Home Dogs Types of Terrier Dogs – Small and Large Breeds

Types of Terrier Dogs – Small and Large Breeds

The Terrier group of dogs is the largest group consisting of over 20 types of dogs. They have been around for years dating back to the years when they competed in sporting contests like rat killing.

Terriers from the French word terrier to mean, burrow, earned its first tag as hunting dogs bred to hunt vermin. They come in all sizes from large like the Airedale and Kerry Blue Terrier, to medium-sized like Skye Terrier and Tibetan Terrier, to the small terriers like Toy Fox Terrier, Australian Terrier, Boston Terrier, Norwich Terrier, and Sealyham Terrier.

All these breeds have been bred for different purposes, which you shall leave about in the detailed review below. Take a look at their characteristics and personality. Who knows, one of them may just steal your heart!

Small Terrier Dogs Breeds

Australian Terrier

The Australian Silky Terrier has ancestral origins in Great Britain, Australia. It’s small and compact with a height of 10 inches and a weight of 22 pounds. With its flat, fine, and glossy hair, the terrier has one of the silkiest coats in the group, hence the need for constant grooming.

Australian Terrier
Australian Terrier

The silky terrier bred for hunting snakes and rodents has a wedge-shaped head, small almond eyes, small and erect ears, plus a small high set tail like that of a cat. They’re very energetic, high-spirited, and affectionate as they enjoy interacting and playing with people and other canines. However, as is the norm of the terrier group, they too can be stubborn at times.

Border Terrier

Best known for its otter head and strong hunting instinct, the Border terrier is a small canine that’s very affectionate, loyal, and loving. An adventure dog that plays family pet very well as it gets along with adults and children.

The terrier measures just 20 pounds with a  height of 11 inches. Easy to care for and perfect for apartment living.

Border Terrier

Boston Terrier

Originally from the USA, the Boston terrier is also called the American gentleman. It was accepted in the AKC back in 1893 and recognized as one of the most popular breeds to ever exist.

Boston terrier

Weighing just 25 pounds and a height of 17 inches, the Boston terrier well built proportionate body with a square-shaped head, prominent large round eyes, short straight tail, and a smooth slick coat.

Boston has a friendly temperament, very easy going, easily trained, eager to please, and quite possessive, but an adorable companion dog. They’re intelligent, well behaved, and easily sociable with canines and non-canines.

Cairn Terrier

Very small in size, the Cairn terrier measures 10 inches at the withers with a weight of just 13 pounds. They have a white medium to long coat as is with many Scottish origin dogs. They’re bred as working dogs working to hunt and chase quarry in the Scottish highlands.

Besides, they’re shaggy, soft downy undercoats, and an average lifespan of 17 years, they’re hypoallergenic and very energetic. A high-spirited canine that enjoys tracking, agility games, obedience training, and conformation, they’re very well known for their tenacity. Nonetheless, the dog is high maintenance as their shaggy medium to long coat does need grooming, trimming, and stripping weekly

Cesky Terrier

Very similar to the Cairn terrier, the Cesky is 22 pounds heavy with a height of 10 to 13 inches. Originally from the Czech Republic, these tiny hunters equally have a medium-length coat that comes in multiple shades including yellow, black, white, brown, tan, with additional markings.

Great at obedience training and tracking, the Cesky is more alert with balance than its groupmates. They’re sturdily built with short legs and an active trait that requires them to exercise daily. They socialize easily though tend to be a bit reserved around strangers.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Originating from the border between England and Scotland, the Dandie Dinmont is a small terrier recognized by its long bodies, short legs, and a dense tuft of hair on their heads. The 24 pounds canine has large eyes, a large domed head with a crowned silk topknot to seal the deal.

The terrier is bred as an excellent watchdog with a deep barking sound. They’re very charming and lovable. Protective with their owners and enjoy spending quality time bonding with the family.

