11 things you should know about the Parti Yorkie

You may be reading this thinking, what on earth is a Parti Yorkie? Before you ask, it has nothing to do with a party of pooches!

In fact, the only real difference between your standard Yorkie and a Parti Yorkie is their color. Yorkshire Terriers tend to be two different colors, black and tan, whereas Parti Yorkies are tricolor, with possible inclusions of white, black and tan present.

Let’s delve into the Parti Yorkie breed and take a look at their history, common genetics, and temperaments!

Table of Contents

1. Breed History of the Parti Yorkie

The Parti Yorkie is believed to have been first bred in the United Kingdom before hitting the canine scene over in the United States in the late 1800’s.

They are in fact, purebred Yorkshire Terriers. When both Yorkie parents carry a recessive gene, the result is the tricolor variation displayed in the coat of the Parti Yorkie.

They were historically seen as undesirable and not valued by Yorkshire Terrier breeders. Parti Yorkies were often put to sleep or quietly given away so that the breeders would not be associated with them.

It was only after a campaign of DNA testing on Yorkie litters proved the Parti Yorkie’s genetic makeup, that the breed was accepted and recognized.

Yorkshire Terriers were initially bred to hunt rats and mice in the Yorkshire mills and mines. They were often sent down dens and burrows to flush out whatever animals were inside for their human counterparts to hunt. 

Due to their size, they could easily be carried around by hunters in bags and pockets.

Their history is hard to believe as they have now retired from hunting animals and have instead taken up hunting their favorite human to take a nap on, they are quite the lap dog!

Yorkshire Terriers were officially registered by the American Kennel Club in 1855, however, it wasn’t until around 1870 that the Parti Yorkie was recognized by the American Kennel Club as a Yorkshire Terrier variant.

The American Kennel Club officially registered the Parti Yorkie as a breed in the year 2000, almost 150 years after the Yorkshire Terrier!

2. Appearance

The Parti Yorkie is a small dog, often labeled as a ‘toy’ breed. As previously stated, Parti Yorkies are identical to Yorkshire Terriers, however, the distinct color difference that sets them apart.

Any three colors are usually present, commonly including tan and blue mixed with black, white, and chocolate. There is also a genus of Parti Yorkies known as golden or blonde, which look like a traditional Yorkie but appear entirely golden or blonde in color.

They have a small head with upright and V-shaped ears which usually stand to attention. Their muzzle is of a medium length in proportion to the face, and their bodies are compact.

The coat of a Parti Yorkie could be described as closer to hair, with minimal shedding and continuous growth. It can be groomed to a short style or embraced as long, luscious locks.

The hair found on the head is often long also, commonly styled in a top-knot to keep the hair out of the Yorkie’s eyes. The tail is often cropped to half of its natural length for working dogs in an attempt to avoid injury.

Parti Yorkies may be one of the smallest breeds in the world, often weighing between 4 to 7 pounds (1.8kg – 3kg). The breed usually reaches a height of 7 to 8 inches (17cm – 20cm) making them adorable bundles of cuteness.


12-15 years


Black, tan, silver, black, chocolate, golden


7 - 8 inches


4 - 7lbs

exercise requirements:


grooming frequency:








good with children:


3. The Parti Yorkie Temperament

Parti Yorkie’s are a lovely small companion dog, often holding the reputation of ‘lap-dog’. They are loving, friendly, and affectionate, and enjoy lots of fuss and attention.

The breed is also known for its intelligence and can be easy to train if the correct techniques are used. On the flip side, their intelligence can sometimes lead to stubbornness, with the Parti Yorkie often doing what they want to do, regardless of their owner’s instructions.

They have big personalities and can fall victim to ‘little dog syndrome’ where they are not afraid to put dogs (or people) back in their place!

Parti Yorkies are generally good with children but can be snappy if they are startled or hurt, always supervise due to their small size and weaker bones.

It is important to remember that every dog has a different temperament, regardless of traits of the breed.

4. Training a Parti Yorkie

The brilliant thing about Parti Yorkies being so clever is that they can pick up training commands really easily. The downside about Parti Yorkies being so clever is that they can also choose not to listen!

Parti Yorkies can be difficult to house train on account of their small bladders and tendency to suffer separation anxiety.

Training sessions should be kept short and sweet, with 15 minutes being the absolute maximum. This way you can hold their interest easily throughout.

Any longer than this and they might get bored and you may end up treating them for the wrong behaviors. Training should be carried out with high-value treats, such as chicken.

Whilst they are puppies, another great way to treat them during training is with their own food! Then you don’t have to worry about calories found within training treats.

