White Yorkshire Terriers are a rare sight in the world of pets. According to many, these balls of fur are the same Yorkies we know and love, and the only special thing about them is their white coats. But is this true?
A Yorkie’s coat usually comes in black & tan, black & gold, blue & tan, and blue & gold. These colors, along with their feisty appearance, make Yorkies easily recognizable. But lately, the talk of the town is the white Yorkie.
If you are eager to know if white Yorkies exist or if they are just advertising gimmicks, you’re on the right page. Here, you’ll learn all about the white Yorkie as well as the controversies surrounding this pooch. Let’s start!
What Is a White Yorkie?
A white Yorkie is exactly that — a Yorkshire Terrier covered in white fur. The rare white coloration in Yorkies is caused by either albinism or parti-color genes. Interestingly, white is not an officially recognized color of the Yorkie breed. Also, white Yorkies can either be purebred or crossbred.
These controversial white little furballs have been the topic of a growing debate among Yorkie fanciers for quite some time.
Some believe that they should be recognized as an official variant of the breed, but others simply dismiss them as undesirable dogs due to the pigment-related illnesses associated with them.
Are White Yorkshire Terriers Purebred?
The answer to this heavily depends on the Yorkie in question. Some Yorkies have a full white coat, while others are only partially white — parti-color.
In most cases, a white Yorkie can only be purebred if it is an albino. So far, there are no records of non-albino Yorkies that have a full white coat.
A Yorkie that has albinism lacks the cells that are responsible for the production of pigments in the body. Albino Yorkies are characterized by their pinkish nose, eyes, paw pads, and skin.
Hence, an all-white Yorkie that does not have albinism is most likely a mixed-breed dog. This is the case with many white Yorkie mixes, such as the Morkie, Yorkipom, and Yorkiepoo.
Meanwhile, a white Yorkie is likely purebred if its coat is only partially white. This is the case for parti-color Yorkies, also known as parti Yorkies.
A parti Yorkie sports any of the color combinations mentioned on the AKC standard. However, these dogs have large white patches, which set them apart from standard Yorkies.
Some parti-color Yorkies can have larger white areas in the body, making it look like they have a predominantly white coat.
Can a Purebred White Yorkshire Terrier Exist?
Yes, purebred white Yorkshire Terriers exist. However, these white dogs only exist in the form of the albino Yorkie and the parti Yorkie.
For starters, a purebred Yorkie can be born with albinism. Consequently, this results in a purebred Yorkie with a white coat.
While this genetic defect is continually being flushed out of the breed’s gene pool, some Yorkies are still born with albinism from time to time. That said, this version of the white Yorkie is as purebred as it gets
On the other hand, parti Yorkies are also considered purebred. These are Yorkies that have large patches of white fur on their coats. Some parti Yorkies have very large white patches that nearly cover their entire coats.
What Does a White Yorkie Look Like?
As mentioned, white Yorkies can either be a result of parti-color genes, albinism, or crossbreeding. Take a look at the different kinds of white Yorkie below.
Standard Yorkies have bicolor coats, such as blue & tan and black & gold. However, there is a Yorkie variant known as the parti Yorkie, which exhibits some form of a lighter coat.
As seen in the photo above, a parti Yorkie appears nearly solid white except for the coat on its ears. These shades may darken as the puppy matures, making its coat exhibit the tri-color shade.
Interestingly, parti Yorkies are considered purebred, and their white coats are considered to be “large white patches.”
An albino Yorkie exhibits a solid white coat due to a genetic defect that causes a lack of pigmentation. This condition is rare and can manifest in other dog breeds.
You can identify if a Yorkie is albino by looking at its fur, nose, and eyes. These facial features will appear pinkish in color for albino Yorkies.
Biewer Terrier (Parti Yorkie Descendant)
The Biewer Terrier is a descendant of the Yorkshire Terrier breed. Originally, the Biewer was a result of a long breeding program of Yorkshire Terriers with recessive parti-color genes.
Through years of breeding, the parti gene has become dominant, which made the Biewer manifest a tri-color coat that always has white.
Among the possible combinations are the following: black tan & white, blue tan & white, and chocolate tan & white.
It was just recently that the Biewer has been considered a separate breed from the Yorkshire Terrier.
Their differences are mainly seen in their tail and coat color. Biewer Terriers have undocked tails, and they normally have white on their coat.
As a breeder of Yorkies for about eight years, I was also able to produce Biewer Terriers at least twice. It is quite difficult to distinguish them from regular Yorkshire Terriers, especially during their first months of life.
Once they grow their fur longer and take a definite shape, especially on the head, and they develop their true colors, only then can you validate their identity as Biewers.
Morkie (Maltese & Yorkie Mix)
The Morkie is one of the Yorkie mixes that results from crossing a Maltese with a Yorkshire Terrier. The appearance of this hybrid dog varies depending on how genetics play out.
