A Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) is such a cute bundle of energy and personality. Yorkies make great family dogs since they are well-mannered and exhibit a lot of spunk. Although Yorkies are categorized as non-shedding hypoallergenic dog breeds, the question “do Yorkies shed a lot” frequently crops up on many online forums.
In this guide, we shed light on issues surrounding Yorkies shedding and why yours would even shed in the first place.
Related Reading: Best Food For Yorkie With Allergies
Do Yorkies Shed A Lot?
Even though Yorkies are full of vigor and love to play with humans and other pets, they know when it’s time to listen and behave properly, no wonder they make the best emotional support dogs and travel companions.
Yorkshire Terriers are non-shedding dog breeds, but they still have a shedding cycle like other dogs. It’s just much slower than other types of dogs.
Your Yorkie may also shed during the coat change process. All puppies are born with a single coat. They will go through a puppy phase, shed off their baby coat, and eventually get a brand new adult coat.
This process usually occurs when your Yorkie puppy is around 4-6 months old. However, some Yorkies don’t shed at all during this time. Some go through a moderate shedding phase until they fully develop their adult hair coat.
If you notice your Yorkie shedding too much, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue or malnutrition. Consult your vet for professional guidance on what could be triggering the unusual shedding in your Yorkie.
Yorkies Have Hair, Not Fur
When you run your hands through the coat of your Yorkie, you’ll notice it feels different than other dog breeds. It’s because Yorkies don’t have a fur coat but a silky hair coat.
The major difference is that a fur coat feels thicker since it’s layered with double coats: an undercoat and a top coat, giving it a denser texture and more shedding.
Yorkies only have a single coat of hair, so the texture is smoother and more delicate. This is why Yorkies have very minimal shedding as compared to other dog breeds such as Labrador Retrievers.
Yorkies Don’t Shed a Lot, But their Hair Can Still Fall Out
Yorkies have fine hair that tends to cling to itself, meaning that any loose hair will stay within the coat when shed. As a result, you won’t have to deal with huge amounts of pet hair on your furniture and carpets during seasonal shedding cycles. In fact, Yorkies will rarely leave more than 1-2 stray hairs on your clothing.
Overall, the volume of shedding on Yorkies is minimal and manageable. Their shedding will likely go unnoticed in a regularly cleaned home. With regular grooming, you’ll further reduce loose hairs and eliminate the minimal shedding that does occur. Consider brushing your Yorkie at least a couple of times each week using the right grooming tools.
Do Yorkies Shed their Puppy Coat?
There is a common misconception that Yorkie puppies do shed their puppy coat. This myth is typically fueled by the fact that Yorkie colors begin to change when the dog reaches about six months of age. New hair growth usually comes in a lighter color than the original puppy coat, but the scenario does not affect the puppy’s regular shedding rate. The change also takes place over several months.
This fact applies to Yorkie puppies of all sizes, including teacup Yorkies. Provided the puppy remains healthy and developing normally, the shedding patterns should remain consistent throughout his lifespan.
Reasons Why Your Yorkie May Shed Excessively
Here are some common issues to watch out for if you notice your Yorkshire Terrier shedding more than he should:
1: Neurogenic Dermatitis
Yorkies have sensitive skin and are natural worriers. Your Yorkie may develop neurodermatitis dermatitis due to extreme licking of their coat. They often do this when they’re stressed or in pain.
Excessive licking may cause skin irritation or damage to hair follicles, which can both result in skin pigmentation and excessive shedding.
2: Poor Diet
There are a few cases where Yorkies have shown signs of excessive shedding after their adult coat has fully developed. This is often a sign of a dog in poor health!
Malnutrition is the leading reason for unnatural shedding in all dog breeds, not just in Yorkies. Although dogs are carnivores, they still need six essential nutrients:
Unfortunately, many dog food products on the market don’t come any close to providing all these nutrients in adequate quantities.
It’s best to buy high-quality dog foods that don’t cost a fortune. The Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier Adult Dry Dog Food is a great option to consider.
