Obviously, from the name, a Parti Yorkie is one that can throw a killer celebration or backyard barbecue. Wait, no, that’s a party Yorkie. A PARTI Yorkie is a little different (maybe a lot different).
IN THIS ARTICLE
What Is A Parti Yorkie?
A Parti Yorkie is just a Yorkie. It is not different from a Standard Yorkie in any way other than their color. While a Standard Yorkie is typically blue and tan or blue and gold, a Parti Yorkie is often black, tan, and white; sometimes known as tri-colored.
Let’s dig a little deeper into what they look like.
What Do They Look Like?
A Parti Yorkie is the exact same as a Standard Yorkie in every way other than color. Their height, weight, and coat type will be virtually the same.
Yorkies are very small dogs. That is one of the reasons they are so popular. They can fit comfortably in your lap and not really add too much weight. The chart below lists their average height and weight.
|Standard||8″ to 9″ at the shoulders||4 lbs to 6 lbs|
Please be aware, these are just averages. We have a Yorkie that is perfectly healthy but is almost 15 lbs and another that is right at about 4 1/2 lbs.
Yorkies, including Parti Yorkies, have long, silky hair. You will note, we said hair and not fur. That is because a Yorkies coat is much more similar to our hair as humans than to the furry coats of many other breeds of dogs.
The texture of their hair is what gives them that sleek and shiny look. They do not typically have an undercoat either. They shed very little and are considered to be hypoallergenic.
Their coat will need a little more attention than other breeds. Make sure you are brushing them a couple of times a week. They will also need to be bathed in a high quality shampoo and conditioner. The good news is they only need to be bathed about once every 3 or 4 months (assuming they are not prone to exploring mud puddles).
This is where Standard Yorkies and Parti Yorkies truly part ways.
Technically, any color Yorkie can also come in Parti. Traditional (not standard) Yorkies are actually 4 possible colors.
- Black and tan
- Black and gold
- Blue and tan
- Blue and gold
Any of those four with Parti is what people would normally just call a Parti Yorkie, or perhaps a traditional Parti Yorkie.
The other, less common, colors can also be Parti.
- Chocolate Parti
- Blonde Parti
- Blonde Chocolate Parti
What Is The Party Gene?
You may be wondering how the parti coloring actually happens. So, let’s discuss that here.
The white overlay or parti coloring in yorkies in caused by a gene – just as any other colors and many other traits in general are. The gene responsible for the parti coloring is called the Piebald gene.
The piebald gene is not exclusive to yorkies, it actually shows up in many different dog breeds poodles and beagles are just two examples. In fact, this gene is not just in dogs but other animals such as horses and foxes also.
So, how exactly does this gene work? The piebald gene is recessive. A recessive gene is one in which there must be two copies (one from each parent) in order for the gene to be expressed (or seen).
The interesting thing about recessive genes is that since you must have two copies for it to be expressed this means you could have one copy and be what’s called a carrier. That carrier can then pass the gene on to an offspring and they may get another copy from the other parent and then they would show the coloring.
This recessive gene is found on the MITF gene. Genetic testing can be done to look for this gene on the S locus to determine if your dog carrier the gene, but does not show it.
So, how does breeding work with parti yorkies? Certainly you would want to know the potential colors of your puppies, right? Let’s look at the potential parent matches and what the resulting offspring would like like.
So, this could seem a little confusing especially if you aren’t into genetics, so let’s break it down simply. There are actually many genes that to into coat color, but we are going to simplify the Punnett Square for this example. A Punnett Square is basically a chart that allows you to make the expected results of genotypes based on two parents.
Keeping in mind the following:
A capital indicates a dominant gene.
A lower case indicates a recessive gene.
We are going to use the letter N in this example.
NN – would be a dog with two dominant genes so not parti and doesn’t carry.
Ns – would be a dog that doesn’t show as parti, but carries the gene.
ss – is a dog with two parti genes and therefore shows as parti colored.
You have two parents and both show parti coloring then all offspring will be parti.
You have two parents and one is parti colored and the other is not and doesn’t carry for parti. All offspring would not be parti, but would be carriers with one copy of the parti gene.
You have two parents: one is parti and the other is not, but is a parti carrier. You’d get 50% of offspring that are parti colored and the other 50% would not be parti, but would be carriers.
Both parents carry Parti but are not Parti colored. 50% of offspring will be Parti carriers, 25% will be Parti colored, and 25% will not be Parti colored or carriers.
And finally, if no parents are parti or carry parti then no offspring would be parti colored or carry for parti coloring.
