Specializing in Traditional and Parti Yorkies
Parti Yorkies are purebred Yorkshire terriers with the only difference being their coloring. They can be registered with the AKC as long as both of their parents are registered with the AKC.
In either case the Parti color may appear.
This can happen because some traditional colored Yorkies carry the Parti gene. They may have some white spots on their chest, chin, feet, or any combination of this. But keep in mind Parti color carriers cannot always be recognized because they do not have any white or off standard colors.
What is important to know is that if only one of the parents is a Parti gene carrier, then no Parti colored offspring will be produced. The Parti color gene is a recessive trait, so both parents have to be a Parti gene carrier to produce Parti offspring. Now if only one of the parents is a Parti gene carrier he or she may pass the Parti gene to some of the offspring. They will not have any Parti markings but will be carriers of the gene. This is how the gene can be passed for many generations.
The Parti gene will lay dormant (hidden) in the Yorkies until a time when a purebred Yorkie carrying the Parti gene mates to another purebred Yorkie also carrying the gene.
It is only when this condition is met that Parti offspring can be produced. However not all of the offspring will be Parti Yorkies. Approximately fifty percent will have the traditional (standard) colors and carry the recessive Parti gene. Twenty five percent will be standard Yorkies who do not carry the parti gene. The remaining twenty five percent will be the actual Parti Yorkies.
The Yorkshire Terrier had its beginnings as a breed in the Yorkshire, Manchester and Leeds counties in the northern part of England, in the mid-19thcentury. The Traditional Yorkshire Terrier is a man-made breed. The first breeders of the Yorkshire terrier were miners, weavers and factory workers who were poorly educated or not educated at all. Because of this no records were kept to truly understand which breeds are in the Yorkie makeup. So, one can only guess as to the ancestors of this breed. Of course, there are many theories. One is that the Paisley, Clydesdale, and Dandy Dinmont were among the dogs that are thought to make up the Yorkshire Terrier. Some also think that the Maltese was added into the mix for a long silky coat.
There has been some argument as to using the Maltese in the mix, being all white in color. But with the information we have today, we know that using the Maltese terrier to improve the breed becomes more apparent. It is a fact that the genes that control color and the genes that control texture are separate. Therefore, any breeder could have used a Maltese Terrier in order to improve the quality of the dog’s coat. Although while doing this the Yorkies produced could then carry a recessive gene for the white color. History also suggests that crosses of others terriers were bred into these dogs by the original breeders prior to the start of the show era to start selectively producing the blue and gold color that we see today.
The start of the show era was also a time when reputable Yorkie breeders could be identified. None of these reputable breeders wanted to be linked with the “trashy” tri-colored yorkies that would sometimes appear in their litters. These Tri-colored (Parti) Yorkies were considered as low-quality dogs, and for this reason breeders would not hesitate to put them down or secretly give them away with the agreement that the new owners would not disclose where the dogs came from.
No reputable breeder wanted the public to know that their purebred Yorkshire Terriers had “low quality” dogs in their litters. As explained earlier the recessive Parti gene can lay dormant. Back in this time and, until we started understanding genetics, people were not aware of this fact. They also didn’t know which Yorkies were carrying the Parti gene, because they didn’t have any distinguishing marks on them. This is how the recessive genes were transferred through the generations and occasionally the white Yorkies would appear.
Now that we have a little history on the breed let’s move on to how the Parti Yorkie became recognized and registered by the AKC. The Nikko's line is the most recognized line that produced the Parti colored Yorkies here in the USA. It is not the only one, but it is referred to and talked about the most. We will discuss the two of the ladies involved at the beginning. Mrs. Gloria Lipman of Nikko’s Kennels and Mrs. Loryn Bogren, of Crownridge. In the 1980s one show breeder, Nikko's Kennels, refused to destroy the tri-colored pups that where born but instead sold them out the backdoor unregistered. Nikko's Kennels was started in 1969 in Long Island and, by 1979 had won titles with 17 Yorkshire Terriers
(Black Tan with White markings).
CH. Nikko's Rolls Royce Corniche was a top show contender in 1983 and 1984, he was out of Nikko's Orange Blossom and CH. Nikko's Mister Independence. From Corniche came CH. Nikko's Rolls Royce, Ashley, (Born 6/19/1982) From Ashley, Came Nikko’s Mickey Spillane (Parti Colored Born 5/3/1997) and Nikko's Silk and Sale (Born 9/9/1991) When these 2 were bred together they had 3 puppies which were born on 10/15/1997. These pups were Nikko's Great Expectations (Parti), Nikko's April in Paris (Parti), and Nikko's Golden Charm II (Black & Tan with White markings). Nikko's Mickey Spillane was the first parti, but his AKC papers state blue and tan because AKC did not Acknowledge the parti color at that time. The Parti color had been showing up in litters from Ashley since 1984 and Nikko's Kennel had been quietly placing them in pet homes and asking people not to say where they got them.
Mrs. Bogren of Crownridge happened to see one of these back door tri color beauties and was intrigued by them. So much so, that she followed the person who owned this puppy for 5 miles to get the name of the breeder. After learning the parti puppy came from Nikko’s Kennel she met with Mrs. Lipman with the interest to obtain some of these dogs. So, it started with Nikko’s Mickey Spillane, a parti colored male.
He was registered as a blue and gold. Mrs. Lipman stated that the dogs could be only be registered as blue and gold as AKC did not have a color code classification for the Parti-Yorkie. Mrs. Bogren however was adamant about wanting the dog registered as the Parti coloring they were and told Mrs. Lipman that she would buy every colored pup produced if she would agree to allow DNA testing to be done on the dogs who produced the unique coloring.
This turned out to be a very lengthy and costly process to Mrs. Lipman (Nikko's Kennels), as AKC shut down her kennel in 1999 for 18 months to conduct DNA studies of 42 litters, sires, and dams. She was not allowed to breed, sell, or conduct any business during this time. Three of the dogs tested were owned by Mrs. Bogren (Crownridge), and one owned by Mrs. Gesmundo (Summit Yorkies). During this study AKC also spoke to several other breeders about off colored pups born in other bloodlines.
Many highly respected breeders admitted they occasionally had these “off colored” pups being born. It was stated that one reputable show breeder was experiencing more occurrences of tri colored pups than those at Nikko's kennels. After researching and tracing many lines, it should also be noted that not only Nikko lines but other well-known lines in the USA and abroad produced parti colors.
Finally, in June of 2000. The DNA studies of Nikko’s Kennel were completed to the satisfaction of AKC. The AKC decided that, after a study of the Yorkshire History and the DNA of the dogs involved in the study, they were satisfied that the color can be produced in otherwise normal litters of Yorkshire Terriers. Since the year of 2000, Parti Yorkies can be registered with the AKC.