The Yorkshire Terrier is a vigorous small dog with a long, profuse, silky steel blue and gold coat. Puppies are born black with tan points and generally come into their adult coat after about a year. The full adult coat is parted down the middle of the spine and hangs down long enough to touch the ground. The delicate head is flat, with a medium-length muzzle topped by a cute black button nose. The eyes are bright and dark with dark rims. The ears are small, erect, and triangular. Hair on the ears is dark. The topline is straight, and the body is compact. The tail is docked at three to five days to half its original length. It is carried slightly higher than the level of the back.
There seem to be two different stories about the Yorkshire Terrier’s origins. The first states that the breed was brought to Yorkshire, England, by Scottish weavers emigrating to England in the mid-nineteenth century. The second states that the Yorkshire Terrier was developed by English miners in the 1800s to help control the rat population in mine shafts. According to the second story, the Yorkie probably resulted from crosses between the Dandie Dinmont, Skye Terrier, black and tan Toy Terrier, and the Maltese. The new breed was originally called the Scotch Terrier. This little dog was also pitted against rats for the miners’ entertainment. Later he became a favorite companion of well-to-do women who carried the tiny dogs in their bags or under their arms. Though nineteenth century terrier aficionados thought the breed’s future was dim, the Yorkie has become one of the most popular breeds. Today, this spunky little dog is both a lively companion and a glamorous show dog.