How Terriers Worked

Ratting Terrier c 1800's Ratting Terrier c 1800's

This section outlines the type of work the terrier was required to do when terrier various breeds first evolved. The specialised tasks, plus the terrain in which the terrier was required to work, are the reasons why the various terrier breeds was are constructed differently.

Terriers historical French

The History of Terriers

Terriers were first classified as such by Dame Juliana Berners in 1486 AD, calling them 'Teroures' in her treatise on hunting. Her book contains the first classification of terriers in English. »» Read more...

Ratting Terrier with pups GIMP


Dogs that caught rats have been an important part of our lives for the centuries. Before modern pesticides were invented, rats plagued the fields as well as the cities and ships. From the ratting dogs that sailed around the world killing rats on board, several different terriers developed in countries outside Britain. »» Read more...

Badger charles catton REV

Badger Digs

As urbanization took place, underground tunnels constructed by badgers became an increasing problem. Additionally, their homes, or badger setts were also cohabited by foxes, rabbits, rats, weasels and other vermin. So badgers became that elusive prey several breeds of terriers were bred to hunt. »» Read more...

Historical Terrier Running with Hounds

Fox Hunting

From the 1500's to the 1800's, the sport of fox hunting grew out of necessity. At this time, Britain was overrun with foxes and other vermin which attacked livestock including poultry. Additionally, dens which were dug by vermin which lived underground were a hazard for horses and larger animals which could break a leg by stepping into these holes. Over ... »» Read more...


Otter Hunting

Otters live both on land and in water. Until the early 20th century they were considered vermin. Their breeding dens are located in some secluded spot by the side of a lake or river, with easy access to water. Their dens were often co-habited by water rats or other vermin. Otters are capable of remaining for a considerable time under ... »» Read more...