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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