The Yorkie Coat

The Yorkshire Terrier ( Yorkie ) is usually born black with tan-points, the tan being on the following places: on the puppy’s muzzle; above each eye; base of ear; ear rims; inside of ear; underside of tail (extending midway out from body on uncut tail) around the vent and edge of breechings; on the outer side of forelegs, feet and a small way up pastern; on the inside of the forelegs extending from armpit slightly onto the chest wall. There is tan on the outer side of rear legs, on paws, and partially up pastern; a fine line extending up to stifle on front; and part of hock on rear side. The inside of the hind leg is tan except for a small blackish “V-shaped” patch on each upper inside thigh joined by a black bridge across the pelvic arch.



The rest of the underside, except for a black girth around the rear chest and brisket, is tan. The underside of the jaw (though there may be a black patch in the middle of the underside of the lower jaw) and the underside of the throat is tan. The fore chest has a rosette at each shoulder point, or a horizontal stripe between them in the black.

The tan on a youngYorkshire Terrier ( Yorkie ) Puppy is a light pale golden tan to a dark rich golden tan. All tan marks may be more or less in extension. They may be perfectly delineated from the black, or be slightly intermingled with blackish hair.

There may be a white star or a small blaze located on the fore chest in the tan, or across the black and tan. This is a much looked-for point, as it is an indication that the Yorkshire Terrier ( Yorkie ) Puppy will probably be a good coat grower in quantity, though not necessarily in quality. It is also an indication that there will be no melanism, or over-supply of pigment.


It is not unusual to find small white marks on one or more toes, or a fine white line on lower forjaw. These will not be visible as an adult. Any such marks should therefore be noted wherever you keep such records, as one is apt to forget which puppy had them after they grow up.

A large amount of white marks, on chest, paws, jaws or skull, places a Yorkshire Terrier ( Yorkie) into a tri-color classification and it is very wise to guard against this possibility.

The newly-born Yorkshire Terrier ( Yorkie ) has a nose that is mostly gray, showing a small amount of pink on the edges of the nostrils. The nose should be a dark gray at around 21 days and definitely black by two months. It is very unusual to see a mismarked nose in a Yorkshire Terrier(Yorkie) and it should be considered a very bad problem.

The toenails are gray at birth, with an occasional white one. Any that fail to become black by two months are indicative of the availability of non-pigmented skin and hair.

The eye rims will be a light reddish-brown to reddish-brown at birth, but should be a dark red-brown by two months. Very orangy red-gold tans will usually have lighter colored eye rims. This is not particularly desirable, but a sad fact of life. Unfortunately it also spoils the eye’s expressions.

Yorkshire Terrier Yorkie ) Puppies can be born of colors that automatically deprive them of the necessary qualities to become the proper colors of the breed. They can be born all black; all tan; tan with black-points, tri-color;: black, white, and tan; all blue; bluish grey with tan-points, and so remain or change to another shade of their newly-born colors.

The transition from newly-born Yorkshire Terrier ( Yorkie ) puppy to adult Yorkshire terrier is a very confusing period. Any attempt by a novice to come to grips with this period by reading opinions of  Yorkshire Terrier( Yorkie ) breeders can only add perplexity to confusion. No one agrees. This fact alone offers the greatest hope to any breeder. The answer lies in the fact that a bloodline generally follows a course, but it never holds entirely true for all members of the bloodline.

Each Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) Puppy commences its transition from the newly-born black-and-tan to the adult blue-and-tan by its own inherited and constructed glandular system. The combination of its inherited genes from its’ sire & dam at conception, and the development of the fetus into a thriving new born puppy, determines the health and makeup of the glandular system that supplies the pigment for the hair, skin, eyes, eye rims, nose, and toenails.




The black tan-pointed, newly-born puppy must change into an adult with a pure clear golden tan and a pure even dark, steel-blue. Not all Yorkie Puppies achieve this goal. Some fail because their coat texture is unable to provide a means for light rays to be refracted and reflected to the human eye. Others fail because their systems fail to provide the necessary amount of pigment particles to the hair strands. Some fail because they inherit incorrect pattern placements. No matter what the cause, the result is that the Yorkie is unable to visually match the standard in desired colors at specific areas.

To correctly match the standard the Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) puppy must remove all black or blackish-brown hairs from its golden tan. This is first noticed on the skull which may go from black to tan at the hair roots, with any new outgrowth of hairs being tan. Or the hair on the skull may go from black to gray, with roots almost white, and any new outgrowth a very pale weak tan. In this last case as the black intermingled hairs diminish the roots and new outgrowth will gradually assume a richer golden tan.





The black on the muzzle, sides of head, front ear-base and around the eyes generally achieves a richer golden tan at the roots and new outgrowth as the black intermingled hairs diminish. These areas are always a darker shade of golden tan.

The chest and legs follow the same program as the skull. All early tan marks are always a richer tan.

In the case of a very light pale golden tan (creamy colored) there is usually no distinction between these early tan marks and the newly grown tan hairs.

The rear of the ear leathers are the last to surrender from the black’s hold. They should be a deep rich tan minus any blackish hue. Failure of the ear to achieve a dark golden tan from the puppy black is very indicative of a Yorkie who will never clear its blue or clear its tan of black-hued hairs.

The newly-born to adult’s skin pigment is identical in color transition as the outgrowing hairs.

The greatest block to a Yorkies complete assumption of the desired colors is the failure of the coat texture. The newly-born puppies have flat, smooth, short-coated hairs. Only as the hair grows can texture be felt. It may be wiry, woolly, cottony, or silky.

A wiry coat can develop the visually correct colors, but it will not attain great length. Most wiry coated Yorkies do change coat texture prior to one year. The hair at the roots commences to grow out a finer grade and thus becomes silky.

The Yorkies Puppies with woolly and cottony coats, although growing great length and heaviness fast, never attain the correct visual colors. Their qualities – thick heavy, downy, and soft – deter or dull any light rays from proper play on the hairs.

Wavy coats are visible in Yorkie Puppies at a very early age and in general portend a light silver adult. A slight waviness on the upper hindquarters is not unusual in many Yorkies, but should be watched.

To meet the breed standard, you should keep your Yorkie's hair long. Of course, if you don't plan to show your dog and don't want the hassle of grooming even a moderately long coat, you can keep your Yorkie in a puppy cut (a short-coat style that many people prefer for convenience). Remember, though, that the long hair is a hallmark of the breed's appearance.
A show-quality coat is pleasing to the eye, soft to the touch, and time-consuming to maintain.
Like human hair, Yorkie hair just keeps growing. In fact, a Yorkie's coat can grow long enough to drag on the ground. If you don't wrap up your Yorkie's hair, it'll break off and stay at a length about even with the ground.
Wrapping is a task for those owners who are serious about creating a show-quality coat. To wrap, you need latex bands, wax-paper squares (or some other appropriate paper, like rice paper or bakery tissue), and a comb.
Texture is also important. Yorkies' coats should be silky and hang straight down each side of their bodies. The straighter the hair hangs, the better.
In addition, Yorkies have one long, straight part that extends the length of their bodies, starting at the base of their skulls and going all the way back to the tips of their ever-wagging tails. Have you ever tried getting a straight part on a pencil-thin wagging tail? Fortunately, when you keep the coat long, the part usually falls into place.