Often, its color ranges from white, brown, and black or any combination of these colors. Similar to Yorkies, the color of Morkies changes as they mature.
Watch this short clip to see an adorable white Morkie in action:
White Yorkie Coat Color Genetics
Genetics plays a vital role in the appearance of dogs. In general, the coat color of every breed is a result of pigmentation that is produced by cells which are called melanocytes.
These cells produce the basic colors of a dog’s coat — black (eumelanin) and red (pheomelanin). These two colors are altered by specific genes to produce a vast array of new shades.
For dogs with white color or white patches, one can trace the presence of the S Locus or piebald/parti gene.
The piebald gene blocks the production of pigments on cells, hence, the lack of eumelanin and pheomelanin in some areas of the coat. This is where white spottings appear.
Meanwhile, the S locus has two main forms: the dominant allele (S) for non-white and the recessive allele (s) for piebald. The other two alleles are also known to alter the extremeness of the white spotting.
The white areas produced by this gene are asymmetrical, and they sometimes cover a large area of the body to the point that the coat will look predominantly white.
Do White Yorkie Puppies Stay White as They Grow?
As with other Yorkies, white Yorkies also change color as they grow. In general, standard Yorkies are born with black and tan colors, while white Yorkies are born with a black, tan, and white coat combination.
As they grow old, their colors change. This is the reason why there are four common color combinations for Yorkies.
Parti-color or white Yorkies also undergo the same process. They are born with black, tan, and white coats, which fade due to the effects of the graying gene.
The graying gene affects the eumelanin (black pigment) just like the dilution gene. However, the graying gene does not alter the eye and nose color.
Typically, you will see changes in the coat color of a Yorkie during its sixth month. Their final color will be visible once they are fully grown at the age of 18 months.
Are White Yorkies Recognized by AKC and Other Kennel Clubs?
Due to the misconception about white Yorkies, they were seen as defects decades ago. However, that is not the case anymore. In fact, they are now the crowd’s favorite ever since kennel clubs started recognizing them.
The AKC started recognizing white Yorkies at the start of the 21st century. Although parti-color is not listed in the official standards, owners and breeders can now register them under the recognized colors.
This is also true with the Yorkshire Terrier Club of America (YTCA). Parti Yorkies can participate in agility events but not in AKC-sanctioned dog shows.
White Yorkie Temperament and Personality
In general, white Yorkies behave similarly to other Yorkies. Their coat color does not affect their temperament, so they make good family pets.
Yorkies are lively and affectionate dogs. Regardless of the coat color, they are intelligent, energetic, and courageous.
Note, though, that the temperament of individual Yorkies will vary depending on their environment and the training they receive.
Yorkies are smart and easy to train. However, just like other dogs, early socialization is important to help them build their basic skills.
At a young age, your white Yorkie should be exposed to normal house noises and should meet different members of the family, including other pets.
A well-trained Yorkie befits to be called a perfect family pet. They do not require too much space as they are one of the smallest dog breeds.
However, families with small children should be very cautious since they can easily be injured due to their size.
White Yorkie Lifespan and Health Issues
The lifespan of white Yorkies is similar to that of other Yorkies, which usually ranges from 13 to 16 years. However, due to the genetic makeup of white Yorkie’s color, they are more prone to certain pigment-related health issues.
We know that the white coat of parti-color Yorkies is a result of the absence of melanin. Unfortunately, melanin is also responsible for other bodily functions aside from just coat coloration.
Given the lack of melanin in their bodies, white Yorkies may be predisposed to the following health issues:
- Cochleosaccular dysplasia: Cochleosaccular dysplasia refers to hereditary deafness that is associated with dogs with white pigmentation. Often, experts diagnose this through an examination called Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response (BAER).
- Skin Irritation: Dogs with a lack of melanin in their body are also more prone to skin irritation since this is the first line of defense against the harsh rays of the sun. When exposed too long under the sun, white Yorkies can suffer from sunburn and experience extreme discomfort.
These are only some of the health issues your white Yorkie may develop. But then again, each dog is unique so you have to bring them to the vet a couple of times a year to identify early signs of certain conditions.
How Much Does a White Yorkie Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses
Yorkies are priced from $1,000 to $3,500 depending on many factors, such as the bloodline of the dog and the reputation of the breeder. You can also expect to pay this much, if not a bit more, for a white Yorkie.
You need to be cautious in buying parti-color Yorkies as they almost look identical to other breeds and crossbreeds, such as the Biewer Terrier and Morkie.
