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Standard of the Yorkshire Terrier:

General Appearance: That of a long-haired toy terrier whose blue and tan coat is parted on the face and from the base of the skull to the end of the tail and hangs evenly and quite straight down each side of body. The body is neat, compact and well proportioned. The dog's high head carriage and confident manner should give the appearance of vigor and self-importance.

Head: Small and rather flat on top, the skull not too prominent or round, the muzzle not too long, with the bite neither undershot nor overshot and teeth sound. Either scissors bite or level bite is acceptable. The nose is black. Eyes are medium in size and not too prominent; dark in color and sparkling with a sharp, intelligent expression. Eye rims are dark. Ears are small, V-shaped, carried erect and set not too far apart.

Body: Well proportioned and very compact. The back is rather short, the backline level, with height at shoulder the same as at the rump.

Legs and Feet: Forelegs should be straight, elbows neither in nor out. Hind legs straight when viewed from behind, but stifles are moderately bent when viewed from the sides. Feet are round with black toenails. Dewclaws, if any, are generally removed from the hind legs. Dewclaws on the forelegs may be removed.

Tail: Docked to a medium length and carried slightly higher than the level of the back.

Coat: Quality, texture and quantity of coat are of prime importance. Hair is glossy, fine and silky in texture. Coat on the body is moderately long and perfectly straight (not wavy). It may be trimmed to floor length to give ease of movement and a neater appearance, if desired. The fall on the head is long, tied with one bow in center of head or parted in the middle and tied with two bows. Hair on muzzle is very long. Hair should be trimmed short on tips of ears and may be trimmed on feet to give them a neat appearance.

Colors: Puppies are born black and tan and are normally darker in body color, showing an intermingling of black hair in the tan until they are matured. Color of hair on body and richness of tan on head and legs are of prime importance in adult dogs, to which the following color requirements apply: Blue - Is a dark steel-blue, not a silver-blue and not mingled with fawn, bronzy or black hairs. Tan - All tan hair is darker at the roots than in the middle, shading to still lighter tan at the tips. There should be no sooty or black hair intermingled with any of the tan. Color on Body: The blue extends over the body from back of neck to root of tail. Hair on tail is a darker blue, especially at end of tail.

Headfall: A rich golden tan, deeper in color at sides of head, at ear roots and on the muzzle, with ears a deep rich tan. Tan color should not extend down on back of neck. Chest and Legs: A bright, rich tan, not extending above the elbow on the forelegs nor above the stifle on the hind legs.


Weight: Must not exceed seven pounds. Disqualifications: Any solid color or combination of colors other than blue and tan as described above. Any white markings other than a small white spot on the forechest that does not exceed 1 inch at its longest dimension.

Approved July 10, 2007  -  Effective October 1, 2007


ALL Colors of the Yorkshire Terrier:

How Parti Yorkies Came to Be ...

by Sue White

Written in October 2006

Many skeptical Yorkie owners and breeders, absolutely refuse to believe that the Parti colored Yorkie is anything other than a recent "behind the kennel bred" mutt. They say: "There is NO white gene in our Purebred Yorkies" or "There is NO record of any Yorkie ever breeding to a white or parti colored dog" or "No show breeder who's been breeding and showing for 30 or 40 years, has ever produced a parti colored Yorkie."  I'm going to try to educate people on color genetics, recessive genes and how the Parti gene remained hidden in the Yorkshire terrier breed for years.

 We know from our Yorkie history, that early records were not kept on the foundation breeding stock. I seriously doubt, that back in the days where spaying and neutering was not done, that the farmers and working class families didn't have the "occasional" unplanned pregnancy in their canines. If anything, it happened more then, than it does today. History also notes that the Maltese was bred to the Yorkshire terrier to enhance the texture and length of the Yorkshire terriers coat, since most of the early dogs thought to have started the breed, were broken haired dogs with shorter, coarser coats. It's documented in some of the earliest records that the foundation stock of our breed, were cross-bred dogs and dogs without pedigrees (who's heritage is unknown). Even if these dogs didn't look parti colored they could very well have harbored the recessive Parti gene in their DNA makeup. Whether their mother/father, grandmother/grandfather or great grandmother/great grandfather ... was parti colored, no one would really know, since record keeping at that time in history, was little to none.

