When most people think of terriers, they think of small, lively, and very plucky little dogs, and it is certainly true that most terrier breeds tend to be petite – which is why they were originally so widely prized for their working ability to pursue prey right down into underground setts and burrows.
However, while it is true that most terriers are small, not all terrier breeds share this trait, and there are a few breeds of the terrier type that are medium or even large in size, in contrast to their more petite cousins.
If you love all of the core traits that make up dogs of the terrier type but are looking for a medium or large-sized dog rather than a small one, we’ll share five dog breeds that you might want to consider within this article. Read on to find out more about five medium and large terrier breeds that deserve a second look.
The Staffordshire bull terrier or Staffy is perhaps one of the best-known of the larger terrier breeds, and also one that is hugely popular in the UK. They’re ranked as the 10th most popular breed overall, based on user adverts and searches for dogs for sale here on Pets4Homes.
They are medium-sized dogs in terms of their height, and they are also very muscular, having an appearance that is stocky and solid but not fat. This makes them very strong, and they are also outgoing, fun loving and very entertaining, as well as having kind, gentle natures that make them a good fit for families with children, assuming that you choose the right dog and teach both dog and child about appropriate behaviour and mutual respect!
The English bull terrier is another bull terrier breed that is medium sized, and well-muscled – albeit not usually as stocky as the average Staffy. Their most distinctive physical feature is the shape of their heads, which are convex (curved outwards along the side profile of the muzzle) rather than concave.
They are also a very smart breed, with inquisitive natures and a high level of intelligence, but their need for exercise falls right around the middle of the pack, which provides a nice combination of the ability to learn lots of commands and skills without having overly onerous exercise requirements!
The English bull terrier is a very loyal breed that forms strong bonds with their families, and that will often be very protective over younger children that they spend a lot of time with.
The Airedale terrier is one of the bigger terrier breeds, with a large size that can reach up to around 61cm at the withers with a weight up to 29kg.
Their large size, coupled with their high intelligence and correlating need for exercise means that they tend to thrive within larger homes and under the care of owners who love to walk, hike, and spend a lot of time outdoors.
Another advantage of the breed is their wiry coats, which don’t tend to shed too heavily and so, that just require a little brushing and grooming to keep in good condition.
The Kerry blue terrier is a medium-sized terrier that can reach heights of up to around 48cm at the withers, and weigh up to around 15kg.
They are distinctive thanks to their steely blue-grey coats, which are usually black at birth, later settling into their adult colouration as the puppies grow older. The texture of their coats itself is quite unique, consisting of a thick, densely curled fleece that is often referred to as “Astrakhan” rather than fur, and which is particularly dense around the legs and face, culminating in a long, thick beard over the muzzle.
They are also one of the most lively of the medium and large terrier dog breeds, and they need a lot of exercise, play and activity to keep them happy and ensure that they thrive within a suburban family home.
The soft coated wheaten terrier is another medium-sized terrier breed, which stands up to around 50cm tall at the withers and with a weight of up to about 20kg. Their name comes from the style of coat that dogs of the breed possess, having a pale golden or wheaten-coloured coat that is smooth and soft to the touch. These coats require a lot of brushing and grooming to keep them in good condition and free from knots, but they are very low shedding in return.
Soft coated wheaten terriers are very lively dogs with high exercise requirements, and they’re very intelligent too. This combination of traits makes them a good pick for lively, active families, or people who are looking to choose a dog to take part in canine sport.
They are also particularly notable for their tendency to be very good with children of all ages, and they are also usually highly social, and keen to meet both other dogs and people. Whilst they share all of the core terrier traits too, they are renowned for being rather less dominant or apt to get into a ruckus with other dogs when playing than many other terrier breeds.