fur is not so great for allergy sufferers and that hair is better tolerated. The denseness of fur can make it less healthy for those that do not tolerate it well.
Plus, it will fall out a lot during certain seasons.
Hair being less dense can call for your Yorkie to wear a jacket outside in colder climates.
Hair on a dog falls out less often than fur and is less dense.
Some dogs with hair include Poodles, Miniature Poodles, Bichon Frise, Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers, Shih Tzus to name a few, but there are larger breeds like the Giant Schnauzer for example.
The problem with hair, as everyone knows, is it needs constant grooming and combing in order to look good.
Hair, if left to its own devices, will in a very short period of time look matted and unkept, and this is not a good look for a Yorkie.
If you feel that you cannot keep up with salon visits, don’t have the desire to comb and cut your dog’s hair, then perhaps a Yorkie is not for you.
If you still are hellbent on owning a Yorkie because you love their other attributes aside from their hair, then you can always opt for the very shortcut that requires minimum upkeep on your part and will help your Yorkie maintain the best health and appearance.
Monthly Grooming and More
Their hair needs are to be groomed at least monthly with intervals of upkeep for obvious reasons, like muddy walks and toileting issues if required.
The other difference with hair and fur is of course the eye-candy factor. Although this is debatable, many dogs owners with dogs that have fur and not hair can argue their dog is just as cute when groomed and easier to maintain!
The growth cycle of dogs hair and fur
In order to understand hair and fur, as well as shedding, it is important to know the different cycles hair growth goes through. [Source]
Dogs hair and fur like human hair grows in cycles.
It is the speed and length of each cycle that will determine how much fur or hair is shed. Some people are very averse to dog hair, either because they dislike cleaning it up around the home, or because they are sensitive to it, but more about this later.
The Growth Stages are:
This is the phase when the coat is actively growing.
This is the final stage of growth when the coat has reached maximum growth for this cycle.
This is where the hair or fur is fully grown but dormant.
This is where hair starts to fall out and this stage makes way for the anagen stage to begin again. This is the stage at which fur starts to shed.
Dogs with fur reach all of these stages in cycles, and during the exogen stage, their hair stops growing as hair starts to fall out, then the anagen stage begins again. This leads to shedding.
Dogs with hair never reach a dormant stage their hair is constantly growing, so shedding is minimal compared to fur.
This also means the dog’s hair can grow very long, whereas fur remains quite short.
Show caution with the idea of hypoallergenic dogs
Due to this cycle of hair growth, some breeders of dogs with hair will push the idea that hair-bearing dogs are less annoying to those allergic to dog fur.
The truth is not as clear-cut.
Humans are more allergic to the dander that coats a dog’s hair or fur as opposed to the fact that they shed.
Clearing away hair all day is not great, but the fact is whilst falling fur can dislodge dander and create more dander in the environment, there is no less dander in hair.
Whilst falling fur will create more dander in the air, dogs with hair also have dander on their coats.
The dormant phase being missing with hair means that there is less dander in the environment, but does not mean that there is no dander at all.
Dander, for clarification, is the oils and skin that your dog sheds naturally onto their hair follicles or fur follicles.
If the reduced dander appeals to you, there are over 36 breeds of dogs available with hair as opposed to fur. We have just mentioned a few above, but doing a thorough search of these dogs is the best route to go. [Source]
You also want to consider the dog’s needs, your needs, and which dog would suit your family environment. Owning a dog is a lifetime commitment, regardless of whether they have fur or hair, but this could be a factor that is very important to you.
Grooming Yorkies with Hair
When it comes to grooming your Yorkie, the first thing you will have to decide upon is how long you want their hair, how important their hair is to you.
For example, some Yorkie owners adore their pet’s hair and really do enjoy taking care of their coat. These types of owners also enjoy making their pets look particularly pretty. Nothing looks more lovely than a well-groomed pet with shining silky hair that is well styled. If this is your bag!
It is all-around good advice to brush your dog very well every day to minimize dander.
The more elaborate the style you choose for your pet, the more time you will have to spend on your pet’s hair.
For the most part, grooming your pet’s hair in-between salon visits to the dog groomer is easier if you know what to do.
Finding the correct apparatus, including special brushes that do not tug at their hair, good shampoos, and conditioners will help to keep their hair clean and neat, regardless of the length or style. If their hair is shorter, obviously shampooing and combing out is easier.
If their hair is longer, adding some conditioner to a spray bottle will help when you need to comb out their hair.
Important Grooming Points to consider
Yorkies might need feces removed from their behinds on a regular basis, and the best way to do this is to start off with having the hair around their bottom trimmed quite short in comparison to the rest of their bodies.
The longer the hair, the more entangled feces can become in the hair.
How Grooming Really Works
If you take your Yorkie to the groomer, then the groomer will remove a lot of hair from around that area for you, making things a little easier.
It is important to keep on top of this not only for aesthetics but also because if feces is left where it can cause a urinary tract infection in your Yorkie, which you do not want.
You can remove most of the debris with a water wipe or special dog wipe made for this purpose. If you want to bathe their backside, you can only do it if you use a non-irritating shampoo or waterless shampoo specially designed for this and for dogs only.
You do not want to make the issue worse with too many baths that irritate the skin around the area.
Dogs’ coats are normally just called hair! Or sometimes fur, but there are differences between the two.
Some dander can be reduced with hair as opposed to fur but it is not a foolproof way of saying that your dog is now dander-free.
Instead, understand that their hair does not shed as much, so the environment will be less full of dander than if it were fur going through speedy growth cycles with the dormant phase included.
All dogs deserve good grooming, and your Yorkie is no different. They have a few extra special needs, like the feces issue mentioned above, but there are hygienic ways around this issue too. Once you get the hang of their coats and their needs, it should become a breeze for you over time, then you can enjoy their inevitable cuteness factor!