This section is from the book "British Dogs: Their Varieties, History, Characteristics, Breeding, Management, And Exhibition", by Hugh Dalziel. Also available from Amazon: British Dogs.
Nowhere in England are dog shows so popular, numerous, and flourishing as in the counties of Lancaster and York, and their immediate borders, and each of the two counties named has given us a new breed - for the Manchester terrier which we owe to Lancashire is, it must be admitted, so widely different from the old black and tan terrier as to be almost, if not quite, a new breed, and the Yorkshire terrier is assuredly a manufacture of comparatively recent years.
This dog long went by the name of rough or Scotch terrier, and many dog show committees in issuing their schedules still include them under that heading; but to call them Scotch terriers is quite a misnomer, the true Scotch terrier being a much rougher, shorter, and harder coated dog, of greater size and hardiness, and altogether a rough-and-tumble working vermin dog, with no pretensions to the beauty and elegance of the little "Yorkshire swell," so that it is rather startling to find this petit exquisite still called a Scotch terrier in the catalogue of such an important and excellently managed show as that of Darlington. The Kennel Club, and others who have followed them, in making a class for these dogs, and naming it Yorkshire terriers, have yielded to the persistence of the "Country" in pointing out the absurdity of the misnomer in general use, and in passing I would observe that to the same paper very much of the credit is due of exposing the fallacy, and turning into ridicule the idea prevalent seven to ten years ago, and encouraged by the newspaper critics and judges of the time, that a colley should be in colour "black, marked with rich orange tan."
MRS. M. A. FOSTER'S YORKSHIRE TERRIER "PRINCE" (K.C.S.B. 7822). Sire Peter, by Huddersfield Ben - Dam Lady, by Bruce.
That the Yorkshire terrier should have been called Scotch by those who, although they may have the credit of producing this dog, probably did not know of the existence of the real Scotch terrier as a breed, suggests that at least a terrier of Scotland has had something to do with his manufacture. Now, among terriers recognised as Scotch, if not now peculiar to the country, we have the old hard short coated Scotch terrier par excellence; the short-legged and mixed-coated Dandie; the Skyes, with the long weasel-like bodies and long hard coat; and the perky little prick-eared hard and short coated Aberdonian; and, in addition, the Glasgow or Paisley Skye, a more toyish dog, shorter in the back, and comparatively soft and silky in coat, which it probably inherits from a Maltese terrier cross. My theory, then, is, respecting the origin of the Yorkshire terriers (and I admit it is only a theory, for the most diligent and repeated inquiries on my part in all likely or promising quarters have failed in elucidating reliable facts, and none certainly contradictory of my views), is that the dog was what gardeners call "a sport" from some lucky combination of one of the Scotch terriers, either the genuine Skye or the Paisley toy, and one of the old soft and longish coated black and tan English terriers, at one time common enough, and probably one with a dash of Maltese blood in it.
However first obtained, we have at least got them now, and most owners are satisfied if they can claim a strain of the blood of the famous Huddersfield Ben, who combined in himself the blood of three illustrious predecessors - Walshaw's Sandy, Ramsden's Bounce, and Inman's Don; and most of the celebrities of the day boast of Ben blood, and there is never any lack of good ones to come to the front when there is a chance to jostle the holders of show honours from their coveted position. It must never be forgotten, however, that those we see at shows are the crime de la crime, shown at their very best, and in parade uniform; and it is not all that are pure bred that turn out fit for show. Much depends on their preparation, but there are pure specimens that cannot be prepared, and always look scrubby and ragged.
Although they are essentially toys, they are not wanting in pluck, and some of the breed have been good rat killers. A noted breeder has told me one of his celebrated show specimens once won fourth prize in a considerable sweepstakes, although quite without training or preparation, and many of them are perfect little spitfires, sharp as needles, and make excellent house dogs from their alertness.
Artificial means are used to encourage and stimulate the growth of the hair. The hind feet are kept encased in chamois leather boots, so that, even should they scratch, the claws being covered, the coat is neither broken nor pulled out, and the diet is carefully regulated so as to obviate heat of the blood and skin disease. Various applications to the skin are used to stimulate the growth of the hair, concerning which much mystery is affected. Some years ago I recommended to a breeder in Hanley a preparation for this purpose, and as he has recently written to The Bazaar newspaper recommending it to others as having proved successful in his own hands, it may be of use to repeat it here. It is a liniment consisting of the following ingredients, and mixed artem secundem, as any chemist and druggist knows how:-Strong mercurial ointment loz., spirit of hartshorn loz., tincture of cantharides ˝oz., essential oil of nutmeg ˝oz., and camphorated oil, 17oz. A little of this should be well rubbed into the skin at the partings; the whole of the body should not be dressed at once, but the liniment should be used daily on portions of the body alternately - for instance, one side one night, the other side the following, and the head, neck, and breast the third.
