The Yorkshire Terrier, affectionately known as the “Yorkie,” is a breed that has captured the hearts of millions with its spunky and playful personality, compact size, and luxurious coats. With its various coat color patterns, none is more striking and eye-catching as the parti pattern.
The parti coat pattern is characterized by a combination of white and dark-colored fur. The dominant color is white, with random and irregular dark-colored patches of varying shapes and sizes that make each dog unique. The dark-colored fur can be black, blue, brown/chocolate, or golden tan/blonde. To be considered a Parti, the white color should cover at least half (50%) of the dog’s coat.
But what exactly causes this unique and beautiful pattern? The answer lies in the piebald gene (white spotting gene), a mysterious genetic mutation that controls the distribution of pigment on a dog’s coat and skin.
Overall, the parti pattern is a unique and beautiful variation of the Yorkie breed that is sure to leave heads turning. Join us as we delve into the world of the parti Yorkie, exploring the science behind this captivating coat pattern and discovering why this variation of the Yorkie breed is so special.
History of the Parti Yorkie
Although early records of the Yorkie breeding were not kept, the Yorkshire Terrier breed is said to have been developed by weavers, miners, and factory workers in the 1800s by mixing various terrier breeds. Parti-colored Yorkies were always part of the breed but were once shunned as the white on the coat was considered a fault. They were often culled or given away in silence.
This Yorkshire Terrier has been referenced in books since the 1800s. The 1976 book “The Complete Yorkshire Terrier” by Joan Gordon and Janet Bennett states that a large number of white marks on the chest, paws, jaws, or skull on a Yorkshire terrier can put it in a tri-color classification but these puppies should not be sold and should be given a loving home. “The Dog” by Stonehenge in 1895 says the fewer white markings on a broken-haired terrier, the better. Mrs. Leslie Williams in her 1904 book “A Manual of Toy Dog” says white Yorkshire terriers are not desirable, but the breed is healthy.
Later DNA studies showed that the Parti color was in the natural makeup of the breed and in 2000 the AKC recognized the particolored Yorkshire Terrier. Two breeders, Gloria Lipman and Loryn Bogren conducted DNA testing on 42 litters of Yorkies, which led to the recognition.
Nikko’s Kennels was the most recognized line that produced Particolored Yorkies in the USA and is still known for producing them today.
Genetics of the parti pattern
The parti pattern in Yorkies is caused by a piebald gene found on the S-locus or white spotting locus in the dog’s DNA. A locus is a specific gene location on a DNA strand. There are two alleles (gene variants) on the S-locus:
- S (solid color): A dog that is SS at the S-locus has no white markings and will have normal pigmentation.
- Sp (piebald): Responsible for blocking pigment-forming cells from reaching certain sections of the skin and coat leading to white patches on those parts of the body usually the underside, tail tip, and legs. Any part of the body that is affected by this gene will be unpigmented and white.
The extent of white on the coat can vary depending on whether the Yorkie inherits one or two copies of the piebald gene and their interaction. This is known as incomplete dominance.
A dog with one copy of the sp allele (SSp) will have moderate white markings on the belly, legs, neck, and face with a dark-colored saddle on the back. Meanwhile, a dog with two copies of the sp allele (SpSp) can have extended white markings that break into the saddle or be almost entirely white with colored markings on some parts of the head, particularly the ears and sometimes the muzzle and base of the tail. The white Yorkie is most likely the result of two copies of the piebald gene. This is known as
The interaction of the white spotting alleles is complex and may be influenced by other unknown genes and modifiers resulting in various unique coat patterns. More research is called for in this regard.
The dog may also have dark-colored spots (ticking marks) anywhere on the white coat caused by a separate ticking gene.
Parti Yorkie Variations
Most Parti Yorkies are tricolor (a combination of three coat colors), such as; black, tan, and white; black, gold, and white; blue, tan, and white; and blue, gold, and white. Gold and tan markings are visible on the eyebrows. White is predominantly on the tail tip, underbelly, chest, legs, neck, chin, and face as a stripe (blaze) between the eyes running from the muzzle to the head. Black, blue-gray (Silver), or chocolate marking mostly appear on the back, around the eyes, head, and ears.
- Black and tan Parti Yorkie (Black, tan and white): These Yorkies are black and tan with white patches. This is the most common color combination.
- Blue and tan Parti Yorkie (Blue, tan, and white): These Yorkshire Terriers have a blue and tan (silver) base color with white patches. This combination is considered to be one of the rarest.
- Brown/Chocolate and tan Parti Yorkies (Brown, tan and white): These Yorkshire Terriers have a brown and tan base color with white markings. Chocolate Parti Yorkies are rare and appear on Yorkies with two copies of the recessive brown gene plus the white spotting gene. Not recognized by AKC.
- Black and gold Parti Yorkie (Black, tan and white): Their coats can be solid gold or have hues of deep gold and light blonde.
- Brown/Chocolate and gold Parti Yorkie (Brown, gold, and white): These Yorkshire Terriers have a brown and tan base color with white markings. Chocolate Parti Yorkies are rare and appear on Yorkies with two copies of the recessive brown gene plus the white spotting gene. Not recognized by AKC.
- Blue and gold Parti Yorkie (Blue, gold, and white): Their coats can be solid gold or have hues of deep gold and light blonde.
Parti Yorkie Vs Biewer
Parti Yorkies and Biewer Terriers are both breeds that have been developed from the Yorkshire Terrier and are quite similar in coat color, particularly to black and tan parti Yorkies. However, only the Parti Yorkie is classified as a Yorkshire Terrier while the Biewer Terrier is classified as a separate purebred.
