Did you know that Yorkies can have different hair types? Although the silky coat is more common, there are soft coated Yorkies as well!
A All traditional pure Yorkie pups, no matter what the coat type, are born black and tan. As the pup ages, the black will normally fade to some degree of blue/silver. This starts as early as a couple of months of age, with the roots of the hair on the head starting to come through lighter first. Gradually, the body hair will also start to get lighter roots as well, although this could take as long as 1-2 years for the colours to change completely. It can be a bit tricky to figure out which coat type your puppy has, but there are a few tricks that help. Most importantly, if either parent is a soft coat, the odds are increased that their offspring will have a soft coat. Soft coats can still show up from silky parents and vice versa, as we have had silk coat dogs that carry hidden soft coat genes. They show up on occasion, but without predictability. Most of the time breeders can tell by the look and feel of their puppy’s coat, although it is much more difficult when the pups are very young. A trick that some breeders use to determine the coat type on an older pup is called the camera trick. It is believed that a silky coated pup will have eyes that glow green or blue in pictures, whereas a soft coated yorkie’s eyes will appear orangish/yellow.
A Silk Coat has the straight, steel blue hair that is very shinny. It is what most people picture when they think of a traditional Yorkie. The Yorkshire breed standards actually calls for a silky coat, and as a result, these are the type sought after for those who show their dogs. This coat looks amazing when grown out and kept well maintained, but can appear greasy if left too long between groomings.
The silk coat is cool to the touch and reflects light. It can appear a bit thin on a puppy, but should get fuller as the pup matures. It is an ‘undetermined’ coat, meaning it will grow forever until it is cut, just like human hair. It grows roughly at the same speed as human hair as well.
Soft Coats, though incorrect in the show ring, are often more sought after by pet owners. The reason for this is that the coat is generally fuller and has more body. As with the silk coat, the soft coat is also ‘undetermined’ and will grow until it is cut, but a soft coated yorkie trimmed in a ‘puppy cut’ will look adorable, and will look like a puppy well into adulthood.
A soft coat will almost always stay black, but may occasionally lighten a slight bit to a deep smoky grey. It is not as shinny as a silky coat, but also stays looking tidy longer between baths because it does not get as oily looking. If the soft coat is neglected, and allowed to tangle, it will mat tightly and will be difficult to untangle.
C oat type actually makes quite a difference in your dog’s appearance.
P ictured above is Bijou and Bentley. They are siblings from the same litter from 2 silky coated parents.
Bentley, on the left is a soft coat and has black hair. Bijou, on the right is a silky coat and is very light silver. Although their size and shape is almost identical, the difference in coat makes them look very different from one another.
H ere is another photo with Bentley on the left, Bijou on the right and Kennedi in the middle. Kennedi is a silky coat, however her colour is darker than Bijou because she was young when the photo was taken and her coat had not yet completely changed. Even as an adult, her silky coat will remain darker which is considered ‘blue’.