51 Terrier Dog Breeds: Fun Facts About Each One!

Dogs have been selectively bred for centuries to fill specific roles in human society.

From guarding livestock and pulling sleds to providing loyal companionship, man’s best friend has always had a place in our hearts and homes.

One of the most popular categories of dog breeds is the terrier group.

These feisty little dogs are characterized by their unique hunting skills and strong personality. Whether you’re considering adding a terrier to your family or are just curious about these interesting creatures, read on for a closer look at some of the most common terrier dog breeds.

51. Bull Terrier

Bull Terrier is the most recognizable of all terrier breeds.

Its most distinguishing feature is its head, which is almost flat on the top with a slightly Roman nose. The breed standard dictates that the eyes be small and dark, set fairly close together, and oval in shape.

Another distinctive feature of the Bull Terrier is its ears; they are small and thin, carried erect, and may be cropped or left natural. The coat is short, dense, and glossy. Coat colors include white, black, brindle, fawn, red, and tri-color.

Bull Terriers range in size from about 21 to 28 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 50 and 80 pounds.

50. Jack Russell Terrier

Image from Nom Nom

Jack Russell Terrier is a well-known terrier breed and is often described as being full of energy, stubborn, and feisty. They were originally bred for hunting purposes and have a strong prey drive. This means that they are quick to chase after anything that moves, including other animals and small children. J

These breeds need plenty of exercise and stimulation, or they can become destructive.

They are not the best breed for first-time dog owners. They require patience and consistency when it comes to training and require an owner who is willing to put in the time and effort required to train them properly. If you are not prepared to commit to this

49. Jagdterrier

This German terrier dog is the product of intensive and careful breeding of the Old English Wirehaired Terrier and Welsh Terrier. The Jagdterrier was developed to be a talented, easily-trainable, and water-loving hunter dog.

This dog breed translates to “hunt terrier” in English. They are good at hunting underground because of their black and tan coat and small, compact, well-proportioned body size that can help them move unnoticeably.

48. Patterdale Terrier

Image from Embark Vet

The Patterdale Terrier is more of a dog type rather than a breed according to its partisan. Since these dogs were developed by crossbreeding Old English Terrier and the now extinct, Northumberland Pit Terrier, they became very notable hunting dogs.

As a member of the terrier group, they are bold and confident dogs that work hard by squeezing through very small passages underground to hunt for prey.

47. Tibetan Terrier

Image from Pet Plate

Tibetan Terriers, like their close relatives the Lhasa Apsos, are hailed as holy dogs of Tibet. They work very closely with residents of Buddhist monasteries as both a watchdog and companions.

These dogs are known to be affectionate, loyal, and sensitive owing to the environment they grew up in. This breed’s hallmark is the beautiful coat that is wooly to the touch but fine and soft under.

46. Dorkie

Image from House Carers

Dorkies are named as such because they are the result of breeding two other dog breeds, the Dachshund and Yorkshire Terrier. The best thing about these dogs, they got great qualities from both their ancestors.

They are laid-back and loyal which makes them great companions to anyone who would choose them as pets. These dogs love to be showered with affection and are clingy to their human partners.

45. Papi-Poo

Image from Instagram:@papipoo.dobby

Papi-poos also go by the names of Papoodles and Papi Doodles. From their name, everyone can probably tell that these dogs are the result of mixing two other dog breeds, the Papillon and Poodle.

These dogs belong to the so-called designer dog breeds which make them in demand among pet lovers. They are loving, intelligent, and active little dogs that are a perfect fit for all types of families.

44. Westiepoo

Image from Instagram:@finnean.westiepoo

Another designer dog on this list is the Westiepoo. These dogs are also mixed breed dogs, with the West Highland White Terrier and Poodle as their ancestors.

These dogs are among the most sociable and loving dog breeds. They can easily form bonds with their families and prefer to spend time with them doing activities. They are very smart and active dogs, so training them is a breeze.

43. Jack-A-Poo

Image from DoggieLawn

Jack-a-poos are energetic dogs that are the result of mixing a Jack Russell Terrier and a Miniature Poodle. They were developed to emphasize the desirable dog traits from both ancestor breeds.

These fur babies make for a great family pet because they are intelligent, affectionate, and lively. They love to play and run around so it’s best to take them out regularly to keep them happy and healthy.

