A common belief among the people who are not very familiar with our favorite breed is that Yorkshire terriers do not shed at all which probably leads to the general assumption that they are hypoallergenic, too.
If you’ve already taken the best decision to bring a sweet little Yorkie at home, you might also be asking yourself – “Do Yorkies really don’t shed?” or “Do Yorkshire terriers shed a lot?”
Well, you are in the right place because in the following article we’ll explain the main differences between Yorkie’s coat and those of the most other breeds.
You’ll also be able to learn if the general perception that Yorkies are not shedders is true.
In this article we’ve selected the best products for daily maintaning of your Yorkshire terriers. One of the best in the market that really deserve your attention.
Why do dogs shed?
Have you ever asked yourself “What causes dogs to shed?”. In order to get a better understanding of the Yorkie’s coats and shedding, we’ll explain what is the reason behind that process.
Shedding in dogs is a natural process of changing their fur. Normally, they have two intense periods of shedding during the year.
They are during the autumn and spring seasons. Basically, this is a process which helps dogs to “change their clothes” and prepare for the upcoming weather changes and conditions.
During the spring, dogs change their warm fur with thick undercoat with a lighter “coating” which helps them handle the hot summer days.
In autumn, on the other hand, light wool is dumped and a new one grows which is warm, with a thick undercoat.
Due to the domestication of dogs and changing their natural environment with closed premises such as apartments and houses, the natural biorhythm of the animal could be changed and the dog will shed almost constantly, from season to season.
To avoid this, it is necessary to provide the dog with the appropriate vitamins for skin and fur, as well as regular walks, especially during colder days.
Hiding dogs from the cold is not a proper thing to do. They need to feel the cold and weather change in order to trigger the natural method of coat changing. And the same goes for the warm seasons.
Usually, the intense seasonal shedding lasts about two weeks but it all depends on the weather, the size, and age of the dog.
During those intense shedding phases, it is necessary to daily brush the dog in order to help it get rid of the falling hair.
Dog coat types
Basically, the coat of dogs is divided into 3 types:
Not all dogs have an undercoat. Yorkshire terriers, for example, do not have one. It’s inner wool, light and warm. It retains heat and ensures normalization of body temperature.
The main coat protects the dog from dirt, parasites, wind and other external factors. This coat can be any – long, short, curly, hard, etc.
Tactile hair is actually the whiskers we see on our dog’s faces. They are actually called vibrissae, which comes from the Latin word “vibrio” that means to vibrate.
These sensible sensors help the dog to orient and move around the world.
During the shedding seasons, dogs change only their undercoat and main coat. If they are not combed properly then the undercoat will get stuck in the main coat causing coils.
What is the difference between Yorkie’s hair and other dog’s fur?
Even though the differences between Yorkie’s hair and most of the other dog’s coats may not be that huge, they are enough to delimitate the amount of shedding to a significant level.
Dogs with shedding coats
Basically, dogs which shed a lot have all the three components of their coats that we mentioned above – undercoat, main coat and tactile hair.
Their fur can be loose and dense, which means that it may contain a lot of dander as well.
Dander is a collection of skin cells, dust, and other particles found in the air. As the dog sheds, these particles float around in the air and cause people to have allergy attacks.
The undercoat, as we mentioned above is a thick coat that protects dogs from harsh temperatures.
The undercoat is the main reason that causes the dogs to shed frequently.
Yorkies on the other hand, do not have an undercoat and their hair is more like human hair, which means it will not shed as frequently as the dogs with undercoat.
We’ll go into more details below.
Do Yorkies shed?
After all of the above said you should be already able to partly answer the main question: “Do Yorkshire terriers shed?” or “Do Yorkies shed a lot?”.
It is true that the Yorkshire Terrier does not change his coat in the spring and autumn as most of the other breeds.
But it is not true that they will not change their coat or their hair doesn’t fall at all.
After all, there is no animal in nature with a hairy cover that will be born with coat and that will stay throughout its entire life with the same coat on his body.
What is different with the Yorkies is that they do not have an undercoat and their pH of the hair is very similar to that of the human’s.
So just as we lose the dead hairs on our heads, so is with Yorkies.
They don’t have intense seasonal hair falls like other breeds but rather they will lose the dead hairs from their body smoothly and gradually throughout the entire year.
Furthermore, if people take proper cares for their sweetie’s coat, they will hardly see hairs on the floor, on the clothes, on the sofa or on the bed.
This is because the dead hairs which are replaced by new, fine and silky ones will remain on the Yorkie’s back.
That is why after brushing we see hairs left on the brush or on the comb and that is why it is so important that we do it daily (especially for the long-haired Yorkies).
If the dead hairs are not removed from the body, they will become matted and tangled.
What is a proper care and how to minimize the falling of dead hairs of a Yorkie?
Yorkies like any other dogs require your daily attention and maintenance in order to be in a perfect shape and look.
