Do you know your parti from your merle? Could you separate your tans from your golds and your reds from your apricots?
Don’t worry, if this all sounds like a mystery. You are not the only one who can feel the world of Doodle color variations is some sort of foreign language. In this article, we are going to zero in on the lovable little scamp that is the Yorkie Poo and look at what you can expect not just in terms of possible colors but common patterning also.
We’ll explore if these little rascals will stay the same color or undergo a bit of a transformation as the age and what you could possibly expect.
Table of Contents
Brief History of the Yorkie Poo
While evidence suggests that Yorkshire Terriers have been crossed with Toy or Miniature Poodles for many years, the breed took off as an intentional “hybrid” or “designer” dog in the late 2000s. Toy or small Miniature Poodles are utilized as Yorkshire Terriers only come in one size and are firmly in the small/toy dog bracket. Owners were drawn to the small and manageable size combined with the calmed temperament achieved by diluting some Terrier tenacity with more restrained Poodle smarts. Many people seek a Yorkie Poo for its reputation as a low shedding pup (to read more about this specifically be sure to check out Are Yorkiepoos Hypoallergenic?
Looking at the parentage of this pup, it does seem like a pocket-sized match made in heaven. While the Yorkshire Terrier started out primarily as a working dog, acting to capture rodents and other small pests that would infiltrate farms and factories, its cheeky nature soon won it admirers as a companion lap dog.
While the Standard Poodle had credentials as a water dog the Toy and Miniature Poodles were purposefully bred down in size to become favored by the wealthy and royals as a prized lap dog. This means that combining these two breeds makes for a dog that is literally born to be the center of attention. They are never happier than when right in the middle of family life.
In terms of temperament, owners will often refer to their Yorkie Poo as playful, energetic, and loving. Their smaller stature means they can easily travel in carriers and are adaptable to smaller living spaces. Their largely easy-going nature makes them appealing to first-time dog owners and families.
While adding Poodle coat genetics gives the Yorkie Poo the potential to display that scruffy, curly, hair-like coat, so popular in any Doodle, it also opens up a whole world of color possibilities given the vast variation in Poodle presentations.
Yorkshire Terrier and Poodle Colors
The best indicator of working out what color a hybrid or mixed-breed dog maybe is to look at the color variations in each of the parent breeds.
Yorkshire Terrier Colors
Unlike Poodle crosses, which are mixed breed dogs, the Yorkshire Terrier is a recognized purebred. This means that organizations such as Kennel Clubs will set criteria regarding color for a “true Yorkshire Terrier”.
This essentially means that pure Yorkshire Terrier genetics have been continued (there are some other color variations as a result of introducing other breeds into the lineage). There are four standard colorings of Yorkshire Terrier recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and these include:
- Black and Tan
Black and tan pups tend to present as having large areas of solid black and lighter tan markings often round their face, paws, and ears.
- Blue and Tan
These Yorkshire Terriers carry a gene that causes the blacker pigments to gray out as they age. This can make their coats take on an almost shimmery appearance as the fair hair bounces back light. Again, tan markings tend to be concentrated around the face.
- Black and Gold
While the blue and tan Yorkshire Terrier occurs when the graying gene dilutes the black pigments when a different variation of the gene is present it results in dilution of the tan pigments to gold. Black remains dark but the tan markings take on a golden hue.
- Blue and Gold
The most common color of Yorkshire Terrier. In blue and gold pups the graying gene impacts both the tan and black colorings. The color often presents as retaining the darker hues at the root of the hair and lightening towards the end to give a blue-ish tinged grey with a bronze/gold facial and ear markings.
The four variations of Yorkshire Terrier colorations are a drop in the ocean compared to the multitude of Poodle colors. In terms of solid color, they can be black, blue, white, apricot, cream, red, gray, café au lait, or silver beige.
Then enter the whole array of bi-color or tri-color options. Safe to say that adding Poodle to Yorkshire Terrier really opens up the potential color palate.
Yorkie Poo Colors
As with all hybrids, it is incredibly difficult to accurately predict the color of the offspring pups without genetic color testing. They often vary massively even within one litter.
Some breeders will try and pick parent dogs of similar colors to try and maintain some uniformity while others actively seek to introduce Poodle colors such as red and apricots to expand the coloring potential.
Ultimately adding Poodle genetics increases the four recognized Yorkshire Terrier colorings up to a whopping 12 different colors and patterns seen in Yorkie Poos. The whole new challenge is working out how you could ever possibly choose.
Black Yorkie Poos
As black is prevalent in Yorkshire Terrier coloring, many Yorkipoo’s will have black markings. Less commonly they can present as solid black.
Apricot Yorkie Poos
Often the result of some red or apricot Poodle genes, an apricot Yorkie Poo will have a golden hue often with a reddish tinge in some lights.
