The White Yorkie is a rare fellow with a big charming heart. Though he does not come into the limelight a lot, he is still capable of being loyal and affectionate to his owner. But why is the White Yorkshire terrier so rare?
To begin with, the white Yorkie terrier is not officially recognized by any kennel club. This is because a Yorkshire terrier is considered to have only four colors;
So how come some breeders advertise white Yorkie puppies?
It all boils down to genetic altering. For years, breeders of the Yorkshire terrier have stuck to the breeding standards dictated by Kennel Clubs. This ensures they maintain pure bloodlines and produce Yorkie puppies that are commercially acceptable. Keeping bloodlines pure also helps in preventing genetic diseases in the Yorkie.
In recent years, some breeders have started to experiment with the Yorkie terrier breed. Since the White Yorkshire terrier is achievable, amid the health risks, then more variations of the Yorkie can be produced. A good number of breeders experiment with the Bowie terrier (a descendant of the Yorkie) to achieve a variation of the current Yorkie terrier.
But how safe is it to breed a white Yorkie?
It depends on which gene locus is affected during genetic pattern formation. Four gene types control color in a dog’s coat. They are;
The merle gene is responsible for merle patterning in a dog’s coat. A dog with a merle coat usually inherits two copies of the merle gene from their parents. When this dog is crossed crossbred with another Yorkie with two copies of the merle gene, an all-white Yorkie will be achieved.
Merle patterned Yorkies are rare and some breeders sell them at premium prices. But one thing you should know about merle gene Yorkie puppies is that they are susceptible to eye and ear problems. These dogs can succumb to blindness and deafness when they grow up.
The S locus of a dog’s DNA is responsible for the piebald spotting. Scientists speculate that most white Yorkie puppies are achieved due to extreme white spotting in the S locus. Dogs born from this genetic mutation tend to have large areas of white on their coat. Some white Yorkie puppies will have patches of other colors if they only have a single copy of the piebald gene.
The red gene in a dog’s DNA is responsible for red pigmentation on skin or coat. It is the gene that helps a golden retriever achieve its covetable coat color. The red gene operates in the E locus of a dog’s DNA. Science shows that it is possible to modify the E locus to achieve an all-white Yorkshire terrier.
This is the gene responsible for a particolored coat in a Yorkie and other dog breeds like the Poodle and Cocker Spaniel. White is the main fur color onto which various patches of different colors form. The A locus of a dog’s DNA is responsible for the parti-color coat. It is possible to alter this gene to achieve an all-white coat, a stunt that is way safer than altering the S-locus gene.
Is the white Yorkshire terrier different from the standard Yorkie?
Though the white Yorkie terrier boasts of a unique coat, his temperament and personality are quite similar to that of a standard Yorkie. He will also succumb to health issues that affect most toy breeds. Also, more health problems can arise depending on the gene locus that got altered.
White Yorkie Temperament
White coated or not, one thing that will always stand out about a Yorkie is his big personality. He does not let his tiny body get in the way of him having fun or facing it off with another dog four times his size.
Yorkie terriers are very affectionate dogs that form strong bonds with their owners. This dog can be very stubborn and domineering too which makes controlling him an uphill task. But with early socialization and training, it is possible to tone down his mischievous side.
A White Yorkie loves to play with kids but under supervision. Because of his tiny body, he can easily get injured especially with kids aged 2 and 5 years. Also, you never overindulge him in play because his tiny body will easily overheat.
You also have to be careful when exercising this little fellow in winter. They do not have an undercoat which makes them vulnerable to cold weather in winter. Ensure their bodies are kept warm and toasty when you go out to play.
White Yorkie Health
You should only be concerned about your white Yorkie’s health if his coat color is from a merle gene. This type of white coloring puts him at risk of developing blindness and deafness in the future. Other health issues that can face a White Yorkshire terrier include;
White Yorkie Grooming
The White Yorkie is one of the few dogs whose coat texture resembles human hair. Regular brushing of his coat helps get rid of tangles and matted hair. Regular grooming also keeps the coat strands straight, neat, and lush as per American Kennel Club standards. Also, regular trimming of the Yorkie coat makes it more manageable.
Brush and floss his teeth to get rid of food debris and tartar. Clean the eyes and ears to prevent infection. Fortunately, a white Yorkie’s coat seldom sheds so you do not have to wash him frequently. Only bath him once every two weeks using pet-approved shampoos.
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Even with his rare coat color, the White Yorkie still lives up to his charming and vibrant personality. He is the perfect dog for a family that has no kids aged below 5 years. If your white Yorkie has the merle gene, have him regularly checked by a vet to stave off any life-threatening conditions.