In this article you will find:
- Breed At A Glance:
- History and Origin
- Overview: What is a White Yorkshire Terrier?
- White Yorkie Genetics
- Appearance & Grooming
- Personality & Temperament
- Common Health Issues
- How to Care For a White Yorkie?
- Buyer’s Guide
If you’ve been checking purebred Yorkshire Terriers for some time, then, you’ll know that their official coat colors are black, blue, tan, and gold. So, what’s the deal about Yorkshire Terrier White? Are they purebred Yorkies? Are they for real? Or are they simply advertised as such by some breeders to create a buzz and milk some money from unsuspecting aspiring pet parents?
While we would agree that all dogs, regardless of the color of their coats, are precious and deserving of our love, time, and attention, it’s also important that we put importance on pursuing the truth and debunking the myths or fake news. This way, we can support the integrity of the dog breed, and become an instrument in the proliferation of correct information online and offline.
In this article, we’ll talk about the facts regarding Yorkshire Terriers, and whether the American Kennel Club accepts Yorkshire Terrier White as an official member of the Purebred Yorkshire Terrier family.
Breed At A Glance:
- Size: 7 to 8 inches
- Weight: 5 to 7 pounds
- Energy Level: Playful and energetic
- Lifespan: 12 to 16 years
History and Origin
The Yorkshire Terrier, formerly known as the Broken Haired Scotch Terrier, arrived in England in the middle of the nineteenth century. The Yorkshire Terrier got its moniker in the late 1800s.
There were several different theories about the exact origins of this tiny but tenacious breed. Many people think that Scottish laborers who immigrated to England are where the first variations of this dog originated.
Moreover, there isn’t much information, as well, about the history of Partie Yorkies, or the purebred Yorkshire Terriers with black and white coat. However, it’s theorized that they are descendants of the Dandy Dinmont, the Paisley, and the Clyesdale.
As of 2000, Partie Yorkshire Terrier are recognized by the AKC as purebred, if nonstandard. They are still regarded as purebred because they descended from purebred Yorkshire Terriers. However, they cannot perform in shows. And if you see a dog that is entirely white and resembles a Yorkie in some way is probably a mix.
The status of Partie Colored Yorkies today is a far cry from their situation in the past. Before, this coat color was not desirable. Partie Yorkies were considered “low-quality” Yorkies. Breeders would even give them away in secret, or worse, they would simply put these innocent pups to sleep.
Today, buyers have taken such a shine to the Parti gene that the AKC is seeing more Parti Yorkies registered than ever before — even more frequently than the traditionally colored Yorkshire Terriers! Breeders of the Yorkshire Terrier are currently working hard to create Parti Yorkies in a wider range of colors.
Overview: What is a White Yorkshire Terrier?
White Yorkies are exactly what their name implies—Yorkshire Terriers with white fur. However, purebred Yorkies only come in two color schemes: black and tan as puppies, and blue and gold as adults. Yorkies may also have coats that lie somewhere in the middle of those two color schemes, such as black and gold or blue-and-tan.
If you see a pure white Yorkshire Terrier, there's a strong possibility it's a white Yorkie mix—the offspring of a Yorkshire Terrier and a different breed of dog, like a West Highland Terrier or a Maltese (also known as a Morkie).
Having said these, there are at least two ways you could encounter a purebred Yorkshire Terrier with white hair. To start, one of the only ways where you can see a true Yorkshire Terrier that is pure white is when it suffers from albinism.
Due to a mutation in the SLC45A2 gene, an albino Yorkie would be incapable of producing any pigment in its skin or fur. As a result, his skin, nose, and footpads would be pink; the irises would be pink or red, and the hair would be completely white.
Aside from albinism, there are other possible genetic mutations that could lead to an irregular white coat in a dog. However, there aren't any known occurrences of albino Yorkies or these other mutations in the Yorkie breed. So, if you've heard of or seen a white Yorkie, albinism or these mutations definitely weren't the cause.
Moving on, if your perception of a White Yorkie is that which features a mixture of tan, black, blue, and white fur, then, you are probably referring to Parti Colored Yorkies, as mentioned earlier.
This variation of this dog breed is officially recognized by the American Kennel Club as of 2000. However, their coat is considered nonstandard and the official AKC breed standard for Yorkshire Terriers does not include parti color. So, Parti Yorkies cannot join in shows.
Additionally, it’s also worth noting that the American Kennel Club (AKC) only allows a Partie Yorkie to be registered if his parents were previously registered as purebred Yorkshire Terriers, as well. Aside from these, other breeders of Purebred Yorkshire Terriers maintain that this color pattern belongs to a separate breed called the Biewer Terrier.
