Yorkies and Parti Yorkies are both dogs from the Yorkshire Terrier breed. Unlike regular Yorkies, Partis are tri-colored: white, black and tan. Regular Yorkies have two colors, one that covers most of their long fur, and another that creates the appearance of a saddle on their backs. Parti Yorkies are controversial - some claim that they are rare and special, while others say that they are a dangerous genetic anomaly.
Puppy Mills and Responsible Breeders
The Yorkshire Terrier Club of America (YTCA) asserts that puppy mills produce many puppies regularly and sell them to pet stores. The YTCA says that the mills are dirty, overcrowded, inhumane, and short on socialization and food. In contrast, responsible breeders provide their puppies with care and socialization, and make sure they are going to good homes. They only breed healthy, breed-standard dogs. The Parti Yorkshire Terrier Club (PYTC) says, "A good breeder stands behind her dogs for life."
American Kennel Club Yorkie Breed Standards For Coat
All breed-standard Yorkies are a maximum of 7 lbs. As puppies, their fur, or coat, is black and tan, lightening to blue and tan as they mature. The blue, which is a dark, metallic hue, extends over their backs like a saddle. The rest of their fur, including that of their faces and chests, is a golden tan. Any Yorkie with white fur or colors other than black and tan is disqualified from being shown at competitions.
Argument For Parti Yorkies
Partis are considered rare and beautiful, a resurfacing of a genetic trait that was present at the dawn of the Yorkie's existence, approximately 165 years ago. Yorkies are thought to originate from several other dog breeds; one of these is the Maltese, which has silky white fur. When dog showing became a part of American culture, breeders bred for the blue and tan dogs only, but the genes for tri-colored fur remained dormant, only to surface again in the 1980s.
Argument Against Parti Yorkies
Members of the American Kennel Club (AKC) and many breeders feel strongly that the Parti Yorkie is not an acceptable manifestation of the breed, and should not be recognized by the AKC (it is not). The concern about Parti Yorkies is that only genetic anomalies may cause a Yorkie to be born with colors other than the breed standard, and thus, the presence of different markings might signal the potential for other, more serious health problems.