Teaser Yorkies  2003 Cher Hildebrand
What ideal Yorkies look like.

Genetics Chocolate Yorkies * Red * Golden * Blue Borns

The Yorkshire Terrier is genetically a Black/Tan (B/T) dog that turns blue later in life. The blue color is created at another loci by the GG or Gg genes. Whenever you have a dog born one color that turns blue later in life, it is the GG or Gg genes that cause this to happen.

Recently I received a call from someone asking about the Yorkie blue born puppies. That was a real blast from the past. Hadn't heard of anyone having blue born puppies in some years. When a dog is born blue it is different genes that effects that then the GG genes. The dd gene is what causes this at birth and the Yorkshire Terrier should only be carrying the DD. A blue born puppy will also have self colored pigment, such as blue nose. The DD gene is what allows them to be born Black/Tan. The upper case always means dominant and the lower case always means recessive. This is obviously a deep buried recessive that the animals are carrying that they have passed onto the resulting puppies. The breeds that are born blue are born with the dd gene, but in Yorkshire Terriers this should not be the situation to cause the blue coloring.

Unfortunately with blue born puppies the situation is usually fatal. Very few live beyond the 1st few days. The ones that do survive almost always at the time they would normally break blue, lose all their blue body coat and get a very leathery skin that is like an elephant hide and causes the dog to be in extreme pain. At that time the dog has to be humanely put down. I have heard of a couple that have lived a normal life, but I think there are very few that do. Do not be tempted to raise one of these as you are opening yourself to heartbreak, let alone what the dog will go through later in life.

The red or chocolates are affected by the bb genes. The red or chocolates or referred to as liver in some breeds will also have self colored pigment, such as red, chocolate or liver nose. They should only be carrying the dominant BB genes. I have not heard of health problems with the red/chocolate born puppies, like with the blue born puppies. Yet most of these situations occur with backyard breeders and puppy mills and they are not likely to share the history of problems with the show breeders. Once again this is a recessive being passed on to the puppies from the parents. This breeding should definitely not be repeated.

Blue born puppies and red/chocolate born puppies are not acceptable colors in the breed. They should only be born Black/Tan and later turn to a dark steel blue. The blue born puppies and red/chocolate born puppies are recessive colors being passed to the progeny and a repeat breeding should never occur. Puppies of these colors should not be sold as rare colors. Yes hopefully it is very rare to get them, but these are totally unacceptable colors and it's not so much that they are rare, as that they are not true representatives of the breed. Do not be misled by unscrupulous breeders about these dogs. Makes one wonder if there is more in the background of these dogs There is a backyard breeder in my area that has produced red born puppies & solid black born puppies in one litter. I have to assume that she does not really have a purebred to have this happen. Another backyard breeder South of me sells her solid black ones as rare teddy bears. One new owner was sent to me by her Vet because he told her the dog was definitely part black Poodle. When I saw the dog, there was no question that it was atleast half Poodle. Actually it looked nothing like a Yorkshire Terrier but entirely like a Poodle. She had all intentions of breeding this dog itself and had enough sense not to give me the AKC registration number for me to report it.

As concerned breeders we would only want to breed dogs that are producing the only acceptable color of the breed which is a Black/Tan puppy that as an adult dog will be blue and gold. As an owner or potential owner of one you should only want the blue and gold, because that is the Yorkshire Terrier. Any other color really makes it something other than this breed. As a breeder, you should not knowingly breed a dog that is producing such a known defect. The breed could shortly become other than what it is. For instance, the tri colors that are produced in some of Europe. This is not what a Yorkie should be. If you want a tri color dog then get a breed that should produce tri colors.

The standard laid down by the YTCA is very specific about them. It states the puppy should be born Black/Tan and change color to a Blue/Tan dog later in life. No where is it written that the dog should be born any other color than Black/Tan. Standards are written to protect our breeds. The blue born is a perfect example of why. The health problems associated with this color make it critical that we stick to the color the breed is suppose to be, which means being born Black/Tan and later changing to a Blue/Tan dog.

Article printed in TYT Magazine 1999
by author

Yorkie Color Dilution Alopecia - CDA
Alopecia is the term for hair loss and is part of the problem with dilute coat colors, most especially the blue coloring and is a known inherited disease in dogs. This condition could affect any dilute color of dog if they are carrying the genes. The disease is also known as Blue Born Puppies in this breed, and in other breeds has been known as Blue Balding Syndrome or Blue Doberman Syndrome so even more information can be found under those names. These dogs as a rule have red noses or blue noses also.

CDA has been seen in a great many other breeds of dogs. Dilute dogs carry recessive genes of dd and are seen with blue or flesh colored noses, lips and eye rims. The coat colors may include blue or fawn variation of these different colors.

Yorkie Blue Born
Pictured here a Yorkie blue born puppy.

Would I buy a blue born one myself and take the chance, NO. Nor should the breeding take place again that produced it. If a breeder were giving away the puppy and you wanted to take a chance on it that is fine, but do not buy one. As for the chocolates, this is nothing like a Yorkie should be and is not something as a reputable breeder we want to see. Only disreputable breeders would breed these deliberately.

The other colors are very chancy also. You can find other information about the Color Dilution Alopecia and it being associated with all these different colors.

There is a reason for a breed standard and the above health issues is one of them. These colors would never be bred from by a reputable breeder. The backyard breeder and puppymiller breed these dogs for the money and could care less about a standard. Shows their total lack of knowledge and why some should not be breeding dogs.

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