42. Terripoo

Image from Instagram:@mystie_terripoo

Terripoos or Terridoodles are versatile family pets. As a result of mixing the Australian Terrier and Miniature Poodle, these small dogs are intelligent, intuitive, and playful.

They are friendly with children and other animals. But families with other pet animals should be careful because their terrier blood gets the best of them sometimes. When they see small animals that resemble prey, they can’t help but chase after them.

41. Danish-Swedish Farmdog

Image from Instagram:@danish_swedish_farmdog

As a Farmdog, the Danish-Swedish Farmdogs worked as mouse hunters, livestock herders, and watchdogs. But when modernization in farming arrived, they were no longer needed on the farm and were soon promoted to be part of the household as pets.

Even today as family companions, these dogs are known to be energetic, trainable, and attentive. And they also retain their puppy attitude even as adults.

40. Australian Silky Terrier

Image from Instagram:@bruce.australiansilky

The Australian Silky Terriers are close relatives of the more popular Yorkshire Terriers. These equally charming dogs are known for their glorious blue and a tan coat made of silky straight hair.

They can be easily identified because of their head topped with profuse hair that is parted in the middle and their erect V-shaped ears that make them look keenly alert. They are also very friendly.

39. Black Russian Terrier

Image from Instagram:@black_russian.terrier

Large, majestic, and powerful–these are the three words that can be used to describe the Black Russian Terrier. These dogs covered in a coarse all-black coat were bred to guard and protect the Siberian steppes.

Although these dogs possess courage, confidence, and intelligence, they are naturally aloof when it comes to strangers. But when it comes to their human partners, they are affectionate and very protective.

38. English White Terrier

Image from Instagram:@scooterzwag

Bred in the early 18th century, the English White Terriers, unfortunately, did not make it to today. They are now an extinct dog breed that was originally bred by farmers to hunt foxes in Britain.

Because of some genetic problems they were only around for 30 years. And due to their decreasing popularity and the rise of other better and healthier earth dog breeds, they eventually disappeared. 

37. Glen

Image from Fuzzy

Glen or Glen of Imaal Terrier is a tough terrier developed initially by Irish farmers to be badger hunters. But they have also proven their skills in the kitchen as they were made to run in a hamster-wheel contraption to turn the meat over an open fire.

These hardworking dogs are also gentle, spirited, and bold despite their small size. A breed hallmark is the bowed front legs.

36. Biewer Terrier

Image from Instagram:@little_biewer

The Biewer Terrier is a purebred dog created through careful and intensive breeding of Yorkshire Terriers. As a result, they ended up having the recessive piebald gene which made these dogs rare and in demand.

These small dogs seemed to be made to love and be loved as they are intelligent, devoted, and amusing. They can be recognized on the streets with their tri-colored coat and friendly personality.

35. Toy Fox Terrier

Image from Instagram:@toyfoxterrierworld

Toy Fox Terriers are like the miniature versions of the Smooth Fox Terriers created by breeding the latter with another small dog breed like the Chihuahuas or Italian Greyhounds. They were made to be toy-size terriers that dog lovers adored and wanted.

These cute toy dogs have a friendly, alert, and intelligent demeanor owing to the qualities of their ancestors which they came from.

34. Cesky Terrier

Image from Instagram:@ceskyterrierklubben

A native dog of the Czech Republic, the Cesky Terrier is scarce in other countries. If you ever see one, you’ll find that these dogs are clever, adventurous, and family-oriented making them ideal household pets.

They are muscular, short-legged dogs that worked as hunters in their early days, and when they transitioned as family companions, they used their earthdog skills to protect and watch over their families.

33. Sealyham Terrier

Image from Instagram:@sealyhameddie

The Sealyham Terrier was first bred in the Sealy Ham estate in southwestern Wales, hence their name. Their primary purpose was to dig otters out of their lairs because otters were considered pests that depleted the fish supply.

They can be recognized with their white coat and long heads that are covered in lavish facial hair. Today they are excellent watchdogs in their respective households.

32. Parson Russell Terrier

Image from K9Cuisine

They may look like plush toy dogs, but the Parson Russell Terriers are tough little dogs built for England’s traditional sport of fox hunting. They are intelligent and independent dogs that efficiently solve problems on their own.

These clever and athletic dogs are very friendly to anyone but are especially clingy to their human families. Their mostly white coat and proportioned bodies make them beautiful dogs.