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell is one of the friendliest dogs with such a big personality. Clever, kind, athletic, fearless, and vocal, the terrier has much more to offer than its agility and high energy levels. With a height of 12 inches and a weight of 15 pounds, Russell has a short and smooth medium dense coat with tan and black markings.

Jack Russell Terrier
Jack Russell

They have a balanced body with a compact head, narrow dropped ears, large eyes, and broad chest. Being a hunter, they enjoy numerous activities, outdoor work, and plenty of mental stimulation activities. They’re a confident lot you would gladly enjoy having as an addition to the family.

Lakeland Terrier

The Lakeland terrier is a unique breed that descended from the Welsh Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier, Border Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, and Dandie Dinmont Terrier. It’s the oldest working terrier tracing back to the 1800s when it was used to guide and protect sheep from feisty foxes. It’s small, weighing 17 pounds and a height of 14 inches.

Very jolly and affectionate, the terrier has a short dense coat available in colors blue, wheaten, black, liver, and red. They enjoy medium energy activities like hunting, conformation, and tracking.

Besides their dense coat, they’re characterized by their densely coated legs, a dark muzzle that gives off a beard appearance, and almond eyes. Even with a quiet demeanor, the dog can be aggressive and feisty as well.

Norfolk Terrier

The Norfolk terrier is a British descendant distinguished by its wire-haired coat, dark nose, and dropped ears. Very similar to the Norwich terrier, they’re moderately proportionate with a weight of 12 pounds and 10 inches height. The Norfolk terrier is a refined toy dog with more reach and drive and a stronger rear angulation.

Even with a soft temperament like that of the border terrier, they’re fearless and independent. They get along with other canines, strangers, and kids. They enjoy family activities and are seen as a very loyal pack. They have watchdog tendencies which is why they can bark aggressively at times. With time they have grown to become a jack of all trades working as a barn dog, watchdog, and companion dog.

Norwich Terrier

Particularly similar to the Norfolk terrier, the Norwich is primarily differentiated with their upright ears and a double coat. Their coat colors range from red, grizzle, black, and tan. They are the smallest terriers making them the perfect apartment dog.

Norwich terriers are majorly known to be companion dogs but can be working dogs as well. They have hunting instincts as other terriers would plus a good amount of curiosity and eagerness. Even with their medium level of energy, they do need daily walks and exercise.

Sealyham Terrier

The Sealyham terrier is a small, short-legged, built dog bred for hunting foxes, otters, and badgers. Developed in Sealyham in Wales, the terrier has a height of 10 inches with a weight of 24 pounds. Other characteristics include a medium-long double coat in different shades including tan, lemon, black or white.

With drooping ears, a short tail, and a black nose, it’s distinguished by its bushy beard and mustache. The canine is very energetic and therefore requires daily exercises but it’s very charming and peaceful. However, don’t underestimate the dog, it can bark really loud.

Wire Fox Terrier

Developed in the 17th century, the wire fox only weighs 19 pounds and has a height of 15 inches. They have a deep white coat that may or may not have markings. Wire Fox terriers have a well-built body, attentive eyes, bearded face, and ears that neatly fold into a “V” shape.

This canine is bred as a guard dog but can also be a companion dog. It’s strong-willed, agile, playful, friendly, and a thrilling entertainer. They are very bold and alert hence the prey drive that makes them the perfect watchdog. They’re low maintenance dogs but their low shedding coats need grooming occasionally.

Yorkshire Terrier

Our last review is the Yorkshire terrier from the toy group that weighs just seven pounds and has a height of nine inches. Like the silky terrier, they have a long coat with either shade of blue and tan blue and gold, black, and gold, or black and tan. Their hypoallergenic coat however does need regular cleaning and brushing.

Yorkshire Terrier Dog
Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkie has an amazing personality, very protective, playful, and tenacious. What’s more, they can double as watchdogs besides being companion dogs. They’re intelligent but could be stubborn, great at training, and socializing even as a puppy. For their physical and mental well being, they need their daily exercise to keep them healthy and active.

