Since the last 3 years, There has been a huge increase in the popularity of Parti Yorkies.
But who are these Parti Yorkies? Are they any sub-breed of Yorkshire Terriers or a separate breed? How did they originate and when did they come into existence?
The classification of Parti Yorkshire Terriers has been included in the AKC since 2000. Some people even say that over the last couple of years, Parti Yorkies have been registered more with the AKC than the Traditional Yorkies.
Why do some reputable breeders refuse to accept that there is anything called Parti Yorkies?
Well, I decided to research everything from A to Z on Parti Yorkies and come up with a complete guide on Parti Yorkies, their history, colour combinations and other important points about this breed.
I am Daniela Carrera, a certified professional trainer and I love to help dog owners on my blog LittlepawsTraining. I invested a lot of time and hard work in researching Parti Yorkies and then getting into the details of different controversies around these cute little dogs.
What’s a Parti Yorkie?
Any Yorkshire Terrier with white patches on his coat or a coat of white colour combined with any other colour is a Parti Yorkie. The other colours are mostly black, golden and chocolate.
Does that mean that Parti Yorkies are nothing but Yorkshire Terriers with a different colour? Yes, Exactly.
Traditional Yorkies have blue and tan coloured hair, whereas Parti Yorkies have white and black coloured hair. There are other Parti Yorkie colour combinations as well like a black and white Yorkie, white Yorkie, blonde Yorkies etc.
History of Parti Yorkies
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There is very little information about the history of Parti Yorkshire Terriers. There might be a lot of stories and theories on “Where did Parti Yorkies came from?” but very few have any solid proofs to back them.
In the 17th and 18th century, farmers used to adopt dogs as these dogs used to guard their crops pretty well. However, they didn’t have any idea on how to neuter or spay their pet dogs.
Due to this, male dogs of random breeds were free to mate with female Yorkshire Terriers and impregnating them. Not only this, many people even mated Maltese dogs with Yorkies to improve the length and texture of Yorkshire Terrier’s coats.
Books of the 19th century have some references of Parti Yorkies and how they looked back then. In the year 1895, Stonehenge wrote a book named “The Dog” which had a mention of “White Yorkies”.
This is the quote:
“Sometimes the broken haired dog is white, more or less marked with blue or some other color, but the less the better.”
Mrs Lessie Williams published a book named “A Manual of Toy Dogs, How to breed, rear, and feed them” in 1904. It had this quote:
“The white Yorkshires, a new variety some folk have tried to push, is, I think, in no way especially desirable—the Maltese can do all that is necessary in that line; while the attempt to make “silver” Yorkshires popular, too, simply means that bad-coloured dogs without any tan (paleness of tan is the stumbling-block in many a Yorkshire’s career), are classed by themselves and offered prizes.”
This tells us that Parti Yorkies back then were present and had broken hair with blue or black markings on its coat.
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Controversy Behind Parti Yorkies and their Breeding
Following the arrival of the dog show, breeding of blue and golden coloured Yorkshire Terriers began. People started to get into the breeding business and many of them were considered as reputable breeders.
But there was an interesting thing. No reputable breeder wanted to get associated with Parti or tri-coloured Yorkies as they considered these white Yorkies as “low-quality” ones.
Parti -Yorkies kept appearing in Yorkie litter and these breeders started to put these dogs down or gave them to owners with a promise that the new owner will not tell the place from where he got the dog.
They didn’t want these Parti-Yorkies to be associated with other purebred traditional Yorkshire Terriers as that could affect their business.
However, the recessive genes in these Yorkies kept on getting transferred from generations to generations. These genes lay dormant until two Yorkies having Parti-Yorkie gene mated and gave birth to a Parti-Yorkie.
Breeders were not really aware which Yorkshire Terrier carries those genes as there were no physical marks to distinguish among them. And this is how these genes and Parti Yorkies kept on taking birth from time to time and kept on getting passed on since generations.
This is why there can be a pup in the litter of Yorkshire Terriers who is white in colour or has white markings, whom we call a Parti Yorkie. As of now, the number of breeders breeding Parti Yorkies is on the rise since AKC recognised them.
