Best Terrier Breed – Which One Is It?

Terrier dogs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. If you are considering owning a terrier, this list may be what you need! In general, terriers are either small or medium-sized and possess an energetic personality.


Most types of terrier breeds originally came from the British Isles, although terriers can be found all across the world. An interesting fact to know is that the name comes from the Latin word terra, meaning land. The reason for this is they were bred to hunt small animals that would hide under the ground. Terrier breeds all differ in their coats, life-span, and builds.

Terriers as working dogs

Something to take note of is terriers was mainly used for helping to hunt animals such as foxes, rabbits, and rats – all small animals that would burrow into the ground.

Not too long ago, terriers were used in the awful practice of dogfighting. Because of this, they were cross-bred to become faster, more aggressive, and fear-less. This resulted in them becoming the ancestor of the modern-day pitbull.

Nowadays, terriers are mainly used as companion dogs, although some people still use them for hunting small animals.

There are some cases where people use terriers as guard dogs, but most breeds are simply not large enough for this to make sense. There are a few exceptions though, one example being the airedale terrier which is known to be fierce and combative.

Characteristics of terriers

Now that you know a little bit about the origins and background of terriers, you should understand that terriers are NOT for everyone. In fact, they can be quite stubborn and prone to bark. Furthermore, they need extensive training, constant physical/mental stimulation, and daily exercise. If you’re able to provide this, then great, but otherwise for the sake of you and the dog, don’t adopt a terrier. Terrier breeds can be classified in a few different ways. According to the World Canine Organization, terriers are classified into four main types – large, medium, small, bull terrier and companion.

Large and medium terriers

Although they are classified as ‘large or medium’, they are not actually that large. One of the largest breeds of terrier is the airedale terrier. These dogs are used to assist in search and rescue tasks. Some other types of terriers are the Bedlington terrier, fox terrier, border terrier, Irish terrier, Brazilian terrier, and Welsh terrier.

Small size terriers

At first, small terriers were mainly used for hunting vermin. An important thing to take note of is, even though they’re small, they are not lap-dogs. Dogs that belong to this group are quite active and need a lot of exercise. Some of the breeds in this group are the Australian terrier, Cesky terrier, Jack Russel, Scottish terrier, Japanese terrier, and West Highland White terrier.

Bull terrier

These dogs are associated with fighting dogs and shepherds. They are commonly associated with their oval-shaped head, flat forehead, and triangular eyes. They make look intimidating, but they are actually not good guard dogs due to the fact that they tend to be playful and affectionate. Additionally, the other terrier breeds grouped in this category are the Staffordshire bull terrier and the American Staffordshire terrier.

Companion Terriers

These terriers were initially bred to hunt small rodents, but today are mainly used for their companionship. They are an excellent choice for families who know how to treat them with respect. An important thing to take note of is that this breed will not show the gentle personality that other lapdogs have. Companion terriers tend to be more active and overprotective. A common companion terrier is the Yorkshire terrier.


So there you have it! Hopefully, this article helped you understand the different terrier breeds and which type is best for you. Remember – they’re all different so choose accordingly. Don’t just blindly go with what your told is best. Good luck!

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