Aside from the cost of a white Yorkie, listed below are some of the initial expenses you need to keep in mind:
|Type of Expense||Cost|
|Food and Treats||$30 – $80|
|Bowls||$10 – $30|
|Toys||$20 – $30|
|Beds||$30 – $200|
|Collars and Leashes||$15 – $50|
|Crates and Carriers||$30 – $200|
|Grooming Essentials||$50 – $150|
|Initial Vet Visits||$100 – $500|
|Initial Vaccine Shots||$50 – $300|
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications||$40 – $300|
|Neutering or Spaying||$50 – $500|
|Microchipping||$40 – $60|
|Dog License||$10 – $20|
|Other Essentials||$20 – $50|
|Total Initial Cost||$495 – $2,470|
Keep in mind that these are only estimates. Your actual spending for your white Yorkie may vary depending on the prices in your area.
Moreover, you should remember that there are recurring costs to consider on top of these expenses. Things like your Yorkie’s food, treats, and grooming expenses are all recurring expenses.
Places to Find White Yorkie Puppies for Sale and Adoption
In searching for a white Yorkie, always buy from reputable breeders and refrain from patronizing puppy mills. This will guarantee you a healthy pup with no genetic issues.
To give you a head start on where to find reputable white Yorkie breeders, check out the list below:
- AKC Marketplace – The AKC Marketplace is the first go-to whenever you are looking for reputable breeders. The club itself regulates and monitors the breeders that advertise on this platform.
- Yorkshire Terrier Club of America Breeder Referral – The parent organization of all Yorkie Clubs in America has a breeder referral list on its website. All of the affiliated breeders in this organization are monitored and regulated.
Meanwhile, here are some of the reputable sites where you may find a white Yorkie for adoption:
- Yorkshire Terrier Club of America (YTCA) Rescue Directory – YTCA has a directory of all Yorkshire Terrier rescue centers across the country. If you are not after the bloodline or show quality, you might as well consider saving and rehoming a dog.
- Yorkie Rescue of America (YRA) – YRA was founded in 2011 and has since then rescued and rehomed more than 400 homeless Yorkies. This organization is located in Los Angeles.
- Save A Yorkie Rescue (SAYR) – Founded in 2002 in Pennsylvania, SAYR has already found forever homes for more than 2,500 Yorkies and counting. They are dedicated to rescuing Yorkies, especially from high-kill shelters.
Before rushing out to buy a Yorkie, you should first ensure you are financially prepared for dog owning. The same is true even if you opt for dog adoption.
Dog Name Ideas for White Yorkshire Terrier Puppies
Choosing a name for your new dog is a fun activity, but it can also be overwhelming. Given the countless possible names for white Yorkies, it can be a pain to pick only one.
Refer to the list below for some dog name ideas for white Yorkie puppies:
Keep in mind that the most suitable name for your white Yorkie is one that reflects its personality and appearance. Ideally, your dog’s name should also be easy to pronounce and easy to remember.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are White Yorkies Rare?
White Yorkies, both parti and albino, are rare. This explains why they can be more expensive than the standard colors of the breed.
Albino Yorkies are not purposely bred due to ethical reasons. On the other hand, parti Yorkies are rare because Yorkies that had white fur were traditionally disliked. For these reasons, both variants of white Yorkies do not come by often.
Aside from white Yorkies, chocolate and black Yorkies are also considered rare.
Do White Yorkies Shed a Lot?
White Yorkies do shed but not as much as other dog breeds. The coat of Yorkies consists of long, smooth, fine hair. They don’t have an undercoat, which is why they don’t shed much.
However, they do need regular grooming, or else their hair will get tangled. Breeders often advise giving Yorkies a puppy cut for easier grooming.
Are White Yorkies Hypoallergenic?
White Yorkies are considered hypoallergenic, just like their standard-color siblings. Yorkies don’t shed much, so you don’t have to worry about fur flying mid-air inside your house.
However, you should understand that being hypoallergenic doesn’t mean they are totally safe for people with allergies. They can still trigger allergic reactions.
What Are the Other Yorkie Colors?
The standard Yorkie colors include black and tan, black and gold, blue and tan, and blue and gold. Other Yorkie coat colors that are gaining popularity are blonde (gold) and chocolate.
What Is the Rarest Yorkie Color?
Parti-color is considered the rarest color in Yorkies. This coat coloration is much rarer compared to any of the standard colors.
A parti-colored dog is one that has a coat with large sections of white and smaller areas of another color. The term “parti” comes from the word “partition,” which describes how the colors are divided on the coat.
White Yorkies have been on a tough journey considering that they were disliked and culled before being recognized as purebred Yorkies by the AKC.
Now that they have the limelight, it is only natural for people to be curious about them. Always remember that white Yorkies are still Yorkies even though they are not explicitly listed on the standards.
Nonetheless, you should be aware of the care they need considering that there are pigment-related health risks associated with them. Also, prepare your pockets as they tend to be pricey.
Are you adding this unique pooch to your family soon? Let us know your thoughts about white Yorkies in the comments below!