Have you heard of the expression large dog in a small body? Well, this is the best description of Terrier Dog Breeds! According to the American Kennel Club, there are 31 Terrier dog types in total, including the biggest number of small dogs, but there also are medium-sized and large Terriers.
This feisty dog breed originated in 19th century England where humans primarily used Terriers to fight against vermin. These English dogs today have become popular pets for many families, while their role as working dogs has significantly decreased, but still hasn’t totally vanished.
Continue reading to find out more about energetic Terrier dog breeds!
17 Different Small Terrier Dog Breeds
Terrier dog breeds are mostly small dogs, but don’t let that fool you – these dogs still need a lot of exercise and attention, since they are playful and in constant need of action.
Every Terrier dog breed has some specific features which will help you decide which Terrier type is most adequate for you. Let’s first find out how many different small Terrier dog breeds there are.
1. Australian Terrier
As the name itself says, this Terrier breed was developed in Australia. Their primary function there was hunting snakes and rodents.
Although they are really small dogs, the Australian Terrier is hardworking and independent. They are the kind of dogs that will constantly entertain the whole family and show great affection towards theirowners.
If you need a real watchdog, an Australian Terrier is a good choice for you – he will let you know immediately if he notices a stranger near his territory! Since this dog is so full of energy, he constantly needs his owner to come up with new and fun activities for him.
The most important trait of Australian Terriers’ personality is the fact that they are indeed family dogs whose favorite activity is spending time with children, playing with them, or just being by their side.
2. Border Terrier
Border Terrier is a Terrier breed that originates from the border of Scotland and Northumberland, which is why they are called Border Terriers. Similar to Australian Terriers, Border Terriers were also working dogs used by farmers, while nowadays they are better known for being family pets.
Check out the most interesting facts about Border Terriers.
• Love to dig and hunt.
• Undemanding, but still love to receive plenty of attention
• Very energetic, playful, and always in a good mood
• Common health issues with Border Terriers are skin and ear problems
• Get along with other dogs
3. Bedlington Terrier
Do you really want to have a dog, but some of your family members have problems with allergies? We might have the right dog for you: a Bedlington Terrier!
This Terrier type is a hypoallergenic dog, which means he probably won’t stimulate allergies in humans. Of course, you can never be totally sure, since no dog breed is one hundred percent hypoallergenic.
An interesting fact about Bedlington Terriers is that they do not shed, which is pretty fascinating, since they look kind of like a lamb. They are very intelligent, but also can be really stubborn.
Bedlington Terriers usually get along with other dogs, but they might show aggressive behavior with dogs of the same sex. Here we can see the importance of early socialization.
4. Boston Terrier
Although they were first known for dogfighting, Boston Terriers evolved into popular pets and great companions. They adore their families and you can have a Boston Terrier even if you are living in an apartment.
Boston Terriers’ noses are really short, so don’t be surprised if your pet buddy snores all night long! They are very sensitive to extremely high and low temperatures, so this is why they are even better indoors than outdoors. However, like any other Terrier dog, they enjoy outdoor exercise with their owner.
5. Cairn Terrier
The Cairn Terrier is another small working Terrier breed. This Terrier breed is highly intelligent and learns new things fast. He will want to be around you all the time, so he might be upset if you leave him home alone often!
The Cairn Terrier is capable of learning a huge number of commands, but it is still necessary to train and socialize him at an early age – like other Terriers, he is crazy about digging and hunting.
He shows special attention to children. Regarding other animals, it is important to socialize him very early, since – again – he is a Terrier and Terriers love to chase other animals.
6. Dandie Dinmont Terrier
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier has a couple of interesting characteristics: gentle temperament, silky topknot coat, and large eyes. Although they are very intelligent, they are still not easy to train, due to their creative and curious nature.
This Terrier breed is a really healthy breed. Some diseases they still might have problems with are epilepsy and glaucoma. It is very important for Dandie Dinmont Terrier’s owner to pay attention so that his Terrier doesn’t get overweight because that might cause back problems for his dog buddy.
With this in mind, proper exercise is crucial for Dandie Dinmonts’ health.
7. Jack Russell Terrier
If you are planning to become a first-time Terrier owner, we suggest you don’t start with this one! The Jack Russell Terrier is a very clever and charming little dog, but at the same time pretty difficult to train. So, if you don’t have enough time to provide a Jack Russell with numerous exercises, you should look for another Terrier breed.
Another interesting thing about the Jack Russell Terrier – if he gets bored, he might make a mess of your home. So, Jack Russells need to be entertained all the time. If you are looking for a Terrier that can learn numerous tricks and never gets tired of action, then you are the right person for a Jack Russell Terrier.
If you’re adamant about getting one, do note that the Jack Russell Terrier’s lifespan is longer than that of many other dogs, meaning you’ll have a furry friend for a long time.
