The AKC Terrier Breeds Group



Terrier Breeds

This group of terrier breeds have a lot in common. They are sensitive to movement which is from their rat and mouse hunting heritage, they like to dig big holes and bark for no reason, they are generally active and feisty, energetic and often rambunctious, and they usually disagree with other dogs over minor matters. Most terriers make terrific family pets and I say that because I've owned a few of them. Some terrier may not be as affectionate as some breeds, but they do love to play and enjoy life and family activities. There’s a big assortment of terrier dog breeds and here's an alphabetical list for you:



Airedale Terrier after a classic grooming
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Airedale Terrier
The Airedale has been around for a long time. She is a good family dog when given enough daily exercise. She is playful and somewhat affectionate as well as a fine watch and guard dog. Owners tell me they would never have any other kind of dog and love the Airedale totally. She's a loyal companion though very stubborn at times.


American Staffordshire Terrier
This is a quiet, easy-going member of the terrier breeds group who needs an extra amount of exercise and attention from her family. Given plenty of daily exercise in the form of walks and chasing balls or a Frisbee, she is a wonderful family pet. The Staff is exceptionally protective of property and people and does not get along with strangers or other dogs unless in the company or her owner. This is not a breed for the novice and must be trained from a young puppy and on throughout her life.

Australian Terrier puppy
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Australian Terrier
The Aussie Terrier breed that is small and gets around on short legs. She’s always ready to chase a mouse or dig a hole or play a game. The dog does fairly well with other people, pets and strangers, is not overly aggressive and is quite playful. This gal is not a guard dog but will bark at intruders.


Bedlington Terrier
Bedlington's are quiet companion dogs that live a sensible “moderate” life of sanity. They enjoy moderate exercise, moderate play and affection, and do moderately well with other pets and especially people. This is a gentle house pet and good watchdog.


Border Terrier
Border Terrier’s are great all around house dogs and family pets. They get along well with children, other pets and people, catch rats and love to dig holes. The breed is fairly easy to manage, easy to train and deal with in general.

A Bull Terrier at the beach
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Bull Terrier
This is not your typical terrier breed. She's a bit of a clown, often taken with herself and quite different from the other terriers. She’s playful, somewhat affectionate and can be entertaining. She needs plenty of exercise to keep in shape and does not do well if left alone too long at a time. She’s very active and inquisitive. Keep her interested in toys, games or whatever.


Cairn Terrier
The little Cairn is a terrific house pet. She’s intelligent, playful, inquisitive, feisty and a tad rugged. She gets along with children and is fairly tolerant with them as well as other dogs. Strangers could be a problem until she knows them because she is a good watchdog. She CAN bark, believe me! Bark and dig! This is a faithful family dog that is easy to train, loves to play and is a joy to own.


Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Dandie’s come from the border area of England and Scotland. She doesn’t care much for strangers (at first) and can be aggressive with some dogs but gets along with most, She's a sweetheart around the house and is devoted to the family and children. Her little short legs need lots of exercise. She's frisky, fun-loving, affectionate and likes to romp and play in the yard. She loves kids and loves to run and romp with them.


Glen of Imaal Terrier
This is an unusual little breed and a really fine family dog. The Glen comes from Ireland and is fond of children as well as people in general. She loves to play and when she gets her exercise needs met, will curl up next to you with those short legs and her affectionate side shows up. She’s gentle, good-natured and cute as the dickens.

Irish Terrier puppy and toy
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Irish Terrier
This is not your everyday house pet. The breed has been called a “daredevil” by breeders. He is bold and quite courageous with a bit of a temper. He can be aggressive with other dogs and strangers and will go chasing after anything small so he must be kept on leash. The dog is trainable and somewhat controllable. He must be trained and socialized from an early age. He’s affectionate with his family and likes to romp with the kids. This is not a breed for the beginner, as he can be a bit much to handle.


Kerry Blue Terrier
Among the terrier breeds, the Kerry’s are best at watch dogging and guarding property and family. They don’t care much for other dogs, pets or strangers unless introduced by their masters, such as occasions like relatives coming to visit. Digging, barking and chasing small animals is a pastime. The Kerry Blue, as with all terriers, need plenty of constructive exercise and games. With that taken care of, he becomes a polite, respectful house pet the whole family can enjoy.


Lakeland Terrier
Lakeland’s are an active, entertaining and interesting member of the terrier breeds group, full of life and play but not as affectionate as some dogs. They need lots of exercise and constructive play, after which they will settle down and become quiet house pets. This breed needs a strong hand and good training from an early age (5 weeks and up) and right on through his life to keep him under control. He’s a good learner but must not get the upper hand. They are normally aggressive toward other dogs, small animals and don’t care for strangers either. Early socialization helps. This makes a fairly good family dog, gets along with kids and is popular in some areas. The Lakeland digs, some bark a lot and they chase so they must be kept on leash.


Manchester Terrier
Terrier dog breeds include a very sleek, slim, neat looking dog from England called the “Manchester.” This is a great family dog with a strong watchdog instinct. She’s very playful and loves to curl up beside her master and nap. Affection is another strong point. She is a sensitive, well-mannered house pet that needs plenty of exercise but gives lots of affection when indoors.


Miniature Bull Terrier
The Miniature Bull is like the larger version of Bull Terrier. It needs strict training from day one with a light hand (clicker training) and must never be allowed the aloha dog spot! This can be a kind, gentle clown, fun-loving and entertaining if obedience trained. The dog can be stubborn and independent, yet a great family pet and watchdog.

