Yorkie puppies look very different from adult Yorkies.
Of course they are smaller.
But they are also different colors. More than that, their coats have completely different textures.
Obviously, the famous Yorkshire terrier coat undergoes some major changes between puppyhood and adulthood.
But it doesn’t change all at once. The changes are gradual, but you can break them down into distinct Yorkie puppy coat stages.
Keep reading to learn all about the different stages the Yorkie coat goes through as a puppy natures into an adult.
Yorkie Puppy Coat Stages
Between 3 and 4 months, your Yorkie puppy’s coat will appear rather unruly. You will then notice major changes in its coat in the last few months of its puppyhood, which is around 7 to 8 months of age.
At this point, the coat will become a lot silkier, like the adult Yorkshire Terrier coat. Your pet’s coat won’t change overnight; the changes are gradual. Your pup should have its final adult coloring by the time it reaches 2 to 3 years of age.
Before it gets its adult coat, a Yorkie puppy will undergo several changes in its puppy coat. As mentioned, the changes occur gradually, are uneven, and are dispersed throughout the body. Here are the different stages of coat changes in Yorkies.
0 To 3 Months
Purebred newborn Yorkies are born black and tan. Almost all newborn Yorkies pups have a soft puppy coat. However some of them, depending on the genetics, might have a dense or wiry coat.
3 To 4 Months
By 16 weeks, the soft puppy coat starts becoming rough and unruly. The change is dispersed unevenly, so you might still have some parts with a softer coat. The area around the spine is usually the first to show the changes.
By the end of 16 weeks, you might want to make an appointment with a professional dog groomer. Your pup’s hair will be long enough for some trimming.
7 To 8 Months
At this stage, you will see more and more silky hair that is characteristic of the adult Yorkie. The new coat will move up and down the back and down its sides.
It will be silkier than the puppy coat and also flatter. The puppy’s head and face will also show longer, silkier, and flatter hair.
As your puppy grows, its coat will start hanging more and more down the sides. There will be color changes too. The black will start fading to blue and the tan will be more golden.
At this stage, it is not unusual for your pet’s coat to look somewhat rough and unruly. It will have parts of a puppy coat with some silky areas. This is completely normal and your puppy will outgrow it. You can take your pet to the groomer for its next trim.
9 To 12 Months
The puppy coat will almost entirely disappear and your pet will have silkier hair. The adult Yorkie color, however, won’t set until your pet is at least 2 to 3 years old. In most cases, you will still see some black coloring in some areas.
2 To 3 Years
At this stage, you will notice distinct changes in the tan-colored areas. Most Yorkie puppies have black hair interspersed with their tan coloring, making it duller. However, by the time your pet is 2 to 3 years old, the black will fade completely and the tan areas will be clearer and more pronounced.
How To Tell What Color a Yorkie Puppy Will Be
These days, it is possible to tell what color a Yorkie puppy will be when it is an adult. There are now various DNA tests available for breeders to help them predict, and even control, the color of their Yorkie puppies. Make it a point to ask your breeder about the final coat color of your Yorkie puppy, if this is something you want to know.
All purebred Yorkie puppies are born black and tan. The amount of each color depends on the Yorkie’s parents, the breeding, and also complex canine genetics. As a result, the percentage of black and tan varies from puppy to puppy.
All Yorkies are born with a unique fading gene that causes their coat to lighten with age. This gene causes a reduction in the eumelanin pigmentation which is responsible for the puppy’s black and tan coloring.
This is the reason we start seeing a bluish-grayish appearance in the Yorkie’s coat by the time it is 12 months of age. The gradual color change will only be complete by the time your pet is between 2 to 3 years old.
The AKC includes the following color combinations in its definition of a purebred Yorkshire terrier: Blue-Tan, Black-Tan, Blue-Gold, and Black-Gold.
As a Yorkie owner, you should not worry too much about your pet’s changing coat color (unless you have a specific reason for wanting a dog with a certain color). Just focus on feeding your puppy a healthy and balanced diet and the coat color and texture changes will occur on their own when the time is right.
Why Is My Yorkie Not Fluffy?
Having a Yorkie puppy without a fluffy coat can be disheartening to a Yorkie owner. Most people blame themselves or think they are doing something wrong as far as the pet’s grooming or diet is concerned. However, the lack of fluff can be due to various reasons.
Your Yorkie’s age will determine its fluffiness. At some point during the transition from puppy coat to adult coat, its hair starts to become silkier and flatter.
Most Yorkie pups have a rough and fluffy coat which starts becoming straighter, longer, silkier, and flatter by the time the pup is 1 year old.
There is a chance that your pet’s parents did not have a fluffy coat either. They may have had a dense and wiry coat instead of a silky coat. If you haven’t met your pup’s dam and sire, you can call your breeder to find out whether they had a fluffy coat as a puppy.
Of course, nutrition does play an important role in your Yorkie’s coat appearance. A dull, lackluster, and poor coat is often due to a vitamin or mineral deficiency.
Feed your Yorkie a diet that contains healthy fats, complex carbs, proteins, vitamins, and minerals in a balanced ratio.
If your pet has sensitive digestion or is allergic to certain proteins or grains, then opt for a special diet (grain-free, hypoallergenic dog food with hydrolyzed or novel proteins). Your vet or breeder can guide you in this matter.
No doubt, inadequate brushing, grooming, and baths can also result in a dull and unfluffy coat. To make your Yorkie’s coat fluffier, use special volumizing shampoo and conditioner. Your breeder, vet or groomer can recommend one.
Use a brush to comb your Yorkie’s hair in an upward direction from the roots while its coat is slightly damp. This will help fluff it up.
Yorkshire Terrier Puppy Coat Stages: Final Thoughts
Yorkie coats go through a number of different stages as the dogs transition from puppyhood to adulthood. The coats change color and texture so gradually, that we barely even notice it. But you can distinguish the different stages if you pay attention.
If your puppy is not exactly following the stages set out above, do not worry. Not all Yorkies follow the exact same schedule. So get their adult coats faster and some slower. If you are worried, schedule a vet appointment. They can tell you if there is something wrong, or reassure you that your pup is just following its own unique schedule.