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Huddersfield Ben, whose coat appears to be slightly wavy and perhaps more wiry than that of today's Yorkies

Huddersfield Ben (c. 1865 – 23 September 1871), an early Yorkshire Terrier, is universally acknowledged to be the foundation sire of the breed. [1] [2] In his day Ben won many prizes, both as a show dog and in ratting contests. He had tremendous influence in setting the breed type for the Yorkshire Terrier, a new breed still under development in Ben's day. [3]

At the age of 6, Ben was run over by a carriage and killed. [1] After Ben's death, his body was preserved and kept under glass, which allowed many to see this famous dog long after his death. [3]



Pedigree for Huddersfield Ben, which shows that Ben was linebred

Mr. and Mrs. M.A. Foster of Bradford, in West Yorkshire England, owned Huddersfield Ben. The dog was bred by Mr. W. Eastwood in the town of Huddersfield, England. [4] According to Ben's pedigree, he was linebred (the product of a mother-son pairing), as was his mother Lady. [5] Lady was the great-great-granddaughter of Mr. J. Swift’s Old Crab, a long coated black and tan terrier born around 1850. Old Crab and Old Kitty, a Paisley Terrier owned by J. Kershaw of Halifax, West Yorkshire England, are the earliest recorded predecessors to the Yorkshire Terrier. [6]

Show career

Huddersfield Ben, registration number 3612, had an accomplished career in dog shows. He competed in Manchester in 1869 and placed second. He was shown again at Manchester in 1870 and won first place. At the Crystal Palace dog shows in 1870 and 1871 Ben took first and second prizes (respectively). [3] Throughout his show career Ben won 74 prizes. [3]

Foundation sire

In spite of his short lifespan, Huddersfield Ben was responsible for producing most of the foundation stock of the Yorkshire Terrier. [2] He was an extremely popular stud dog, being prepotent, and especially due to his reputation as one of the first to breed true to type Yorkshire Terriers. Although between 9 -12 lbs himself he regularly sired stock that competed in the under 7 lbs limit.[7]


  1. ^ a b Stables, Dr. Gordon (1871), Ladies Dogs As Companions. Retrieved from on 2007-03-07.
  2. ^ a b Lane, Marion (2001). The Yorkshire Terrier: An Owner's Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet, Second Edition, Howell Book House - Wiley Publishing, Inc., ISBN 0-87605-477-7.
  3. ^ a b c d Hensley, Carolyn, "The History of the Yorkshire Terrier," compiled from various out of publication texts. Retrieved from on 2007-03-07.
  4. ^ Emmily (2004-11-09), "The Yorkshire Terrier." Retrieved from on 2007-03-07.
  5. ^ "Origins of the Yorkshire Terrier." Retrieved from on 2007-03-07.
  6. ^ Watson, James (ca. 1900), The Dog Book. Retrieved from on 2007-03-07.
  7. ^ Hensley, Carolyn. "The History of the Yorkshire Terrier". Retrieved 2009-01-04.  


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