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Do Yorkies Change Color?

Do Yorkies Change Color?

When you bring your Yorkie home, they may have a nice gold and black fur coat that you really like. After comparing to some of the other Yorkies you may have in your home or pictures you see online, you may notice that the coat color is not the same. Do yorkies change color and have different fur colors as they get older?

Yorkies will change colors as they age. When you bring the puppy home, their fur is a tan and black color. The exact amount of tan and black will depend on the parents. As the Yorkie gets older, the fur color is likely to change to a blue or grey tint instead. The color change happens slowly over time. This is completed by the time the Yorkie is two years old.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the color changes that you may see in the coat of your Yorkie and what to expect in terms of which colors the fur is likely to change to over time.

Do Yorkies Change Color?

Yorkies do change color as they get older. Most puppies will start out with a nice black and tan coloring as long as they are purebred. This coloring will stay around for the first six months to a year depending on the puppy and how their parents coloring looks. Over time, the coat coloring will start to change and get lighter to an almost grey color instead of the dark black and the tan will get lighter as well.


This is completely normal for your Yorkie. As they get older, the pigmentation of their fur will change quite a bit and that is why the fur color will look a little bit differently. The exact change in coloring will depend on their parents and the unique dog as well. Unless the dog is acting funny or has recently been hurt, these fur color changes are considered normal.

What Causes Yorkies to Change Color?

It is common in many breeds of dogs to see that the coat color changes quite a bit. This is almost like a right of passage because the Yorkie will see the color change when they get to maturity. They often start when they are born with one color and then change to a different one when they get older.

There are several reasons why a Yorkie could change color. First, they have a special gene that will reduce the amount of eumelanin pigment that they produce. This pigment is what is responsible for giving the tan and gold coloring that the Yorkie has when they are younger. As they get older, the pigment is not there as much, which changes the color of the fur.

Just like humans, the Yorkie may notice some skin and fur color changes when they get older. They will change that dark black color to more of a bluish and grey color. This is due to the pigment that we talked about earlier fading away and not being as pronounced as it was before. As long as your Yorkie eats well and plays normally, this color change in the fur is not something to be worried about.

It is also possible that some skin conditions and injuries will cause your Yorkie to have different colored fur. This often makes the fur lighter in color. If there is some damage to the hair follicles though, the melanin pigment could end up rushing to the injured area and making the fur a darker color. When you suspect that there is an injury with your Yorkie, it is a good idea to discuss this with your vet to see if there is anything you can do.

It is also possible that changes in hormones in your Yorkie could cause the problem. If the thyroid is under or overactive, then the coat could change colors. This is not a normal reason for the coat to change colors either. You can look for whether there is weight changes, hair loss, or a brittle texture to the hair to see if this is the main cause.

Most of the time, the color change that you see in your Yorkie will be completely normal. Adult Yorkies do not have the same color fur as we see with the puppies and that happens to most of the Yorkies that you see. Your vet should be able to give you a good idea of these color changes and what to expect with your Yorkie.

When Do Yorkies Change Colors?

Most Yorkies are going to be born with a tan and black coat that they keep while they are young. The quantities of black and tan fur will change depending on the puppy. This color of fur is often going to be found all over the puppy, including their paws, neck, ears, and eyebrows to name a few.

The Yorkie comes with a unique gene that will change the color of the coat to more of a grey or blue shade when they become adults. This will often happen around the time they turn six months old. The color change does not happen overnight though and you may not even notice it at all. By the time they are around a year old, the permanent coat color will be in and they will be older.

What Colors are Acceptable for a Yorkie?

As your Yorkie ages, the color of their hair is going to change as well. This is nothing unusual and your vet will often give you a timeline on when to expect that this is going to happen. Depending on the parents of the Yorkie and what color their hair was when they started, there are a few acceptable colors for the Yorkie fur.

There are a few different colors that are acceptable by the AKC since each Yorkie is going to be unique in the coloring that they have. These include:

  • Black and tan
  • Blue and tan
  • Blue and gold
  • Black and gold

Keep in mind here that the blue is not going to be an exact blue. It is kind of a bluish-black color that sometimes looks a little blue when put into the light. The same thing happens with the gold. It is going to be more of a shinier shade of tan rather than gold.

Do Yorkies Change Color?
Cute pet

Will the Breed Status Determine the Fur Color of My Yorkie?

Each Yorkie is going to be unique. But if you want to know what color their coat is likely to be, then you can look to the parents. A purebred Yorkie puppy who comes from healthy parents is more likely to have tan and black coloring. You can sometimes see these puppies with jet black hair with just a little gold or tan under all of that.

The mixed-breed Yorkies are the ones who are more likely to have different colorings in their fur. If you would like more of the black and gold coloring, then you need to take extra care to get your Yorkie from a reputable breeder, preferably one where the parents are registered through the AKC.

If you do not get a purebred Yorkie, then there is likely to be more variations with the color of the fur for the Yorkie. Many may not be the tan and black that you would expect depending on the breed that you choose to go with. If the two breeds that were used as parents are very similar to each other, then the coloring may still be what you see with a purebred Yorkie. The exact coloring always depends on the parents though.

Can My Yorkie be White?

It is very rare that the Yorkie is going to be white. If you see a puppy that looks like a Yorkie but they are white, it is more likely that you are working with a Biewer Yorkshire terrier instead. This dog is mostly white in color but they could be found in blue and white and black and white. The Yorkie is not going to be white in color though.

In the same idea, your Yorkie is not going to be pure gold either. Most reputable breeders are attempting to prevent Yorkies that are only one color. Most will be more tan and black rather than one color, whether it is white or gold. You will rarely see a Yorkie that is all one color, especially when it comes to white or gold coloring.

The Changing Colors of Your Yorkie

It is common for your Yorkie to have different color fur as they get older. This is a natural process of them aging and how the pigmentation in their fur will work. You should notice that a purebred Yorkie will start out with black and tan fur, which may change to more of a grey color as they get older. Each Yorkie is unique though and you may find that your Yorkie will have their own unique coloring too.