History of the Yorkshire Terrier breed.

History of the Yorkshire Terrier breed.

History of the Yorkshire Terrier breed has several theories testify to the appearance of the Yorkshire Terrier.

yorkshire terrier

Theory number 1.

The modern Yorkshire Terrier first appears in the manuscripts of the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder, who lived in the first century AD, who described miniature dogs discovered by the Romans in the British Isles. Many archaeologists, based on these records, believe that the history of the Yorkshire Terrier breed begins precisely from the British Isles, from where sailors brought them to different countries.
Dr. J. Cayus, personal doctor of Elizabeth the First Tudor, Queen of England, published a book in 1570 in which he mentions miniature dogs – owners of a silky and shiny coat that falls on the sides of the body to the ground. He connects their origin with local small terriers, which were kept by hunters for small game.

Theory number 2.

Yorkshire and Lancashire counties in northern England are considered the birthplace of the Yorkshire Terrier. His possible ancestor is called the Waterside Terrier. This breed was popular in the 18th and 19th centuries in Yorkshire and was described as “a small, gray-blue dog with a semi-long coat.” These dogs were kept by the peasants, as they were forbidden to have large dogs, so that they would not poach on lands belonging to the nobility. Small dogs guarded houses from rodents and accompanied their owners on trade trips along rivers and canals (hence the name).

Breeds named by Yorkshire Terrier ancestors:

Maltese lapdogs, although they differ significantly from them: the Maltese has drooping ears and a white color. It is believed that Yorkies were crossed with lapdogs to improve the quality of the coat, hair structure and get silkiness. This theory is supported by the fact that light-colored Yorkies often have very good coat quality.



At the end of the 18th century, with the onset of industrialization, many people in search of work moved to cities
in the west of the county, and workers also came from Scotland. They brought their dogs with them, which at that time were called “Scottish Terriers”; subsequently, such breeds as Paisley Terrier Clydesdale Terrier, Cairo Terrier, Skye Terrier were distinguished among them. Probably, these breeds participated in the breeding of the Yorkshire Terrier. The closest to the modern Yorkie were the Paisley Terrier and the Clydesdale Terrier, which were never recognized by the Kennel Club as separate breeds, and over time their breeding was discontinued.
Manchester also had its own kind of terrier – the Manchester Terrier. The breeders managed to get a variety with soft, long and silky hair.

yorkshire terrier1

Theory number 3.

The new breed was developed by weavers working in new factories. They managed to breed a dog with long silky steel-blue hair with pure golden brown markings. Yorkies of that time had a longer body and larger size than modern ones, their usual weight was 6-7 kg. A new breed called the Yorkshire Blue and Tan Silky Terrier quickly gained popularity, displacing other small English terrier varieties.
In 1886, the breed was recognized by the Kennel Club and entered in the studbook. In 1898, the first Yorkshire Terrier club was organized.

Huddersfield Ben breeder Yorkshire Terrier

One of the first famous representatives of the breed was the Huddersfield Ben. He was born in Huddersfield in 1865 and was sold to Mrs. Foster of Bradford. Ben was the result of two generations of inbreeding. At the age of 6, Ben was killed by the carriage. During his short life, he managed to win 74 prizes at various exhibitions and competitions. Ben left numerous offspring and is still referred to as the “father of the breed”; most show representatives of the breed are now descendants from one or more sides.

There is little information about the history of Yorkshire Terriers in the first half of the 20th century, since 1946 there have been rare reports of breeders and exhibitions. The popularity of Yorkies is growing: in the AKC ranking they took 9th place in 1998, 6th in 2003, and in 2006, 2007 and 2008 – 2nd place, second only to Labrador retrievers.
And in the 90s of the XIX century, the Yorkshire Terrier became an extremely fashionable breed in England. England, and after it and America, is seized by the “Yorkshire fever”.

Currently, Yorkies occupy the first place in popularity in all countries of Western Europe and America.

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