Going Through “The Change”
Coat change, that is. All puppies have soft, nonshedding coats until they begin to reach maturity. Some breeds, such as Yorkies, tend to begin going through coat change before five months of age. Other breeds go through coat change between six months and eighteen months of age. One telltale symptom of coat change is matting. It begins as tiny little pin mats, but they are very hard to brush out. They seemingly pop up overnight, and the coat's texture changes from soft, downy puppy fuzz to a coarser adult coat that can be a different color in some breeds.
The easiest way to deal with coat change is to give the dog a short haircut and start over. This prevents pain to the puppy from dematting and is the most humane option. Matted coats pull the skin and are painful! Remember, it's just hair, and it will grow back.
Yorkshire Terriers are born mostly black and the golden hues emerge on the head and legs as they grow. The black saddle on their backs changes to a soft, silvery blue hue and the texture gets silky. Your Yorkie may be two-toned for a while, with black hair and silver roots, until his adult coat grows in.
Do You Have to Shave It Off?
If you choose not to shave down your puppy, you must begin brushing out what you can daily until the dog is mat free. If you keep up with the daily combing and brushing, all the way down to the skin and not just brushing over the top, the dog won't need a shave-down because there will be few mats. It takes dedication on your part to continue thorough combing and brushing, but it is possible to avoid a shave-down. Always brush the coat after you spray it with water mixed with conditioner to reduce static and keep the coat from breaking.