The Yorkshire Terrier traces to the Waterside Terrier, a small longish-coated dog, bluish-gray in color, weighing between 6 and 20 pounds (most commonly 10 pounds). The Waterside Terrier was a breed formed by the crossing of the old rough-coated Black-and-Tan English Terrier (common in the Manchester area) and the Paisley and Clydesdale Terriers. It was brought to Yorkshire by weavers who migrated from Scotland to England in the mid-19th century.
The Yorkshire Terrier made its first appearance at a bench show in England in 1861 as a “broken-haired Scotch Terrier”. It became known as a Yorkshire Terrier in 1870 when, after the Westmoreland show, Angus Sutherland reported in The Field magazine that “they ought no longer be called Scotch Terriers, but Yorkshire Terriers for having been so improved there.”
The earliest record of a Yorkshire Terrier born in the United States dates to 1872. Classes for the breed have been offered at all shows since 1878. Early shows divided the classes by weight – under 5 pounds and 5 pounds and over. Size, however, soon settled down to an average of between 3 and 7 pounds, resulting in only one class being offered in later shows.
While a Toy, and at various times a greatly pampered one, the Yorkshire is a spirited dog that definitely shows its terrier strain. The show dog’s length of coat makes constant care necessary to protect it from damage, but the breed is glad to engage in all the roistering activities of the larger terrier breeds.