Figure out how much food they require per day, then take a portion of this to use as treats. That way, they are still getting their daily calorific requirement whilst also learning how to be the perfect pooch!

5. How much exercise does a Parti Yorkie need?

Parti Yorkies only have little short little legs but they still need an appropriate amount of exercise. A 20-30 minute walk is plenty, either once or twice daily.

They will also equally enjoy an at-home exercise session playing fetch and chase, which can be plenty enough physical activity for them in place of a walk. 

6. How often should a Parti Yorkie be groomed?

Parti Yorkies require the same amount of care that a Yorkie does. It is important to always check their eyes and ears to make sure they are clean and free from dirt and debris.

As they shed minimally, they should be brushed often to avoid knots and tangles and to get rid of any dead fur. Ideally, you should book your Parti Yorkie in with a professional groomer at least once every 6-8 weeks for a good deep clean and brush.

Their nails should be kept trimmed to a reasonable length, and your groomer or veterinary surgeon, or nurse should be able to do this for you. You can always get them to show you how to clip nails and how short to go!

As dental problems have been highlighted as a potential issue, oral hygiene is an absolute must for Parti Yorkies. Your veterinary practice should have a range of toothbrushes and pastes available or be able to guide you in the right direction of ordering them online.

Whilst your Yorkie is a puppy, slowly introduce the toothbrush and try to desensitize them to having their mouth checked. Regular brushing a minimum of twice weekly should ensure optimum dental hygiene.

7. Nutrition

Nutrition is extremely important, not only in the puppy’s early stages of life, but also throughout each life milestone.

Their food should be well balanced, nutritious, and full of all the good vitamins and minerals. Your veterinary surgeon will be able to recommend a food for you.

Puppy Food

Puppy food tends to be higher in calories due to vast growth that takes place in a short period of time. This food usually has higher amounts of fats, proteins, and nutrients to support growth and the increased energy levels of your puppy.

Adult Food

Adult food should be a neutral balance of fats, proteins, minerals, fiber, and vitamins. The calorie requirements will be lower, due to reduced body growth. Parti Yorkie’s should be switched to an adult diet from around 7 – 9 months of age.

Adult Neutered Food

When male or female dogs are neutered, their metabolic rate tends to slow down due to the lack of reproductive hormones. This should be reflected in their diet and a neutered option of their usual food should be selected. 

This will have fewer fats present to avoid problems, such as obesity, in the future.

Dental Food

It is possible to select a specific diet to help with oral hygiene. These diets usually contain bigger kibble, which has a texture that grips around teeth and helps to remove plaque and tartar. This may be beneficial for a Parti Yorkie.

8. Neutering

Neutering can be carried out from about 6 months of age, depending on the individual veterinary practice preference.

Bitches usually have a season every 6 months. If your bitch has had a season, speak to your vet. Usually the recommendation is to wait 3 months from then. This means that it is usually halfway between seasons, making the surgery safer for the animal.

Some veterinary practices may carry out the procedure if they have not yet come into season, known as a pre-season spay.

Dogs – so long as they have two testicles, dogs can be neutered as a routine procedure. If they have a retained testicle then speak to your vet. Males that have a retained testicle will still need to be castrated, as the retained testicle is likely to turn into a tumor, and will often be cancerous.

Check with your veterinary practice to see what option works for you.

If your Parti Yorkie shows behavioral issues then speak to your vet and a behaviorist. It would be worth correcting any behavioral problems before neutering, as sometimes taking away a dog’s testosterone may make them more fearful and can further enhance the problems.

9. Common Health Issues

As with all breeds of dog, there are common health issues found. Responsible breeders will health test breeding dogs to ensure that their offspring are not predisposed to these health problems.

Patella luxation

Luxation means to be ‘out of place’ or ‘dislocated’. The patella is found within the dog’s hind-limb joint and may also be known as the ‘kneecap’. Put these together, and you have a kneecap that slips or dislocates out of place. 

When your dog is running, you may notice them skip or hop on their hind limb, extending it backward. This is often the dog attempting to click the patella back into place.

Patella luxation can usually be corrected by an orthopedic procedure being performed. This involves deepening the groove in which the patella sits, reducing the risk of dislocation.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

The retina is a layer of cells that sits at the back of the eye. These are light-sensitive and contain photoreceptors. Essentially, they convert the light that travels through the eyes into electrical signals which communicate with the brain. Atrophy means wastage, whether this is complete wastage or partial wastage. 

PRA is the wastage of the eye’s photoreceptors, which eventually leads to complete blindness. Breeders can test for PRA genetics before breeding, so always speak to a breeder before purchasing a Parti Yorkie.