It is documented, that in the early 1900's, there were some breeders who tried to promote the White Yorkshire Terrier as well as the silver yorkie who was born with absence of any tan. Ernest Hemingway's Grandfather owned a white Yorkie named Tassel in the early 1900's and there are published writings during that same time period, indicating white yorkshire terriers were being shown at various State agricultural shows.

Some of the most highly regarded breeders of this breed, have produced parti and other off colors in their own lines.  Early Kennel Club and American Kennel Club records, lists "dark tan," "black," and  "blue" as some of the colors seen and registered in the yorkshire terrier breed. 

Off colors have been seen since the beginning of the breed and the recessive genes continue to appear today.

The Parti gene can only be expressed if a parti gene carrier is bred to another parti gene carrier. A carrier will look like a traditional colored Yorkie but is born with maybe some white on it's chin, chest and/or feet. In this case where a parti carrier is bred to another parti carrier, 25% of the offspring will be traditional Yorkies (not carrying the gene), 50% will be traditional colored Yorkies who do carry the recessive parti gene and 25% of the offspring will be actual Parti colored dogs. AKC has allowed Parti colored Yorkies to be eligible for registration since 2000. Prior to that time, parti colored offspring were normally given away without papers or destroyed (yes, destroyed). I know of several breeders who have destroyed a litter of "surprise" parti colored pups.

The most prolific known line of Parti Yorkies is the "California line" or Nikko's line. These dogs are all descendants of an AKC Champion named Nikko's Rolls Royce Ashley. Two dedicated breeders in California, fought to get this line of Parti colored Yorkies registered by AKC. This line of Parti carriers and Parti colored Yorkies comes from a well known show breeder who's been breeding and showing for over 40 years. Forty-two litters and a number of generations of dogs from this line were DNA'd prior to AKC's approval of registration.

The Yorkshire Terriers breed standards have changed over the years. The "Standard" color is slate blue and tan, any other color is considered to be "Off Standard." Until the new color disqualification rule went into effect, off standard colored, black and tan and black and gold yorkies have entered the show ring and won their champion status. Standards have changed and not only do we now have smaller sized dogs than in the late 1800's, but some of our "off standard," darker coated dogs have been allowed into the show ring.

Hopefully these types of changes along with a better understanding of color genetics, will open the door for the continued, growing acceptance of the Parti colored Yorkie. Parti Yorkies ARE RARE (at the time of this writing, colored yorkies were hard to find but today, in 2015 they are easily acquired), they are hard to find and as supply and demand goes, they do cost more than the traditional colored Yorkie.

Parti colored Yorkies are healthy animals and they are not a genetic freak of nature as some people, groups or websites suggest. In this day of scam artists and people looking to make a fast buck, my suggestion is to buy from reputable breeders who have their dogs DNA'd and/or their dogs are from known lines of Parti producing dogs. There are other Yorkie lines of parti carriers and producers but the California/Nikkos line is the best known. So do your research, get references and have an open mind. This gene has been in some of our Yorkie bloodlines for years and years and years ... and if you think it's not possible, don't be surprised if one day, your own purebred Yorkie produces a pup of a different color!



Back to the above illustration ...


Terriers from the 1860 Book of Field Sports by Henry Downes Miles, is Illustrated by DJ Watkins-Pitchford, are pictured running freely together.


The Skye Terrier,  The Scotch Terrier, The English Smooth Terrier, The Crossed Scotch Terrier, The Dandie Dinmont and The Bull Terrier.  

Two of the 6 dogs pictured are parti colored ... 

It would be very likely that the parti gene (and other genes for color) remaid hidden in some of our yorkies over many, many generations.  This gene has gone unnoticed for so many years because two dogs bred together have to carry the gene in order for the color to be produced.  Each dog who carriers the recessive gene and breeds on, passes his recessive gene onto 50% of his offspring. 

For more information on the Yorkshire Terrier, please click HERE.

There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.  – Ben Williams

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