3: Skin Allergies
Yorkshire Terriers are known to have sensitive skin. They are often prone to skin allergies, which can result in skin infections.
One common symptom of skin infections in Yorkies is hair loss. You may notice a sudden shedding of substantial amounts of hair. At times, a whole patch of hair can fall out at once.
Several external factors can also cause similar skin infections in Yorkies, including dust mites, lawn grass, fleas, or even the flea shampoo you’re using.
4: Pregnancy or Heat
If your Yorkie is pregnant or on heat, the excessive hormones can affect her coat, leading to more shedding. However, the coat should grow back to normal after gestation.
Other common causes of excessive shedding in Yorkies include:
- Seasonal or environmental allergies, especially due to fleas or ticks
- Lack of grooming
- Internal parasites
- Illness, such as Cushing’s disease in adult Yorkies
The Best Way to Care for Your Yorkie’s Luscious Coat
Yorkshire Terriers have hair texture similar to humans but with a glossy shine. Those lustrous curls won’t brush themselves, so you need to take good care of your Yorkie’s silky coat on a daily basis.
The coat must be brushed meticulously, so it doesn’t tangle. Fortunately, maintaining your Yorkie’s hair is much easier compared with other dog breeds. It basically requires three main steps: showering/bathing, brushing, and trimming.
Yorkies have only one coat, so they don’t need frequent baths. Bathing once a month is about right for any lap dog and those who mostly stay indoors.
But if your Yorkie engages in outdoor activities frequently, she should get baths more often. Typically, once per week should be okay, especially during warmer months.
Note that too many baths can over time strip away the natural oils from your Yorkie’s coat. This can reduce his hair’s glossy shine and make him vulnerable to skin infections. More importantly, use all-natural shampoos for baths as they often clean well without being too harsh on your pooch’s skin.
Daily brushing is the best way to keep your Yorkie’s curls sleek and healthy. It also prevents any tangling or matting of the coat and reduces the risk of allergies.
If you have a vibrant Yorkie who adores playing outdoors, he may probably have dirt, grass, and pebbles stuck in his hair. You will find slicker brushes more effective as they have long, thin bristles that easily untangle knots.
The bristles also reach the skin easily to remove any trapped debris. Moreover, these brushes are extremely easy to clean.
Most Yorkie parents prefer giving their pups a ‘puppy cut’ to keep the hair short, bouncy, and easy to care for. Consider trimming your Yorkie’s hair at home every 6-8 weeks. Just be sure to use a reliable clipper.
If your Yorkie occasionally shows signs of shedding, it’s nothing to fret about. Minimal shedding is probably one of the reasons why you love Yorkies so much. However, if you see significant shedding, it could be as a result of one or more external factors. Take your pup to the vet to have him checked.
By regularly grooming your Yorkie, you can keep him healthy and happy, and maintain his coat in perfect shape.
1: Why Do People Love Yorkies?
Yorkies and their mixes are popular across the globe, and for good reasons. In 2020, Yorkies were listed as the 6th most popular dog breed in the US. Some of their most valuable traits include:
- Sprightly and affectionate personalities
- Extremely adaptable, making them great city dogs
- Good with kids and other pets
- Highly portable due to their diminutive size
- Light shedding
2: Are Yorkies Hypoallergenic?
Many people believe that Yorkies are hypoallergenic dogs since they don’t shed like regular dogs with fur. Although Yorkies may cause less of a reaction in individuals with dog allergies, they aren’t completely allergy-proof. More often, allergic reactions are caused by dander and saliva from dogs. So, even though Yorkies shed very little, they can still trigger allergic reactions.
Dr. Belinda Hawks earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University in 2006 and has been practicing veterinary medicine since then. Dr. Belinda currently works as a passionate rancher and mixed animal veterinarian in a rural town in South Carolina. When not practicing veterinary medicine or writing, she spends her free time with her lovely husband and three kids (2 boys and a lovely girl) in South Carolina.