Cocoa nut oil, too, is a capital thing for promoting the growth of and softening the coat, and when at home and in preparation for shows the coat may with advantage be freely dressed with it. It may be necessary to say, in respect to the use of the liniment recipe, for which is given above, that as some dogs are much more tender in the skin than others, its effect should be watched, and if undue irritation is produced by it, it should, for use on such dogs, be weakened by mixing with it a portion of plain olive oil, and the bottle should always be well shaken before using its contents.
The crowds of ladies attracted to the range of crystal and mahogany palaces, where these little beauties luxuriate on silk and velvet cushions, see little of their make and shape, concealed as it is with an abundance of flowing hair, arranged with all the art of the accomplished perruquier; and it is quite amusing to see the amount of preparation these little creatures undergo before being carried before the judge.
When born the pups are very dark, and a story is told of a celebrated judge who, having had a bitch about to become a mother, presented to him, when the pups came duly to hand drowned them "right off," and wrote to his friend that there must have been some mistake, as the pups were as black and tan as Manchester terriers. The tail is docked whilst the pups are with the dam, a discreet proceeding, or it is to be feared some of them would show their Maltese origin by carrying the caudal appendage tightly over the hips.
The head is small, rather flat on the crown, and, together with the muzzle, much resembles in shape the Skye terrier.
The eyes, only seen when the "fall" or hair of the face is parted, are small, keen, and bright.
The ears, when entire, are either erect, with a slight falling over at the tip, or quite pricked. Lady Giffard's Katie, a very good specimen, had perfect natural prick ears, but the ears in most specimens are cropped.
The general shape, as seen in show specimens, is to a considerable extent formed by the coat, which, brushed down to the ground on each side, gives a square and level appearance, the back being straight and level, must not be too long, but a happy medium between the proportions shown by the Dandie and fox terrier.
The legs and feet, although scarcely seen, must be straight and good, or the dog would have a deformed appearance.
The tail is usually docked, and shows abundance of feathering.
The coat must be long, straight, and silky; any appearance of curl or crimping is objectionable, and if wavy at all, it must be very slightly so; but many excellent specimens have the coat slightly waved. I do not know the utmost extent to which the coat has been grown, but should suppose l0in. or 12in. not uncommonly reached, and it should be abundant everywhere.
The colour is one of the most essential things to be looked for in the Yorkshire terrier; so important is it, and so fully is this recognised by exhibitors, that it is said some specimens are shown at times not quite innocent of plumbago, and other things judiciously applied. They are really blue and tan terriers, and the blue ranges from the clear silvery hue to a deep sky blue and a blue black, all dogs getting, I believe, lighter in colour as they age. The tan on the head should be golden, and the "fall," or hair, over the face, gets silvery towards the ends; the tan is deeper on the whiskers, and about the ears, and on the legs.
They vary in size considerably, so much so, that I advocate most strongly making two classes for them, for it is utterly absurd to class any of this breed as a broken-haired terrier, as the Kennel Club do, regardless of the plain meaning of the words. What can be more stupid than to give one of these terriers a prize in his own proper class, and under his proper designation, and his own mother a prize in the broken-haired toy class?
The principal breeders and exhibitors are Mrs. M. A. Foster, who, indeed, seems to have quite a monopoly of this breed, and to be invariably successful as an exhibitor; Miss Alderson, of Leeds, who, however, seems of late to have retired from the arena; Mr. Abraham Bolton, of Accrington; Mr. Cavanagh, of Leeds; and Mr. Greenwood, of Bradford.
Measurements of Yorkshire Terriers:
Mrs. M. A. Foster's Smart: Age, 3 years; weight, 101b.; height at shoulder, 12in.; length from nose to set on of tail, 22in.
Mrs. M. A. Foster's Sandy: Age, 2 years; weight, 4žlb.; height at shoulder, 9in.; length from nose to set on of tail, 19in.
Mrs. M. A. Foster's Pride: Age, 4 years; weight, 41b.; height at shoulder, 8˝in.; length from nose to set on of tail, 18˝in.