If you’re a Yorkie owner, you may have noticed your pet’s hair turning grey over time. This is a common occurrence in many small breeds, including Yorkies. But have you ever wondered why this happens?
One possible reason for your Yorkie’s grey hair is aging. Just like humans, dogs’ hair can turn white or grey as they get older. However, there are other factors that can contribute to premature greying, such as stress or genetics.
Another factor that can affect your Yorkie’s hair coloring is a unique gene that causes their coat to adopt a blue and eventually a grey color. This gene is fairly common in the breed and affects the production of a chemical called eumelanin, which makes their skin black.
Table of Contents
- The Science Behind Yorkie Hair Color
- Factors that Contribute to Yorkie Hair Turning Grey
- Maintaining Yorkie Hair Health
- Dealing with Separation Anxiety
The Science Behind Yorkie Hair Color
Yorkies are known for their beautiful coats, which come in a variety of colors such as black and tan, gold, and blue. The color of a Yorkie’s coat is determined by genetics, specifically the genes that control the production of melanin.
Melanin is a pigment that gives color to hair, skin, and eyes. In dogs, there are two types of melanin: eumelanin, which produces black or brown color, and pheomelanin, which produces red or yellow color. Yorkies have a gene that causes their coat to adopt a blue and eventually a gray color, which is due to a decrease in eumelanin production.
When a Yorkie is born, its coat is usually black and tan or gold. However, as the dog ages, the production of eumelanin decreases, leading to a change in coat color. The hair may turn blue or lighter tan before eventually turning gray or white.
Gray hair occurs when there is a dysfunction in the production of melanin. As a result, the hair loses its color and appears gray or white. In Yorkies, the decrease in eumelanin production causes the hair to turn gray.
Yorkies have a unique coloring pattern where the hair at the roots is darker than the hair at the tips. This can make the dog’s coat appear gray even if the hair is not fully gray.
In summary, the color of a Yorkie’s coat is determined by genetics and the production of melanin. As the dog ages, the production of eumelanin decreases, leading to a change in coat color. Yorkies have a gene that causes their coat to adopt a blue and eventually a gray color, which is due to a decrease in eumelanin production. Gray hair occurs when there is a dysfunction in the production of melanin.
Factors that Contribute to Yorkie Hair Turning Grey
If you’re a Yorkie parent, you might have noticed that your pet’s hair is turning grey. This can be a cause for concern, but it’s important to understand that there are several factors that can contribute to this change in hair color.
As with humans, Yorkies’ hair can turn grey as they age. It’s a natural part of the aging process, and there’s not much you can do to prevent it. In most cases, you’ll start to notice your Yorkie’s hair turning grey when they’re around 5-7 years old.
In some cases, Yorkies can experience premature aging, which can cause their hair to turn grey at a younger age. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, diet, and environmental factors.
Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety can also contribute to Yorkie hair turning grey. If your pet is experiencing fear, impulsivity, or other forms of stress, it can affect their coat color. This is because hormones like adrenaline and norepinephrine can affect the genes that control hair color.
To help reduce stress and anxiety in your Yorkie, make sure they’re getting plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. You can also consider using calming supplements or working with a professional trainer or behaviorist.
In summary, there are several factors that can contribute to Yorkie hair turning grey, including age, premature aging, and stress and anxiety. By understanding these factors and taking steps to reduce stress and anxiety in your pet, you can help keep their coat looking healthy and vibrant.
Maintaining Yorkie Hair Health
To keep your Yorkie’s hair healthy, you need to pay attention to their nutrition, health issues, and veterinary care.
A well-balanced diet is crucial for your Yorkie’s hair health. Ensure that their food contains the necessary vitamins and minerals, such as biotin, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc. These nutrients help promote healthy hair growth and prevent hair loss.
Yorkies are prone to certain health problems that can affect their hair health. For example, allergies, hypothyroidism, and Cushing’s disease can cause hair loss and thinning. If you notice any hair loss or changes in your Yorkie’s coat, consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.
