The YCC was founded in 1894 with the object of encouraging the breeding and exhibiting of the Yorkshire Canary, which was originally bred by the woollen mill workers in and around the City of Bradford. The true home of this variety is still in West Yorkshire, but it is also kept with enthusiasm and pride throughout the world.

The Yorkshire is the largest of the popular breeds of canary. It is a type canary, which means that it is bred to a particular standard or ideal model of shape, size and position. Since 1894 the ideal model has undergone several changes in its evolution. It was said that the first Yorkshires were so long and slender that they could slip through a wedding ring and, although this is now regarded as something of a myth today, it does indicate that the first birds must have been a very slender indeed.

Over the years the main change to the model has been the increase in depth and roundness of shoulder giving the bird a heavier top end. The current model was revised around 40 years ago, and produced by S.R.Golding and this remains the standard for all modern Yorkshires throughout the world, today. Throughout its evolution, the Yorkshire has always maintained an upright, erect position similar to the hands of a clock when standing at five minutes past seven. The combination of a bold, upright stance and deep shoulders tapering down to a slender waist has earned the Yorkshire the proud name of the Guardsman of the fancy.

Ideal Model viewed from different angles.
Various Yorkie models.

The modern Yorkshire presents the fancier with similar challenges to other popular canary varieties, in terms of breeding, feeding and general management. The skill of the breeder lies in producing birds as close to the Golding model as possible. The skill of the exhibitor lies in training and staging a bird so that it displays the bold, upright position and steady temperament that typify the Guardsman.