All The Info You Need To Know About The White Yorkie Terrier Breed
The Yorkshire Terrier, known as the “white Yorkie,” has a completely white coat.
A few different genetic pathways can lead to a white Yorkie, even though white is not a recognized color for Yorkies by the major dog breed registries.
On the other hand, some of these can have severe repercussions for their health and status as purebreds.
Introducing The Yorkie White
It’s likely that when you hear the word “Yorkshire Terrier,” the first thing that comes to mind is a toy breed of dog with long, straight hair that almost appears to move when the dog trots.
This breed has a two-toned appearance and typically comes in four different colors; however, blue and gold are among the most popular color combinations.
But what if this timeless look could be even more impressive than it already is? The white Yorkie is the star of the show in this article about the breed.
We will examine the genetics, temperament, health, and grooming of white Yorkies and standard-colored Yorkies in order to analyze the similarities and differences between the two types of Yorkies.
What Exactly Is A White Yorkie?
Those Yorkshire Terriers known as White Yorkshire Terriers are completely white in color.
Some people consider parti-colored Yorkies to fall under this category as well, even though most of them have white coats with small patches of color here and there.
There is some disagreement regarding the purebred status of white Yorkies.
Official Specification Of The Breed (Not White!)
White color is not recognized as an acceptable color in any AKC breed standard.
In addition, many breeders are committed to adhering to standards and preserving the integrity of bloodlines.
To a large extent, Yorkies have been bred for many years to be black or blue and gold or tan, with very little variation in their coat color.
Inevitably, there would always be some people who breed contrary to the standards established for a particular breed to produce exceptional variants of that breed.
Breed enthusiasts assert that it is possible that these breeders are not producing pure Yorkies.
However, some breeders sell white Yorkies and claim that their puppies are either purebred or bred with the Biewer Terrier. The Biewer Terrier is a breed that was created by breeding Yorkies with other terriers.
White Yorkies are extremely rare, regardless of whether or not they are purebred.
Genetics Of The White Yorkie
A few different genetic patterns could lead to a predominantly white Yorkie being born.
One of these patterns is called the “white dominant” pattern. While some of these are perfectly safe, others have been linked to various health issues.
At present, there is no available research from a scientific perspective on white-coated Yorkies.
Our knowledge of fundamental aspects of the genetics underlying coat color can only provide a hypothesis regarding the cause of the unusual white coats that some Yorkies possess.
There are a few different avenues to explore.
The S locus is involved in one of the possibilities.
Piebald spotting is caused by a mutation in this particular region of a dog’s DNA, which can be found here.
Researchers have a hunch that it could also be the location of a gene that causes extreme white spots, but this hypothesis has not yet been verified.
We will talk about the potential dangers to one’s health connected to having the S locus a little bit later.
Although the white Yorkie may be the result of the hypothesized gene that causes extreme white spotting, piebald spotting can also result in large portions of white, to the point where a dog may appear completely white.
Dogs with two copies of the piebald gene are more likely to display this characteristic.
Other piebalds with only one copy of the piebald gene have significant areas of white fur, but they may also have patches of color.
In addition to being the result of inheriting two copies of the S locus, whiteness may also be the result of two copies of the merle patterning gene.
Merle pattern Yorkies are available for purchase from some breeders, even though this coloring is not considered the standard.
It is possible to produce merle-pattern dogs with two copies of the merle gene if two dogs with the merle pattern are bred together.
As a direct consequence, these canines have a nearly or entirely white coat.
Unfortunately, they frequently have problems with their eyes and ears, resulting in conditions such as blindness and deafness.
Still, breeders who want to create pets with unusual colors may put the health of a dog’s offspring in the back of their minds to create a dog with a color that can command a premium price.
The E locus on a dog’s DNA appears responsible for producing a color that is less hazardous to humans.
This is actually a genetic code for dogs to have red pigmentation, like what you might see in an Irish Setter or a Golden Retriever.
Other people can alter these genes in such a way that the dog in question takes on an almost entirely white appearance.
However, researchers are still stymied in their attempts to understand precisely where this white coloring originates.
There is a possibility that some white Yorkies are actually parti-color, meaning that their fur is predominantly white but has a few patches of other colors here and there.
The A locus is not only where the DNA that allows for the creation of parti-colored patterns is stored, but it’s also an option that’s safer than an S-locus white.
Genetics is responsible for white coats, and the potential health problems that certain types of whiteness may cause require much more research to be done before they can be fully understood.
Therefore, it is essential to have a conversation with breeders about the process by which they produced their white Yorkies, as well as the health of the animals used as parents.
Temperament Of The White Yorkie
The Yorkie’s history includes working to eradicate rodents in environments such as textile mills and coal mines.
Because of this, modern Yorkies still retain some of their ancestors’ hunting instincts and, if given the opportunity, may attempt to hunt small animals.
Yorkies can be quite headstrong, although they are widely regarded as devoted and affectionate companions.
This, combined with the typically self-assured manner in which they carry themselves, ensures that they will meet any challenge head-on, even if a larger dog poses it.