Are Parti Yorkies considered Purebred Yorkies?
As per the history, Parti Yorkies were considered low-quality dogs by the breeders and were often euthanized or given away.
Many dog lovers even consider Parti Yorkies as a crossbreed between Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier. They think that they were bred together to improve the texture and length of the coat but the crossbreed of these two breeds is Morkies and not Parti Yorkies.
Some also have the opinion that the colour of these Tri-coloured Yorkies is leftovers from the Yorkie stock.
So you see, there are plenty of controversies around Parti Yorkies in the past, but they are purebred Yorkshire Terriers and AKC has not only recognized them but has also changed the standard to include Parti Yorkie colours in the list as well.
With all the history behind, the increase in popularity of Parti Yorkies among dog owners has forced breeders to look for options and breed Parti Yorkies in more quantity as well.
In fact, the increase in demand for Parti Yorkies has been the most in the last 2 years and more Parti Yorkies have been registered with the AKC than Traditional Yorkshire Terriers since 2017.
How did AKC approve Parti Yorkie Colors?
When the breeders were either killing or giving away these Tri-coloured Yorkies away, there was a person named Mrs Gloria Lipman from Nikko’s Kennels who refused to kill Parti Yorkies.
A Lady named Ms. Bogren noticed this breed of dog. She found it to be really charming and followed the owner for 5 miles when she found that the dog came from Mrs Lipman’s Kennels and that’s where he lived.
She expressed her desire to buy 2 of these White Yorkies but Gloria Lipman told her that this breed cannot be registered with their true colour from the AKC.
After a lot of discussions, Ms Bogren told Mrs Lipman that she would buy all the Parti Yorkies from her if Mrs Lipman from Nikko’s Kennels asked the AKC for DNA tests of the parents of these Parti Yorkies.
Mrs Lipman asked the AKC to perform DNA tests of parents of White Yorkies and for this task, Mrs Lipman had to pay a lot of money.
AKC closed Mrs Lipman’s Kennel for 18 months to test the dogs and Mrs Lipman could not run her business during this time. 42 Litters were tested by AKC during this time.
But the AKC wanted more samples and were not just satisfied with this. That’s why they went to more breeders and asked them if they had any White Yorkies in their litter.
A lot of these breeders said yes and during this research, AKC also found more breeders who had even more of these Parti Yorkies than Mrs Lipman.
Finally, AKC was convinced and they included colours like White, black and white and chocolate and white in the Yorkshire Terrier colour standards.
Yorkshire Terrier and their different Coat Colours
Yorkshire Terriers are pretty easy to identify whether they are purebred or not due to their distinctive colours. Also, it’s easy to identify whether a Yorkie is a pup or an elder dog as well.
This is because the colour of the Yorkshire Terriers will change as he gets elder, Yorkies have a distinct coat colour called Yorkshire Terrier blue and Yorkies have hair instead of fur.
Yorkshire Terrier puppies have black and tan colour coating while elder Yorkies have blue and gold coat colour. The blue colour starts from the neck and ends at tails.
These colours are very common in Yorkshire Terriers. Though the tan patches on a Yorkie’s body may vary.
The place of these tan patches varies from pup to pup with some of them having them around tails, front legs, above the eyes, around the back legs or chest.
Even the intensity of these patches varies from highly visible to less visible. The lower part of the body and throat and chins can also have bronze patches. These spots can be of different size and shapes and sometimes the colour of these spots also varies from dark bronze to golden.
These spots start to fade away as the pup ages.
Once the Yorkie has grown up to be a fully grown adult, there are no more black spots left on his body. The colour of these spots starts to change its colours from black to bronze as the puppy gets older.
The colours of chest and paws also start to brighten up and get clearly defined with the age of Yorkies. Silver clour will start to appear on the whole body of your Yorkshire Terrier.
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When do Yorkshire Terriers change their colours?
Though this can change for every individual Yorkshire Terrier, normally, Yorkies can change the colours of their coat by the time they are 6 months old. You can expect to observe that change around this time.