One of the biggest misconceptions out there that has followed the Parti Yorkie is that they are not purebred Yorkies. Let’s set the record straight:
Parti Yorkies ARE purebred Yorkies!
You can see in the gene section above, that 2 standard Yorkies can still produce a Parti Yorkie.
Unfortunately, that understanding has not always been around and has caused some great harm to these poor pups.
There isn’t a lot to say about their origin. Since they are purebred Yorkies, it is entirely likely that Parti Yorkies have been in existence as long as Yorkies themselves have been around.
We know Yorkies are a man made breed, initially used as a ratter or a hunting dog for rodents and small animals. We first start seeing them in recorded history around the 19th Century in England.
The Parti Yorkie is specifically mentioned in some of Ernest Hemingway’s personal writings in which he refers to his grandfather’s white Yorkshire Terrier, Tassel. We also know that he “adored” this dog.
There was, at one time, a belief that the Parti gene was a defect due to cross breeding with Maltese. The thought was the crossbreeding was done to improve coat texture and length and that the white color was an unfortunate byproduct.
But, again, as we know from the Punnett Square diagrams above, this is not the case.
Unfortunately, this incorrect belief that the Parti gene was a defect was entirely too pervasive. Breeders would, in the best scenarios, give their Parti puppies away. In the worst cases, they would euthanize their Parti puppies.
This was so common it almost caused the extinction of Parti Yorkies altogether!
Since many breeders were worried that their reputations would be ruined if they sold puppies with the “parti flaw” it became a common practice to either give away the “defective” puppies or to euthanize them. This terrible practice continued as late as the 1980s!
Fortunately, there was a woman named Mrs. Gloria Lipman of Nikko’s Kennels who refused to execute her Yorkies just because of their coat coloring. Instead she found homes for every single one of them.
One day a woman known only as “Ms. Borgen” (I have also seen the name Ms. Bogren), spotted one of these pups out with their owner. She was so enamored with the puppy, the story goes, she followed the owner all the way to their home to find out where she could get a puppy of her own.
She found that Nikko’s Kennels and Mrs. Lipman were the breeders. The two eventually met so Ms. Borgen could purchase some of these white Yorkies for her self.
Through their conversations, Mrs Lipman informed Ms. Borgen that Parti Yorkies were unable to be registered with the AKC. Her Parti, Mickey Spillane, was registered as Blue and Gold.
It turns out, Ms. Borgen did not want to register these puppies as Blue and Gold and was, much to the benefit of Parti Yorkies, a particulalry stubborn person when it came to getting what she wanted.
Lipman and Borgen negotiated a deal in which Ms. Borgen would purchase ALL of Mrs. Lipmans white Yorkies IF Mrs. Lipman would request DNA testing from the AKC for ALL of the parents.
She agreed and the AKC started testing. All in all, the AKC closed Nikko’s Kennels for a year and a half and DNA tested 42 litters of puppies. Additionally, they also tested other breeding pairs from reputable breeders across the United States.
After it was all said and done, the AKC determined that high pedigree standard Yorkies could, in fact, produce Yorkies of non-standard colors, including Parti.
Due to Gloria Lipman’s year and a half long sacrifice and Ms. Borgen’s tenacity, as of the year 2000, Parti Yorkies can be registered with the AKC under their very own color code; 014. It does, however, seem that the AKC approved them begrudgingly.
The color standards are incredibly strict for their standards of perfection and, as of this writing, anything other than blue and tan or blue and gold are considered “non-standard”. Non-standard colors have a variety of restrictions.
Some other restrictions are:
- a Parti Yorkie can ONLY be registered if BOTH parents are also registered
- Parti Yorkies are excluded from AKC shows
- Parti Yorkies can only compete in agility competitions
How To Find A Parti Yorkie
Since Parti Yorkies have become more popular since 2000, they are, fortunately, not too difficult to find!
Many Yorkie breeders now specifically breed for Parti Yorkies since the demand has become so high. In fact, Parti Yorkie registrations have recently overtaken Standard Yorkie registrations with the AKC.
To find your Parti Yorkie, we recommend either finding a reputable breeder or adopting from a rescue or shelter.
Find A Reputable Breeder
The primary benefit to purchasing from a breeder is you will have the full history of your puppy. You will know it’s entire medical history and, often times, the health and history of their parents (sometimes even grandparents and beyond).
This is extremely helpful if any health issues come up later on in the dog’s life.
You also get the joy of raising a brand new puppy. Some breeders will even send pictures and videos of the puppy through it’s growth process, thus allowing you to feel connected with your pup while you are patiently (yeah right!) waiting for it to be weened and come to their favorite home.
