What is a Parti Yorkshire Terrier and a Biewer?
Simply put, Parti Yorkshire Terriers have a white recessive gene (the S gene) that gives them their unique tri-coloration. They are not pink eyed albinos. The piebald gene is rare, but does occur naturally in several animal species (see the photos at the bottom of the page). In the animal world, white fur is not considered to be a color, but instead it is an absence of color. The white "S" gene does not affect a dog's health in any way. It is only a rare hair color, exactly like human red hair coloring is seen less often than other human hair colors like black or brown.
Traditionally colored Yorkie puppies are born mostly black, with a hint of gold on their face. As they age, their black head and legs turn solid gold, and the black backs (the saddle) turns to a steel silver blue-grey, thanks to the "G" gene. Since tri-color parti Yorkies are still genetically a real Yorkie, the black on a parti Yorkie's head still turns gold, and any black patches on their back turn to the familiar steel blue (silver) of a traditional Yorkie. Any white areas on a parti Yorkie remains the same throughout their lives.
Additional Parti Yorkie colors have emerged over the last few years.
A sable-gold parti Yorkie lack the greying gene (the G gene) responsible for turning their back saddle from black to steel blue-grey. As a result, the puppy is born brown and white. Just like a traditional Yorkie, any brown on the face turns gold, thanks to the A gene, but unlike traditional Yorkies, any brown patches on the body will turn gold as well. Any white on the puppy will never change.
Chocolate parti Yorkies carry a "b" gene. As a result, the black back of a traditional Yorkie puppy is replaced with patches of deep, dark, brown on the back saddle, which lightens as they grow older. Most chocolate parti puppy's faces will still turn gold, like the traditional Yorkie. Any white on the face or body remains white. The most distinctive feature about a chocolate parti Yorkie is that the traditional black Yorkie nose is replaced with a brown one. They may also have a lighter brown or amber eye color.
Merle Yorkie puppies tend to have lots of dapple spots, as opposed to patches of color. The "M" gene does not occur naturally in the Yorkie. The color was introduced by a few South African breeders, when they bred a merle Dachshund or Chihuahua with a Yorkie. Many merle puppies also have distinctive blue eyes. While they are truly lovely, it's my personal choice not to breed them. Double dilute dogs (merles bred to merles) can produce puppies with serious health problems such as blindness or deafness.
The first Biewers came about as a result of a Yorkshire Terrier puppy born in Germany in January of 1984 that had an extreme amount of white patterning throughout his coat. This unusual puppy, named Scheefloeckchen von Friedheck, caused his breeders, Werner and Gertrude Biewer, to wonder whether their Yorkies carried a recessive piebald gene, which they did. Over the next several years, the Biewers bred for the piebald gene and produced steel blue (grey), white and gold Yorkshire Terriers that bred true to their color. Mr. Biewer showed two of his unique dogs as “black and white Yorkies” in 1988, and the breed took off from there. Biewer Terriers were first officially recognized by the Allgemeiner Club der Hundefreunde Deutschland e. V., one of Germany’s dog clubs. The Biewers signed off on the Biewer breed standard in the late 1980s. Mr. Biewer died in 1997; and thereafter, his widow stopped breeding dogs. The Biewer Terrier Club of America was established in 2007. Today, this is still considered to be a rare breed.
According to Mrs Gloria Lipman of Nikko’s Kennels and Mrs Loryn Bogren of Crownridge, for years parti-colored pups were being born in the United States more often than was known to the general public, when unknowingly, two dogs that both carried the same recessive gene were mated. Since they were not considered standard, most parti puppies were killed when born, and others were quietly handed out the back door with the understanding of not saying where the dog was acquired. Mrs. Bogren happened to see one of these back-door, tri color beauties and was intrigued by them. So much so, that she followed the person who owned this puppy for 5 miles to get the name of the breeder. After learning the parti puppy came from Nikko’s Kennel, she met with Mrs Lipman with the interest to obtain some of these dogs. It was not a coincidence that the dogs residing in the United States who carried this special white recessive gene had been purchased from the Biewer's line in Germany.
