Yorkshire Terrier

Long, silky hair and a small, strong body distinguish Yorkshires from other terrier breeds.

Dog breeders in Yorkshire wanted to make their own pigmy, prick-eared terrier with a long, silky, grey and tan coat. They already had the genetics of the old English black-and-tan, wire-haired Terrier.

Peter Eden of Manchester, England, has been credited with being the actual inventor of the Yorkshire Terrier. He had been one of the earliest breeders and owners of these dogs.

He used his terrier named Albert to convince the public of the many charms of this breed.

The Yorkie: A Mix of Dog Breeds

Breeders lengthened the coat of this working dog breed. They mixed in many dogs including the prick-eared Skye to make the ears different. They bred their version with a soft-haired Maltese to get rid of the Terrier”s wiry textured coat but keep the preferred long length. They also crossed it with the Clydesdale to reserve the desired black-and-tan look.

In all probability, the Yorkshire has some evidence of being mixed with the Dandie Dinmont breed. This evidence can be seen more in puppies. Both breeds of puppies are born with black-and-tan coloring.

The original broken-haired Yorkshire terrier was often named a Scottish terrier, or even a Skye. Many people would also confuse the Yorkie Terrier with the Clydesdale, whom he somewhat closely resembles.

Currently, a Yorkshire breed is classified as a toy dog and exhibited almost solely as such. Many regret that the terrier characteristics such as perkiness and exuberance have been gradually bred out of the Yorkshire. Breeders focused more on the small size and long length of hair.

Caring for a Yorkie

Taking care of Yorkie can be time-consuming. Successful breeders and exhibitors of the Yorkshire Terriers probably have their little secrets and methods of inducing long hair growth. They regulate the dog”s diet with good nutrition that they would eat, such as bread, green vegetables, meat, fresh fish, milk puddings and pet biscuits.

They would regulate the dog”s weight to keep it lean. They baby the Yorkies by feeding them by their own fingers. Many owners use a sort of mask or hood of elastic material which they tie over the dog”s head during feeding times to hold back the long face whiskers and hair. Also to protect the coat and to keep the dog from scratching, linen or cotton stockings are placed on the dog”s hind feet.

Many exhibitors pretend that they use no special hair tonics for the Yorkshire Terriers” coats. But it is quite certain that continuous grooming is necessary.

Careful grooming of Yorkshire Terriers becomes very important to keep their coats shimmering and soft. The art of grooming can only be learned through practice. The novice can learn a lot if they observe the routines and movements of an expert exhibitor.

Characteristics of a Perfect Yorkie

The dog”s long coat should hang down straight and evenly over each side, with a part extending from the nose to the end of the tail.

The animal”s body will be very compact and neat. He walks with an air of arrogance. The head will appear small and flat and not too prominent.

Under the chin, long hair should be hanging with the same color as on the crown of the dog. That color will be a bright, golden tan. This hair should not be intertwined with dark or sooty hairs. Hairs on the sides of the head should be very long, of a few shades deeper tan than that on the top of the head, especially about the ear-roots.

The terrier”s legs stand quite straight. The tail is cut to medium length with plenty of hair.

During shows, the animals are divided into two classes: those under 5 pounds and those over 5 pounds to 12 pounds.


Leighton, R. (2004). Dogs and all About Them. Retrieved March 24, 2008, from The Project Gutenberg EBook of Dogs and All About Them Web site: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/10991/10991.txt.