The brown or chocolate Yorkie is a non-standard variant of the Yorkshire Terrier that has a completely brown coat, along with brown noses, paw pads, lips, and eye rims.
Chocolate Yorkies look gorgeous because of their long silky coats, usually accentuated with fabulous top knots. These elegant lap dogs have huge personalities — they are spunky, inquisitive, and energetic.
This article provides thorough information on the brown Yorkie, including its appearance, temperament, genetics, registration, and pricing. If you are ready, let us start exploring this uniquely-colored Yorkie!
What Is a Chocolate Yorkie?
A brown or chocolate Yorkie is a Yorkshire Terrier with a full brown coat that may come in shades ranging from bronze to light tan. Some also have white patches on their chests, legs, and paws. They usually have brown noses, paw pads, lips, and eye rims, while their eyes are often dark brown.
Some even have streaks of tan in their coat, called liver and tan Yorkies. These shades of brown come from the double recessive genes responsible for these coat colors.
These coat variations were developed by breeding pure chocolate Yorkies with other purebred Yorkies that carry different shades. These combinations make it more exciting to own the rare chocolate Yorkie!
It is believed that the brown Yorkie originated in the late 17th or early 18th century. Chocolate was one of the earliest colors for the breed, even before standards for the Yorkshire Terrier were set.
Are Chocolate Yorkies Purebred?
Chocolate Yorkies will be purebred if they are bred from two purebred Yorkshire Terrier parents that carry the recessive gene for brown color.
Nonetheless, you should be cautious of irresponsible breeders who match purebred Yorkies with other small breeds with brown color.
This may result in what looks like a mixed chocolate Yorkie which is often sold as purebred at a high price.
Given this, you should familiarize yourself with how to identify a purebred brown Yorkie’s features in accordance with the official standards of the Yorkshire Terrier.
Are Chocolate Yorkies Rare?
Chocolate Yorkshire Terriers are rare. As mentioned, they may only be achieved by mixing two purebred Yorkies that have the recessive gene for the chocolate color.
The chocolate coloration is more difficult to achieve than the standard Yorkie colors, such as black, tan, blue, and gold.
This is why shady breeders are tempted to mix a pure Yorkie with other small brown dogs to achieve the rare chocolate color.
You should only transact with reputable chocolate Yorkie breeders to avoid getting scammed.
Chocolate Yorkie Appearance
The general appearance of the chocolate Yorkie is similar to the standard look of a purebred Yorkie.
The average height of a brown Yorkie is between 7 and 8 inches at the shoulder and should not weigh heavier than 7 pounds.
These very small dogs have compact and well-proportioned bodies. They have small heads, muzzles that are not too long, and tiny, erect triangular-shaped ears. The eyes of chocolate Yorkies are also usually dark brown.
Their coat color is almost entirely brown, if not completely. Some may carry white markings on their chests, legs, and paws, while others may have tan points across their bodies and are otherwise categorized as liver and tan.
Their tails are usually docked to a medium length, and dewclaws are also removed.
Here is a video to appreciate how beautiful a chocolate Yorkie is:
Chocolate Yorkie Color Genetics
All dog colors are derived from two pigments, eumelanin or black and phaeomelanin or red.
As chocolate Yorkie puppies are born, a gene called TYRP1 darkens the eumelanin, causing their coats to appear black at the onset.
However, as they grow a bit older, a mutation of the TYRP1 converts the pheomelanin to a lighter brown color. This is known as the “b” allele.
To produce a chocolate Yorkie, both parents must carry this recessive trait or a “bb” combination, which expresses the beautiful brown Yorkshire Terrier color.
Hence, to breed a chocolate Yorkie puppy, these are the possible matches: both parents are brown, one parent is brown while the other is a carrier, or both parents are carriers.
A DNA test is recommended to validate if your non-chocolate Yorkshire Terrier has the recessive gene and is capable of producing chocolate Yorkie puppies.
Do Brown Yorkie Puppies Stay Brown as They Grow?
No purebred Yorkie puppies are born with the chocolate color. All Yorkie puppies display a black and tan color due to the strong black pigment in their genes, including the brown Yorkie puppy.
At approximately six months old, their colors change gradually to their true colors. However, this timeframe may vary for individual pups. Some might exhibit color change earlier than others.
The complete color transformation ends when the Yorkie reaches one to two years of age. Usually, the final colors are much lighter than the colors they had when they were still puppies.
