The terrier grouping encompasses a huge range of different dog breeds, which come in all shapes and sizes from miniature to large! This means that if you have decided that a terrier is the right type of dog for you, there are plenty of options and different types available for you to choose between!
While terriers as a whole tend to share some common traits, such as intelligence, a strong prey drive, tenacity and a lot of energy, there are also a lot of distinct differences between the different terrier breeds as well-so in this article, we will look at some of the most common and popular terrier breeds and their core traits, in order to help you to pick the perfect pet! Read on to learn more.
The Jack Russell is perhaps the best known and most common of all of the various different types of terrier, because these small, compact little dogs are so versatile, and can fit happily into even smaller homes. However, just because the Jack Russell is small in size, they more than make up for it in personality and sometimes, attitude, and they can easily become dominant and unruly if improperly managed!
The Border terrier is another small-ish terrier, albeit larger than the average Jack Russell. They are rough coated with a distinctive coat that is usually wheaten in colour, although they can also be seen in other shades. They are lively, loving and fun to have around, and not as prone to dominance as the Jack Russell-although they will think nothing of taking the top dog slot if that is available!
The Patterdale terrier hails from the north of England, and while they are not as widely spread and well-known as many other terrier breeds, they have a strong core of enthusiastic breeders and breed fans that are keen to get their name out there! Because the breed has yet to gain formal recognition by The Kennel Club, there can be a reasonable amount of variety from dog to dog in terms of their appearance-however, they usually stand from 12-15” tall at the withers, and have either a smooth or wiry coat, which is usually black.
In terms of their personality, they share all of the main terrier traits, including a strong prey drive, high energy levels, and an intelligence that applies well to working roles. They need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to be happy!
The West Highland white terrier is a very common and popular pet among people of all ages, from retirees to young families with children. The West Highland white terrier is versatile enough to fit happily within most homes, requiring moderate amounts of exercise and someone around for company and entertainment. They can be shy or even nervous with strangers, but they soon warm up to those who have a kind word for them, forming strong bonds with their families and handlers.
While the Westie, as they are sometimes known, has something of a reputation as a lap dog, they can also be feisty, energetic and very lively on occasion too!
The Airedale terrier is one of the taller, larger terrier breeds, and for this reason, many people do not realise at a glance that they are actually a terrier at all, as so many people assume that all terriers are small! The Airedale was originally bred for their stamina and endurance working with ridden hunts, which required bags of energy and the power to run all day without tiring!
While the Airedale is today kept almost exclusively as a pet, they are nonetheless highly intelligent, very lively dogs that need a lot of both mental and physical stimulation, and so, lots of long, varied and interesting walks and company too. They are very affectionate and loving with their families, and tend to be open and welcoming with strangers too-especially if there is a chance that they will play with them!
Finally, the Staffordshire bull terrier is one of the most common and best known dog breeds in the UK, but despite the name, many people forget that they are actually terriers! They are medium sized dogs that are very strong and muscular, with little body fat and close, short coats.
Like any dog, a poorly treated Staffy or one that is improperly managed due to a lack of understanding of the breed and its traits may become grumpy and unruly, but when cared for properly, the Staffy is a highly affectionate, obedient and willing dog that will form strong bonds with their families, enjoy playing with other dogs, and be quick to make new friends!
They require moderate amounts of exercise but plenty of company, and are a good pick for both older people and families with children.