So you want to own a terrier?
Well, to a Terrier enthusiast there is nothing better;
Terriers are wonderful dogs. But before you decide, there are some
things you should know.
The Canadian Kennel Club recognizes 26 breeds of Terriers, not including
the Jack Russell Terrier and the Glen of Imaal Terrier, which have
not yet been granted full recognition. Most Terriers originated
in the British Isles, where in earlier times they were invaluable
for rodent control and also used extensively in the hunting field.
An exception is the Miniature Schnauzer, which is a miniaturized
working dog rather than a Terrier, and is classified in the Terrier
Group only in North America. Today, most Terriers are primarily
With such a variety of breeds to choose among, you will probably
find one that suits your lifestyle. You should understand that,
because historically they were developed to work independently,
most terriers have minds of their own and are fully prepared to
use them! Overall, they are intelligent, active and energetic. They
love people but can sometimes be territorial towards other dogs.
They are excellent watchdogs, often have an impish sense of humour
and thoroughly enjoy participating in family activities.
As a group, Terriers are generally healthy and long-lived, but like
all animals health concerns can arise from time to time. You should
be aware that Terriers need regular grooming to keep their coats
healthy, tidy and presentable, and to prepare a Terrier coat for
showing entails a considerable learning curve.
Whichever Terrier you fancy, do research your chosen breed carefully
and buy from a reputable breeder who will provide advice and support
to you and your new family member.
Breeds in the Terrier Group fall into three broad divisions: More
or less squarely built, longer legged - Airedale, Bedlington, Border,
Fox Terrier (Smooth & Wire), Irish, Kerry Blue, Lakeland, Manchester,
Miniature Schnauzer, Welsh, Soft-Coated Wheaten.
- The Airedale is the largest, at about 23"
shoulder height. The Bedlington is unique among terriers in its
rather whippet-like outline, with a coat of mixed hard and soft
hairs. The Kerry and the Wheaten carry soft, wavy coats, while
the Manchester's black and tan coat is tight, smooth and glossy.
The Lakeland and the Welsh are quite similar in general appearance,
with the Welsh being the stockier of the two.
to ground, more oblong in body - Australian, Cairn, Cesky, Dandie
Dinmont, Norfolk, Norwich, Scottish, Sealyham, Skye, West Highland
All the Terriers in this grouping are rough coated except the
Cesky, which has a silky jacket. The Dandie's coat is a mix of
hard and soft hairs and the backline rises in a gentle curve.
Ear carriage distinguishes between the Norfolk and Norwich, the
former having drop ears and the latter, prick ears. The Skye's
body is twice as long as its shoulder height.
- "Bull and Terrier" types - American Staffordshire,
Bull Terrier, Miniature Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
All of these breeds are sturdily built and smooth coated. Despite
a superficial similarity in head type,neither the American Staffordshire
nor the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a "Pit Bull".
American Staffordshire Terrier
Bull Terrier (Miniature)
Fox Terrier (Smooth)
Fox Terrier (Wire)
Glen of Imaal Terrier
Kerry Blue Terrier
Manchester Terrier (Standard)
Soft Coated Wheaten
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
West Highland White Terrier