The Yorkshire Terrier breed make most interesting pets and companions, for they are keen, active, and intelligent, and on the show bench never fail to attract attention on account of the length, color, quantity, and quality of their coat.
It would naturally be supposed that the finest specimens of this breed would be found in the homes of the rich, but as a matter of fact they are almost invariably in the homes of the poor, usually in the hands of some working man whose wife and family are devoted to dogs and are quite ready to convert their home into a kennel and give their pets the constant attention which they require, not only to grow these wonderful coats, but also to preserve them. It may also be mentioned that considerable skill is also essential. The feet of even the puppies are stockinged to prevent scratching of the hair on any part of their bodies. They are combed and brushed every day, periodically bathed, and the skin carefully watched and kept in a healthy condition by a careful selection of diet and the application of various preparations, such as olive oil, coconut oil, and vaseline, as well as other carefully guarded private preparations which stimulate the roots of the hair. Necessarily these dogs lead a life of imprisonment. They are given woolen cloths or cushions and smooth, soft mats to sleep upon, and every precaution is taken to prevent them coming in contact with anything that would mat their coats.
At birth all Yorkshire Terriers are black. When from three to six months of age a blue shade begins to develop at the roots of the hair. This gradually changes until they are from twelve to eighteen months, at which age the coat should be a real golden tan, deepening at the head, with the ears and legs almost mahogany.
In selecting Yorkshire Terrier puppies diminutive, shortness of back, and lightness of bone should be looked for, as well as anything that indicates the long, straight coat, with the dark tan on head and legs.
The following are the description and standard of points of the Yorkshire Terrier Club:
GENERAL APPEARANCE.-Should be that of a long coated Toy Terrier, 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 upright, and having an important air. The general outline should convey the existence of a vigorous and well-proportioned body.
HEAD.-Should be rather small and flat, not too prominent or round in the skull, not too long in the muzzle, with a perfectly black nose. The fall on the head to be long, of a rich golden tan, deeper in color at the sides of the head about the ear roots, and on the muzzle, where it should be very long. The hair on the chest a rich bright tan. On no account must the tan on the head extend on to the neck, nor must there be any sooty or dark hair intermingled with any of the tan.
EYES.-Medium, dark, and sparkling, having a sharp, intelligent expression, and placed so as to look directly forward. They should not be prominent, and the edge of the eyelids should be of a dark color.
EARS.-Small V-shaped, and carried serni-erect, or erect, covered with short hair, color to be of a very deep, rich tan.
MOUTH.-Perfectly even, with teeth as sound as possible. If an animal has lost any teeth through accident it is not a fault, providing the jaws are even.
BODY.-Very compact, and a good loin. Level on the top of the back.
COAT.-The hair on body moderately long and perfectly straight (not wavy), glossy like silk, and of a fine silky texture. Color, a dark steel blue (not silver blue) extending from the occiput (or back of skull) to the root of tail, and on no account mingled with fawn, bronze, or dark hairs.
LEGS.-Quite straight, well covered with hair of a rich golden tan, a few shades lighter at the ends than at the roots, not extending higher on the forelegs than the elbow, nor on the hindlegs than the stifle.
FEET.-As round as possible, and the toenails black.
TAIL.-Cut to medium length; with plenty of hair, darker blue in color than the rest of the body, especially at the end of the tail, and carried a little higher than the level of the back.
TAN.-All tan hair should be darker at the roots than in the middle, shading to a still lighter tan at the tips.
WEIGHT.-Three classes: 5 pounds and under; 7 pounds and under, but over 5 pounds; over 7 pounds.
VALUE OF POINTS.-Formation and Terrier appearance, 15; color of hair on body, 15; richness of tan on head and legs, 15; quality and texture of coat, 10; quantity and length of coat, 10; head, 10; mouth, 5; legs and feet, 5; ears, 5; eyes, 5; tail (carriage of), 5. Total, 100.