Regular visits to the veterinarian are essential for maintaining your Yorkie’s hair health. Your vet can check for any health issues and recommend appropriate treatment. They can also provide guidance on grooming and hygiene practices to keep your Yorkie’s coat healthy.
In conclusion, maintaining your Yorkie’s hair health requires attention to their nutrition, health issues, and veterinary care. By providing a well-balanced diet, addressing any health issues promptly, and seeking regular veterinary care, you can help your Yorkie maintain a healthy and shiny coat.
Dealing with Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety is a common issue among Yorkies, and it can cause a lot of distress for both the dog and the owner. Here are some tips to help you deal with separation anxiety in your Yorkie:
- Gradual Separation: Gradually increase the time you spend away from your Yorkie, starting with just a few minutes and gradually increasing over time. This will help your dog get used to being alone and reduce their anxiety.
- Exercise: Make sure your Yorkie gets plenty of exercise before you leave. This will help them burn off energy and reduce their stress levels.
- Safe Space: Create a safe and comfortable space for your Yorkie to stay in while you’re away. This could be a crate or a designated area of the house.
- Toys: Provide your Yorkie with plenty of toys to keep them occupied while you’re away. Interactive toys, such as puzzle toys or treat dispensers, are a great option.
- Calming Techniques: Try using calming techniques, such as playing calming music or using a pheromone diffuser, to help soothe your Yorkie’s anxiety.
Remember, it’s important to be patient and consistent when dealing with separation anxiety. With time and effort, you can help your Yorkie overcome their anxiety and feel more comfortable being alone.
How can you tell if a Yorkie is purebred?
Most often, aside from their typical looks, you can tell by the colors. Purebreds come in a number of colors, those being tan, black, blue, and gold – also they have a gene that will lead to their turning blue as they mature, which manifests as silver, white, or gray hairs that won’t touch the nose or the eyes.
Finally, if you purchased your Yorkie from a breeder, pedigree papers as well as papers on the dam and the sire should be included to help establish purity.
What is the rarest color of a Yorkie?
There are a few rare variants, with chocolate Yorkies being among the most rare that you will find. This is because the chocolate color is actually obtained by cross-breeding with other dogs, such as Dachshunds, in order to isolate the chocolate gene.
This takes a lot of work, making this breed very rare and much more expensive than ‘standard’ Yorkie colors.
Do all Yorkies change color?
Yes, Yorkies change color over time and it’s quite natural. Your dog has a puppy coat and the one that they will eventually grow into. This color change starts at around 6 months of age, continuing until your dog is 1 or 2 years old.
Don’t worry – the change won’t be that dramatic and your breeder can let you know what they will look like eventually, but it most likely won’t be that much different from what you are used to with the exception of eventual graying as a likely possibility.
What are Yorkie colors?
Yorkies have different colors for purebreds, with the most prominent combinations being blue and gold, black and tan, blue and tan, and black and gold. There are rare colors as well, with chocolate being one of the rarest, as the process involved cross-breeding with other breeds such as Dachshunds to isolate the gene.
What color eyes do Yorkies have?
Most commonly, Yorkie eyes will be either dark brown or black, but you do see exceptions. Some Yorkies have hazel, green, or even dark blue eyes, though you can expect the extra cost for these pups as specific traits need to be isolated through careful breeding and this takes a lot of time.
What is a Gold Dust Yorkie?
A Gold dust Yorkie is a rare variety that has hair that will hang down evenly for ¾ of the sides of the dog, which is free of black hairs in a coat that is white-gold in color. These dogs also have a medium-sized muzzle, with a small head, and their teeth have a scissor-bite that is readily apparent and level.
This breed generally goes for anywhere from $1200 to $2500 when purchasing a pup, with a deposit generally being required to secure the animal until it is old enough to wean.
My name is Ken and I’m one of the staff writers at Petloverguy.com. I’ve cared for pets most of my life starting with hamsters, turtles, and snakes. Then moving up to parakeets, guinea pigs, and even ducks.
I currently live with two yorkies and a chihuahua mix.