The key is finding a reputable breeder. The reason dog breeders tend to have a bad name is because of the unethical practices of backyard breeders and puppy mills. These unethical breeders treat their animals like they are a production line and only care about making money.
Often times, especially with designer breeds, certain features are targeted (like size or color) and other features (including health issues) are ignored. This causes major problems as these puppies are bred and so on and so forth.
Unfortunate fact: Many pet stores get their puppies from puppy mills disguised as reputable breeders.
When you find a breeder, you want to ask a lot of questions to make sure they are not using unethical and unhealthy breeding practices. A reputable breeder will not find this off putting. They will be happy you care because they put the well-being of the animal first.
Some of the questions that you can ask are:
- What is the area like where they keep their dogs?
- How many puppies and litters do they have a year?
- How many dogs do they breed at a time?
- Are they pets or just kept breeding?
- Do they have a separate kennel or do they live in the breeder’s home?
You can also ask for a health guarantee for the puppy and a health certification for the parents. It is also a good practice to speak to previous buyers.
Find A Rescue Or Pet Adoption Agency
You can also choose adoption. There are so many dogs out there that need help finding their forever home.
With designer dogs, they are often purchased as gifts or simply because they are cute. If you’ve ever raised a puppy, you know when they start howling at 3AM because they miss you, they are anything but cute.
The realization that this is a real responsibility and not just a photo prop sets in and these innocent puppies are then taken to a local shelter.
If you want to, not only get a sweet puppy, but also do a good deed, adopting one of these dogs is a great option. You can look at your local ASPCA, Angel’s of Assisi, or other shelters. There are also rescues specifically for Yorkies and designer breeds.
Since finding these shelters varies depending on your location, it is easiest to just do a web search for rescues in your area. You can search terms like “yorkie rescue near me” or something similar.
Rescue animals do take a little more work sometimes. Many small dogs become very attached to their owners. Since they have been abandoned at a shelter, some of these dogs are experiencing trauma. They will need your help to work through that trauma.
Don’t let that scare you though. One of the best ways to do that is to just love on them and work with them through training. It not only helps refocus your puppy and keep them healthy but it is a wonderful bonding experience.
You and your puppy will have an unbreakable bond.
Frequently Asked Questions
While researching Parti Yorkies, we found a few questions that kept popping up. Here they are:
What does Parti mean in dogs?/What color is parti?/What is the Parti gene?
Parti is the existence of white overlay on a base color. The amount, shape and place of the white can vary. The gene that creates the parti color is recessive. This gene is the piebald gene. A recessive gene means that both parents must carry and pass the gene on in order for the trait to show, in this case the parti color. https://www.animalgenetics.us/canine/canine-color/SLocus.asp
Are Parti Yorkies born white?
Parti yorkies will be born with some amount of white on them. That white will be combined with whatever other color they are (chocolate, black and tan, black and gold etc). https://www.animalgenetics.us/canine/canine-color/SLocus.asp
Are Parti Yorkies Purebred?
Yes, parti yorkies are purebred yorkies. The term parti is simply a description of their color/marking and not a designation of a different breed.
What is the difference between a Parti Yorkie and a Biewer Yorkie?
The difference between a Biewer Yorkie and a Parti Yorkies is that a Biewer is a distinct breed while parti is just a color designation.
Although sometimes called a Biewer Yorkie due to a similar background, this breed is actually a Biewer Terrier. They do look very similar to Parti Yorkies due to the fact that they have white markings as well.
How much are Parti Yorkies worth?
The average price of a purebred Parti Yorkie can reportedly be in the $1,000 to $2,500 range. Obviously, variances in pedigree can other decrease or increase that cost.
How much do Parti Yorkies weigh?
A Parti Yorkie is the same weight as a standard Yorkie; 4 to 6 pounds.
How long do Parti Yorkies live?
Parti Yorkies have the same life span as a standard Yorkie; 12 to 15 years.
Do Parti Yorkies have health problems?
Parti Yorkies are not at risk for any additional health problems than any other standard colored Yorkie. The one exception is there are links to hereditary deafness. However, this is not a guarantee of deafness. https://www.lsu.edu/deafness/genetics.htm
Are Parti Yorkies hypoallergenic?/Do Parti Yorkies shed?
Parti Yorkies are considered to be hypo-allergenic. This is because they have hair, not fur, and little to no undercoat. They also do not shed much, if at all.
That’s just about all there is to know about Parti Yorkies. They are finally being more and more accepted as a legitimate Yorkie color and the world is better for it.
Maybe you can find one for your growing pack!