However, the Biewer Terrier (also known as Biewer Yorkie or German Terrier). It was a result of crossing a black Parti Yorkie, Maltese, and Havanese/Bichon Frise- making it the first designer dog or “mutt” to be recognized as a purebred after a genetic study. The name Biewer is a tribute to Mr. and Mrs. Biewer that created the breed in the 1970s.
Both breeds are small and friendly, but the Biewer Terrier’s coat is longer and more curly, while the Parti Yorkie’s coat is shorter and straight. Overall, both breeds make great family pets and are known for their intelligence, playfulness, and loyalty.
Finding a Parti Yorkie
How to find a Parti Yorkie:
- Local breeders: Search for Parti Yorkie breeders in your area and visit them in person to observe the living conditions and health of the puppies. Check local classified ads, pet store bulletin boards, or veterinary offices for leads
- Pet stores and kennel clubs: Check with local pet stores and kennel clubs for any information on Parti Yorkie breeders in your area.
- American Kennel Club (AKC) Marketplace: The AKC Marketplace is a trusted source for finding purebred Parti Yorkies.
- Rescue groups and shelters: Consider adopting a Parti Yorkie from a local animal shelter or rescue organization.
- Online classifieds: Websites such as Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Petfinder, and Nextdoor are popular places to find Parti Yorkies for sale or adoption.
- Breeder websites: Some Parti Yorkie breeders maintain their own websites where they list available puppies for sale.
Before choosing a Parti Yorkie breeder, it is important to conduct thorough research on their reputation and ask for references. Visiting their facilities will give you the chance to observe the living conditions of the breeding dogs and make sure they are well-cared for. Additionally, you can meet the dam and sire of the puppies to get a feel for their temperament and personality.
Take into consideration the breed’s needs and personality as well as your own lifestyle and living conditions. Parti Yorkies are small dogs that are well-suited to apartment living but require regular grooming and exercise.
Tips for Buying a Parti Yorkie online
- Research reputable Parti Yorkie breeders online
- Look for reviews, testimonials, and recommendations from other dog owners
- Contact the breeder and ask for information about their puppies and breeding program
- Request photos and videos of the puppies and their parents
- Ensure the photos are clear and show the entire dog
- Ask for up-to-date health certificates for the puppies and parents
- Arrange a video call to see the puppies in person
- Schedule a visit to the breeder’s facility to meet the puppies and parents in person
- Get a contract in writing that outlines the terms and conditions of the sale
- Look for a breeder who offers a health guarantee
- Be prepared to invest time and money into caring for your new Parti Yorkie puppy.
The cost of a Parti Yorkie can vary greatly depending on location, breeder, and demand, with prices ranging from $800 to $3500 and sometimes as high as $5000. When considering cost, it’s important to remember that a responsible breeder will prioritize the well-being of their dogs and the quality of their puppies, and may charge more as a result.
Showing & competition
Competing in shows can test skills, showcase beauty, and earn titles/recognition for accomplishments. In short, it’s fun.
To show and compete with a Parti Yorkie, it’s important to know breed standards, consider costs (entry fees, grooming, travel), research events, and check with the specific dog show organization for their stance on Parti color recognition. Working with a professional handler can also be helpful.
To participate in dog shows:
- Research the organizations and events that allow them, such as AKC Conformation, UKC, and ARBA shows. Read their rules, get an AKC number, and register for a show by providing the dog’s information and paying the fee.
- Training includes basic obedience and getting used to being handled and in the ring.
- Grooming is important for show preparation.
- The Parti Yorkie will be judged on appearance, structure, movement, and temperament.
- Practicing in smaller shows or with experienced handlers helps gain experience.
The Parti Yorkie will be judged on appearance, structure, movement, and temperament.
With proper preparation, showing a Parti Yorkie can be a fun and rewarding experience but requires consistent training and dedication.
Grooming a Parti Yorkshire Terrier
White dog breeds require special care because their white fur is more susceptible to staining. Dirt, grass, and other debris can easily show up on a white dog’s coat, and if not cleaned properly, these stains can become permanent.
Additionally, white dog breeds are more prone to sunburns because their skin doesn’t offer much protection from the sun’s harmful rays in areas with low to no pigmentation. To keep a white dog’s coat looking its best, owners need to do a bit more grooming and use special shampoos and conditioners that are designed specifically for white fur.
Regular bathing and brushing can help prevent staining and sunburn, but owners should also be prepared to clean up any stains as soon as they occur. There are products such as baking soda, 1% hydrogen peroxide, and lemon juice that can be used to whiten their fur. To remove stains, use a damp cloth to blot the stain, then a solution of white vinegar and water, or a mild bleach solution. Always test products on a small area of the dog’s fur first.
Trimming around the eyes and paws can help prevent staining and matting, especially if the fur is long.
It’s also important to protect the dog from direct sun exposure and use sunblock if necessary.
Due to the lack of pigmentation in certain areas, Parti Yorkies may be more susceptible to sunburn and skin cancer. Their white fur can leave areas of skin exposed to the sun, increasing the risk of skin damage. It is crucial to provide proper sun protection for these dogs by using protective gear, limiting exposure to direct sunlight, and applying sunblock.
Regular skin checks are also important to detect any potential skin problems early.
Aside from sun protection, general care considerations such as regular grooming, feeding, and exercise are essential for all Yorkies, including Parti Yorkies. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and regular grooming can help maintain their physical and mental well-being. Providing plenty of love and attention, a safe living environment, and regular veterinary check-ups can also help ensure their overall health and happiness.
In summary, the parti Yorkie is a beautiful and unique variation of the Yorkie breed with a distinctive coat color pattern caused by the piebald gene. When considering a parti Yorkie, it is important to prioritize personality, health, and well-being over coat color.
Parti Yorkies are known to be small, energetic, and great family pets with strong personalities, easy trainability, and good with children and other pets. Always encourage responsible breeding and pet ownership.
There you go, WOOF!