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Terrier Dog Breeds

Even the smallest dogs of this group have mighty hearts. They will protectively bark warning at your ankles as you enter a door. Their fearless attitudes make terriers good watch dogs. Their confidence can however get them into trouble when faced with a perceived enemy that is much larger than they are. They won’t give up or back down from a challenge even against foxes, weasels and badgers.

Terriers have a wide range of coats, smooth wiry, medium and long. Their sizes run from small to medium. These dogs are appealing to people who want a dog that’s not too big.

They are outgoing and playful with people, busy and curious, but don’t demand constant attention.

Airdale Terrier
Size: Medium to large, male 23”, female slightly smaller, 45-70 lbs.
Color: Tan and black
Protection level: Will bark alarm and back it up too
Energy level: High
Life expectancy: 10-13 years
Good with children: Yes, with early exposure and socialization, can play a bit too rough for young kids
Performance abilities: Obedience, weight pulling, backpacking, tracking
Shedding: Yes, seasonal to year-round
Grooming: Brush once a week with a pin brush or grooming rake
Potential health concerns: HD, hypothyroidism, patellar luxation, lupus, cancer, pemphigus, SA, bloat, vWD, PRA
Recommended health clearances: OFA, CERF, vWD, skin punch for SA
Best with: Obedience training, experienced dog owners, human contact, fenced yard (6 ft tall)
Not for: Fragile people, attack training, ego boost

American Staffordshire Terrier
Size: Medium, female 17-18”, male 18-19”, 40-75 lbs.
Color: Almost any solid, parti-colored, or brindled
Protection level: Medium to high
Energy level: Medium to high
Life expectancy: 10-12 years
Good with children: Yes, but can be too energetic for young kids
Performance abilities: Obedience, tracking, agility, flyball, weight pulling, carting
Shedding: Moderate
Grooming: Easy, brush with a rubber currycomb
Potential health concerns: HD, hypothyroidism, cancers, CMO, cataracts, cruciate ligament ruptures
Recommended health clearances: OFA, CERF
Best with: Regular exercise, early training and socialization, fenced yards, close bonding
Not for: Isolation, impatient trainers, aggression training

Australian Terrier
Size: Small, female 10-11”, male 18-19”, 40-75 lbs.
Color: Almost any solid, parti-colored, or brindled
Protection level: Medium to high
Energy level: Medium to high
Life expectancy: 10-12 years
Good with children: Yes, but can be too energetic for young kids
Performance abilities: Obedience, tracking, agility, flyball, weight pulling, carting
Shedding: Moderate
Grooming: Easy, brush with a rubber currycomb
Potential health concerns: HD, hypothyroidism, cancers, CMO, cataracts, cruciate ligament ruptures
Recommended health clearances: OFA, CERF
Best with: Regular exercise, early training and socialization, fenced yards, close bonding
Not for: Isolation, impatient trainers, aggression training

Bedlington Terrier
Size: Medium, female 15-16.5”, male 16-17.5”, around 20 lbs.
Color: Sandy, blue, or liver, with our without tan markings
Protection level: Medium, will bark but rarely bites
Energy level: Medium
Life expectancy: 15-16 years
Good with children: Yes, especially with early socialization
Performance abilities: Obedience, tracking, agility
Shedding: None
Grooming: Comb weekly, trim every two months
Potential health concerns: PRA cataracts, copper toxicosis, patellar luxation, detached retinas
Recommended health clearances: OFA, CERF, liver biopsy
Best with: Easygoing people, cuddler, hair styling enthusiasts
Not for: Outdoor living, harsh corrections, lazy groomers

Border Terrier
Size: Small, female 11.5-14”, 12-16 lbs, male 12-15.5”, around 12-20 lbs.
Color: Grizzle, tan, red, blue and tan, wheaten
Protection level: Will bark
Energy level: Medium-high
Life expectancy: 12-15+ years
Good with children: Excellent
Performance abilities: Therapy, hunting, agility, tracking, flyball, obedience, earthdog tests
Shedding: Minimal to moderate with regular grooming
Grooming: Brush once a week with a slicker brush, hand-strip every 6 months,
Potential health concerns: PRA cataracts, copper toxicosis, patellar luxation, detached retinas
Recommended health clearances: OFA, CERF, liver biopsy
Best with: Easygoing people, cuddler, hair styling enthusiasts
Not for: Outdoor living, harsh corrections, lazy groomers

Bull Terrier
Size: Medium, 30-65 lbs.
Color: White, colored BT may be brindle or any other color
Protection level: Medium to high
Energy level: High
Life expectancy: 11-14 years years
Good with children: Generally good, early socialization helps
Performance abilities: Agility, weight pulling , flyball
Shedding: Minimal when brushed
Grooming: Regular brushing
Potential health concerns: Renal cortical hypoplasia, patellar luxation, lens luxation, deafness, heart defects
Recommended health clearances: OFA, urinalysis, BAER
Best with: Regular training and exercise, confinement, firm, fair owners, lots of chew toys
Not for: Outdoor living, submissive people