White Yorkie Genetics
There are a number of possible genetic tendencies that could produce a Yorkie that is primarily white. Some of these are risk-free, while others have been connected to medical issues.
There is currently no available scientific research on Yorkies with white coats. So, to speculate on the cause of the uncommon white coats certain Yorkies have, we can only use our knowledge of fundamental genetics governing coat color.
The S locus plays a role in this option. This region of a dog's DNA is where piebald spotting is caused. Although it has not yet been verified, researchers believe it may possibly be the site of a gene that causes excessive white spots.
The S locus carries some health hazards. While the extreme white-spotting gene may have contributed to the white Yorkie, piebald spotting can also produce significant amounts of white, to the point that a dog may appear to be entirely white.
In dogs with two copies of the piebald gene, this is more common. Other piebald dogs with one copy of the piebald gene have big white areas with the potential to also have colored patches.
In addition to the S locus, inheriting two copies of the merle patterning gene may result in whiteness. Despite not being a standard color, you can discover breeders marketing Yorkies with the merle pattern. Canines with two copies of the merle gene may be produced through the mating of two merle pattern dogs. As a result, these dogs are almost all white.
Sadly, these pups frequently have visual and auditory abnormalities, including blindness and deafness. However, Yorkshire Terrier breeders that are trying to produce dogs with exotic colors may intentionally overlook a dog's welfare in order to charge a premium fee for a distinctive hue.
The E locus on a dog's DNA appears to produce a white color that is less dangerous, or that doesn't put the dog's health at risk. This gene actually denotes the red pigmentation that can be found in dogs, such as Irish Setters, or Golden Retrievers.
Others have the ability to alter these genes in such a way that a dog may take on an almost white appearance. However, scientists are still unable to pinpoint precisely how this white color can occur.
Some white Yorkies might actually be parti-colored, with predominantly white fur and sporadic patches of various colors. The A locus, which also functions as a safer substitute for an S-locus white, contains the DNA necessary to produce parti-colored patterns.
Both the genetics behind white coats and the potential health risks associated with specific forms of whiteness remain largely unexplored. It is crucial to ask breeders about the health of the parents, as well as how the white Yorkies were produced.
Appearance & Grooming
You probably picture a toy breed dog with long, straight hair that practically dances as it trots when you hear the name Yorkshire Terrier. There are four common hues for this two-toned breed, with blue and gold being the most popular.
And as for white Yorkies, they are simply Purebred Yorkshire terriers with only a slight difference in their coat color. So, they have the same adorable appearance as that of traditional Yorkshire Terrier dogs. Parti Yorkies, in particular, will have hair that is black, white, and tan in color rather than the blue and tan that typical Yorkshire Terriers have.
A Yorkie requires a lot of grooming because of its unusual coats that resemble that of human hair. However, caring for a Yorkie with white fur will be even more challenging. The dirt and trash your dog gather up outside.
And the specks of dirt will be more noticeable if the pup's white hair is concentrated around the belly— especially if you will intentionally let your dog's hair grow for aesthetic reasons. Additionally, you will need to deal with discoloration, like Yorkie tear stains, more frequently if the white is concentrated around the lips and eyes.
Personality & Temperament
If you are a proud parent of a Yorkie pup, then, you’ll know that this dog breed is packed with tons of personality. They are sassy, spunky, and constantly want to have fun. But Yorkies are much more than just happy-go-lucky dogs.
A Yorkshire Terrier puppy is also intelligent, loyal, and protective of his owner, which makes this breed a perfect pet. Aside from these, Yorkshire Terrier pups are also brave and are not afraid of anything. They are not completely trusting of strangers, so, you can expect to hear them barking when they sense anything unusual.
The quality of the breeding program, rather than any problems with breeding for coat colors, will always be the most significant factor in determining Yorkshire Terrier temperament. A breeder who prioritizes health won't purposefully select a breeding stock (parent dogs) with defective genes that can cause health issues in the puppies.
A white Yorkie with health concerns related to their coat color or other conditions may display personality, temperament, or behavioral issues as a result of their poor health.
However, a white Yorkie who was bred from two Yorkshire Terriers, was fed premium puppy food that was age-appropriate, was well-socialized, and had a lot of love and attention, will probably have the clever, energetic, and loving disposition that Yorkshire Terriers are known for.
Common Health Issues
Several studies highlighting health issues connected to particular genetic breeding procedures have rocked the world of canine breeding over the past few years. Sadly, health issues are more likely to arise when a breeder's genetic pool has grown significantly smaller.