Long hair maintenance is done by daily brushing and combing with a proper bubble tipped pin brush and comb, using specialized cosmetics.
Below are our top picks when it comes to proper Yorkie care – the T – Brush Mini and the Fine Buttercomb from Chris Christensen. Those two pieces of art will make your life so much easier and your Yorkies will love it.
The Safari Dog De-Matting Comb is the ultimate tool for demating and removing tangles from your long haired Yorkshire terrier hair.
If you only take about 10 minutes every day to brush and comb your baby, you will never see dead hairs on the floor or over your clothes.
For people with a really busy lifestyle, the best option would be to choose a moderately short hairstyle for their Yorkshire terrier.
Choosing this option could reduce the daily brushing to once per two or three days.
Another important factor that must be considered and would strengthen the hair of a Yorkie is the food.
Feeding it with quality and grain free food will not only help his hair to be strong but also improve its general state of health.
Last but not least, like everyone else we would recommend to buy a puppy from a reputable and trusted kennel if you want to be sure of the health and purity of your future friend.
Another good way to keep your yorkie from shedding too much is to trim its hair short. Here are the best clippers that pro groomers recommend.
It might be a little costly but that will save you a lot of troubles in the future.
Why does my Yorkie shed so much? When should you be concerned about too intense hair loss?
Even though Yorkies do not shed as much as most of the other dogs, there are certain cases that you as an owner might experience a more intensive hair fall than usual.
Unfortunately, in most of the cases, the reason is related to some health issue of the Yorkshire terrier.
We can say that the hair of the Yorkie is a mirror of his general health condition.
Let us go through some of the possible reasons your Yorkie is loosing more hair than it should be:
Chlorine and sodium deficiency in the body
Most likely to occur because of excess loss of these two minerals in the body of the dog.
The list of allergy causers is actually quite long. Allergies are caused by offending substances which are breathed in, ingested or a Yorkie has a direct contact with.
These substances may be found in: food (including dog food), medications, cleaning products, a human shampoo (or other cosmetic products) which are used over the Yorkie, bites by insects (most commonly flea).
Make sure to consult with your vet and find the causer.
- Hypothyroidism – even though Yorkies are not among the breeds that are most prone to thyroid imbalances, it is a possible contributor where the hair becomes fragile and later falls out.
- Other hormonal issues that may cause the Yorkie’s hair to fall include under or overproduction of testosterone, estrogen or progesterone.
Internal and external parasites
Parasites are divided into two main groups – those who live inside the body of the dog (internal) and the ones that are on the body (external).
They use the dog’s body to acquire their nourishment and to reproduce. External parasites most often make the Yorkie to scratch, bite or lick certain areas of the body which later leads to hair fall.
Internal parasites can lead the Yorkie to malnutrition which is also a factor that causes its hair to fall.
There are various diseases that may be the causer of too intense shedding in Yorkies.
One of them to mention is a Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism). This is an endocrine disease occurring mainly in adult dogs due to hyperfunction of the adrenal cortex and increased production of corticotrophin or ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone).
Poor (unbalanced) nutrition
As we mentioned above, feeding your Yorkshire terrier with high-quality food is a very important factor. Poor nutrition can be one reason for intensive hair loss.
If the food you feed your little friend does not contain enough vitamins, you will need to consult with a vet who will most probably prescribe the necessary quantities.
Too frequent bathing with low-quality cosmetics
We always encourage our readers to go for high-quality cosmetic products including shampoos and conditioners which are only suitable for the hair of Yorkshire terriers.
Frequent baths with shampoos that do not meet the needs of Yorkie’s hair may violate the chemical balance of the skin and therefore cause weakening and intense shedding.
As a rule, it takes about a month to change the hair, which means that the disease that caused the deterioration of the coat has long been hurting the dog and you need the help of a veterinarian as soon as you observe some unusual intense shedding periods.
Here are top quality shampoos especially appropriate for the specific structure of Yorkies:
You can read about the best Yorkie shampoos and conditioners HERE.
Normal Yorkie shedding and intense shedding periods which are normal
However, not only diseases cause sudden or severe shedding. The hair of a Yorkie reacts to any changes in his life and environment.
During pregnancy, lactation and heat periods
It is completely normal that Yorkies will experience more intense shedding during the time of pregnancy, lactation and heat periods.
There is nothing much you can do in this case but rather wait until this period is over and your dog acquires again its beautiful and silky hair.
However, if the intense shedding really bothers you, speak with your vet on your next scheduled visit.
Just like the body of humans experience some immune system drops and our bodies go through specific misbalances during the times of rapid climate changes, the same may happen with our favorite Yorkies.
If you observe such behavior, we recommend contacting your vet who might prescribe vitamins or other supplements that will help your best friend to deal with the variable weather.
After medical interventions
Intense shedding periods are also observed after medical interventions, surgeries or periods of longer pills taking.
Last update on 2018-08-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API