This section is from the book "The Terriers. A History And Description Of The Modern Dogs Of Great Britain And Ireland", by Rawdon B. Lee. Also available from Amazon: A History and Description of the Modern Dogs of Great Britain and Ireland: The Terriers.
The best of the variety are certainly kept in few hands. Amongst the older breeders were, in addition to the names already mentioned, Mr. John Inman, of Brighouse, Yorkshire; Mr. J. Spink, Bradford; Mr. A. Boulton, Accrington; Miss Alderson, Leeds; Mr. Cavanagh, Leeds; Mr. Greenwood, Bradford; Mrs. Bligh Monck, Coley Park, Reading; Lady Gifford, Redhill; and Mr. Wilkinson, Halifax; whilst the best modern kennels are those of Mrs. Foster, at Bradford; Mrs. Vaughan Fowler, Longbridge, Warwick; Mr. J. B. Leech, Clifton, Bristol; Mr. T. D. Hodgson, Halifax; and Messrs. Walton and Beard, West Brompton.
The Yorkshire terrier is by no means a common commodity, and although third or fourth rate specimens are sometimes to be obtained from the London dealers, Bradford is their home. Here it is not difficult to obtain a suitable dog at a fair price, and it is said that upon one occasion, when the late Mr. E. Sandell required three or four for a certain purpose, and was unable to obtain them in London, he took a journey to Bradford or Halifax, I quite forget which. He issued a short notice that he would give a prize of a sovereign or two for the best Yorkshire terrier to be exhibited without entry at a certain public-house on a certain evening. In due course a rare good collection was brought together, from which the enterprising promoter speedily selected and purchased what he required, he at the same time suiting himself, pleasing the dog fanciers, and, as it was said at the time, "doing a good turn for the publican".
It has been said that the Yorkshire terrier is anything but a hardy dog, and usually dies at an early age. A correspondent wrote some time ago that his "Yorkshires" were carefully attended to in every way, regularly washed and groomed, and most judiciously fed. Still, with all the care bestowed upon them, he could not keep them alive more than from two to three years at most. This was no doubt an unusual experience, for although by being inbred to a very great extent, and by the sedentary life they lead, they cannot be called hardy, still, they, as a rule survive to a fair age, and some of the best have been shown successfully for quite as many years as any other variety of exhibition dog. Mrs. Foster's little champion Ted was quite at the head of his class for six years, at any rate; whilst Hudders-field Ben, Conqueror, and others appeared successfully for three years or more without interval. Ted, whose weight in good condition was just 51b., appears to have been peculiarly healthy, for he never had a day's illness from the time Mrs. Foster purchased him at Heckmondwike show in 1887. He was withdrawn from the show bench in 1893, having, during his unexampled career, won two hundred and sixty-five first prizes. Last summer Ted's hair was all cropped very close, in order that he could more comfortably run about the house, but as I write in the spring of 1894, it has grown quite long again, and this charming and unique little fellow is still as lively as the proverbial kitten, and as sound as a bell, though approaching nine years of age.
A Yorkshire Terrier Club was formed in 1886, but owing, as I have already said, to the comparatively few people who keep the variety, it has not made any particularly marked improvement in the variety. It has, however, issued a description, which is as follows:
The general appearance should be that of a long-coated pet dog, the coat hanging quite straight and evenly down each side, a parting extending from the nose to the end of the tail; the animal should be very compact and neat, the carriage being very sprightly, bearing an important air. Although the frame is hidden beneath a mantle of hair, the general outline should be such as to suggest the existence of a vigorous and well-proportioned body.
Should be rather small and flat, not too prominent or round in the skull; rather broad at the muzzle, a perfectly black nose; the hair on the muzzle very long, which should be a rich deep tan, not sooty or grey. Under the chin, long hair, and about the same colour as the centre of the head, which should be a bright, golden tan, and not on any account intermingled with dark or sooty hairs. Hair on the sides of the head should be very long, and a few shades deeper tan than the centre of the head, especially about the ear-roots.
Medium in size, dark in colour, having a sharp, intelligent expression, and placed so as to look directly forward; they should not be prominent. The edges of the eyelids should also be of a dark colour.
Cut or uncut; if cut, quite erect; if not cut, to be small V-shaped and carried semi-erect, covered with short hair; colour to be a deep, dark tan.
Good even mouth; teeth as sound as possible. A dog having lost a tooth or two through accident, not the least objectionable, providing the jaws are even.
Very compact and a good loin, and level on the top of the back.
The hair as long and straight as possible (not wavy), which should be glossy, like silk (not woolly); colour, a bright steel blue, extending from the back of the head to the root of the tail, and on no account intermingled the least with fawn, light, or dark hairs.
Quite straight, which should be of a bright golden tan, and well covered with hair a few shades lighter at the ends than at the roots.
As round as possible; toe nails black.
Cut to a medium length, with plenty of hair on, darker blue in colour than the rest of body, especially at the end of the tail, and carried a little higher than the level of the back.
Divided into two classes, viz. : under 5lb. and over 51b., but not to exceed 12lb.
Quantity and colour of hair on back...........
Quality of coat..................
Legs and feet.........................
Body and general appearance...............
Grand Total, 100.