Large Terrier Dog Breeds

Airedale Terrier

To start us off is the King of terriers, the Airedale Terrier from the Airedale Valley region of northern England. These are large, fearless, and feisty canines with a weight of 50 pounds and a height of 24 inches. Thanks to their size, they play good watch and guard dogs along with their protective instincts.

As exuberant as they are, they went after big rodents such as weasels and wild cats, hence the name “King”. They have a thick wiry coat that needs regular grooming but generally isn’t high maintenance. They’re confident, attentive, strong, jolly, and fun-loving canines who enjoy training and socializing.

Black Russian Terrier

Another large terrier is the black Russian terrier that’s a crossbreed of at least 17 other breeds. The terrier weighs an outstanding 125 pounds in height with most females lying on the 90-pound mark. Their glossy dense black coat is very admirable along with their tenacity and prey drive as a guard dog.

The Black Russian Terrier is fun-loving, gentle, and people-oriented. Not so very yappy and rarely seeks attention. They aren’t loud barkers unless left alone for extended periods. Unfortunately, they aren’t a good choice for new owners because of their size, but generally, they are as incredible as any other pure terrier.

Irish Terrier

From Russia to Ireland, the Irish terrier is a medium to large-sized terrier with a sturdy body, long legs, and a striking red coat. They weigh 50 pounds, excellent at being a watchdog.

The Irish terrier plays many roles besides a guard dog such as companion dog, hunter or rodents, and a family pet. They’re highly energetic, loving, and affectionate even with other dogs. Unfortunately, they’re dominating and prefer to lead while others follow.

Kerry Blue Terrier

Last, but not least, the Kerry Blue Terrier with a short deep slate gray-blue to light blue-gray coat was for a long time used to hunt vermin in the noble lands. Weighing 40 pounds a day 19 inches tall, this terrier from Ireland has many things to offer including their company. The Kerry Blue is bred for hunting, retrieving, and herding, making them very territorial, firm, and not accepting to other pets.

Even so, they have a loving and playful personality. Very energetic and intelligent, they enjoy outdoor activities and fun and games with the family. They’re protective of their owners and often don’t like to share.

Other Types of Terriers

Bedlington Terrier

The dog that most resembles a sheep’s with a British origin, the Bedlington Terrier. A unique 25-pound British canine bred for hunting, guarding, and recently just company, they are as versatile as they come. They have a coat that resembles a sheep’s wool but more coarse. Slightly high maintenance on its white coat due to tangling, bug luckily they’re low shedding.

Bedlington terrier

Other exceptional features include filbert ears; a shape/ style that resembles the leaves of a hazelnut tree, a pear-shaped head, and an arched back. The Bedlington has an adorable temperament but gets very jealous around other pets. Hence, they can’t cohabitate with others. Nonetheless, they are very human friendly.

Glen of Imaal Terrier

With its unique name, the Glen of Imaal Terrier originates from a remote region in Ireland, the Wicklow Mountains where they were bred to hunt vermins, foxes, and badgers. They have a medium weight of 35 pounds and a height of 12 to 14 inches at the shoulder blades.

They have a slightly dense coat available in wheaten, blue, or brindle colors. The terrier is a great companion dog but untrustworthy with non-canines, blame their prey drive. They’re easily trained and require regular exercise. Because of their harsh coat, they also need regular grooming, trimming, brushing, and stripping.

Skye Terrier

A medium-sized terrier with a height of 10 inches and a mass of 40 pounds, the Skye terrier has a long and colorful coat. Available shades include grey- dark or light, silver, black, blue, fawn or cream. Skye has a large head, short legs, and a beautiful stature.

From the Isle of Skye, off the west coast of Scotland, the terrier remains to be one of the oldest and rarest terrier breeds. They enjoy mild activities like tracking, hunting, conformation, and obedience training. They’re very friendly to be around and an excellent family pet choice even for new owners.


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