What is a Yorkshire Terrier?
YORKSHIRE TERRIER (Yorki) are small, medium sized dogs with short legs and thick, curly fur. They have large heads and long bodies with round ears. Their faces are smooth and their eyes are black. Their noses are pointed and they have two teeth on each side of their upper jaw. The front feet are slightly larger than the back ones; however, the length of both feet matches up perfectly. A typical yorkie stands at around 15 inches tall and weighs between 7-9 pounds.
The breed name “york” comes from the English word “yard,” which means field or meadow. The breed was originally bred to hunt game such as hares, rabbits, squirrels and other rodents. However, today many owners prefer to keep them indoors due to their friendly nature and love of people.
History of the Yorkshire Terrier
In the early 1800s, when England was still ruled by monarchies, it was common practice to have one dog per family. These were called “doggy families.” Many of these dogs had been trained to do specific tasks such as hunting and guarding. Dogs were often used for guard duty because they could be easily controlled and kept under control.
Owners would train their dogs so that they did not bark excessively or even growl. If a stranger came, the dog would warn its master and the master would take care of the situation.
English factories began to pop up around this time and many families were moving into the cities and towns to work in these factories. This left less people on farms and open space for animals to hunt and live in. The same monarchies that had once preserved animal habitats were now building factories on their grazing lands. By the mid 1800s, many animals were left with no place to live or even a reason to live.
The English people were fascinated with their traditions and did not want them to be lost. This was the beginning of the hunting terrier. Certain gun owners began breeding small, fast, short-legged dogs that could hunt and kill small animals that were encroaching on farmers’ crops and livestock. These tiny dogs could fit in small holes or climb trees after prey.
The animals that these terriers hunted and killed were often poisonous so the dogs had to have a thick, heavy coat to protect them from bites. This was the beginning of the yorkshire terrier’s signature hair cut–not too long so as to become snagged on branches and bushes, but not too short so as to lose heat in the cold winter months.
The middle classes loved to go hunting but many did not have their own guns or dogs. Men who worked in factories could ill afford to buy a gun and buy all the ammunition they needed to practice. Others simply did not have enough space in their homes to store a gun or keep it safe from children. Dog ownership was also expensive and required daily walks.
These people began hiring “doggers.” Doggers were people who owned and brought their dogs with them on hunts. Usually, doggers were people who lived on the farms and open space outside the city or town. As towns became more industrialized, more and more people began hiring doggers to take them hunting as a way to relieve the stress of their work.
Wealthier factory owners even built manors outside of town for their workers and hired whole groups of doggers to come and hunt with them on weekends.
In the 1850s, wealthy factory owner Ebenezer Scrooge began to hire groups of doggers. He had grown up poor and hated the idea of people exploiting factory workers even more than he loved his beloved hunting. Mr. Scrooge would hire these doggers with a wink and a nudge to underpay them for their work.
While this was not uncommon at the time, Mr. Scrooge never paid more than the bare minimum. The doggers were well aware of this and yet they continued to work for him. Some say that Scrooge was in league with a group of ghosts who would threaten the doggers’ lives if they did not do what he said. Others say that the constant stress of hunting for people day in and day out, not to mention the underpayment, had driven the doggers mad.
The doggers continued to work for Mr. Scrooge until he died in the late 1800s. The factories then closed down and people had to move elsewhere to find work. The doggers were left without an employer and most people in town hated them for their continual mistreatment of factory workers.
The doggers decided to continue their trade on their own and began going from house to house to charge people for a hunt. It is said that they would only hunt people who did not pay them.
Eventually, the doggers began to disappear. Some say the ghosts got them. Others claim they just up and left. Whatever the case may be, doggers became a thing of the past and the hunting parties you find today are just for fun.
But that doesn’t mean strange things don’t continue to happen when the moon is full and chill winds blow through town…
This is just a basic set up, the campaign will go into much greater detail about all this stuff and add a bunch more but this gives you a general idea of the world your characters are going to be playing in. I’d also like you to go ahead and make a character, just so we can get a feel for the system. The only things I ask is no wizards, they don’t quite fit in my opinion and read the full description of your class before you start assigning ability points.
Sources & references used in this article:
Best Shampoo for Yorkies: Top 6 Picks of 2020 by K Caughill – thedogtale.com
Yorkshire terriers by JB Gordon, JE Bennett – 1976 – Howell Books
Yorkie Losing Hair? Causes & Treatments to Prevent Hair Loss by K Donnelly – 1990 – books.google.com
Yorkshire Terriers For Dummies by K Caughill – thedogtale.com
Brush more, bathe less. by M Fetty – 2009 – Bearport Publishing
The Yorkshire Terrier by T Barr, PF Veling – 2004 – books.google.com
Yorkshire terrier today by L Palika – 2003 – Penguin