Cairn Terrier
Size: Small, female 9.5” 13 lbs, male 10-12”, 14-16 lbs.
Color: Any color but white
Protection level: Will definitely bark
Energy level: High, but not hyper
Life expectancy: 14-16 years
Good with children: Yes
Performance abilities: Agility, tracking, terrier trials
Shedding: Seasonal
Grooming: Brush and comb regularly, hand-strip for shows (once a year is enough for pets) or trim with thinning shears
Potential health concerns: Patellar luxation, cataracts, PRA, blood disorders, kidney problems, glaucoma, Legg-Perthes, CMO
Recommended health clearances: OFA, CERF, vWD
Best with: Fenced yards, active people
Not for: Silence, instant or constant obedience, households with small pets

Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Size: Small to Medium, female 8-11”, 18-24 lbs
Color: Mustard or pepper
Protection level: Low to medium
Energy level: Medium-high
Life expectancy: 13-15 years
Good with children: Usually, with early socialization
Performance abilities: Terrier trials and tracking
Shedding: Minimal when properly groomed
Grooming: Brush and comb regularly, hand-stripping, clipping ruins texture and color
Potential health concerns: Patellar and shoulder luxation, glaucoma, elbow deformity, hypothyroidism, intervertebral disk disease
Recommended health clearances: OFA, CERF, vWD
Best with: Fenced yards, confident owners
Not for: Submissive people, households with small pets, lazy groomers

Smooth Fox Terrier
Size: Medium, female 14-15.5”, 15-18 lbs, male 15-15.5”, 18-20 lbs.
Color: Mostly white with tan and/ or black markings
Protection level: Good watch dog
Energy level: High, calms down with age
Life expectancy: 12-14 years
Good with children: Best with active kids 6 and up
Performance abilities: Agility, earthdog tests, hunting small animals, obedience, terrier races
Shedding: White, spiky hair that sticks to everything
Grooming: Regular brushing
Potential health concerns: Cataracts, heart problems, flea sensitivity, luxating lenses
Recommended health clearances: OFA, CERF
Best with: Fenced yards, active people, firm patient training, experienced dog owners, small-game hunters
Not for: Backyard life, inactive people, robotic obedience, multiple-dog households

Wire Fox Terrier
Size: Medium, female 14-16”, 15-20 lbs, male 15-17”, 20-25 lbs.
Color: Mostly white with tan and black markings
Protection level: Good watch dog with a loud bark
Energy level: High, calms down with age
Life expectancy: 12-14 years
Good with children: Best with active kids 6 and up, can be a bit energetic for young kids
Performance abilities: Agility, earthdog tests, hunting small animals, obedience, terrier races
Shedding: Minimal if properly groomed, sheds in tufts
Grooming: Brush with a pin brush or slicker; hand-stripping; pets can be clipped but it changes texture; pluck inside ears
Potential health concerns: Cataracts, epilepsy, heart defects, PRA, Legg-Perthes
Recommended health clearances: OFA, CERF
Best with: Fenced yards, active people, training, experienced dog owners, small-game hunters, hikers, experienced dog owners, early socialization and training
Not for: Backyard life, inactive people, robotic obedience, multiple-dog households, frail people, neat freaks

Irish Terrier
Size: Medium, female 18-20”, 25-36 lbs.
Color: Shades of wheaten or red
Protection level: High, territorial and distrustful of strangers
Energy level: High outdoors, calm indoors
Life expectancy: 13-16 years
Good with children: Yes, generally
Performance abilities: Agility, upland bird and small-game hunting, terrier trials
Shedding: Minimal if properly groomed
Grooming: Hand-stripping twice a year
Potential health concerns: Microphthalmia, urinary stones
Recommended health clearances: CERF
Best with: Fenced yards, active people, strong people (mentally and physically)
Not for: Off-leash walks, submissive people

Jack Russell Terrier
Size: Small, 12-15”, 13-17 lbs.
Color: White with black, brown or tricolor markings
Protection level: Will bark
Energy level: High
Life expectancy: 14-16 years
Good with children: Good with well-behaved children
Performance abilities: Agility, flyball, obedience, hunting below and above ground
Shedding: Year-round
Grooming: Brush regularly, broken coat requires stripping or rolling
Potential health concerns: Patellar luxation, deafness, ataxia, eye problems, Legg-Perthes
Recommended health clearances: CERF, OFA, BAER
Best with: Fenced yards, active people, quick-minded people, small game hunters, patient trainers
Not for: Small or rough children, first-time dog owners, apartments

 

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