31. English Toy Terrier

Image from Instagram:@englishtoyterrier_hertta

The English Toy Terriers are also known as Black and Tan Terriers because of the hues of their coat. Being a close relative of the Manchester Terriers, they share the typical terrier dog traits such as agility and quick movements.

These dogs had tough beginnings as they were made to fight in rat pits in the old days. Today they have become beloved pets at home.

30. Skye Terrier

Image from Instagram:@skyeterrier.life

The Skye Terriers are built as low, long, and level earth dogs to hunt foxes and badgers on the island of Skye in Scotland. But in the 19th century, they became popular dog companions of nobles when Queen Victoria developed a passionate liking for them. 

These good-tempered and unique-looking dogs feature a flat coat with a peek-a-boo hairstyle and big feathery ears that stand up like bat wings.

29. Kerry Blue Terrier

Image from Instagram:@kerry_blue_terriers

Kerry Blue Terriers are famous for their show-stopping and attention-grabbing coat. Their dense coats come in different shades of blue and are so soft to the touch. 

Another distinct feature is the beard on their long heads that can grow long when left untrimmed. These Irish dogs used to work as diligent farm dogs before they became the adaptable and smart family pets they are today.

28. Lakeland Terrier

Image from Instagram:@amigothelakie

Small but terrible farm dogs, Lakeland Terriers are excellent at controlling the population of sheep-stealing foxes. They were bred in the Lake District in England from which their name originated.

Many dog enthusiasts would say that these dogs are the embodiment of the “big dog in a small package” because of their bold confident attitude. But these cuties can also be friendly when they want to.

27. Miniature Bull Terrier

Image from Instagram:@riominibull

The Miniature Bull Terriers are very much like their bigger Bull Terrier counterparts in nearly every way. They also sport the same square and muscular body and the traditional egg-shaped head with dark triangular eyes.

These four-legged cuties are known in the dog kingdom as the clown prince because of their upbeat, mischievous, and comical demeanor. They love making their humans laugh during their quality time.

26. Manchester Terrier

Image from Instagram:@sid.vicious.manchester.terrier

Named after the English city where their development took place, the Manchester Terriers are known to be athletic dogs with a terrier’s ratting instinct.

These dogs come in two-size varieties, but both dog types are equally bright, spirited, and sporty and exhibit the graceful contours of coursing hounds. Dog lovers can spot these dogs easily on the field because of their tan and jet-black coat.

25. Welsh Terrier

Image from Instagram:@welshterrierguru

Being related to the Lakeland Terrier, the Welsh Terriers are also alert hunt dogs that excel in the field of hunting badger, otter, and other animal pests. But unlike the former, these dogs have a calmer approach.

The fur babies sport a fluffy black and tan coat and a rectangular head with folded ears and a jaunty beard. Generally, they are also friendly dogs to anyone who pets them.

24. Miniature Schnauzer

Image from Dog.com

One of the most popular options as family pets is the Miniature Schnauzers. They are bred down from the Standard Schnauzer and are the smallest of the three Schnauzer breeds.

However, these dogs are tough and fearless companions nonetheless. As household pets, they are smart, obedient, and friendly. They are also chosen because they are known to live long, are generally healthy, and are a low-shedding breed.

23. Norwich Terrier

Image from DoggieLawn

With a standing height of only 10 inches and a weight of 12 lbs, the Norwich Terriers are among the smallest members of the terrier dog group. But what they lack in size, they make up for their tough and fearless demeanor as rat hunters on farms.

As pets, these dogs are affectionate and happy-go-lucky. They are also energetic dogs that love quality playtime whenever possible.

22. Irish Terrier

Irish Terriers are one of Ireland’s pride as an all-purpose farm dogs. They are known to work hard as rat hunters primarily, but also did other jobs such as watchdogs, flock guardians, and family companions to earn their feed.

Their fiery red coat is a representation of their temperament according to dog experts. They are bold, dashing, and courageous on the field but a total sweethearts at home.

21. American Hairless Terrier

Image from Instagram:@carl_aht

Although they are called hairless, the American Hairless Terriers do come in coated varieties as well. The hairless dogs are smooth and warm to the touch and require intensive care against sunburn and cold weather.