And so it started with Nikko’s Mickey Spillane, a parti colored male. He was registered as a blue and gold. Mrs. Lipman stated that the dogs could be only be registered as blue and gold as AKC did not have a color code classification for the Parti-Yorkie. Mrs. Bogren, however, was adamant about wanting the dog registered as the parti color they were, and told Mrs Lipman that she would buy every colored pup produced if she would agree to allow DNA testing to be done on the dogs who produced the unique coloring.
This turned out to be a very lengthy and costly process to Mrs. Lipman,(Nikko's Kennels) as AKC shut down her kennel in 1999 for 18 long months to conduct DNA studies on 42 dogs and puppies. She was not allowed to breed, sell or conduct any business during this time. Three of the dogs tested were owned by Mrs Bogren (of Crownridge), and one was owned by Mrs Gesmundo (of Summit Yorkies). The rest of the tested dogs belonged to Gloria Lipman.
During this study AKC also spoke to several other breeders about off colored pups born in other bloodlines. After researching and tracing many lines, It should be noted that not only the Nikko's lines, but other well known lines in the USA, and abroad, produced parti colors. In June of 2000, the DNA studies of Nikko’s Kennel were completed to the satisfaction of AKC, and they ruled that the piebald gene does occasionally present in otherwise normal litters of Yorkshire Terriers. These beautiful tri-colored Yorkies were finally allowed to be registered as "parti-color" with a color code 014.
There are several lines of Parti colored Yorkies, but it is the Nikkos line (Ms. Lipman) that has garnered the most attention, because she was the one who had all of the testing done. The misconception occurs because YTCA (Yorkshire Terrier Club of America) does state that the dogs are not standard color, which leads people to believe they can not be AKC registered. The AKC DOES NOT deny registration on color alone. Parti Yorkshire Terriers can be AKC registered as long as both parents are also AKC registered. In Oct of 2007, YTCA elected to add a disqualification to the Yorkshire Terrier standard, by stating that a dog of any color, or combination of colors, other than blue and tan, or with any white markings other than a small white spot on the fore chest that does not exceed 1" at its longest dimension, were to be disqualified from showing. The Parti Yorkshire Terrier can compete in AKC agility but are disqualified from showing in AKC sanctioned dog shows due to the white coloring. It should be noted that the AKC acknowledges 4 color combinations of "traditionally" colored Yorkshire Terriers, and that three of the four combinations are disqualified from showing as well.
In 2018, the American Kennel Club, (the AKC) officially accepted the colorful European Biewer Terriers into their "miscellaneous" category, and in April of 2020, the Biewers Terrier became a part of the AKC's "Toy" category. In fact, our beloved Biewer breed competed in the Westminister Kennel Club Show for the very first time in June of 2021. European Biewer Terriers have their full tail, as opposed to their cousins, the American partis, which still have the cropped tail of a Yorkshire Terrier.
Reputable parti breeders are coming together to preserve and protect the American Parti Yorkshire Terrier. These reputable breeders are determined to take the Parti Colored Yorkshire Terrier to the forefront, where he can shine and take his rightful place beside his standard, traditionally colored counterpart, and we hope that one day parti Yorkies will be able to be shown in AKC sanctioned dog shows as well. No matter what, the AKC Parti Yorkshire Terrier is here to stay, and reputable breeders are striving every day to perfect the conformation and temperament of these beautiful, spunky, loyal and affectionate little lap companions.
In the beginning of my breeding career, I chose to breed the American parti Yorkies, because they could be AKC registered, and the European Biewers could not. Now, since the AKC accepted the Biewers, I have chosen to breed both partis and Biewers. I breed parti to parti, Biewer to Biewer, and traditional Yorkie to traditional Yorkie. This keeps my lineage pure, and ensures their proper AKC registration. I personally chose not to mix, although I know that some breeders do. All of my dams and sires have been fully DNA genetically tested for breed purity, coloration, and all of the 210 currently identifiable genetic illnesses. DNA testing for dogs is an emerging science, with more new genetic markers being discovered every day. My breeding decisions are based on pedigree and gene compatibility, which results in beautiful, healthier, well tempered puppies.