Terrier comes from the Latin word meaning earth - and this dog group is aptly named because they love to dig! Farmers usually struggle with rodents and vermin - and terrier dogs were the perfect solution to that. They were bred to hunt prey such as moles, badgers and rats, so they adapted to being able to dig very well. They are feisty, energetic and stubborn. While they make great pets, they require large amounts of discipline and pet owners need to be dedicated to training, particularly in the early stages. One of the best ways to keep them in check, is to keep them active and engaged. Lots of exercise, lots of outdoor activity, and games when indoors. Because of their love for digging, they are not always ideal around gardens.
There is only one large terrier dog breed, the Airedale. The rest are small to medium sized dogs that are a good size for apartments. They however do not have small to medium personalities. They are confident, feisty and territotial. They are also very alert and incredibly decisive as they were trained to find and kill rodents. If not trained properly, they can end up biting people or destroying property. These dogs are independent and are perfect for an owner who lives alone or lives in an apartment. They love to play, have a sense of humor and are always ready to cheer you up. Best way to bond with a terrier dog is to play tugging, digging and chasing games.
Largest Terrier Dog - Airedale Terrier
Known as the King of the terriers, this is the largest terrier dog, growing to about 60cm and weighing up to 30 kilos. These dogs are infamous for shedding a lot. They have a thick coat and are anything but a hypoallergenic dog.
Most Intimidating Terrier Dog - American Staffordshire Terrier
We must however emphasize that there is no such thing as a dangerous dog, only dangerous owners. Unfortunately for Staffys (as they are known), these loveable energetic dogs were originally bred for dog fighting. Thankfully, this has since become illegal, but a lot of people do continue to perceive this dog as scary.
Best Terrier for Young Children - Boston Terrier
This small, but very muscular terrier dog has a great temperament, and is obedient and loyal. It is very gentle with children, and knows how to have fun indoors too. Because of its patience and tolerance it is incredibly popular with young families.
Most Energetic Terrier Dog - Jack Russell Terrier
Originally bred for fox hunting, this small, stout dog has a very big personality. Jack Russell dogs have such high exercise requirements that they become destructive when they are not active at least once a day. Important to note is that they are very feisty dogs who tend to chase other dogs and small animals.
Most Popular Terrier Dog - Yorkshire Terrier
The Yorkshire Terrier is also the smallest terrier dog. It can also be classified as a toy breed. The Yorkie might be small, but it has a huge personality. It also requires high levels of exercise and should be walked at least once a day.