It is not unheard of for a Yorkshire Terrier to be combative, which is why it is essential to begin socializing early.
The diminutive size of Yorkies makes them an unsuitable pet option for households with young children.
Smaller dogs are more susceptible to injury, and young children frequently are unaware when they are being rough with animals.
Nipping is an attempt by a Yorkie to communicate its displeasure with the situation or to alleviate the discomfort it is feeling.
There is no evidence in the form of research currently available to suggest that the personality of a white Yorkie would be different from that of any other Yorkie.
Bear in mind that each dog is its unique individual, as this goes without saying.
On the other hand, there have been studies conducted on other breeds, such as the English Cocker Spaniel, which suggest that the color of the coat may be responsible for certain behavioral tendencies.
It was discovered that golden dogs were the most likely to show aggressive behavior among English Cocker Spaniels, followed by black dogs and that parti-colored dogs were the least likely to show aggressive behavior.
Researchers have not yet carried out such an investigation on Yorkies.
Health Of A White Yorkie
How a Yorkie got its white coloring is a major factor in determining whether or not it has health problems that are not typical of the breed.
Some genotypes that determine coat color are harmful to one’s health, while others do not appear to impact one’s physical wellbeing.
Health Of The Merle
As was mentioned earlier, one genotype that can result in an all-white coat is called double merle. Merle Health
On the other hand, double merles might have problems with their eyes or ears.
The presence of a white coat in dogs has long been linked to a variety of potential health problems.
To clarify, extreme white dogs are typically completely white, including the ear area, and can have fully or partially pink skin, noses, and blue eyes. In addition, they frequently have blue eyes.
Health Of The Piebald
Piebald and extreme white spotting can both result in a predominantly white dog.
A defect or an abnormality in a gene known as the microphthalmia-associated transcription factor gene is believed to be the reason for some cases of these conditions (MITF).
A study conducted on Dalmatians to determine whether or not MITF caused deafness indicated that it might play a role in the condition.
It is also thought that MITF plays a role in developing certain diseases specific to our species, such as melanoma, Tietz syndrome, and Waardenburg syndrome.
Another connection between deafness and MITF can be seen within these diseases, as people who have Tietz or Waardenburg may also have hearing loss.
There is unquestionably a connection between MITF, whiteness, and deafness in animals and humans, even though no direct evidence has been established to support this hypothesis.
Health Of The Red
As was previously discussed, the E locus has the potential also to produce white coats.
There has been no proof to suggest that white coats linked to the E locus are associated with any particular health condition.
Health Of The Parti-colored Yorkies
In the same manner, parti-colored Yorkies do not have any health conditions or issues associated with their coat color.
Before purchasing a dog from a breeder, it is essential to ascertain whether or not the stud dog and the dam have been subjected to any necessary medical screenings.
These tests can help determine if any potential health issues could affect your new puppy.
However, a responsible breeder should only breed the healthiest of dogs, reducing the likelihood of a puppy inheriting any problems passed down from its parents.
Before being used for breeding, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) recommends that Yorkshire Terriers get eye exams and evaluations to determine whether or not they suffer from patellar luxation.
The following are some additional tests that are not required but are recommended:
- Autoimmune thyroiditis
- Cornell DNA bank
- DNA repository hip dysplasia.
- Hip dysplasia.
Grooming For The White Yorkie
Grooming requirements for white Yorkies are the same as those for Yorkies of other colors.
The coats of these dogs require additional maintenance because they have such long hair.
It is recommended that you brush your Yorkshire Terrier at least once per day.
Before you brush the coat, it is best if you first drench it in water or a mixture of water and conditioner. This will help the brush glide more easily over the hair.
Be wary, as food can become entangled in the long hair of the face, and urine or feces to become entangled in that of the body.
Because of this, you might decide to shave or otherwise remove hair from parts of your body that are prone to becoming dirty.
Brush Like Human Hair
Brush the bottom area or sections of the Yorkie’s hair first, just as you would with human hair.
Then gradually work your way up. This approach is much gentler.
Additionally, it prevents the formation of large tangles, typically produced when brushing the hair from the root of the hair downward.
If you adore Yorkies but find that caring for their long coats presents more challenges than they’re worth, you can shave their coats to keep them short.
If this is the situation, then you should look for an experienced groomer who can trim your dog’s fur without risking their health.
In addition, don’t forget to brush their teeth consistently and trim their nails whenever necessary.
To Sum Up The White Yorkie
The question of whether or not purebred Yorkies can have unusual coat colors, such as white, is still being discussed.
Those who strictly adhere to breed standards will tell you that certain colors have been absent from the bloodline for far too long for them to be reintroduced without the involvement of a different breed.
It’s possible that white coloring in dogs comes from a few different gene combinations, regardless of how pure they are.
These combinations are risky and could lead to congenital disabilities such as deafness or other abnormalities.
It is essential to have a conversation about the health examinations of the parent animals if you want to be certain that your puppy will be free of any hereditary health conditions.
It does not appear to be any relationship between the color white and temperament or the grooming requirements.
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