Question – what do Anastacia, Audrey Hepburn, Whitney Houston, Donnie Osmond, Ivanka Trump, Orlando Bloom, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Victoria and David Beckham, Bruce Willis, Venus Williams, Justin Timberlake, Johnny Depp and Jose Mourinho all have in common?

Answer – Well, they have all been the proud owners of Yorkshire Terriers – or should that be – they have been ‘owned’ by Yorkies!

The Yorkshire Terrier or ‘Yorkie’ as he is known, is one of the most popular breeds of dog in the world, best known for his long, fine and silky tresses, his diminutive size and his air of importance, making him the number one companion dog.

He was originally bred in the 19th century in the county of Yorkshire to catch rats and other vermin in clothing mills, and was owned predominantly by the working class, in particular, the weavers. The word terrier comes from ‘terra’, meaning ‘earth’, as these dogs were bred to control vermin, pursuing them below ground. Bold, confident, courageous, intelligent, independent, fearless and affectionate, he is a small dog with a big attitude, will show off and do as he pleases! Always ready to take on the world, he is known as “the tomboy toy.”

One little dogs’ bravery and courage was put to the test during World War II. A Yorkie called ‘Smokie’, found by an American soldier in 1944 in a Papua New Guinea jungle, is credited with saving the lives of soldiers by dragging a communications cable through an 8-inch-wide, 60-foot-long drainage culvert. She is also thought to be the world’s first therapy dog, visiting wounded soldiers in hospitals.

Being hypoallergenic, Yorkies are sometimes recommended as pets for people who are allergic to dog fur, as they shed little hair except when being brushed or bathed.

These little, feisty dogs have found their way into the hearts and homes of people all over the world, thanks to their charming looks and fun-loving personalities.

A little dog with a big personality – a Yorkshire Icon!

Sue Wardle, Blue Badge Tourist Guide for Yorkshire, Cumbria, Liverpool City Region

Yorkshire Terrier charm