What’s the Difference Between a Parti Yorkie and a Regular Yorkie? (Explained!)

Parti Yorkies are bred from Yorkshire Terriers and are purebred dogs themselves. Parti Yorkies are also known as tri-colored Yorkies, or particolor, as their coats are made up of three different colors and have white patches. This differs from the traditional Yorkshire Terrier whose coats are made up of two standard colors of black, blue, tan, or gold.

The following will explore the difference between Parti Yorkies and the traditional Yorkshire Terrier breed.

How is a Parti Yorkie Different from a Regular Yorkie?

Parti Yorkies differ from regular Yorkies in their coloring. Standard Yorkshire Terriers have a coat made up of two solid colors – black, blue, tan, or gold. Any white patches must be an inch or less in length. Parti Yorkies have a mixture of three colors – black, tan, and white, and have large white patches.

There are rare color variations of Parti Yorkies besides the black, tan, and white. These are Blonde or Golden Parti Yorkies, Chocolate Parti Yorkies, and Merle Parti Yorkies.

What is a Blonde or Golden Parti Yorkie?

Blonde or Golden Parti Yorkies do not have any black or blue coloring. They are born solid gold in a light blonde or rich golden color. If they have any brown patches these lighten and turn golden as they age. They are not born with the greying gene as with traditional Yorkies, which turns black to blue-grey as they age.

What is a Chocolate Parti Yorkie?

Chocolate Parti Yorkies are born entirely brown, whereas regular Yorkies are usually born black. The brown color lightens as they get older and if they are born with white patches these remain white. They often have light brown, or amber, eyes and a brown snout. They can be chocolate brown, a lighter golden brown, or darker brown.

What is a Merle Parti Yorkie?

Merle Parti Yorkies have the Merle gene, which affects pigmentation of the skin, eyes, and coat. Dogs born with this gene can have odd-colored eyes and dapple spots in their coat instead of solid patches, where the pigmentation has changed. This creates unique and beautiful patterns in the coat.

Are Parti Yorkies Different from Biewer Terriers?

Parti Yorkies and Biewer Terriers look extremely similar as they are both bred from Yorkshire Terriers and have the same white, black, and tan coat. The difference is that Biewer Terriers are bred from a different German line of dogs and are a newer breed.

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What Are the Main Differences Between a Parti Yorkie and a Yorkshire Terrier?

Here we will explore in more detail the key differences between these two breeds and compare their qualities and characteristics.

History and Origin

Yorkshire Terriers have an ancestry of other small terriers such as Skye Terriers, Paisley Terriers and Clydesdale Terriers. In the 19th century workers from Scotland travelled to the Yorkshire mills and brought small terriers with them, eventually leading to the breed of the Yorkshire Terrier. Yorkies were kept to catch rats in the mills and mines during the 19th century.

As well as hunting vermin, these small dogs quickly became popular as pets due to their tiny size and luxurious, long silky coat. The American Kennel Club recognized the Yorkshire Terrier as a breed in 1885.

Parti Yorkies were not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club until the year 2000. Despite this, Parti Yorkies originate from purebred Yorkshire Terriers. The Parti Yorkie color variation has been documented in Yorkie litters since the 19th century.

Parti Yorkies were originally seen as low quality and people believed they were the result of Yorkshire Terriers being bred with other dogs such as Maltese. 

Coloring and Coat

The American Kennel Club recognizes 4 standard coat color variations for Yorkshire Terriers. These are black and tan, black and gold, blue and tan, and blue and gold. A white patch of an inch or less is allowed. Yorkies have a distinctive Terrier blue color, and these standard variations mean it is easy to determine a purebred Yorkshire Terrier.

Parti Yorkies have tri-colored coats usually made of up of black, tan, and white. The colors and patterns vary and there are no standard coat variations. Parti Yorkies also come in rare variations such as blonde or golden, chocolate, and merle.


Both regular Yorkies and Parti Yorkies are some of the smallest dogs. They are toy breeds, tiny dogs which are well suited to being lapdogs. Both Yorkies and Parti Yorkies grow to be around 7-8 inches in height and 7 pounds in weight.

Life expectancy

Both Yorkies and Parti Yorkies have similar health conditions and life expectancy, with an average life expectancy of 11-16 years old

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All Yorkie breeds suffer from the same common health issues:

  • When adult teeth grow through the small jaw and mouth can become overcrowded and accumulate food and bacteria.
  • Dislocating kneecap is a common hereditary issue in toy breeds.
  • In Yorkies aged six and older tracheal collapse can occur.
  • Urinary stones are common in small dogs.
  • Toy breeds are also susceptible to hypoglycaemia.
  • Terrier breeds are prone to dislocating eye lens.

Characteristics and Temperament

American Kennel Club states that Yorkies are intelligent, affectionate, and loyal dogs. Despite their small size and daintiness, Yorkies are feisty and bossy, and have the same big attitude as any terrier. They are close companions, often lapdogs, yet still need around 40 minutes of exercise a day and make great watchdogs too as they are brave and protective.

Are Yorkies Good Pets?

Yorkies and Parti Yorkies make excellent pets for a number of reasons:

  • Yorkies are affectionate, intelligent, and alert dogs.
  • A Yorkies small size means they fit well in smaller living spaces such as apartments.
  • Their coats are hypoallergenic and they rarely shed.
  • They are great family pets and are good with children.
  • Yorkies are fast learners and so it is easy to train them.