Do you have a Yorkshire Terrier or are you thinking of getting one? Maybe you’re looking for a dog breed that doesn’t shed too much? Here’s everything you need to know about whether Yorkshire Terriers shed.
Do Yorkshire Terriers Shed? Yes, Yorkshire Terriers do shed, but not like other dog breeds. They’re single coated which means they only shed a light amount of dog hair all year round. For this reason, the AKC classes them as a hypoallergenic dog breed, making them a good option for allergy sufferers.
Read on to find out how much Yorkshire Terriers shed, whether single-coated breeds can cause pet allergies, how much Yorkie puppies shed and what you can do to minimise dog hair in your home.
Never use the advice in this article as a substitute for professional veterinary advice or treatment. I am NOT a Vet, qualified dog trainer or dog behaviourist. This article is based on research, personal opinion and experience of owning dogs over the last 12+ years.
How Much Do Yorkshire Terriers Shed?
Yorkshire Terriers don’t shed much compared with other dog breeds. Because they shed so little hair, they’re actually classed by the American kennel Club (AKC) as a hypoallergenic dog breed.
However, that doesn’t mean to say pet allergy sufferers will be ok with them – that very much depends on the individual person. It just means they only shed a small amount daily.
Affectionately known as Yorkies, their fine, silky hair is actually more similar to human hair, than dog fur! They shed their hair in a similar way to us humans too.
Although they don’t follow the same shedding cycle of double-coated dog breeds, they do still shed some dog hair each day.
The reason they shed less is because they don’t have an undercoat to shed. They’re one of the few single-coated breeds, making them a popular choice for allergy sufferers (although they won’t suit everyone!).
Yorkshire Terriers are a toy breed, standing at only 7-8 inches tall and weighing just 7lbs. This also means they simply don’t have as much hair to lose compared with other larger dog breeds!
If you groom them regularly, you’re unlikely to find many shed hairs on your furniture, which can be a bonus!
They do lightly shed hair all year round though, in a similar way to us humans.
So the only way you’ll know if you have a pet allergy is to spend time with the individual dog before bringing them home.
What Is A Yorkshire Terrier’s Shedding Cycle?
Yorkshire Terriers don’t have the same shedding cycle as double-coated breeds, making them pretty unique!
Double coated breeds shed their hair more intensely twice a year, in line with the changing seasons.
They do this to help keep them warm in Winter and cool in Summer. But this is the opposite for Yorkshire Terriers!
Yorkshire Terriers continually grow their hair and each strand is gradually replaced with new ones when they reach the optimum length.
This is similar to how our own human hair grows. So, instead of shedding their hair rapidly twice a year, a Yorkie’s shedding cycle is much slower.
This is why some people mistakenly think they don’t shed at all!
Do Yorkshire Terrier Puppies Shed?
Yes, Yorkshire Terrier puppies do shed. Their shedding is most severe from around 4-5 months of age. This is when they start to lose their soft puppy coat, ready for their adult coat to come through.
They’ll shed much more than usual for about a month, and their hair can seem patchy and uneven.
As their finer adult coat starts to grow through, it can make matting and tangles more likely. So, you’ll need to brush them more regularly to keep on top of this.
Yorkie puppies can also change color as their adult coat comes through, so don’t be surprised if that happens because it’s entirely normal!
Do Yorkshire Terriers Shed All The Time?
Yes, Yorkshire Terriers lightly shed their hair all year round, just like humans. Unlike double-coated breeds, they don’t have an undercoat to shed.
This means there’s less coat for them to lose and they won’t ‘blow their coat’ seasonally either.
The hairs that are shed, often get stuck in the rest of their coat, so you may not notice as many loose hairs around your home.
However, this does mean that Yorkshire Terriers require daily brushing. Without this, their hair can quickly become very tangled and matted. Just like ours!
Brushing also helps remove loose hairs from their coat to stop them from getting knotted in.
Why Is My Yorkshire Terrier Shedding So Much?