Tracheal Collapse

It can be difficult to pinpoint the reason for tracheal collapse, or even why Parti Yorkie’s may be predisposed to this condition. It may be that there was a congenital (present at birth) weakening of the cartilage found within the trachea, however, disease or trauma may also play a role in the collapse. 

Tracheal collapse is exactly as it sounds, where the trachea (the dog’s airway) collapses, making it difficult for a dog to breathe. Sudden onset of continuous coughing is usually experienced, as well as difficulty breathing. The severity of the condition determines what treatment is required. 

In mild cases, anti-inflammatory medication and steroids may be used to control the condition. In severe cases, surgical intervention may be required.

Dental problems

Dental disease is common for most breeds of dog and good dental hygiene is imperative in order to keep your dog’s pearly white smile. However, Parti Yorkie’s tend to suffer from dental disease more than other breeds, perhaps due to their small jaws and the potential for the mouth to be overcrowded with teeth. 

By having overcrowded teeth, food is more likely to get stuck, increasing the risk of plaque, tartar, and gum disease.

10. Where can I get a Parti Yorky From?

If you love the idea of having a little tricolored bundle of fun joining your household, then you’ll need to set about finding one!

How can I find a Party Yorkie breeder?

There are a variety of websites that breeders use to advertise their litters. There is a brilliant feeling that comes with owning a puppy and you are able to train and shape them into the cute little bundle of fluff that you want them to be. 

When finding a puppy available to purchase, ensure that you:

  • Research the breeder. Have they bred a litter before? Are they familiar with the Yorkie and Parti Yorkie breed? Don’t be afraid to ask questions to ensure they are a reputable breeder.
  • Ask to visit the house where the puppies are kept – this should not be an issue for reputable breeders. Ensure that the environment is clean and well maintained.
  • Always meet the mother of the litter. Do not buy from a breeder that cannot let you meet the bitch who has birthed the litter. All legitimate breeders will own the mother and if they are unable to show you, this can be a warning signal that the litter may have been stolen or the mother is not well cared for.
  • Choose an active puppy who socializes well with the rest of the litter. Ensure their eyes, ears, and mouth are free from discharge.
  • Make sure a veterinary surgeon has given them a health check. Ensure that they have had flea and worming treatment and check what the breeder has planned regarding their first vaccinations

As a registered breed with the American Kennel Club, the AKC website is a great place to start. They have a large database of breeders and you can refine your search by location. The AKC marketplace enables breeders to advertise their puppies directly on the website too. 

Facebook groups (and other social media platforms) are also a great place to look, just search Parti Yorkie or Yorkshire Terrier and refine your search by ‘groups’. 

You’ll find many very active groups, with owners who love to share information and show off their dogs. So it’s a good place to conduct some pre-purchase research too if you have any questions you would like to direct at Parti Yorkie owners about the reality of having one at home.

You’ll often find puppies for sale within these breed-specific groups, and of course, you can ask everyone where they got theirs from too!


Can I adopt a Party Yorkie?

Adopting a dog can be extremely rewarding, as well as beneficial for you, the dog, and also the rescue center. There are lots of good reasons to adopt rather than buy a dog

Suggested reading: Reasons to adopt a shelter or rescue dog

It may be possible to find a Parti Yorkie that needs rescuing, it may just take a little time to contact different rescue centers to inquire. 

Some rescue centers may not understand the Parti Yorkie breed, and many dogs may be listed as Yorkshire Terriers. Whilst adopting a dog is beneficial, it is important to understand that it is impossible to know what experiences, both bad and good, have been had by the dog in the past. 

Take time to do plenty of research on the rescue center and if you’re lucky enough to find a rescue Parti Yorkie, ensure that you spend adequate time together so that you’re sure you are the right fit for each other.

Suggested reading: Ways to identify a reputable dog rescue shelter, Reasons dogs are returned after adoption

Ask to take them for a walk, introduce them to other dogs and people and watch for any negative behaviors.


How much do Party Yorkies cost?

You’re likely to pay $2000 – $4000 for a Parti Yorkie puppy. 

Adoption fees will be less, ranging from $100 – $600 depending on the rescue center, the dog’s circumstances and age.

11. Pros and Cons

In summary here are our final thoughts in a pros and cons list of the parti yorkie breed:


  • suitable for small homes, gardens, and apartment living
  • great family pets
  • good for older or less mobile owners
  • low trigger for allergy sufferers
  • intelligent, loving, easy to train
  • don’t need too much exercise


  • can be difficult to house train
  • maybe accidentally injured as they are small
  • can be stubborn

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