Yorkie lovers know that a true Yorkie comes with specific traditional colors which are black and tan, but there is a Parti Yorkie, which comes also in white, except those two colors. The Classification for Parti Yorkies has been included by AKC since 2000. There are also other different color combinations that can occur in Parti Yorkies such as Chocolate Parti or Golden Parti Yorkies for example. And for sure there will be more colors appearing for Yorkies as soon as the breeders get a better understanding of the Yorkie genes. There is for example White and Black Parti Yorkie that does not have any tan color.
But to tell you the truth, there are so many debates about Parti Yorkies and the issue if they are even true Yorkshire Terriers. There are many breeders who refuse to admit that there is even a white gene existing in the Yorkies. They usually say that this is nothing else but ‘behind the kennel bred’ mutt, and they claim that there is no breeder who has been showing and breeding Yorkies for more than thirty years that has ever produced a Parti Yorkie.
When we talk about the history of Yorkies, it is more likely that something could have happen then when we compare things with today’s usual routines, because records and selected breeding was not kept so close then and for sure there were a few “occasional” pregnancies in their canines. It is also known from history that originally the breed was with broken hair and short, coarser coats. That is why, in order to enhance the length and the texture of the dog’s coat, the Maltese was bred to the Yorkie Terrier. From what was documented back then, we also know that the foundation of the breed was with dogs with unknown heritage and cross-bred dogs. Even if the colored Yorkies did not look like Parti Yorkies then, they could have harbored this gene into their DNA. So when you get this recessive Parti gene now, no one could tell if the dog’s great grandmother or great grandfather was or not parti colored.
In order to get an offspring that contains a Parti Yorkie, you need to breed two dogs carrying the gene. When you get two such dogs, 25 % of the offspring will have traditional Yorkie colors, 50% of the offspring will also have traditional colors, but the dog will carry this gene, and 25 % of the offspring will be Parti Yorkies. So the Parti Yorkie will also have black and tan, but also some white on the chest, feet and the chain.
Perhaps the most famous founder of the most prolific known line, called the “California line” is Nikko, an AKC Champion. There were two breeders in California that had a strong fight for getting this line of Parti Colored Yorkies and Parti carriers. This line comes from a well known and famous show breeder who is in this business for over forty years. AKC approved for registration at the association forty-two litters and generations, and Parti Yorkies have been allowed for registration since the year of 2000.
There were strict rule standards concerning the color of the Yorkies, but they have changed during the years. It was only blue and tan color at first that was considered as the standard and everything else was “off standard”. But after some time, black and gold Yorkies and black and tan Yorkies have entered into the showing and they won their place there, so things have changed since the late 1800s, not only for the dog size, but also for the color, so more darker coated dogs appear on the ring. So these changes might also open the door for Parti colored Yorkies.
Actually Parti Yorkies are not something like a genetic freak, they are just RARE for the breed, and they are in fact healthy dogs. The demand for these types of Yorkies is getting higher due to the reason that they appear quite rare and due to this fact their cost is higher.
But when we talk about establishing the origin of the breed – this is quite a difficult task, and the information is mostly gathered from books and publications in the UK, written by reliable fanciers. Before 1800s most of the British people worked in agriculture, but Industrial Revolution led to many changes in family life, and especially in the area of Yorkshire, people began dealing more with factories, textile mills and coal mines. And because these industries were well developed at that time, they brought here people from other parts of the country. That is how Clydesdale Terrier was brought to the area. These were terriers with longer bodies that were used for catching small animals, such as rats. They were then crossed of course with other types of terriers, such as the Skye Terrier, the English Black and Tan Toy Terrier, the Maltese Terrier. Unfortunately, there are no records kept for the breed’s pedigrees when all these crossings were made. But for sure the early breeders know how things really are, because there is a great deal of information about the people who bred the breed.
But for the present moment the official version concerning the Yorkie’s origin is stated as unknown. It is believed that the Yorkshire Terrier comes from crossing three types of breeds – Dandie Dinmont, a breed with uneven top line; a Maltese, a breed with totally white color and Manchester Terrier, smooth coated breed, which sounds a bit not so realistic. What is sure from all the gathered information is that no one can give an absolute proof about the origin of the Yorkshire Terrier. It is not realistic according to some authors like for example – the crossing with the Maltese Terrier. This is a breed with totally white color and there is no tan or blue presenting into its coat. But with the things that we know today, using the Maltese terrier for improving the breed becomes more apparent.
