A terrier runs outside on a beautiful spring day.

Terrier Breeds: Feisty, Charismatic, and Full of Mischievous Energy

Terriers can be playful pets and enthusiastic companions. Named for the Latin word for the earth, terrier dogs were originally bred to hunt down vermin beneath the ground. Today, many terrier breeds pay homage to their ancestors with their love of digging and exceptional courage and persistence.

With a bit of patience and proper training, terriers can become loyal and obedient pets. Training for terrier dogs can be challenging because of their stubbornness and sharp hunting instincts. Short, dynamic sessions that provide these energetic pupils with excitement and mental stimulation often work best.

Of course, there are many different types of terrier breeds, each with their own personality and unique needs for training and care. Here are unique insights into 14 of the most popular terrier breeds.

Airedale Terrier

This type of terrier dog is often described as smart, friendly, and confident. Airedale terriers tend to have gentle demeanors, but will protect themselves if threatened.

American Staffordshire Terrier

Physically, the American Staffordshire terrier is both muscular and nimble. Personality-wise, this type of dog is cheerful and intelligent.

Australian Terrier

Australian terriers are on the smaller side, but what they lack in size they make up for in spirit. This is a very energetic breed of terrier praised for its affection and courage.

Bedlington Terrier

This type of terrier is known for being able to run quickly and over great distances. The lithe dog is dignified and soft — in both coat and manner.

Border Terrier

Unlike many other terrier breeds, the border terrier is bred to run in a pack. This makes it friendly and cooperative with other species of animals — except for rodents.

Bull Terrier

This handsome breed of dog is long in body and strong in build. Bull terriers can be imaginative and mischievous, and require plenty of exercise for both their mind and body.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Dandie Dinmont terriers are more reserved than other terriers when it comes to barking or interacting with strangers. However, they tend to be affectionate with their pack leaders.

Irish Terrier

The Irish terrier is a bit of a daredevil. This bold, curious, and adventurous species is always ready to play, explore, and chase.

Jack Russell Terrier

Originally bred to hunt foxes, the Jack Russell terrier is energetic and willful. This breed of terrier works better with more experienced dog parents, since training can be quite challenging.

Norfolk Terrier

Norfolk terriers are balls of energy. This type of dog can be an engaging playmate who is always eager to run after a ball or play tug-of-war.

Rat Terriers

As the legend goes, President Theodore Roosevelt gave the species its name after his own rat terrier solved the White House’s rodent problem. Rat terriers are born escape artists and may play mischievous tricks if you don’t keep them occupied with exercise and play.

Scottish Terrier

Scottish terriers are notably sensitive to both praise and reprimands. This type of terrier is a perfect watchdog thanks to the breed’s intelligence and powerful bark.

Smooth Fox Terriers

Smooth fox terriers love to explore the world through running, digging, and chasing. They are known for their independent and adventurous spirit.

Welsh Terrier

This breed of terrier is characterized by a joyful and enthusiastic nature, making Welshes great pets for families with children. It’s hard to be in a bad mood around this happy dog — unless he’s digging up your garden.

Post a photo of your terrier in the comments and tell us what makes your pooch especial.

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