The Yorkshire Terrier

in Huddersfield

The Yorkshire Terrier is a small dog breed with a black and tan coat which originated in Yorkshire, England, UK.

For many US and overseas visitors, the yorkies are the best known connection to this English region, along with the Yorkshire Pudding.

Find out more about your connections to Yorkshire.

History

Made by the Mills

Salts Mill, Saltaire

Yorkshire Terriers were bred as ratting terriers by workers in the wollen and cotton mills of Yorkshire and Lancashire. Most of these mills have since been converted and now include major visitor attractions and comfortable accommodation.

Old Crab

The breed comes from two distinct dogs, a male named Old Crab, a female named Kitty, and another female whose name is not known.

Huddersfield Ben

In the late 1860s, a popular show dog named Huddersfield Ben, owned by a woman living in Yorkshire, Mary Ann Foster, was seen at dog shows throughout Great Britain, and defined the breed type for the Yorkshire Terrier.

Huddersfield Ben was a Yorkshire Terrier whose portrait was painted by George Earl and in 1891 an authority on the breed wrote, “Huddersfield Ben was the best stud dog of his breed during his lifetime, and one of the most remarkable dogs of any pet breed that ever lived; and most of the show specimens of the present day have one or more crosses of his blood in their pedigree.” A show winner, Huddersfield Ben, through his puppies, helped define the Yorkshire Terrier breed. He is still referred to as “father of the breed.”

Find out more about Huddersfield and plan a visit.

Painting

Huddersfield Ben by George Earl (top left)

From Bonhams:

George Earl British, fl. 1856-1883 ‘HUDDERSFIELD BEN’; ‘MOLLEY’; ‘CHARLIE’; ‘TIGER’; AND ‘HYLAS’ (5)
Sold for £ 32,638 inc. premium

George Earl
Five, all inscribed on mount, oil on canvas
each 15 1/4 x 17 1/2 inches. (39 x 44.5cm.) (5)
Footnotes
Inscribed on the mount are the breeds of the dogs and the names of their owners. ‘Huddersfield Ben’, a Broken Coated Terrier was the property of Mrs Foster; ‘Molley’, an Italian Greyhound belonged to Mr Macdonald.
The Blenheim Spaniel ‘Charlie’ was the property of J. Dawes, Esq. and ‘Tiger’, a Pomeranian was owned by Mr Cooper.
‘Hylas’, a King Charles Spaniel was owned by Mr Garwood.

Although there is no record of this specific set of paintings, it is a wonderful record of not only the quality of Earl’s work but the high esteem in which Victorian breeders and enthusiasts held their dogs.

Bonhams Auctioneers

In North America

Smoky, US war dog

The Yorkshire Terrier was introduced in North America in 1872 and the first Yorkshire Terrier was registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1885. Smoky, a Yorkshire Terrier and famous war dog from World War II, is credited with beginning a renewal of interest in the breed in the US. The AKC ranked the Yorkshire Terrier as the 6th most popular purebred in the United States in 2012 and 2013.

Famous Yorkshire Terriers

Show dogs

Ozmilion Mystification

In 1997, Champion Ozmilion Mystification became the first Yorkie to win Best in Show at Crufts, the world’s largest annual dog show.

White House dogs

Tricia Nixon with Pasha and the couple’s other dogs

Pasha, Tricia Nixon Cox’s pet Yorkie, lived in the White House during Richard Nixon’s presidency.

Visiting Yorkshire with Dogs

The UK government has resources here on bringing pets to the UK.

For dog-friendly trips to Yorkshire, see our resources here.

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