Similar to this, it can be dangerous to breed specifically for unusual coat colors or color patterns. The unfortunate thing about this approach is that it focuses on coat coloring genes with the exclusion of other genetic effects. As a result, the puppies may have a smaller gene pool and resultant health issues.
Attempting to breed outside of the hues of the typical breed coats might lead to recognized health problems. These include problems with the eyes or blindness, hearing loss in one or both ears, problems with the skin and coat, and occasionally even early death.
How to Care For a White Yorkie?
Exercise & Living Conditions
Even though Yorkies are small and often referred to as lap dogs, they nevertheless require a lot of exercises. This doesn't only keep them fit and healthy, but also keeps them happy and entertained.
They need a few fifteen-minute backyard play sessions or a couple of quick walks each day as an adult. Yorkshire Terriers are intelligent little dogs that can be trained to adore fetch and other retrieving games.
Canine sports like agility and rally tend to suit them well. You can train, exercise, and socialize your puppy at the same time by combining these sports with puppy obedience training. Of course, while meeting their daily exercise and activity requirements, you also need to ensure that they don't become too exhausted.
Yorkies aren't the greatest breed for a family with young children due to their small stature. Smaller canines are more vulnerable to injury, and young children frequently act rough without realizing it. This may cause a Yorkie to nip in an effort to express irritation or get away from an uncomfortable situation.
There is currently no evidence to support the idea that a white Yorkie would behave differently than any other Yorkie. Obviously, bear in mind that each dog is unique.
A Yorkshire Terrier puppy may live happily in both an apartment and a home with a yard because it doesn't require much space for exercise. Also, as mentioned earlier, a Yorkie pup has a low exercise requirement, but they would also enjoy a short daily walk or playtime with you.
Training and Socialization
It's crucial to begin socialization and training as soon as possible. The normal terrier's obstinate streak may grow stronger if you delay starting. Yorkshire Terriers are eager to please and do well with praise and positive reinforcement during training.
They are also perceptive canines who quickly learn new skills. As Terriers tend to be suspicious of strangers, start getting them used to meeting new people right away. Take your puppy to the park, for instance, and invite various pals around to your house.
You can try to lessen your Yorkie's propensity of barking by being responsive to it. Dogs bark more when they realize that generating noise is effective. Therefore, by ignoring your puppy when they bark and complimenting them when they are calm, you can assist in decreasing their natural tendency to bark.
Diet & Nutrition
Yorkshire Terriers are small but mighty, just like other toy breeds like Chihuahuas and Shih Tzus. And even though they don't require a lot of food, what you do provide them is crucial! To make sure your dog receives all they need without consuming a lot of it, you'll want to serve them food that's packed with nutrients.
In particular, you need to ensure that your pup is eating a complete and balanced diet. When choosing dog food, it’s best to find real, high-quality sources of protein, like chicken, beef, lamb, or turkey.
Your pup would also benefit from nutrient-dense ingredients, such as apples, flaxseeds, and sweet potatoes. And of course, you need to stay away from additives, preservatives, byproducts, and fillers.
Things to Consider
Choose respectable breeders of Parti Yorkies rather than those who advertise “rare white Yorkies.” Always request to see proof of the health of the puppy's parents, as well as request recommendations from the breeder's previous clients.
If owning a purebred Yorkie is significant to you, be aware that the “purebred white Yorkie” you're considering is likely not what it first appears to be.
The AKC acknowledges parti Yorkies as purebred even if they are not standard, however, they are not allowed to compete in shows. And if you see a dog that is entirely white and resembles a Yorkie in some way, that is probably a crossbred pup.
These dogs are more expensive than other Yorkie breeds since they are quite uncommon. They are priced between $850 to $1,400. However, it may also differ according to the region, breeding history, and ancestry.
A rarity among dogs always comes with a price, and sometimes, we are not simply talking about their price tag, but also the price that these dogs have to pay as far as their health is concerned. Most of the time, these dogs have to suffer permanent health issues just to fill the pockets of these unethical breeders and please the desires of some unsuspecting pet owners.
And this can be true for some of the Yorkshire Terrier pairings that aim to produce pure white litters or puppies with as much diluted coat color as possible. So, to be sure your puppy won't have any inheritable health abnormalities, it's crucial to talk about the parent animals' health exams.
Make sure to complete your research if you're considering bringing a Yorkie into your household so you'll know what to anticipate. And keep in mind that Yorkies need daily exercise despite their tiny size to keep them physically fit, healthy, and happy.
Also, just like other dog breeds, it's also helpful to start socializing them with other people and animals at a young age, so their obstinate behavior can be controlled.