For the chocolate Yorkie, the color may transform from black to dark chocolate, light chocolate, tan, bronze, or brown with streaks of tan.
When a chocolate Yorkie becomes a senior dog, expect it to develop extra gray or silver hairs but will never have a solid gray or silver coat.
Does the AKC Recognize Chocolate Yorkies?
The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes the chocolate Yorkshire Terrier as a non-standard color. The AKC advises breeders to have their chocolate Yorkies registered as liver or liver and tan.
Since the chocolate Yorkie is not official like the other standard Yorkshire Terrier colors, such as black, tan, blue, and gold, it is not qualified to join conformation shows.
Chocolate Yorkie Temperament and Personality
The chocolate Yorkie is a small dog that has a huge personality. It is feisty, curious, and domineering. However, this companion dog is also very loving, friendly, and affectionate, especially with its owner.
They also tend to be stubborn and challenging to train due to their innate intelligence, regardless of whether they are males or females.
Chocolate Yorkie Lifespan and Health Issues
The brown Yorkie shares the same healthy lifespan as Yorkies of other colors, between 12 and 15 years.
Giving them the right diet, proper environment, and adequate exercise increases their chance to live even longer.
However, despite being healthy, the chocolate Yorkshire Terrier is still predisposed to certain health issues.
Here are some common illnesses that the chocolate Yorkie is prone to:
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCPD): Legg-Calve-Perthes disease is very common in small dogs, like the choco Yorkie. This is a condition where the top of the femur leg bone degenerates spontaneously. If left untreated, it can collapse and lead to arthritis. Surgery is usually required for this condition.
- Tracheal Collapse: Canine tracheal collapse happens when cartilage rings of the chocolate Yorkie’s windpipe weaken and eventually collapse, leading to difficulty in breathing. It is best to consult your vet regarding the severity of the condition. Mild and moderate cases may still be treated with medications.
- Portosystemic Shunt (PSS): PSS is an abnormal connection in the portal vein of the dog, diverting proper blood flow to the liver. In effect, the liver fails to cleanse the blood, and this unfiltered blood flows back to the organs. Surgery is the recommended treatment for this condition.
It is best to consult regularly with your veterinarian to avoid further complications. Prevention is always the easiest and cheapest way to keep your choco Yorkie healthy and vibrant.
Keep in mind also that you need to maintain your pet’s health for a very long time. Securing pet insurance may save you from the higher cost of medical expenses in the long run.
How Much Does a Chocolate Yorkie Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses
The rarity and demand for the chocolate Yorkie puppy mean that its cost is in the premium range, between $2,000 and $6,500. This is considerably higher than the average Yorkie price which is around $800 to $1,500.
A high price range drives shady breeders to breed fake chocolate Yorkies by crossing purebred ones with other small brown dogs and selling them high. To avoid being scammed, read our guide to buying puppies safely.
Here’s a summary of all the initial expenses associated with owning a brown Yorkshire Terrier puppy:
|Type of Expense||Cost|
|Food and Treats||$50 – $80|
|Food and Water Bowls||$10 – $25|
|Bed||$30 – $150|
|Crate||$30 – $200|
|Leashes and Collars||$15 – $50|
|Toys||$20 – $30|
|Grooming Essentials||$30 – $150|
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications||$50 – $200|
|Initial Vet Visits||$100 – $300|
|Initial Vaccine Shots||$75 – $200|
|Neutering or Spaying||$50 – $500|
|Dog License||$10 – $20|
|Microchip||$40 – $60|
|Miscellaneous Supplies||$15 – $30|
|Total Initial Cost||$525 – $1,995|
Choosing a breeder that covers these expenses as part of their puppy package and going for high-quality items are effective ways to save up on these costs.
Places to Find Chocolate Yorkie Puppies for Sale and Adoption
It is quite challenging to locate chocolate Yorkie puppies, even from reputable breeders, due to their rarity. Do not worry, though. This article will make the search easier for you!
Below are some credible breeders of rare chocolate Yorkie puppies:
- Chocolate Yorkies Beyond the Bay – Chocolate Yorkies Beyond the Bay is a Florida-based breeder that offers AKC-registered chocolate Yorkies, as well as parti-colored Yorkies. Every puppy they release comes with a microchip, health certificate, and initial vaccines, and is spayed or neutered.