Miniature Schnauzer puppy with his toy.
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Miniature Schnauzer
The Mini Schnauzer is one of the most adorable and adaptable of the terrier breeds and is very much a family dog. She gets along very well with children, is more tolerant than many dogs, is a terrific watchdog, is affectionate and playful beyond description, a lapdog, and devoted companion. She learns quickly, gets along with some dogs and a most strangers. The Mini is far less aggressive than the larger version. She might pick a fight and some dig and chase small animals. They all bark at doorbells and people walking past the house.


Norfolk Terrier
This is a true terrier in every sense and needs good training from day one. The breed is energetic, active, and not so friendly with strange dogs, cats or other animals. The Norfolk is a fine family dog and gets along with children. It is strong-willed and a bit difficult to train. As with all terriers, I suggest clicker training. After exercise, this becomes a sweet little dog to have around the house for the kids.


Norwich Terrier
Another of the terrier breeds is the Norwich which is very much like the Norfolk above. This is the same energetic, active, “full of himself” dog but a bit more “clownish” than the slightly larger Norfolk. The 10 to 12 pound Norwich is very affectionate, playful, and gets along with other dogs and people possibly better than the dog above. This little guy will bring the family lots of entertainment and love.

Parson Russell Terrier (Jack Russell)
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Parson Russell Terrier
(Jack Russell Terrier)

There is a reason they changed the name of the breed but for the terrier breeds section, we have to use the new name. Jack Russell's are very energetic, intelligent, active and curious dogs that need lots of stimulating exercise. The breed does well with children but not other dogs and small animals. The Russell digs, barks, and chases. This guy can get in and out of trouble, show affection and be very playful all in one hour. Not only that, he’s been a television star.


Scottish Terrier
Scotties are independent but sensitive little terriers that are de4voted to family and older children. They make a good watchdog. This is a feisty, tough critter that won't back down. He can be aggressive with other dogs and is cautious around strangers. The Scottie leans toward separation anxiety if left alone for long periods. Still, he’s been a very popular house pet for many decades.


Sealyham Terrier
The Sealyham is one of the terrier breeds that is a bit unique. Coming from Wales and standing only about 10 inches high, this little gal loves to dig, and dig, and dig. She’s a sweet girl, totally devoted to her family. She’s friendly, playful and affectionate. The Sealyham will chase small animals. She gets along fairly well with other dogs and people. This is a mellow breed that doesn’t need as much exercise as the other terriers.


Skye Terrier
Skye’s, like the terrier breeds above, don’t fit the common mold. This one comes from Scotland and stands only about 10 inches at the shoulder but is very alert, bold and playful. Small as it is, the Skye is quite affectionate and a happy family pet needing only moderate exercise. They can be stubborn and wary of strangers, even protective. The Skye needs strong socialization starting around 5 weeks old, as do all terriers. This breed requires a lot of grooming time.

The Smooth Fox Terrier, dressed with a harness.

Smooth Fox Terrier
This energetic, affectionate little Fox Terrier is a great choice for the family. She is very playful, devoted and enjoys any family activity that comes along. She needs more than average exercise as well as attention from her people. The breed is inquisitive and loves new adventures. The dog is friendly with most people but is a good watchdog. Some like to dig and bark. Most like to chase small animals and must be kept on leash so they don’t run off after game. The breed is smart and learns quickly.


Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Of all the terrier breeds, this is one of the most gentle of all. The Wheaten needs lots of exercise but calms down and is a sweet, gentle house pet. She is sooo affectionate she would be the ideal lapdog if she didn’t weigh 35 pounds! This girl is very playful, loving life and even gets along fine with children, dogs and other pets in the house as well as strangers coming to the door. A well balanced dog.


A friendly Staffordshire Bull Terrier
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Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The Staffy is in the terrier breeds group but often confused with pit bulls, which it is not. This is a gentle, fun-loving family dog that gets along with children and even has the nickname of “Nanny Dog” in England because it relates well with children. True, this breed will not back down from a confrontation, and true, this dog will protect the family and property to the end, but is is truly a docile, loving creature. The breed must be well socialized and trained at a very early age. Dogs are what humans make them to be.


Welsh Terrier
It’s sort of hard to tell the difference between the Welsh Terrier and the Fox Terriers, certainly in appearance. This breed is a bit more laid-back and quiet than the other tall breeds. She is a good family dog, getting along with and tolerating children pretty well. Her energy and exercise needs are fairly high so jogging is in the mix of activities. A bit stubborn, she can be hard to train so be patient. She’s a good watchdog and wary of strangers and other dogs. This dog needs a firm owner with strict training.


West Highland White Terrier “Westie”
The adorable little Westie comes from Scotland and is one of the fascinating terrier breeds in the group. The busy Westie is the lapdog of the terriers and “affection” should be her middle name. This is an active dog, inquisitive and nosey, ready to please, cute as they come and very easy to train. This 18 pound pooch will go jogging with you or fetch a ball in the yard. She likes people and most other dogs. She’ll bark at intruders and give kisses till you run for a towel. The only color she comes in is white.


Wire Fox Terrier
Wire Fox Terriers are much the same as the Smooth version except they tend to be more aggressive toward other dogs than the Smooth breed. This is a high energy dog that is active and needs plenty of exercise. The Wire enjoys running, exploring, digging and barking for sport, After the exercise, this is a good family pet that includes the kids. She needs a lot of attention from her family. Keep this dog on leash because she’ll take off chasing a small animal or car.

At this time, that's all the terrier breeds listed by the AKC.


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