8. Miniature Bull Terrier
The Miniature Bull Terrier shares two features with a Bull Terrier: clown face and egghead! These Terriers are very funny and playful, especially with children.
The training of Miniature Bull Terriers might be challenging since they look for an opportunity to play in every activity. If you are planning to become a Miniature Bull Terrier’s owner, I hope you have a very good sense of humor.
However, properly trained and socialized, this dog will be the perfect companion for you.
9. Miniature Schnauzer
The Miniature Schnauzer is categorized as a Terrier dog breed according to AKC, while theStandard Schnauzer is not. Here are some of the most interesting facts about this small Terrier:
• They are extremely loyal to their owners: A Miniature Schnauzer will follow you wherever you go.
• They are actually not aware of how small they are, so they often provoke conflict with much bigger dogs.
• The Miniature Schnauzer is suspicious of every stranger and he will act protectively towards his owner.
• The Miniature Schnauzer needs at least 45 minutes of exercise every day.
10. Norfolk Terrier
Charming, hardworking, fearless – a Norfolk Terrier is all of these! Although a small dog, the Norfolk Terrier is actually pretty strong and always ready to hunt.
Norfolk Terriers in general are happy, undemanding dogs. However, don’t leave them alone for too long – the Terrier instinct in them could take over which will easily result in their digging holes in your yard! If a Norfolk Terrier seems like the best option for you, hurry and find reputable breeders.
Also, beware that you might wait a little bit longer to become an owner of Norfolk Terrier since waiting lists are pretty long for this Terrier breed.
11. Norwich Terrier
This Terrier group used to be farm dogs, while today they are famous as amusing companions for many dog lovers. They are being extremely friendly with children and other dogs, and Norwich Terriers are not hostile toward strangers either.
Although he is one of the smallest Terrier dog breeds, the Norwich Terrier has a big personality. These Terriers are very athletic, loving and loyal. One thing to pay attention to – they still adore chasing their prey, so make sure your yard is fenced. Norwich Terriers are not aggressive, but like other Terriers still have high energy levels.
12. Parson Russell Terrier
Parson Russell Terriers are very similar to Jack Russell Terriers. The key difference is that Parson Russell Terriers are slightly bigger than Jack Russell Terriers.
This Terrier dog breed was primarily used as the earth dogs for fox and badgers. Parson Russell Terriers are very energetic and feisty dogs, crazy about sports and children. The most common health problems for Parson Russell Terriers are eye disorders.
13. Rat Terrier
Rat Terriers are small, funny, and energetic dogs. If you are looking for a watchdog, this type of dog might be a good choice for you. Just be ready to be extremely active since Rat Terriers adore to run! Also, they need to be busy all the time or they will show stubbornness in the form of barking and chewing all sorts of things.
14. Scottish Terrier
Famous for his extremely short legs and wiry coat, the popularly named Scotty is not the perfect fit for people who like to go jogging with their dogs. Scottish Terriers prefer long walks.
Although it takes time for them to trust people, once they accept one person, their love will last forever. Scottish Terriers like to do their thing in their own way and also love to dig – not surprised, right?
Scottish Terriers are not the easiest dog breed to deal with, so if you don’t like challenges and don’t have time to dedicate to your pet’s training, you should probably choose another Terrier dog breed.
15. West Highland White Terrier
One of the most popular small Terriers, the West Highland White Terriers (Westie), are truly irresistible. These Terriers are confident and always ready to play. Although very little, Westies are at the same time extremely strong, since they were bred to hunt rodents.
If you decide to become a Westie owner, make sure yours receives high-quality dog food, since some of these Terriers tend to get overweight.
16. Wire Fox Terrier
Wire Fox Terrier is not one of the most well-known Terrier dog breeds, which is a shame since these Terriers have many amazing qualities. These Terriers are always ready for adventure and also make great watchdogs.
It is necessary to take care that the Wire Fox Terrier is not left alone for too long, because he doesn’t deal well with being separated from his owner.
Regarding their training, Wire Fox Terriers demand dailymental and physical stimulation. However, it is necessary to be careful and not go too far with the exercises, especially when they are puppies.
17. Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terriers (Yorkies) are a breed of dog famous for being the most popular toy dog in the US. What makes these Terriers so popular?
If you like people admiring your dog friend on the street, you should definitely get a Yorkshire Terrier! They are famous for their brisk topknot and long silky coat. They adore their owners but will bark loudly at strangers.
They are small dogs but they can be pretty loud, so, if you decide to become a Yorkshire Terrier owner, make sure your neighbors are okay with constant barking, especially at the beginning.
What Are The Most Popular Medium-Sized Types Of Terriers?
You are not so crazy about small Terriers? Let’s find out what the most popular medium-sized Terrier breeds are.
