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The Yorkshire Terrier

The most devout lover of this charming and beautiful terrier would
fail if he were to attempt to claim for him the distinction of descent
from antiquity. Bradford, and not Babylon, was his earliest home, and
he must be candidly acknowledged to be a very modern manufactured
variety of the dog. Yet it is important to remember that it was in
Yorkshire that he was made--Yorkshire, where live the cleverest
breeders of dogs that the world has known.

One can roughly reconstitute the process. What the Yorkshiremen
desired to make for themselves was a pigmy, prick-eared terrier with a
long, silky, silvery grey and tan coat. They already possessed the
foundation in the old English Black and Tan wire-haired Terrier. To
lengthen the coat of this working breed they might very well have had
recourse to a cross with the prick-eared Skye, and to eliminate the
wiry texture of the hair a further cross with the Maltese dog would
impart softness and silkiness without reducing the length. Again, a
cross with the Clydesdale, which was then assuming a fixed type, would
bring the variety yet nearer to the ideal, and a return to the black
and tan would tend to conserve the desired colour. In all probability
the Dandie Dinmont had some share in the process. Evidence of origin
is often to be found more distinctly in puppies than in the mature
dog, and it is to be noted that the puppies of both the Dandie and the
Yorkshire are born with decided black and tan colouring.

The original broken-haired Yorkshire Terrier of thirty years ago was
often called a Scottish Terrier, or even a Skye, and there are many
persons who still confound him with the Clydesdale, whom he somewhat
closely resembles. At the present time he is classified as a toy dog
and exhibited almost solely as such. It is to be regretted that until
very lately the terrier character was being gradually bred out of him,
and that the perkiness, the exuberance and gameness which once
distinguished him as the companion of the Yorkshire operative, was in
danger of being sacrificed to the desire for diminutive size and
inordinate length of coat.

Perhaps it would be an error to blame the breeders of Yorkshire
Terriers for this departure from the original type as it appeared,
say, about 1870. It is necessary to take into consideration the
probability that what is now called the old-fashioned working variety
was never regarded by the Yorkshiremen who made him as a complete and
finished achievement. It was possibly their idea at the very beginning
to produce just such a diminutive dog as is now to be seen in its
perfection at exhibitions, glorying in its flowing tresses of steel
blue silk and ruddy gold; and one must give them full credit for the
patience and care with which during the past forty years they have
been steadily working to the fixed design of producing a dwarfed breed
which should excel all other breeds in the length and silkiness of its
robe. The extreme of cultivation in this particular quality was
reached some years ago by Mrs. Troughear, whose little dog Conqueror,
weighing 5-1/2 lb., had a beautiful enveloping mantle of the uniform
length of four-and-twenty inches.

Doubtless all successful breeders and exhibitors of the Yorkshire
Terrier have their little secrets and their peculiar methods of
inducing the growth of hair. They regulate the diet with extreme
particularity, keeping the dog lean rather than fat, and giving him
nothing that they would not themselves eat. Bread, mixed with green
vegetables, a little meat and gravy, or fresh fish, varied with milk
puddings and Spratt's Toy Pet biscuits, should be the staple food.
Bones ought not to be given, as the act of gnawing them is apt to mar
the beard and moustache. For the same reason it is well when possible
to serve the food from the fingers. But many owners use a sort of mask
or hood of elastic material which they tie over the dog's head at
meal-times to hold back the long face-fall and whiskers, that would
otherwise be smeared and sullied. Similarly as a protection for the
coat, when there is any skin irritation and an inclination to scratch,
linen or cotton stockings are worn upon the hind feet.

Many exhibitors pretend that they use no dressing, or very little, and
this only occasionally, for the jackets of their Yorkshire Terriers;
but it is quite certain that continuous use of grease of some sort is
not only advisable but even necessary. Opinions differ as to which is
the best cosmetic, but Hairmero, the dressing prepared for the purpose
by Miss D. Wilmer, of Yoxford, Suffolk, could not easily be improved
upon for this or any other long-coated breed.