- Chocolate Bark Kennel – Chocolate Bark Kennel is based in Oregon, and they take pride in their dark chocolate Yorkie production. Their breeding stock is AKC and International Breed Registration (IBC) registered. They also produce rare teacup chocolate Yorkies, though expect it to cost higher than the regular teacup Yorkie.
- Jeff’s Yorkies & Boutique – Chocolate is just one of the 27 different colors and patterns of Yorkies that this breeder produces in its home breeding program. They also offer lifetime breeding support, including consultations, health and wellness information, and rehoming if you cannot continue caring for your Yorkie.
If you still haven’t found your chocolate Yorkie from the breeders above, here is another list of some reputable Yorkshire Terrier breeders. They may have brown Yorkies included in their breeding program.
Meanwhile, if you wish to acquire a chocolate Yorkie through adoption, reading our adoption guide will give you a better chance of approval while searching through legitimate rescue organizations and animal shelters.
Here are some places to consider when looking for brown Yorkies for adoption:
- Yorkie Rescue of America – Yorkie Rescue of America is a California-based non-profit organization geared toward the rescue of Yorkies, especially those in dire need of extensive medical care and intensive rehabilitation. They also look for foster parents to help them rehabilitate, train, and socialize their rescues.
- Save a Yorkie Rescue (SAY Rescue) – Established in 2002, this organization from Pennsylvania has already saved 2,500 Yorkies. As part of their adoption process, they do a reference check with the applicants’ veterinarian to confirm how responsible they are in taking care of their dogs.
- Yorkie911 Rescue – The mission of Rescue911 is to rescue and find the perfect adoptive homes for Yorkies and other small breeds under their care. This New York-based organization has been rescuing dogs since 2010. They actively seek foster parents and volunteers to help care for their rescues.
Aside from the ones mentioned, here are additional legitimate Yorkie rescues in the country for you to check.
Although these rescues do not specialize in choco Yorkies, they might have one in their listings every now and then.
Additionally, this guide to finding free puppies in your area should increase your chances of finding a chocolate Yorkie.
Dog Name Ideas for Brown Yorkie Puppies
After obtaining your chocolate Yorkie puppy, the next challenge you will encounter is giving it a suitable yet fun name it will gladly respond to.
This section should help you with this task by listing down some names you can consider for your male and female brown Yorkie.
Below are splendid name ideas for your male brown Yorkie pup:
Meanwhile, here are some excellent name ideas for your female brown Yorkie pup:
Another factor you may need to consider when naming your chocolate Yorkie is that it should be unique enough that it does not get confused with common words used in conversations, yet easy enough for your dog to remember.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Rarest Color of Yorkshire Terrier?
The gold Yorkshire Terrier without any markings is the rarest color for the Yorkie breed. This Yorkie is also sometimes referred to as a “blonde” Yorkie.
These pure golden coat Yorkies are extremely rare since most Yorkies have a distinctive color combination, such as black and tan or blue and gold.
However, the blonde Yorkie is even born with its gold color already intact, which is uncommon since most Yorkies are born black and tan and gradually transform to their true colors as they grow.
Do Chocolate Yorkies Shed a Lot?
Chocolate Yorkies shed, but very minimally, to the point of being unnoticeable. They have long, flowing, silky coats that do not have an undercoat, similar to the structure of human hair.
This kind of hair grows at the same rate all year round, making their shedding cycle different from other dogs.
When they shed, it becomes even more unnoticeable since the hair just falls back into the pup’s coat.
Are Brown Yorkies Hypoallergenic?
Since brown Yorkies have hair-like coats instead of fur and do not shed like other dogs, they produce less dander and are considered hypoallergenic.
However, always keep in mind that there are no 100% hypoallergenic dogs. People suffering from allergies might still react to certain allergens when handling a puppy, depending on their level of sensitivity.
Final Thoughts: Is a Brown Yorkie the Right Dog for You?
If you are looking for a beautiful and unique-looking companion dog that would entertain you with its bright and curious personality, then the chocolate Yorkie is worth considering.
However, you need to make sure that you are financially prepared for the high cost of owning one.
This includes setting aside a budget for the initial and upkeep costs to keep your chocolate Yorkie happy and healthy.
Do you think a brown Yorkshire Terrier is compatible with you? Let us know what you think about the chocolate Yorkie in the comment section below!