A service from the Yorkshire-Terrier-Journal

The ancestors of the Yorkshire Terrier

The breed's history is incomplete, but it is almost certain that the following dogs, which in the meantime have died out, took part in the Yorkshire Terrier's development:


The first is the Waterside Terrier which at the end of 18th century was mainly found in the county of Yorkshire. The name Waterside Terrier comes from his prediliction for running along the riverbanks and canals and eating the scraps thrown away by boat people. This little terrier provided the basic genetic prerequisites for today's Yorkshire Terrier. The somewhat longer coat was a blueish colour with tan markings on the head. Today tan means golden colour.

Also very important in the further development were the Clydesdale and Paisley Terriers.

They belonged to the Scottish terrier breeds, but these are now also extinct.

These dogs, collectively known as Scottish Terriers, came with their owners when they moved from the Scottish Highlands, in the early years of the industrial revolution (1785 on).

The development of the different terrier breeds followed.

Clydesdale-Terrier Paisley-Terrier

About the beginning of 19th century, working men began to develop the individual breeds, in part to improve their own standard of living. Huddersfield Ben is known as the ancestor of all Yorkshire Terriers. He was the result of a precisely planned breeding programme. Born in 1865, he unfortunatly lost his life only six years later in an accident. In the meantime however, he had won a sensational 70 prizes in shows and was highly successful in the rat pit, a common practice in those times.

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