A service from the Yorkshire-Terrier-Journal

The origin of the breed

Whoever wants to understand the Yorkshire Terrier, its appearance and personality, should also learn about its origin. The breed's origin was in England. The first registration in the stud book of the kennel club was made in 1886, so its history is now well over hundred years. The Kennel Club is the parent organisation of all English dog breeding asscociations - similar to the "Verband für das deutsche Hundewesen" and other organisations all over the world. However, the development of our charming breed started long before the first official registration was made.

For a long time in almost the whole of England, serfs, or bonded labourers, were not allowed to hunt. This rule dated from the 11thcentury. To keep these poor people from ignoring that ban, they were only allowed to have very small dogs which were thought to be not suitable for hunting. The king's foresters supervised this very strictly by measuring all the dogs they met. The dog had to be able to pass through a hoop 7 inches in diameter then – it was small enough and could be kept.

the origin of the breed

At first the dogs were used to catch rats and mice, although they weren't really suited to this – cats were better at this job. Nevertheless the dogs were helpful in supplementing their poor owner's diet as they now and again caught a rabbit or other small game despite the ban.

So over time, sturdy little terrier-like dogs were bred which did not contravene the rules but which could be used as hunting dogs by their owners. But the further development to the Yorkshire Terrier of today was still a long way off.

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