Per history, terriers were originally bred for hunting vermin beneath the ground. Today, however, they are commonly found in homes as pets. But they still pay homage to their ancestors as they love digging and they are brave and persistent as well.
Terriers can become very loyal and obedient pets if you have patience in training them properly. Training them can turn out to be very challenging because of their stubbornness and sharp hunting instincts. To properly train them, you should make the sessions short and dynamic to stimulate their minds and to keep them excited.
But of course, there are a lot of terrier breeds out there that has unique needs and personalities. Here are some of the most popular breeds you can find.
Airedale terriers are descendants of the “king of terriers”; they are the largest of the terrier breeds. They are confident, friendly and smart dogs. They are known for being loyal and protective, which makes them excellent pets. They tend to be gentle, but will never think twice of protecting themselves when they are threatened.
Compared to other breeds, Airedale terriers require high level of dog grooming because they shed hair heavily. They are a result of a cross breeding between a terrier and an Otterhound. It was believed that the old Black & Tan terrier and the Broken Coated terrier were used during cross breeding.
Like most dog breeds of that time, Airedales were bred for hunting purposes. With their strength, size, and agility, they are much suitable for hunting small- and medium-sized animals like the rabbits, foxes, and rats.
Although terrier breeds are known for their independence and stubbornness, they are very trainable. You can train them to be obedient with consistent reward-based training sessions at a young age. Airedale terriers are popular family dogs because of their good nature and gentleness with children. While they like to please their owners, they tend to chase smaller animals rather than obey commands when they’re distracted.
The Border terrier is a small, fearless dog that has a love for hunting and digging. This very energetic dog is intelligent and loyal. Unlike other terrier breeds, the Border terrier is bred to run in a pack. They are friendly with other animals, except for rodents.
Borders have a short but dense undercoat and a wiry top coat. They shed hair minimally, thus they don’t need much dog grooming at home and they are actually suitable for dog-lovers with dog allergies. Some people say that Borders look a lot like junk yard dogs because of their scrappy coat.
This dog breed comes in various colors which include red, tan, blue, and wheaten. Borers have loose skin that can be lifted from their body. They have a water-repelling coat that is designed to keep them warm in a cold weather. Their thick, loose skin protects them from bites and is very useful for hunting.
The Bull terrier is long and strong in built. They are mischievous and imaginative and require a lot of mental and physical exercise. They are also very loyal and independent. They were bred from the extinct Old English Bulldog and Manchester terrier in the mid-1800s for hunting vermin and other small animals.
While they were intended to be a fighting dog, may Bull terriers today have become a companion animal. They are best handled by an experienced owner. Regardless of having a violent history, this breed isn’t dangerous at all.
It would be best to have a Bull terrier for a pet in a family if you have older children. Their independence and strength may be problem with younger children. They are also aggressive towards other dogs; but this can be prevented by socializing them early and enforcing good and consistent discipline.
Bull terriers enjoy the indoors and they don’t yearn for attention that much. Because they are prone to skin allergies, it is recommended that you give them a dog wash at least once a week if you put them outdoors.
Jack Russell Terrier
Like other terrier breeds, the Jack Russell terrier is bred for hunting foxes. They are energetic and willful domesticated dogs. A small dog with a big attitude, Jack Russells are stubborn and tenacious. Because training them can be very difficult, they work better with experienced owners.
This terrier breed comes in two types: the smooth coat type and broken coat type; both of which have a fur that is coarse in texture. The broken coat type, however, has a shaggy eyebrows and beard.
Because they are very energetic, they require a certain amount of exercise. Thus, if you can’t exercise them at least once or twice a day, this may not be the breed for you. You actually need to provide them with opportunities for physical and mental stimulation, as well as human interaction to keep them healthy and happy. You’d know when you’re not stimulating them enough when they start displaying bad behavior.
Jack Russell terriers are aggressive towards other dogs, especially those of the same sex. Because of their hunting background, they have a strong urge to pursue prey. When you take them out for walks, they’d usually bolt and chase anything that is running; birds, rabbits, joggers, cyclists, and even cars. But the good thing is, this behavior can be prevented with training and early socialization.
Welsh terriers, or Welshie, are joyful and enthusiastic dogs. They are great pets for families that have children. Like most dog breeds that were originally bred to be working dogs, the Welsh terrier is an active dog that requires daily exercise through dog walks and lots of playtime.
The Welshie has a double coat. They have a dense and wiry topcoat that repels water, and a short, soft undercoat. While they were originally solid black, they eventually became tan and black colored. They require minimal pet grooming at home since they do not shed and only require brushing for at least once a week to prevent matting and remove dead hair.