All Things Dog

What Does a Prize-Winning Yorkie Look Like?

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It takes more than just good looks to be a prize-winning Yorkie. From the top of his bow to the tip of his toe, he must meet strict breed standards outlined by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and other breed clubs. So what does the ideal Yorkie look like? Here are the traits dog show judges look for:

A blue-and-tan coat: The ideal coat color for adult Yorkies is blue (actually a deep, steel gray; no silver, black, or bronze mixed in) and tan. The AKC also recognizes black instead of blue, and gold instead of tan.

Long hair that hangs straight and parts down the middle: There is less leeway when it comes to the Yorkie's trademark coat. To meet the breed standard, the hair must be long. Texture is also important: the coat should be silky and hang straight down each side of their bodies. One long part must extend the length of their bodies, starting at the base of their skulls and going all the way back to the tips of their tails. A neat tan fall (a small ponytail on the top of his head), should top it off and be neatly tied with a bow.

A small head that's fairly flat on top: The AKC stipulates that the Yorkie's nose should be black, his eyes medium in size, dark in color, and sparkling with a sharp, intelligent expression. Ears should be small, V-shaped, carried erect, and set not too far apart.

Compact and well-proportioned stature: Size and body structure matter. The breed standard requires that Yorkies not be over seven pounds. On average, adult Yorkies fall between 5–7 pounds. In addition, everything should be in proportion.

Self-assured manner and carriage: The way a Yorkie carries himself is also important to his overall look. According to the AKC, a Yorkie should have a cheeky strut, holding his head up high in a confident manner.

Keep in mind that very few Yorkies actually meet all the standards of the breed. And a 10-pound Yorkie with a silver coat and floppy ears is as wonderful a companion as the petit prizewinner with the erect ears and silky blue coat.

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