They are the perfect choice for pet owners who suffer from allergies but still want to own a dog with a terrier personality. These dogs are energetic, curious, and alert watchdogs. 

20. Yorkshire Terrier

Image from K9Cuisine

Yorkshire Terriers are one of the most popular terriers on this list and it’s no surprise because these cute dogs are beautiful inside and out. Their floor-length glossy coats of hair turn head everywhere they go.

Despite their sophisticated look, these dogs are feisty and have a tomboyish attitude like the true terrier that they are. They are affectionate and provide long-term companionship to their human partners.

19. Rat Terrier

Image from Fuzzy

Another original American terrier, the Rat Terriers are known to be great rat exterminators in farms where rodents are the most problematic pest. It is said that the dog breed name was coined by former President Teddy Roosevelt himself.

When they are not working as rat hunters, these dogs serve as friendly and lovable companions to their families. They are also amazing playmates to little children.

18. Norfolk Terrier

Image from Petmate

Norfolk Terriers may look like every bit of a lapdog, but their terrier blood still shows whenever they go hunt for rodents. These cute toy dogs closely resemble their close relatives, the Norwich Terriers, but can be differentiated using their ears.

The Norwich Terriers have erect, pointed ears while Norfolk dogs have their ears neatly folded over. Because of their size, they earned a reputation as good travelers.

17. Scottish Terrier

Image from Pawp

The Scottish Terriers had humble beginnings as rat and badger hunters before they became companions of very famous figures in history such as former US president Franklin Roosevelt.

These independent and spirited dogs are unique-looking because of the distinctive furnishings of the beard, legs, and lower body in addition to their wiry coat. They have bright eyes that make them look keen and alert all the time.

16. Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Image from Instagram:@rambodouglas

Anyone who sees a Dandie Dinmont Terrier will not mistake it for any other dog breed because of its unique features. These dogs have large heads covered in profuse white hair, long, hanging ears with feathering, and long, low torsos with short legs.

They used to work as pest exterminators on farms before they became household companions. They love playing and cuddling with kids at home.

15. Australian Terrier

Image from Embark Vet

The Australian Terrier is a product of interbreeding six other British terriers when these dogs were brought to Australia several years ago. The other terriers were combined to create an all-purpose exterminator that is skilled in killing other mammals and snakes.

With their diverse genes, these dogs are affectionate, courageous, and spirited household pets. They are alert watchdogs that love to spend bonding time with their families.

14. Smooth Fox Terrier

Image from Instagram:@bowie_smooth_fox_terrier

They are not called Smooth Fox Terriers for nothing. These dogs are the animal for the job and were a favorite among British noblemen when it comes to traditional fox hunting. 

They are known to be clever hunters because of their graceful moves that ensured a catch every time. At home, these skillful dogs transform into the most friendly and amusing pets to their human families.

13. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

Ireland seems to have mastered the art of breeding terriers because the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier is another one of theirs. Just like the above-mentioned, Kerry Blue and Irish Terriers, these dogs also started as farm dogs.

But what set these dogs apart from the other Irish dog breeds is their famously soft, silky, and pale beige to shimmering gold coat from which their name was derived.

12. Bedlington Terrier

Image from Instagram:@bedlingtonterriertous

Bedlington Terriers look like lambs because of their crisp, curly coat but they are actually distinct-looking dogs with an arched-back, tasseled ears, and fleecy, pear-shaped heads.

With their adorable physical features, it’s hard to imagine that these dogs worked as coal mine ratters and pit fighters many years ago. Thankfully they have been saved from the harsh living conditions and have become well-beloved household pets.

11. American Pitbull Terrier

Image from Instagram:@american_pitbull_terrier_dog

The American Pitbull Terriers were the result of crossbreeding the now-extinct Old English Terrier and Old English Bulldog. They were developed to get the best qualities of both ancestor dogs in one dog breed.

The product dog breed possesses the gameness of the terrier and the strength and athleticism of the bulldog. These dogs successfully became companion dogs, working dogs, and athletic sports dogs today.

10. Wire Hair Fox Terrier

Image from Instagram:@i.p.rae

Just like their close relatives the Smooth Fox Terrier, and the Wire Hair Fox Terriers were also employed by British men to bolt foxes from their lair. They were essential members of the foxhunt team together with hounds and horsemen.

These dogs are motivated and alert pets even at home as a result of years of foxhunting, but they can also be friendly and charming companions.