For the full display of their beauty, Yorkshire Terriers depend very
much upon careful grooming. It is only by grooming that the silvery
cascade of hair down the dog's sides and the beautiful tan face-fall
that flows like a rain of gold from his head can be kept perfectly
straight and free from curl or wrinkle; and no grease or pomade, even
if their use were officially permitted, could impart to the coat the
glistening sheen that is given by the dexterous application of the
brush. The gentle art of grooming is not to be taught by theory.
Practice is the best teacher. But the novice may learn much by
observing the deft methods employed by an expert exhibitor.

Mr. Peter Eden, of Manchester, is generally credited with being the
actual inventor of the Yorkshire Terrier. He was certainly one of the
earliest breeders and owners, and his celebrated Albert was only one
of the many admirable specimens with which he convinced the public of
the charms of this variety of dog. He may have given the breed its
first impulse, but Mrs. M. A. Foster, of Bradford, was for many years
the head and centre of all that pertained to the Yorkshire Terrier,
and it was undoubtedly she who raised the variety to its highest point
of perfection. Her dogs were invariably good in type. She never
exhibited a bad one, and her Huddersfield Ben, Toy Smart, Bright,
Sandy, Ted, Bradford Hero, Bradford Marie, and Bradford Queen--the
last being a bitch weighing only 24 oz.--are remembered for their
uniform excellence. Of more recent examples that have approached
perfection may be mentioned Mrs. Walton's Ashton King, Queen, and
Bright, and her Mont Thabor Duchess. Mr. Mitchell's Westbrook Fred has
deservedly won many honours, and Mr. Firmstone's Grand Duke and Mynd
Damaris, and Mrs. Sinclair's Mascus Superbus, stand high in the
estimation of expert judges of the breed. Perhaps the most beautiful
bitch ever shown was Waveless, the property of Mrs. R. Marshall, the
owner of another admirable bitch in Little Picture. Mrs. W. Shaw's Ch.
Sneinton Amethyst is also an admirable specimen.

The standard of points laid down by the Yorkshire Terrier Club is as

* * * * *

GENERAL APPEARANCE--That of a long-coated pet dog, the coat hanging
quite straight and evenly down each side, a parting extending from the
nose to the end of the tail. The animal should be very compact and
neat, his carriage being very sprightly; bearing an air of importance.
Although the frame is hidden beneath a mantle of hair, the general
outline should be such as to suggest the existence of a vigorous and
well-proportioned body. HEAD--Should be rather small and flat, not too
prominent or round in the skull; rather broad at the muzzle, with a
perfectly black nose; the hair on the muzzle very long, which should
be a rich, deep tan, not sooty or grey. Under the chin, long hair,
about the same colour as on the crown of the head, which should be a
bright, golden tan, and not on any account intermingled 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. EYES--Medium in size, dark in colour, having a
sharp, intelligent expression, and placed so as to look directly
forward. They should not be prominent. The edges of the eyelids should
be dark. EARS--Small, V-shaped, and carried semi-erect, covered with
short hair; colour to be a deep rich tan. MOUTH--Good even mouth;
teeth as sound as possible. A dog having lost a tooth or two, through
accident or otherwise, is not to disqualify, providing the jaws are
even. BODY--Very compact, with a good loin, and level on the top of
the back. COAT--The hair, as long and as straight as possible (not
wavy), should be glossy, like silk (not woolly), extending from the
back of the head to the root of the tail; colour, a bright steel blue,
and on no account intermingled with fawn, light or dark hairs. All tan
should be darker at the roots than at the middle of the hairs, shading
off to a still lighter tan at the tips. LEGS--Quite straight, should
be of a bright golden tan, well covered with hair, a few shades
lighter at the end than at the roots. FEET--As round as possible;
toe-nails black. TAIL--Cut to medium length; with plenty of hair,
darker blue than the rest of the body, especially at the end of the
tail, which is carried slightly higher than the level of the back.
WEIGHT--Divided into two classes; under 5 lb. and over 5 lb. to 12 lb.

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Previous: The Skye And Clydesdale Terriers

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