We are all familiar with the traditional Yorkies, but over the last few years, we are seeing huge demand in different colored Yorkshire terriers. Some of them are these beautiful tri-colored Yorkies called Parti Yorkies.
But as their popularity grows there are more and more questions about them.
People are wondering if they are purebred Yorkshire terriers, where do they come from and how they are different from the standard Yorkies
We will answer these and a lot more questions you might be interested in so let’s dive in the tri-colored parti Yorkie world.
What is a Parti Yorkie? Parti vs Traditional Yorkshire terrier
Parti color Yorkie is not a different breed.
It is a Yorkshire terrier with different than the standard color.
The Parti Yorkie size, personality, and everything else are the same as traditional Yorkshire terrier.
The Classification for Parti Yorkies has been included by AKC since 2000.
The standard Yorkshire terrier comes with specific traditional colors which are black (blue) and tan, but the Parti Yorkie, comes also in white, except those two colors.
There are also other different color combinations that can occur in Parti Yorkies such as Chocolate Parti or Golden Parti Yorkies for example. In this sense Chocolate parti Yorkie will be colored in chocolate, tan and white.
Also, there are more colors appearing for Yorkshire terriers. There is for example White and Black Yorkie that does not have any tan color.
So what is a Parti Yorkie?
Parti Yorkie is any Yorkshire terrier with white color combined with black (blue) and tan. It is possible instead of black to be chocolate or gold but this is not very common.
Parti Yorkie Genes
There are genes that determine the coat color of the dogs.
These genes are responsible for producing different forms of melanin pigments like eumelanin which determine the dark (black color) and phaeomelanin that determine the brown color.
Also, there are other genes that modify these pigments and actually, they can dilute the eumelanin to varying degrees, and that’s how we can have liver brown, tan, silver, and other coat colors.
In traditional Yorkshire terrier, the gene that leads to the parti coloring of the coat stays recessive.
In order to have a parti color puppy in the litter, both of the parents must carry this recessive gene.
That’s the only way that Parti Yorkie could be born.
Parti Yorkshire terrier breeding
Even if the Yorkies did not look like Parti Yorkies, 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.
Can traditional Yorkies have parti-color offspring?
The answer is Yes.
Parti colored puppies can appear even if the parents are standard color Yorkshire terriers.
There are some Yorkies with traditional coloring which are carriers of the Parti Yorkie gene. This gene is recessive which means that it doesn’t express and stays hidden.
These dogs that are carriers of the Parti gene can’t be recognized because they do not have “off standard” or white coloring.
It is important to understand that should only one of the parents possess the Parti gene, then in the litter will not have any parti colored puppies.
In order to get an offspring that contains a Parti Yorkie puppies, you need to breed two dogs carrying the Parti 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 puppies will carry this parti gene (that will stay recessive), and only 25% of the offspring will be Parti colored Yorkie puppies.
But should there be only one parent with the Parti gene, then it might pass that gene to part of their offspring but these puppies will only be carriers and won’t possess the marks of a Parti Yorkies.
If that is so, this gene might be passed to many generations.
In this event, the Parti gene will be dormant and will be hidden in the dogs.
As we said above, the gene will express in the offspring only when a purebred Yorkie with the Parti gene is being mated with another one which is also purebred and possesses the Parti gene.
Are Parti Yorkies Purebred?
This is very common and at the same time a very controversial question.
In general, yes! They are purebred.
If we take what we already said above, that Parti Yorkie puppies are born when both of the parents carry the recessive Parti gene, so yes they are purebred Yorkies.
But please note that not every “Yorkie” that is advertised on the internet as Parti Yorkie is purebred.
Unfortunately, the high demand for Parti Yorkies leads to the emergence of untrustworthy breeders, who cross breed Yorkies with other breeds (Maltese most often),
only to produce puppies that also have white color so they can advertise and sell them as Parti Yorkies.
So if you are looking to bring home a Parti colored puppy, do your research and choose the breeder carefully!