9. Boston Terrier

Image from Pet Plate

Boston Terriers are famous for sporting a “tuxedo” black and white coat. Because of this and their well-mannered behavior, they were called the “American Gentlemen”. 

These dogs may be small in size but, true to their terrier genes, they are alert and confident which makes for a wonderful watchdog in homes. They are very sociable dogs that love to go out for walks and meet new people.

8. Border Terrier

Image from YuMove

Every country has its own prized fox-hunting terriers. In Scotland, specifically along the Scottish-English border, the quick and agile Border Terriers were developed by farmers in the past to pursue and dispatch the sheep-stealing predator.

Although they are known as tough and no-frills working terriers, these dogs are affectionate towards their human families and are happy dogs in general. They love being outdoors and exploring wherever they are.

7. Cairn Terrier

Image from Dog.com

Cairn Terriers are small but alert earthdogs that were also bred to chase away foxes and other small furry prey in the rocky Scottish countryside. 

Although there are several noted terriers from Scotland, these dogs are unique in that they are short-legged but can move quickly and exude strength but not heaviness. Both on the field and at home, these cute dogs are alert, cheerful, and busy creatures.

6. West Highland White Terrier

Image from House Carers

The West Highland White Terrier, Westie for short, is another of Scotland’s famous small terrier breeds. These dogs were bred to hunt rats and are especially skilled in catching underground rodents because of their size.

Aside from their skills on the field, they are also known for being irresistibly cute. They have a compact body covered in a plush toy exterior and a carrot-shaped wagging tail.

5. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Image from House Carers

Far from their rough and tough past as brawlers in England’s fighting pits, the Staffordshire Bull Terriers today are mild and playful house companions. 

Although they still possess their rock-solid, muscular bodies and tenacious nature, they actually have gradually become sweet-natured and family-oriented thanks to careful breeding and training. They are also loyal and patient dogs making them the perfect choice for families with kids.

4. Airedale Terrier

Image from 1-800-PetMeds

Being one of the most versatile terriers to be developed, the Airedale Terrier is known as the mighty King of Terriers. They were bred by factory workers to be large and fearless hunting dogs.

This breed is a mixture of many other dog breeds which resulted in many different jobs titles for these dogs carried. They have served as ratters, duck dogs, herders, and the list goes on.

3. American Staffordshire Terrier

American Staffordshire Terriers, are commonly called as AmStaffs to those familiar with them. These dogs are muscular bull-type terriers because of their well-defined jaws, pronounced cheekbones, and dark, round eyes.

But when they are not training or doing physical activities outdoors, these dogs are very upbeat, lovable, and charming dogs at home. Because of their confident and smart demeanor, they are in demand in the showbiz.

2. Bull And Terrier

Image from Instagram:@bull_and_terriers

The Bull and Terrier is a dog breed that has been extinct for years now. But they still deserve to be recognized and included in this list because this breed is considered the ancestor of the many terriers that exist today.

These dogs are the result of crossbreeding Old English Bulldogs and Old English Terriers. They are excellent hunting dogs known for their endurance and courage.

1. Maltese

Because of their pristine beauty, the Maltese dogs were once considered precious commodities. These dogs were used as items for exchange with other seafarers from different nations.

But being a terrier, these cute toy dogs are not just for display on the laps of wealthy women who adored them. They can serve as watchdogs too because they are also known to be adaptable, alert, and most especially, fearless.

What Makes A Dog A Terrier? 

Terriers have a temperament that is unique to them. They are feisty, energetic, and sometimes stubborn. In terms of skills, Terriers differ because they are purposely bred to hunt and kill predators at home or in the fields. They also require special grooming known as stripping to maintain their characteristic appearance.

What Is The Personality Of A Terrier Dog?

Terrier dog experts say these dogs have an eager-to-argue type of personality. They are brave and bold dogs that do not run away even when they are faced with animals larger than them. Moreover, when they are stressed they tend to be destructive to get their owner’s attention.

Do Terrier Dogs Bark A Lot?

No, Terrier dogs don’t bark a lot. In fact, most terrier dog breeds belong to the medium level in terms of barking level. This means these dogs know when it’s necessary to bark and when it’s not. Most of the time they bark to warn their owners of their perceived threat.

Avatar photo
Pete Decker