Originally bred as a ratter by the working classes of the Yorkshire West Riding area, the Yorkshire Terrier became a fashionable pet only about a century ago.
Yorkshire Terrier
(Yorkie, Broken-haired Scotch Terrier)
Christmas costumes for small dogs
The Yorkshire Terrier's origin are among the industrial classes of England, who bred the dog as a ratter to control vermin in the factories and miners' houses. Traditionally the dog of Scottish weavers, they were brought to Yorkshire (together with other Terriers) around the mid-nineteenth century.
The breed was known by a variety of names (Broken-haired Scotch Terrier, or short Scoth Terrier, Yorkshire Blue and Tan Terrier) before it got the name of Yorkshire Terrier around 1870.

The original Yorkie was larger than today's specimens (weighing up to 12 or 14 lbs) while today's breed's standard calls for a much lighter dog (not more than 7 lbs or 3.2 kg).
There is still no consensus as to which breeds are at the origin of the Yorkshire Terrier. Among the possible candidates are: the Black and Tan Terrier, the Skye Terrier, the Dandie Danmont Terrier and the Paisley Terrier. Some authors believe the Maltese also played a role in the genetic make-up of the breed giving it its silky coat and petite face. The fact that Yorkie pups look very much like Airedale pups and that both breeds probably trace to the Aire valley, or Airedale, in Yorkshire, does not exclude some common ancestry between the two breeds either.
The founding dog of the breed was a Yorkie named Huddersfield Ben, born in 1865. Another important specimen was a dog named Mozart, who won the First prize in the Variety Class at Westmorland and paved the way to the recognition of the breed as the 'Yorkshire Terrier'. Important champions of the early 1900s are: Ch. Invincible (1927), Ch. Mendham Peggy (1927) and Ch. Harringay Remarkable (1931).
The Yorkshire's glossy coat is blue-tan in color and hanging straight evenly down. The head should not be too prominent, but rather small and flat. The whishers give the skull a square look.

The body is compact and well proportioned. The tail is usually docked.

Puppies are born black and tan, the black gradually changes to dark steel blue.
Like many small dogs the Yorkshire Terrier is not aware of its small size and is rather fearless, bossy and tenacious in temperament.

Thanks to its size, the breed is ideally suited to apartment lifevand as a travel companion. However, as with most toy dogs they are not recommended for families with young children (see also: children-friendly dogs). They are naturally hardy dogs that tend to be quite long-lived.
Yorkshire Terrier aged 15 months
Photo by Eric Isselée
Yorkshire Terriers for Dummies
Yorkshire terrier in Christmas costume
Photo: Dawn Poland
Yorkshire Terrier (19th century)
English School painting
Shows that the long coat was already fashionable in the 1800s
Source: William Secord, Dog Painting
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The Canine Information Library 2003-2009 © All rights reserved. Photos © Eric Isselée (Yorkie with red bow and Yorkshire Terrier pup); Lisa Thornberg (Show Yorkshire). Original idea, design and development by C. Marien-de Luca. No part of bulldoginformation.com may be copied, distributed, printed or reproduced on another website without the owner's written permission. Please feel free to link from your site to any of the pages on this website in a non-frame presentation only.
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Yorkshire Terrier puppy
Photo: Eric Isselée
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Note that the legs are completely hidden by show dog's long hair
Photo by Lisa Thornberg
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Two yorkshire Terriers
Photo by Photopix