Origin: United Kingdom (England)
Dog Breed Group: Companion Dog
Life Span: 12-15 years
Weight: Male: 2.5-3, Female: 2.5-3
Height: Male: 7-8, Female: 7-8
Origin of Name: The Yorkshire Terrier is one of the smallest dog breeds of the terrier type.
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The Yorkshire Terrier was developed in the northern English counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire in the mid-1800s. At the end of Victorian times it became a fashionable lapdog for proper English women, but its beginnings were uniquely labor-class.
The breed is said to be the creation of Scottish weavers who migrated to the English North Country and brought their Scottish terrier with them. (We stop here to distinguish between Scottish terriers, ie the special breed designated as the Scottish terrier and the Scottish terrier.) Many of the now extinct Scottish terrier breeds are part of the genetic mix of Yorkies, as well as such still skies And the current terrier as Dandy Dinmont. A historical source suggests the addition of Maltese blood.
Scots weavers were proud of their tough little terriers, small enough to squeeze into the nooks and cranes of textile mills in search of rodents. Jokes were made about Yorkie's long, silky coat, stating that its thinly textured hair was the product of the loom. York's home territory was a center for mining as well as cloth-making, and many Yorkies were employed as exterminators in coal mines.
The turning point in the breed's history came in 1886, when the Kennel Club (England) granted Yorkie recognition. With this splash of hype, Yorkie became fashionable as a companion to women. And, as Yorkie's popularity grew among fashion, she was reduced in size to better cater to her new job description: adorable, entertaining companions sitting on the lap of luxury.
Yorkies were first seen in America in the 1870s, and the AKC recorded their first Yorkie, a woman named Belle, in 1885.