If your Yorkshire Terrier’s shedding excessively, there’s likely to be an underlying cause.
Always get advice from your vet if you notice your Yorkshire Terrier shedding more than usual.
Here’s what could be causing your Yorkie to shed excessively:
Anxiety, obsessive licking of fur and skin
Fleas, mites, ticks and mange
Food or environmental
Ringworm, Pyoderma, bacterial or fungal infections
Feeding poor quality food, lack of proper nutrition
Alopecia, thyroid problems, Cushing’s disease
Females in heat, pregnant or rearing puppies
How Do I Manage My Yorkshire Terrier’s Shedding?
Although Yorkshire Terriers don’t shed too much, there are still things you can do to help keep on top of it:
Brush Your Yorkshire Terrier Frequently
If your Yorkshire Terrier’s coat is long, they’ll need daily brushing.
If they’ve had their coats cut shorter, you can get away with brushing them 2-3 times per week.
Their fine hair can quickly become knotted and matted which can become extremely painful or irritating for them.
If you come across a tangle, try spraying some doggy conditioning spray onto it and carefully teasing it out.
If you’re struggling, it’s best to carefully cut it out if you can or go to a professional dog groomer.
Choose The Right Brush For Your Yorkshire Terrier
Brushing your Yorkie with a comb or pin brush, helps remove any loose hair that are trapped in their coat.
This keeps their skin and hair healthier and stops them from shedding as much around your home.
Avoid using de-shedding brushes, because they don’t have an undercoat that needs to be brushed out.
Make sure your combs and brushes are not too sharp too, as this can easily scratch your Yorkshire Terrier’s delicate skin.
If you damage their skin, this can lead to them licking and nibbling at the area while it heals, potentially causing them to shed more.
Trim Your Yorkshire Terrier’s Coat
Some owners find it more challenging to commit to the upkeep when their Yorkshire Terrier’s hair is left long.
Trimming it to a ‘pet-cut’ can be helpful. This reduces the amount of grooming you need to do, and keeps on top of knots and tangles.
Because they’re single coated, they don’t rely on a double coat to keep them warm or cool.
This means their coats can be trimmed shorter, without the risk of them being unable to regulate their body temperature.
Bathe Your Yorkshire Terrier Regularly
It’s recommended to bathe your Yorkshire Terrier every 2-4 weeks depending on their coat length and lifestyle.
Those with longer hair will need more frequent baths than those who have been trimmed short.
Always use high-quality dog shampoos and conditioners, made from natural ingredients.
Feed Your Yorkshire Terrier Good Food
Good nutrition is vital for your Yorkshire Terrier’s overall health and their coat health too.
Feeding a low-quality diet, without the proper nutrition, can cause them to lose more hair than usual. It can even lead to dry skin and, in severe cases, a weakened immune system.
This can leave your Yorkshire Terrier more susceptible to picking up illnesses, which can cause them to shed more.
Avoid any foods containing artificial ingredients, colours, preservatives or flavourings. Choose high-quality food and treats made with natural, healthy ingredients.
Use Dog Conditioning Spray On Your Yorkshire Terrier’s Coat
A good quality doggy conditioning spray can help reduce the amount of hair that’s broken when brushing your Yorkshire Terrier.
Because their hair is so fine, it’s easily damaged or broken when they’re groomed.
Dog conditioning spray keeps their coat in better condition and can help reduce the amount that falls out too.
Give Your Yorkshire Terrier Supplements
There are lots of supplements available that can improve your Yorkshire Terrier’s skin and coat health.
Fish oils and products containing Omega 3 and 6 are great for keeping their skin and hair in top condition.
Even adding some tinned sardines to their meals a few time a week can help keep their skin healthy.
The healthier their skin and coat are, the less hair they’ll be likely to lose.
So there you have it! Yorkies do shed but much less than other dog breeds do. They’re single coated and only shed a small amount each day, making them a potential option for those with pet allergies. However, all allergies are individual to the person, so the best way to find out for sure is to spend time with the Yorkie first before bringing them home.
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