1. American Staffordshire Terrier
Also known as an Amstaff, the American Staffordshire Terrier is strong in his appearance but very gentle in his character. There is nothing the rather stocky Amstaff would do than spend time with his human family.
They are very easy to train but at the same time, they need a determined trainer who will show them what he can and cannot do. There are many things American Staffordshire Terriers are good at – athletics, police work, and competitive sports.
Although some people find them aggressive dogs, they are actually friendly and loyal when properly trained.
2. Skye Terrier
Skye Terriers are dogs that sometimes might be a little shy, but love humans in general. With proper training and socialization, they can get more open, but it is still not a good idea to surround these Terriers with little children.
So, if you are looking for a pet for your big family, try to look for some other Terrier rather than Skye Terrier.
3. Irish Terrier
Irish Terriers are one of the oldest Terriers breeds. Irish Terriers are very loyal and excellent watchdogs and playmates. They can be very stubborn and sometimes don’t get along with other dogs very well.
If you like challenges and this Terrier type fascinates you, be prepared to pay a higher amount of money and also be prepared for a waiting list that might be long.
4. Pit Bull Terrier
Pit Bull Terriers are a dog breed that needs constant attention. They tend to be bossy and stubborn, so the owner has to be an experienced dog trainer. At the same time, he has to be patient in socializing the Pit Bull Terrier at an early age.
If they are not properly socialized as puppies, Pit Bull Terriers might show aggressive behavior toward other dogs.
5. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is a dog in love with everybody around him. This dog will probably be the best choice for any first-time dog owner. This dog breed is perfect for any kind of environment: city or country, home or apartment.
Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers are not aggressive at all and are very good with children. They don’t do well in high temperatures, so it is safer to keep them out of the sun on hot days.
6. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier has a very strong and muscular body which might make you believe that this is one dangerous dog. Just the opposite: they are actually very sensitive and gentle dogs who adore playing with humans.
These Terriers have a strong prey drive, which is why owners need to take constant care of other animals in their surroundings. If you are patient and have experience in dog training, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier might be the Terrier for you!
7. Welsh Terrier
The Welsh Terrier is all about fun – he could play all day long and never got tired of it! If you give him enough physical and mental stimulation, he will be the best dog ever.
What About Large Terrier Dog Breeds?
Small and medium-sized Terriers very cute, but perhaps you would prefer to explore larger Terriers. Continue reading and learn which are the large Terriers.
1. Airedale Terrier
The largest of them all: the Airedale Terrier is a high energy dog in constant need of exercise. This Terrier loves to bark, dig, and chase smaller animals. Also, he likes to play with human possessions, such as socks or toys.
If you like large Terriers such as Airedale Terriers, you will need to have a big yard, since this Terrier is definitely not meant to live in apartments.
Read More: Top 10 Airedale Terrier Breeders In The U.S.
2. Black Russian Terrier
The Black Russian Terrier is a relatively new dog breed that likes to spend time with his human family but might be hostile toward strangers. They need to do something all the time, so if they don’t have enough activity, they will become unhappy.
These Terriers are famous for being guard dogs that are sometimes even overprotective with their human family.
Black Russian Terriers owners need to be really careful with their dogs in unknown environments; if these Terriers encounter strangers, they might even bite them, due to the fear of being left alone by their owner.
3. Bull Terrier
Bull Terriers used to be famous as fighting dogs but today are mostly family dogs. This Terrier breed doesn’t do well in cold temperatures, so places with cold climates are not right for them.
Have you encountered Bulldogs before and found them difficult to train? Well, this is the similarity between Bulldogs and Bull Terriers.
Bull Terriers should have about an hour of exercise every day. If you are planning to become a first-time dog owner, you should skip a Bull Terrier, since this breed is pretty stubborn and not easy to train.
4. Kerry Blue Terrier
Kerry Blue Terriers used to be herding dogs in Ireland. These brave and intelligent Terriers nowadays are lovely pets for many families.
Kerry Blue Terrier loves people but is definitely not a fan of other dogs. If you want to take out your dog in public without fear of him getting in conflict with other dogs, make sure your Kerry Blue is properly trained and socialized.
What Terrier Dog Breed Is The Best Choice For Me?
It all depends on what you are looking for! With so many Terrier dog breeds out there, I am sure every dog lover will find the Terrier he is looking for.
If you would like your dog to stand out from others and people to admire him, I suggest you get a Yorkshire Terrier. If you enjoy long walks with your dog friend, a great option for you would be a Scottish Terrier.
If you love challenges and enjoy training your pet, I am sure you will be thrilled with Bull Terrier or Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Small, medium-sized or large ones – we love all the Terrier dog breeds! Hopefully, this list of Terrier types has helped you decide which one is the best for you.
We hope you find a dog buddy to welcome into your home!