While people enjoy modern-day Yorkshire Terriers for their petite size and luxurious coats, today’s Yorkie is actually a smaller, more chic adaptation of a larger, grittier terrier. The Yorkshire Terrier was originally bred to hunt and kill small vermin in England. Although the Yorkie’s namesake county of Yorkshire is recognized as the location of the breed’s development in the 1800s, historic Yorkshire played only a small part in this breed’s mysterious past.
It is believed that the breed’s roots go back to Waterside Terriers that were brought from Scotland to England in the mid-nineteenth century, as well as the now extinct Clydesdale Terriers and Leeds Terriers. As the ancestors of the modern-day Maltese, the Manchester Terrier and Dandie Dinmont Terrier are also believed to have played a role in the development of the Yorkshire Terrier.
The breed made its formal debut in 1861 at a British bench show. It was not until 1872 that the first certified birth of a Yorkshire Terrier occurred on American soil. In the late Victorian era, the Yorkshire Terrier was a status symbol, since wealthy citizens were the only ones who could afford the breed’s regular grooming demands. A thriving economy spawned by the British Industrial Revolution furthered the breed’s popularity among upper and middle classes.
BREED GROUP: Group 6: Terrier Breeds
The ideal muzzle-to-skull axis may be parallel, or just slightly convergent.
Body and Tail
Forequarters and Hindquarters
Side View: The forelimbs appear straight with strong pasterns.
Rear View: When viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are parallel to one another.
Side View: Good angulation will allow the rear toes to align with the point of the rump or within one to two paw-lengths behind the point of the rump, with the rear pasterns remaining perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another.
Standard coat color variety: Standard purebred Yorkshire Terriers start off black with tan points, but over the next 18 months, the black recedes and turns to a steel blue saddle or creeping tan pattern, and the tan turns to a shimmery gold. The permissible standard colors include; blue or steel with gold saddle or creeping tan markings.
Nonstandard coat color variety: black, silver, or liver with saddle or creeping tan pattern, all with various shades of red or tan. All with or without white markings (Biewer), or white with markings of the above listed colors and patterns.