Why this is a controversial topic?
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.
But what is right and what is wrong is almost impossible to say without documents that prove it.
If we talk about the Yorkie history, when the breed was developed it is more likely that something could have happened then because records and selected breeding were not kept so close 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.
Where Do Parti Yorkies Come From?
In order to better understand the origin of Parti Yorkie, we have to look at the history of the traditional Yorkshire terrier.
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 the 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 an 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 absolute proof about the origin of the Yorkshire Terrier.
It is not realistic according to some authors – 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.
History and Origin of Parti Yorkies
How did Parti Yorkies appear and what their origin is, appeared to be a very difficult question.
A dedicated article writer did research, 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 record 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 the Industrial Revolution brought, Parti Yrokies could have appeared at that time.
They are as old as the Traditional Yorkshire Terriers, the problem is that there is no real evidence about their appearance.
In books dating from the 1800s seems the first reference about Yorkshire terriers with three colors.
In one of Hemingway’s books, we can see that the writer mentioned he was extremely fond of one of his grandparent’s Yorkies – a white Yorkie by the name of Tassel.
After the beginning of the dog show era, not only could the reputable breeders of Yorkies be identified, but this was also the time when the selecting gold and blue Yorkies breeding started.
During this period, the reputable breeders didn’t want anything to connect them with the tri-colored Yorkies appearing in their litters for they considered them to be “trashy” and low-quality.
Because of this, the breeders would willingly put the Parti Yorkies down or secretly give them away and make an agreement with the new owner to keep them in secret.
But as the people didn’t know that Yorkies which carry the Parti gene don’t have distinguishing marks, people couldn’t tell which Yorkies carry this gene.
This was the way the recessive Parti gene was passed through many generations and sometimes in the litter will suddenly appear a white Yorkie.
What old books say about Parti color Yorkies?
There are some statements in the books of a few authors during the years, where they mention the colors of the Yorkies.
In 1976 by Janet E. Bennett and Joan B. Gordon published a book, 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 have been sold as rare, but just a loving home should be found for them.
In 1895, Stonehenge published a book with the 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 where she also mentioned White Yorkshires as “a new variety that some folk has tried to push in”.
She describes these Yorkies as lovely, merry souls and good companions.
So actually there was 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.
Most Famous Parti Yorkie Lines
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 have won titles.
Some of the most famous dogs of that line are CH. Nikko’s Rolls Royce Corniche and Ashley Mickey Spillane (was the first Parti).
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 got the puppies.
Interesting Story About the First Registration of Parti Yorkies
In Fact, the reputable breeders’ litters had much more Parti Yorkies than people were aware of. Most of these puppies would be killed or secretly given away to an owner which won’t tell where they got the dog for this type of Yorkies was regarded as a “low-quality” one.
Among the few people who refused to put their white Yorkies down was Mrs. Gloria Lipman who is from Nikko’s Kennels.
She not only refused to execute them but also found them loving homes where they would be taken well care of.
Once the lady Ms. Bogren saw a beautiful white Yorkie. She thought it was charming and followed the owner for a whole 5 miles in order to find where he bought the dog from.
She found out that Mrs. Lipman’s kennel was where the dog came from and met with Mrs. Lipman in order to negotiate buying a couple of these white Yorkies.
Mrs. Gloria Lipman told the potential buyer that the big problem is that you cannot register the white Yorkies with their true coloring with the AKC.
But she found a way to register her Parti Yorkie – Nikko’s Mickey Spillane – she registered it as blue and gold. Then there was no particular color code in the AKC for these new Yorkies.
But Ms. Bogren definitely wouldn’t want to register her puppies as blue and gold. She decided to do something and change this.
There were really long negotiations but in the end Ms. Bogren agreed that she would buy every Parti Yorkie puppy form Mrs. Lipman if the latter asks for DNA testing to be performed on the parents of the white dogs.
Mrs. Lipman finally agreed to ask the AKC for the DNA tests. This procedure was very long and Mrs. Lipman had to pay quite a high price.
