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Terrier Dog Breeds

Terrier Dog Breeds

Terriers can be described as busy, feisty, and active.  They prefer to be part of the action and have a real zest for life. 

They make awesome family pets for people who do not keep small pocket pets such as hamsters or gerbils.  Terriers look at these smaller mammals as vermin that must be eliminated. 

Most terriers are easily identified as belonging to this group because "terrier" is part of their name:  Cairn Terriers, Irish Terriers, Scottish Terriers, West Highland White Terriers

Yorkshire Terriers, Tibetan Terriers, and Biewer Terriers are not considered terriers at all, according to the American Kennel Club so don't rely on the name to help you classify these dogs. They are considered Terriers in other organizations such as the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI).

Modern day Terriers can trace their roots back to the British Isles and were originally kept by peasants to control the pest population. 

Many were proven to be tireless "ratters, loyal and determined to serve their humans.  Over time, they became companions as well as working dogs. 

Why so Many Different Terrier Dog Breeds?

Why do you need so many different types of terriers to kill a rat or two?

There were a wide variety of terrains in Britain and early terrier breeders had to develop dogs that could adapt to the local conditions.  Some terriers were long-legged and others had short legs. 

Some had smooth coats and others rough ones. Some have silky or wavy coats or even mixed coats.

Eventually some of the members of this group became known as fighting dogs, a sport that has been banned in Britain and the U.S. 

Some of the dogs not recognized by the AKC have terrier blood in their pedigrees.

Terrier Dog Breeds:  More Alike than Different

What do Terriers Have in Common?

  • High Energy
  • Intelligence
  • Strong Prey Drive
  • Independent Streak
  • Bark
  • Dig
  • Dog Aggression

As a group, even though there are differences, terriers are more similar than different.  Beyond size, leg length or coat type, they are all agile, fast and athletic.

They are intelligent, impulsive and very clever.  They are capable of coming up with solutions to problems, whether we agree with their answers or not.

Terriers are also independent and stubborn (at least many are considered stubborn).  Some can be dominant and demanding.  Some are challenging to own, especially when you combine high energy, independence, courageousness, persistence and curiosity. 

All terriers have a strong prey drive and none can be 100% reliable around small pets such as hamsters. 

All have a degree of dog on dog aggression. 

All dogs bark and most will dig.

AKC Terrier Dog Breeds

Airedale Terrier

American Hairless Terrier

American Hairless TerrierAmerican Hairless Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier

Australian Terrier

Australian TerrierAustralian Terrier

Bedlington Terrier

Border Terrier

Bull Terrier

Bull TerrierBull Terrier

Cairn Terrier

Cairn TerrierCairn Terrier

Cesky Terrier

Cesky TerrierCesky Terrier

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Dandie Dinmont TerrierDandie Dinmont Terrier

Glen of Imaal Terrier

Glen of Imaal TerrierGlen of Imaal Terrier

Irish Terrier

Irish TerrierIrish Terrier

Kerry Blue Terrier

Kerry Blue TerrierKerry Blue Terrier

Lakeland Terrier

Lakeland TerrierLakeland Terrier

Miniature Bull Terrier

Miniature Bull TerrierMiniature Bull Terrier

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature SchnauzerMiniature Schnauzer

Norfolk Terrier

Norfolk TerrierNorfolk Terrier

Norwich Terrier

Norwich TerrierNorwich Terrier

Parson Russell Terrier

Parson Russell TerrierParson Russell Terrier

Rat Terrier

Rat TerrierRat Terrier

Russell Terrier

Scottish Terrier

Scottish TerrierScottish Terrier

Sealyham Terrier

Sealyham TerrierSealyham Terrier

Skye Terrier

Skye TerrierSkye Terrier

Smooth Fox Terrier

Smooth Fox TerrierSmooth Fox Terrier

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Soft Coated Wheaten TerrierSoft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull TerrierStaffordshire Bull Terrier

Wire Fox Terrier

Wire Fox TerrierWire Fox Terrier

More Terrier Dog Breeds (Non- AKC)

These dogs may be AKC breeds but classified in a different group, such as the Yorkshire Terrier.  Yorkies are part of AKC Toy Group. 

Others are not recognized by AKC, but may be recognized by another large Kennel Club.  A good example of this is the American Pit Bull Terrier.  Pit Bulls are recognized by the United Kennel Club. 

Where appropriate, I have tried to list the kennel club that recognizes the breed.

American Pit Bull Terrier:  UKC

Australian Silky Terrier:  FCI

Austrian Pinscher:  Recognized by the UKC

Brazilian Terrier:  FCI

Danish Swedish Farm Dog:  Recognized by the UKC

Dutch Smoushond:  UKC

German Pinscher:  UKC

German Hunting Terrier (Jagdterrier):  UKC, ANKC

Jack Russell Terrier:  UKC, ANKC, FCI

Japanese Terrier:  UKC, FCI

Mountain Feist:  UKC

Patterdale Terrier:  UKC

Sporting Lucas Terrier:  UKC 

Teddy Roosevelt Terrier:  UKC

Tenterfield Terrier:  ANKC

Treeing Feist: UKC 

Yorkshire Terrier:  FCI

Next Group -- Sporting Dog Breeds

Sporting Breeds




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