Brown and Chocolate Yorkie Poos
Yorkie Poos in various shades of brown through to dark chocolate colors are extremely popular. Their shaggy coat and these colors often give them a quintessential teddy bear look.
Cream, Tan, Blonde and Gold Yorkie Poos
These ones are all grouped together to address the “off-white” shades of Yorkie Poo. Lightly colored and often mistaken for white, these pups will have slightly gold or tan tints however without the rich red tones associated with an apricot pup.
White Yorkie Poos
Rarer than the blonde and gold variations, you can get a truly white Yorkie Poo however this is fairly rare. Often this is not the most desirable color as their short stature means they can become marked or muddy from the ground leading to frequent washing to keep them looking bright and white. They can be susceptible to tear stain marking.
Red Yorkie Poos
Richer in red tone and darker in overall coloring than the apricot, the red Yorkie Poo is fairly rare. As the color can fade over time they are routinely mistaken for apricot.
Silver Yorkie Poos
Silver to gray tones can either be as a result of a gradual fade from black or in some instances a pup can be born in these lighter shades. Sometimes lightning can be uneven giving these pups a peppery appearance.
Patterned Yorkie Poos
In addition to the single colors outlined above, the Yorkie Poo can also present in mixed or patterned color variations. A few of the most common ones are outlined below:
Black and White Yorkie Poos
Think a little tiny Sheepadoodle. Black and White Yorkie Poos either are predominantly black with white patches or conversely mostly white with some distinctive black patches.
Merle Yorkie Poos
As Poodle genetics can contribute a copy of the gene responsible for Merle coloring, you can achieve a Merle Yorkiepoo. This leads to a dappled effect coat with varying patterns of mixed light and dark tones. A blue Merle will have blue-ish shades of gray black and white, while a red or liver Merle will have varying shades of red, white, and apricot tones.
Parti Yorkie Poos
This is a catch-all phrase to describe all mixed color Yorkie Poos where they are at least 50% white with patches of one or more secondary colors.
Yorkshire Terrier Marking Yorkie Poos.
In some cases, Poodle colors can appear to have next to no influence on the Yorkie Poo coloring and they can present with any one of the four main Yorkshire Terrier color combinations outlined above.
Will My Yorkie Poo Change Color?
While Yorkshire Terrier aficionados may be quite accustomed to the breed’s potential to change coat color as they age, many first-time or new owners may be quite taken aback at the prospect of your puppy transforming not just in size but in color as they age.
As mentioned above this is down to a “graying” gene common in Yorkshire Terriers and a similar “fading” gene sometimes seen in some Poodles. As a result, there is a fairly good chance that your Yorkie Poo may change in color as they age.
Now don’t worry it is not as extreme as a red Yorkie Poo turning black or vice versa, rather as puppies they may have densely rich pigmented coats that will ultimately lighten and fade. This does not always occur uniformly. Often your Yorkie Poo may retain a darker tail or shower darker tones at the base of the hair root.
Ultimately if the color starts to fade there is absolutely nothing you can do to prevent this. It can’t be triggered by anything like overwashing.
When will my Yorkie Poo start to Change Color?
Not all Yorkie Poos will change color, particularly if they are already white, blonde or gray any lightning may be indistinguishable. If they are going to fade, it will likely begin around 4 to 6 months as their adult coat starts to come in fully.
Anecdotally many owners, remark that they never even noticed it as it happens so incrementally. It is often only when you look back on puppy pictures that the full extent of the transformation can be seen.
What Texture will my Yorkie Poos Coat be?
As with any hybrid dog, there can be a variety in coat type depending on what parent dog the pup takes after most. Some Yorkie Poos retain a coat more akin to the Yorkshire Terrier which is soft and silky and may appear straighter.
Those who take after their Poodle parent more will be more curled and often exhibit a shorter overall hair length. One of the most favored coat types is the soft wavy style.
Often breeders will deliberately breed two Yorkie Poos with wavy coats in the hope of creating second-generation pups that are more likely to present this way. The warning always stands though, there is no guarantee, and it can be incredibly hard to tell from puppy coat alone, just what type of coat your pup may have in adulthood.
The good news is though that as both the Poodle and Yorkshire Terrier are relatively low shedding, no matter who they take after, a Yorkie Poo can be a good option for anyone who is susceptible to pet hair and dander allergies.
How to Choose a Yorkie Poo Color?
While some colors may be rarer there is no definitive “best” color of Yorkipoo and it often comes down to individual preference. It is worth remembering that the rarer or more popular colors can attract a premium price.
Prospective owners are also reminded that puppy color can be subject to change therefore this may not be the best characteristic to base your choice on. While it is understandable that some people may have a natural preference, it is wise to see past things like colorings and do the necessary background to ensure you are purchasing from a reliable and reputable breeder rather than purchasing solely on the basis of pup appearance.