The AKC closed Mrs. Lipman’s kennel for a year and a half during the testing and the breeder couldn’t run her business. During this time, forty-two litters – both the males and the females of them – were tested by the AKC.
But the AKC wanted more information – they weren’t satisfied only with these from Mrs. Limpan’s dogs and they got in contact with other reputable breeders in the country and abroad in order to gain more information about tri-colored Yorkies.
Every one of the breeders confessed that they had had white Yorkies in their litters.
AKC approval of Parti Yorkshire terriers
At last, Mrs. Lipman’s difficult times were over.
The AKC had completed the DNA studies and was ready to announce the final decision.
They made it by investigating the Yorkie’s roots and ancestors, collecting information from the breeders who worked with purebred Yorkshire Terriers, and gathering the DNA data of the dogs of Mrs. Lipman.
The AKC concluded that the traditionally looking purebred Yorkshire Terriers can produce differently colored Yorkies.
The AKC started taking registrations of Parti Yorkies with the color code of 014 since the 2000.
Are Parti Yorkies Recognized by AKC Now?
Yes, Parti Yorkshire terriers are recognized and can be AKC registered
But do not forget that the AKC will only register the Parti Yorkie if its parents were both registered.
Also, Parti Yorkies are not allowed to go to official dog shows. They can only participate in AKC agility competitions.
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, and darker coated dogs appear on the ring.
So these changes might also open the door for Parti colored Yorkies.
Once the Parti Yorkies were officially recognized, many breeders started breeding them and today they are very popular.
Party Yorkie vs Biewer Terrier
When you see a Parti Yorkie and a Biewer Terrier you might think that they are the same breed.
And technically you won’t be far from the truth!
However, the Biewer Terrier is a separate breed.
But how and why?
The Biewer terrier originated from Germany in 1984.
During this year a German Couple (Gertrud and Werner Biewer) who were passionate Yorkie lovers bred two Yorkshire terriers with black, white and tan coloring (technically these are Parti Yorkies).
Because the Parti gene is recessive, it is really hard to constantly reproduce Yorkies with this coloration.
But Mr. and Mrs. Biewer took the challenge and they did exactly this. It took them a lot of time and patience until they did it and begin to constantly reproduce tri-colored Yorkies.
After that AKC accepted these dogs as a distinct breed called Biewer Terrier (also known as German Yorkies or German Terriers).
There are two officially accepted coloring for the Biewer terrier – Black, White and Tan and also Blue, White and Tan. There is no specific pattern set for expressing these colors so the patterns may vary.
Tail docking is illegal in Europe and that is why Biewer terriers maintain full-length tails.
Parti Yorkie Health Problems
Do Parti Yorkies have health problems?
From everything said so far it became clear that Parti Yorkies are not a different breed from the Yorkshire terrier.
The only difference with the traditional Yorkies is the coat coloring.
Like any dog breed Yorkshire terriers are prone to certain health issues and Parti Yorkies may suffer from these same problems like any other Yorkie.
As a dog owner, it is very important to be aware of the most common health problems for the breed.
Please have a look at this post:
• 12 Most Common Yorkie Health Issues
Parti Yorkie Price
How much are Parti Yorkies?
As they are becoming more and more popular nowadays the demand is higher and that’s why Parti Yorkies are relatively more expensive than regular Yorkie puppies. Of course, the price varies a lot because there are lots of other factors that determine the price.
For more information about what determines the price please see Yorke Prices.
We suggest that you only purchase a Parti Yorkie after thorough research of the breeders. The breeders must provide the AKC registration of the litter’s parents and the documents of the DNA tests.
All of these drive the price higher but the health of the puppy is the most important thing and it pays off later both financially and more important – emotionally.
In conclusion, we can say that Parti Yorkies are indeed purebred Yorkshire Terriers and differ from the “standard” only by their coloring – a factor which is determined by the recessive genes.
These dogs are not mutts or unhealthy.