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When Do Yorkies Change Color & Why: (Color Guide)

Believe it or not, Yorkies, are a breed famous for their vibrant personalities and unique coat changes.

Yep, these gorgeous little pups go throug hsignificant coat color changes, and it leaves many owners wondering why and when it will happen!

This article covers everything you need to know about Yorkie coat color changes.

What Color Are Yorkies Born?

Yorkshire Terrier puppies are born with a dark coat, typically black and tan.

They are mostly black with tan on the eyebrows, muzzle, legs, and chest.

➡️ This dark coat acts as a protective camouflage in their earliest weeks. It’s quite striking to see these tiny puppies with such a deep, dark coloration.

The newborn color, however, is not the final color that a Yorkie will carry throughout its life.

It is merely the beginning of an interesting journey. The color change is a significant aspect of Yorkies that gives them their unique charm and personality.

Do Yorkie Puppies Change Color?

Yes, Yorkie puppies do change color as they grow and mature.

➡️ The dark coat they’re born with gradually transitions into a variety of different shades.

This process is a natural part of a Yorkie’s development and is influenced by their specific genetic makeup.

The color change usually starts when the puppy is around three months old. Initially, it may not be too noticeable, but as weeks pass, you will begin to see significant changes.

It’s not uncommon for owners to notice their Yorkie’s black fur turning into a beautiful blue or silver.

Why Do Yorkie Puppies Change Color?

This color change process is influenced by the Yorkie’s genetics.

Each dog carries a unique set of genes from its parents, which determine what the adult coat color will be.

Yorkies have two main color genes: one for black/blue and another for gold/tan.

The interaction of these genes not only affects the adult color but also determines the pattern of color change.

As the puppies grow and mature, these genes trigger the process of color change. Essentially, the black/blue gene starts to fade, allowing the gold/tan gene to become more dominant.

Remember that the specific timing and pattern of color change can vary from one puppy to another.

Some Yorkies may retain much of their black coloring into adulthood, while others may turn mostly gold or tan.

In some situations, yorkies may change color due to other reasons including:

  • Sun exposure
  • Haircut style
  • Age
  • Heatlth
  • Diet & nutrition
  • Grooming habits

Of course, the most influential factor in coat color is genetics, and is something that we have no control over as a pup parent.

When Do Yorkie Puppies Change Color?

The journey from the dark newborn coat to the final adult color begins around the age of 3 months.

At this point, the puppy’s coat will begin to lighten, and the dark black will start to transition into blue or silver.

This process continues gradually and typically completes around the age of 2 years.

However, it’s important to remember that not all Yorkies change color at the same pace. Some might reach their adult color as early as one year, while others may take up to three years.

The key takeaway here is that the color change in Yorkies is a slow, natural process. Don’t be worried if your Yorkie’s coat doesn’t change as quickly as another’s. It’s a unique process for every puppy!

Potential Adult Yorkie Colors

As a Yorkie owner or enthusiast, you might be wondering about the possible colors your Yorkie can develop. Here are the potential outcomes:

➡️ Black and Tan: While not as common, some Yorkies maintain their black and tan coloring into adulthood. They have a predominantly black coat with tan points on their chest, legs, eyebrows, and inside their ears.

➡️ Black and Gold: This combination is rare but beautiful. The body of the Yorkie remains black, while the chest, legs, and face points are a vibrant gold.

➡️ Blue and Tan: This color combination is one of the most common in adult Yorkies. The body will be a shade of blue, ranging from dark steel blue to a light silvery blue, with tan points on the chest, legs, and face.

➡️ Blue and Gold: In this case, the Yorkie’s body is a shade of blue, while the chest, legs, and face points are gold. The shade of blue can vary greatly in these dogs, from dark steel blue to a light, almost silver color.

➡️ Parti Yorkies: Parti Yorkies are a bit of an exception. They can be a mix of white, black, and tan or white, blue, and gold. These Yorkies carry a specific gene that gives them more white in their coat than the average Yorkie.

Every Yorkie’s color change journey is unique and special.

The changes in their coat color as they mature make them even more endearing. If you are a new Yorkie owner, be prepared for an exciting color evolution from your adorable companion.

How Will a Yorkie’s Haircut Affect Color?

Believe it or not, a Yorkie’s haircut can have a notable effect on their perceived color.

While the haircut doesn’t change the actual pigment of the hair, it can affect how the color appears to our eyes. Here’s how:

Length of the Hair:

Yorkies have hair, not fur, much like humans. The tips of the hair, especially if kept long, can often be lighter than the roots due to exposure to sunlight and other environmental factors. When you give your Yorkie a haircut, you might cut off these lighter ends, making the color appear darker overall.

Thickness of the Hair:

If a Yorkie’s hair is cut very short, it may seem darker because the dense undercoat becomes more visible. This undercoat typically has a different shade compared to the outer coat. On the other hand, if the hair is left longer, it tends to display a more blended mix of colors.

Sunlight and Environmental Exposure:

As mentioned earlier, the sun can naturally lighten your Yorkie’s hair over time. So, when you give your Yorkie a haircut, especially if it’s a drastic one, you may notice that the freshly cut hair is darker. This is because the hair that was protected from the sun underneath is now exposed.

Growth and Color Change:

It’s important to remember that Yorkies continue to change color until they’re around 2-3 years old. So, if you notice a color change after a haircut, it might just be coincidental timing!

The key thing to remember is that a haircut won’t permanently change your Yorkie’s hair color.

It may temporarily alter how the color appears, but as the hair grows back, you’ll see your Yorkie’s beautiful color return.

So go ahead and experiment with different hairstyles without worrying about affecting your pup’s stunning coat color!


Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.