All about yorkie coat and hair

Yorkshire Terrier Coat Elements

A Single Coat of Hair

One of the most distinctive features of the Yorkshire Terrier is its coat. Unlike many dog breeds that possess a double coat, comprising both an undercoat and an overcoat of hair or fur, the Yorkshire Terrier boasts a single layer of hair. This single-layer coat is very similar to human hair in texture and growth patterns, contributing to the breed’s popularity among people with allergies, as it is considered to be more hypoallergenic than many other breeds.

The Difference Between Hair and Fur

Understanding the distinction between hair and fur in dogs is not just a matter of semantics; it reflects significant differences in texture, growth patterns, and grooming needs that can affect both the dog’s health and the owner’s lifestyle. Here are the three main differences between hair and fur:


  1. Growth Patterns and Length: A key difference between dog hair and fur lies in their growth: hair, like that of Yorkshire Terriers, grows continuously, allowing for longer lengths and varied styling, while fur has a set length before shedding, leading to distinct grooming needs.
  2. Renewal Cycle and Shedding: Hair has a slower renewal cycle than fur, involving growth, rest, and shedding phases, leading to less frequent shedding. This trait is beneficial for allergy sufferers or those aiming to reduce pet hair in their homes. Though this often puts breeds with hair into the hypoallergenic category, no breed is completely allergen-free.
  3. Texture and Density: The texture of hair is generally smoother and silkier compared to fur. This quality is due to the absence of the coarse guard hairs that are characteristic of fur. Additionally, hair is less densely packed on the skin, featuring fewer follicles per square inch. This lower density contributes to the sleek, refined appearance of hair-coated breeds and influences grooming techniques and tools that are most effective for their care.

Coat Color


Yorkshire Terrier puppies are initially black and tan, a color pattern that significantly changes as they mature. Though it is a slow process, generally by the two year mark and no later than the three year mark, the black and tan will transform to blue and tan (or gold). This fascinating change is due to their genetics, with the “blue” ranging from a dark steel (preferred in the show ring) to a lighter silver (common with pet Yorkies) and the “tan” presenting a deep, rich gold that intensifies at the tips. 

Yorkshire Terrier Shedding: The Process of Renewal

The Yorkshire Terrier, having a coat of hair, does not go through a typical shedding phase as is seen with breeds that have fur. However, this does not mean that hairs do not fall out; they do, and this is a good thing as it keeps the coat refreshed.

Hairs independently go through a cycle of growth (when hair follicles are active), rest (15 to 20% of hairs are in this phase at any one given time), and a fall stage (a hair loosens from the follicle and sheds off). 
Because a Yorkie’s hair is so fine, you may not see hairs that have fallen to the ground. It is, however, perfectly normal to see stray hairs in the brush when you are tending to the coat.
There are some elements that can cause faster than normal fallout, such as inferior coat products or using the wrong type of brush (details ahead). There are also some health issues that can cause major hair loss, either in patches or over the entire body, though these are rare (also discussed ahead).
For females that have just gone through a pregnancy, a drop in hormones that occurs directly after whelping can cause a heavy shed. This typically resolves as hormone levels re-balance.

Puppy to Adult Changes in the Coat: Color, Texture, Length

There are amazing changes that occur to the coat as a Yorkshire Terrier transitions from a puppy to an adult.


Color: Yorkshire Terrier puppies start with coats predominantly black and tan, with black being the more dominant shade. As they mature, the black recedes to mainly cover the saddle (back), while the tan brightens, especially on the head, legs, and feet. This transition, influenced by genetic factors, typically completes by the second or third year, resulting in the characteristic blue and tan adult coat. Unlike many other breeds with blue coats that have blue skin pigmentation, Yorkies retain black skin pigmentation around their eye rims, nose, lips, and paw pads.


Texture: The Yorkshire Terrier’s coat undergoes a change in texture from the softer, more manageable coat of a puppy to the fine, silky texture of an adult. This silky texture is a breed hallmark, requiring regular grooming to maintain its health and sheen.


Length: Adult Yorkies can grow their hair to reach the floor, typically achieving this milestone between 18 to 24 months. For owners preferring a shorter, ‘puppy’ hairstyle, the first trim typically occurs within the first year. It’s important to start grooming sessions early so that a Yorkie becomes accustomed being handled as well as the scissors and other trimming tools.

Article from : Yorkie Info Centre