The information on this page is courtesy of Lorraine Effa.
The Yorkshire Terrier coat should be a silky flowing coat of steel blue saddle and shaded golden tan in colour. Puppies are born black and tan. As they grow and mature that colour can stay black and tan on occasion, or they can change into the colour they will be as an adult, namely steel blue saddle, or they can go light in colour to various shades of silver and the gold tan can lighten to a light gold and almost white. The breed standard calls for steel blue and clear shaded golden tan.
Lighter shades, although incorrect, can certainly occur. There is nothing wrong with these dogs and if very light in colour are very nice pets for a pet home. However, keep in mind that the Yorkie can take up to three or more years to completely change colour so it is very difficult if not impossible to sell a young puppy that the breeder can guarantee will stay a steel blue and shaded golden tan.
If you want to buy a show dog, minimum or close to one year is the age you would be looking for. Less than that might be a show potential which may not turn out a show dog at all. I would also like to add: buy from a show breeder willing to mentor you. You will need the help.
Blue born puppies are those that are actually born blue, not black and tan. They are genetically a health issue. They usually do not live beyond one year of age, and often end up euthanized because of severe ill health. Usually by about six months they are plagued with severe skin allergy issues with other issues soon following. These types of health issues, in my opinion, would point to an immunity problem the puppy is born with that worsens with time.
Chocolate colour can also occur in the purebred. This is not a desirable colour, is not included in the breed standard, and as with any ‘rare’ colours, has the potential for a health problem to show up by one year of age.
There has also been a new ‘rare’ colour of a parti colour or Biewer Yorkie. These will have large splashes of white and they will mature to dogs with the traditional Yorkie colour plus large splashes of white. The Yorkie does not carry the pied gene that would express this colour pattern at maturity. Some Yorkie puppies are born with white blotches on the chest but these change into the tan/gold colour at maturity. They are not parti colour, Biewer nor carriers of the piebald gene.
The Biewer Terrier of Club of America has noted on their website that these are not purebred Yorkies per the information of the many DNA samples submitted for analyses. Don’t be fooled into buying a ‘rare’ colour that in fact is not a purebred nor Canadian Kennel Club nor American Kennel Club recognized breed. The Biewer Terrier Club of America does not want their Biewers recognized as Yorkies as they now know they are not purebred Yorkies. The Biewer Terrier which came originally from Germany is NOT recognized by the German Kennel Club nor the FCI which is the organization that does the registrations for the various country kennel clubs in Europe and provides the FCI judges and rules for the shows in Europe. The Biewer Terrier is only registered with and recognized by the Biewer Club in Germany and the new Biewer Terrier Club in the U.S.
The gold Yorkie is actually born black and tan and, as it matures, the blue saddle pattern runs gold from the furnishings into the blue saddle and is an incorrect colour. The Yorkie can actually look gold but when the coat is cut down, you can see the blue saddle underneath although the saddle is not coming down into the area of the dog that it should be. These can be very nice pets but would not be kept in the breeding program of any reputable breeder.
I have seen pictures of gold colour Yorkie pups and from the features of the pups, these are not purebreds. The Yorkie does not carry a gene for solid gold at birth.
A reputable breeder of any breed will not be breeding for rare colours but will be breeding to produce the best they can to what the breed standard for their breed has outlined. Be aware that rare colours can have false claims or severe health issues involved.
Be aware, buy informed, because there are many claims to sell, for high prices, dogs or puppies that are not at all what they are represented to be.