Terrier Dog Breeds

From the Latin word "terra" meaning "earth," terrier breeds were originally bred for their ability to hunt rodents and vermin, including rats, weasels, rabbits, and even foxes, and to pursue their prey underground into burrows.

While the dogs would dig up these underground dens, they would also bark loudly and force the inhabitants out where the hunters could capture them. With this single-minded concentration and dedication to chasing their prey, terrier dog breeds are often described as being intelligent, fearless, and bold dogs with bustling amounts of energy.

According to the American Kennel Club, there are 30 different types of terriers that are categorized within the overall terrier grouping. Terrier dogs range in size from the fairly small Cairn Terrier and West Highland White Terrier to the large Airedale Terrier, which is known as the "king of the terriers." With four different subsections within the group according to working functions, the types of terriers include the working terriers, hunt terriers, toy terriers, and the bull type terriers.

Image Breed Breed Group Size Color Overview
Bull Terrier Bull Terrier Terrier Dog Breeds Medium Dog Breeds White Dog Breeds

Best described as a three-year-old toddler dressed in a dog suit, the Bull Terrier is well-known for being an exceedingly friendly breed with a playful and clownish disposition. As popular sporting dogs in obedience, agility, and show ring competi

American Staffordshire Terrier American Staffordshire Terrier Terrier Dog Breeds Medium Dog Breeds White Dog Breeds Black Dog Breeds Blue Dog Breeds Red Dog Breeds

The Staffordshire Terrier is strong, courageous and intelligent. A stocky body and strong head is its most prominent features. Agile and obedient, this dog breed is well-suited for tracking and conformation. It is a hard working dog and thrives on

Airedale Terrier Airedale Terrier Terrier Dog Breeds Medium Dog Breeds White Dog Breeds Black Dog Breeds Brown Dog Breeds

The Airedale Terrier is the largest dog of the Terrier breeds and has been called "King of Terriers." The breed is thought to have been developed in the Valley of Aire, England. It may have descended from a black and tan terrier that is now extinc

Miniature Schnauzer Miniature Schnauzer Terrier Dog Breeds Small Dog Breeds

The Miniature Schnauzer is a small breed of dog that packs a big punch. They are full of personality and spunk which can often lead to them being mislabeled as a mischievous breed. In reality, they are highly intelligent and can be easily trained

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Staffordshire Bull Terrier Terrier Dog Breeds Medium Dog Breeds White Dog Breeds Black Dog Breeds Blue Dog Breeds Red Dog Breeds

The Strattfordshire Bull Terrier is very strong for its size. Active and agile, its primary use is as a loyal family companion. For show, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier competes in obedience and agility rings. This breed draws its strength and ten

Rat Terrier Rat Terrier Terrier Dog Breeds Small Dog Breeds White Dog Breeds Black Dog Breeds Blue Dog Breeds Red Dog Breeds

An American breed, the Rat Terrier was creat

Cairn Terrier Cairn Terrier Terrier Dog Breeds Small Dog Breeds Black Dog Breeds Red Dog Breeds Gray Dog Breeds

The Cairn Terrier is a small but hardy working dog originally bred to help Scottish farmers get rid or pests on the property. The breed is most recognized as playing the role of Toto in The Wizard of Oz. The Breed was first developed in the Scotti

For people who are familiar with the different terrier breeds within the group that hail from all over the world, one of the most distinctive features of the dogs is their personality. As feisty dynamos with a larger than life personality, terriers are almost always alert, loyal, easy to train, eager to please their owners, and adaptable to new situations. Due to their active energy level, terrier dogs become easily bored and will require owners to provide plenty of stimulation or interaction to keep them entertained.

Since the various terrier dog breeds were bred to hunt vermin, many of the dogs continue to project an unwavering determined attitude that ensures they are always eager for a spirited argument. If inadequately trained or socialized, terriers can display unruly, stubborn, and aggressive behaviors with a mind of their own that has led some of the terrier breeds to be given a tarnished reputation for biting. However, with firm and consistent leadership from a pack leader can help ensure these dogs stay friendly and stable.

Overall, it is important for prospective terrier owners to understand the commitment that is needed to raise these active breeds with a respectful and pleasant temperament. Not only do their often wiry coats require special grooming techniques known as stripping to keep it in good condition, but the dogs need tremendous amounts of physical and mental exercise with solid leadership. While terrier dog breeds generally make engaging pets for families, they do require owners with the same determination to keep up with their dogs' lively personalities.