It is a fact that the genes that control the color and the genes that control the texture are separate so any breeder could have used a Maltese Terrier in order to improve the quality of the dog’s coat. When doing this, there is a possibility to have produced Yorkies that carry the recessive genes of the white color that can be found now in the Parti Yorkies. This is one of the possibilities where the white gene appeared from in the Yrokshire Terrier. This is also rare, because both of the parents need to carry this recessive gene. The puppies get one part of the gene from each parent.
How did Parti Yorkies appear and what their origin is, is quite a hot topic nowadays, because there are mainly contradictive points of views. Many writers tried to find out what the right answer for their origin is, but it appeared to be a very difficult task. Usually, the breeders who are in that field for many years, perhaps more than twenty, stick to the dominant colors of the Yorkies, which is associated with the Yorkshire Terrier family is black and tan, and also brown, but there is no real proof of the Parti Yorkie color that can be the evidence that they are part of the Yorkie group.
A dedicated article writer did a research for establishing the origin of the Parti Yokie, by asking breeders who have been in this career for more than two-three decades but they were not able to tell where the white color came from. The research in the library was also not as satisfying as expected, it turned out that there isn’t actually a document that can illuminate the truth. It is a fact though that there is a recorded available confirming breeding the genes of Maltese with those of the Yorkshire Terrier. And in the nineteenth century Scottish people also bred Maltese with Yorkies to produce a dog for chasing vermin. And having in mind the changes that Industrial revolution brought, Parti Yrokies could have appeared at that time. They are as old as the Yorkshire Terriers, the problem that occurs about them is that there are no real evidence about their appearance. There were no such detailed records kept during the 18th and 19th century as the way they are kept today.
What is taken as evidence for the early existence of the breed is that a white Parti Yorkie can be proceeded via breeding only if it has already existed.
The two most famous lines for these dogs are Nikko’s line and the California line. Of course that these are not the only ones but Nikko’s line is the one that is the most recognized, the one that is talked about, the most well known for producing Parti colored Yorkies in the USA.
The line started in the 1980s, when a show breeder refused to destroy the tri-colored puppies, but instead he sold them even though they were not registered. Nikko’s Kennels started in 1969 and then years after that 17 Yorkshire Terriers of that line has won titles. Some of the most famous dogs of that line are: CH. Nikko’s Rolls Royce Corniche, Ashley, Mickey Spillane (was the first Parti), Silk and Sale, Nikko’s Great Expectations, Nikko’s April in Paris, Nikko’s Golden Charm II.
So after Ashley, which is after 1984, where the gene actually appeared to show, all litters had been quietly sold, and people were asked not to tell where they had go the puppies. It was in 1994, when Crownridge and Summit convinced Nikko’s Kennel to go the AKC and register them.
There are some statements in the books of a few authors during the years, where they mention the colors of the Yorkies. Janet Bennett published a book in 1976, where she states that there could be seen white spots on the dog’s chest, paws, jaws or skull. It is also written in the book that: “They can be born all black; all tan; tan with black points; tri-color: black, white and tan; all blue; bluish-grey with tan points;” According to the writer they were found mismarked and incorrectly colored and she tells that such puppies should not had been sold as rare, but just a loving home should be found for them.
In 1895, Stonehenge published a book with a title “The Dog”, where he states: “Sometimes the Broken Haired dog is white, more or less, marked with blue..”
Mrs. Leslie Williams published a book in 1904, called “A Manual of Toy Dog How to Breed, Rear and Feed Them” where she also mentioned White Yorkshires as “a new variety that some folk have tried to push in”. She describes these Yorkies as lovely, merry souls and good companions.
So actually there were such type of Yorkies during the years, but since they were considered as non-standard, there were just two possible variants for them – they were killed when born or they were quietly sold out the back door.
Mrs. Lipman started the Nikko’s Mickey Spillage, a parti colored male, when Mrs.Bogren once saw such a dog and followed the person for five miles just to find out who the breeder is and to obtain some of these dogs. The dogs could be registered at AKC, but only as blue and gold, because the association did not had a classification for the Parti Yorkie.
It was then when Mrs. Lipman was offered to buy all colored Yorkies and make a DNA test to trace the bloodline so that the dog could be registered as the Parti Yorkie. AKC shut down her kennel then, it was in 1999 until the DNA studies were proceeded, and she was not allowed to bred or sell any dogs during this period. It turned out to be one long and expensive process. During these DNA studies, many breeders admitted that sometimes they had dogs with colors, and dogs with these colors were from other bloodlines, too.
After the study was made, AKC finally decided to allow Partie Yorkies to be registered at the association as Parti-color with a color code 014.