The various kennel clubs worldwide do not recognize the white Yorkie; they have strict guidelines covering what colors are acceptable within all dog breeds. For the Yorkie, those colors are gold, blue, black, and tan; those are the only official colors.
The American Kennel Club goes further than just specifying the colors; their standards require adult Yorkies to have four color combinations: blue and gold, blue and tan, black and gold, and black and tan.
However, Yorkie enthusiasts will now be pointing out another color combination partially acceptable to the AKC, the parti-color coat. We will be discussing this coat combination in more significant detail later in the article.
Yet, there is still no mention of a white Yorkie coat being acceptable. But there are Yorkies with white coats, so what’s happening here. It’s definitely true; there are some Yorkies out in the world sporting what appears to be white coats. Is it a genetic mistake? Are we talking about a coat that is entirely white, partial white, or just a few patches of white?
White Yorkshire Terriers
Most times, white Yorkshire Terriers that you might see are not pure-bred Yorkies; they are a hybrid dog more often than not. I’m sure you’ve heard of hybrid dogs; they are a mixed breed, and in the case we’re discussing, it would be a Yorkie with probably a Bichon or Maltese genes. With the Yorkie puppy inheriting the white coats of those dogs.
None of the various hybrid breeds are recognized by the AKC or any kennel club, but even so, they are hugely popular these days. There’s nothing wrong with mixing a Yorkie with a Bichon (Borkie), a Maltese (Morkie), or other combinations. As long as the breeder is not attempting to sell you a hybrid and claiming the dog is a pure-bred Yorkie with a white coat.
As we mentioned earlier in the article, there are only four color coat combinations for Yorkies; how can a Yorkie suddenly appear to have a white coat?
Let’s talk about this.
We should start this section of the article by stating the chances of meeting an adult purebred Yorkie with a white coat is practically non-existent. However, you might see a Yorkie with some white in their coat, which is not the same as a white Yorkie.
1. A Yorkie’s Puppy Coat
Most Yorkie puppies come into this world with black and tan coats, with black to tan percentages varying.
The puppies also carry a gene that will turn the black part of their coat to blue when they have reached maturity. It can take many months for a puppy to ‘grow into’ his adult coat; you might not even notice the changing color.
White coats always mean the body cells that produce color pigments are no longer working, hence the appearance of white hair, similar to humans when our hair turns gray. Lack of pigment on the skin produces not white but pink discolorations that affect the skin, nose, and blue eyes.
2. Albino Yorkie
If any puppies are born with pink or red eyes, that is something else again. This coloration is a gene mutation known as Albinism, where there is no pigment production whatsoever.
In theory, it’s conceivable that Yorkies could be born with this gene mutation and be pure white. Still, no history of albinism or any evidence suggests there have been cases of the mutation in the Yorkie population. The fact is there are no entirely white Yorkie coats.
What people might see and perceive as white is a coat that only appears to be white. This coat color might be cream with light gold tips and seems to be white when cut very short.
If you were to take a few cut hairs and lay them on a white background and see a slight red coloration, then your dog’s coat is really cream. Albinism isn’t the only genetic mutation affecting the color of a dog’s coat; this article discusses other types of mutations.
3. A Parti Yorkie
If associating some white in the Yorkie’s coat as a white Yorkie, you are more than likely referring to the parti Yorkie. This coloring will still not be all white; it will be mixed with black and blue or tan and gold; these dogs have three colors in their coats.
We spoke about the standard breed colors of the Yorkie, and parti-color was not on the list. But if both Yorkie parents are already on the AKC (American Kennel Club) register, their parti Yorkie puppies can also be registered.
4. White Yorkie Temperament
The breeder’s professionalism and the health and quality of the breeding stock will determine a puppy’s temperament. Not because short cuts were taken to try and produce a white Yorkie. The irony is the breeder’s professionalism, and the health of the parent dogs preclude any gene mutations. Breeders who value their reputations and parents and puppies’ health would never choose dogs they know to have faulty genes.
If a white Yorkie does have any health disorders primarily because of his coat color, he could also have several personality flaws.
Further development of a white Yorkie’s personality would come from early socialization and training, precisely like any other puppy. If you have a hybrid white Yorkie, then understanding the character of both parent dogs is essential.
Hybrid dogs can inherit a combination of traits from both breeds of dogs. Or they can favor one or the other in looks and personality. It’s never clear which it will be until the puppy is a few months old.
5. Breeders Of White Yorkies
If you see adverts for purebred white Yorkies, you need to exercise extreme caution. You might be better off seeking out breeders who offer parti-white Yorkies. But in any case, do your due diligence before opting to buy any puppy.
If you prefer a purebred Yorkie, then breeders trying to sell you a purebred white Yorkie might be trying to mislead you. You can still have a Yorkie with some white in his coat (parti-white), and he will be purebred and recognized by the AKC, although you will not be able to show your dog.