The final colour of your Yorkshire Terrier will be reached when he turns around 30 months old. This is not a typical age and can vary greatly from 24 months to 36 months.
As your Yorkie pup ages, he would gain a lot of silver hair on his coat.
This change of coat colour is not a sudden change overnight but a gradual and slow change. The weight of the coat gets lighter as well as the puppy ages. The black colour of the coat will change to a brighter blue colour while the dark spots will change colour to golden or bronze.
During the growing period, there can be a time when all the four colours could be present on Yorkie’s body. Also, this should be cleared that the old hair of the Yorkie grows out and new hair takes its place.
A Yorkshire Terrier’s hair is in a state of constant renewal. This is a breakdown of how a Yorkie’s hair will change with the increasing age:
3 to 4 weeks
The base of the hair turns golden and the head of the pup is golden brown. Also, your Yorkie’s hair will be very silky.
4 to 5 months
The hair gets more rigid and strong. The colour of the coat would be black. Also, muzzle and paws will be reddish-brown.
8 to 9 months
Your pup’s coat colour will start to change by the 9th month and the change would be from black to silver. If the colour doesn’t change, then it would most likely remain of black colour and the coat will be short and rough.
If you can observe the start of the change in colour, the coat would be much softer.
After 9 months
The coat colour of the body would be black while the legs would be pale cream. The head of the puppy would be of reddish-brown colour.
Hair of your Yorkie would be strong and heavy.
If you are interested in getting a Yorkshire Terrier with a standard colour, look for a dog with silky, straight hair with a reddish muzzle and paws.
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Parti Yorkies and their different colour Combinations
Parti Yorkies have really beautiful colours and coat. They have different patterns and colour combinations as compared to the traditional Yorkies of blue and gold colour.
Here are some of the colour variations and combinations in Yorkshire Terriers:
- History has not been kind to Parti Yorkies. They have been killed or secretly given away by breeders for a long time until they got registered by the AKC in 2000. But now, Parti Yorkies are the most popular. Traditional Yorkies have blue and tan coats while Parti Yorkies are black and white with golden patches.
- Golden or Blonde Parti Yorkies: Parti Yorkies having golden and blonde colour coatings do not have blue or black colourings. When they are puppies, they are either golden colour with white markings or solid gold. Adult ones are either rich gold or blonde gold.
- Chocolate Parti Yorkies: Traditional Yorkshire Terriers are born completely black, while Parti Yorkies are born with brown colour. Chocolate Parti Yorkies are very rare which are born due to a double recessive gene in a parent. Many people even consider them as a separate breed but it is not true. Chocolate Parti Yorkies are not yet recognized by the American Kennel Club.
Why are Parti Yorkies confused as Biewer Terrier?
Biewer Terrier is a special breed that was created by a german couple Gertrud and Werner Biewer who were into Yorkshire Terrier breeding for last 20 years.
On 20th January 1984, Biewer Terrier was created by mating two Yorkies with the recessive piebald gene in Germany.
White Yorkshire Terriers are very rare and it is difficult for breeders to breed them consistently as they are found in the litter of Traditional Yorkshire Terriers.
The Biewer couple continued breeding these white Yorkies until they had a full kennel of this breed called Biewer Terrier.
There are two accepted colours of Biewer Terrier: white, blue, and tan or black, white, and tan. Though, there no set pattern in the dogs of this breed.
Some Biewer Terriers have a white body, tan face with black legs while others have a black body, white face and a tan chest. If you want to get a Biewer Terrier, just make sure that dog is from a Biewer breeding stock, carries an undocked tail and has one of the two accepted colourings.
Parti Yorkies and Biewer Terrier are so identical that when they would be placed side by side in front of you, you would think they both belong to the same breed. The bloodline of Biewer Terrier is that of Yorkshire Terrier though it was registered as a separate breed by the AKC in 2014.
There are very few differences between them, they are:
- Biewer Terriers have undocked tails.
- Biewer Terriers cannot be registered with the AKC as a separate breed. You would need to register them as Parti Yorkshire Terriers.