Terrier Breeds

Airedale TerrierAiredale Terrier

Terriers were originally the Scent Hounds which followed their prey beneath the earth hence their name 'Terrier' derived from the Latin word 'Terra' meaning earth. Historically Terriers hunted rats, foxes, badger, stoats, weasels and otters. In today's society with no quarry to hunt, the terrier's instinct to dig could worry a garden conscious owner. However, their energy and fun loving character makes them excellent family pets and watchdogs.

Parson hunting in tree

Terrier Breed Index

The classification of the dogs in this Group varies from country to country. For simplicity of navigation and accessibility, the table below lists the breeds alphabetically that appear in the Australian classification, divided into sections showing their historical purpose. »» Read more...

Airedale Royce looking over fence

Living with a Terrier

Terriers have character all of their own! This is instinctive behaviour that has been developed over centuries and gives terriers their unique personality. Once understood and respected, terriers make great companions and adapt superbly to modern society. But a terrier requires a firm hand and must be taught exactly what is expected of him. Here are some general guidelines. »» Read more...

Terrier rough coat old painting

The History of Terriers

The earliest depiction of a dog that could be described as a Terrier is in this famous Belgium painting by Jan Van Eyck in 1434 of the Marriage of Giovanni Arnilfini and Giovanna Cenami. However, 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 ... »» Read more...

Black Tan Terrier a 1800

How Terriers Worked

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. »» Read more...

Terriers of England Old English BW and Tan Terriers

Terriers of England

Today's English Terrier breeds of England trace their origin back to the now extinct Old English White Terrier and the Old English Black-and-tan Terrier that were common in England as early as the 1700's. These Terriers came in both smooth and rough coated varieties as well as in different sizes. By the 1800's Old English Terriers were either primarily white ... »» Read more...

Westies three

Terriers of Scotland

All Terriers of Scotland were historically all called 'Scottish Terriers' until the advent of dog shows. The name 'Scottish' is not to be confused with 'Scotch' which today more generally relates to the people of Scotland or their Whiskey! From common original stock, the 4 different breeds of Scottish Terriers considered here emerged. This chapter explores how and why each ... »» Read more...

Border Fox Terrier 1806

Terriers of the Border Region

This wonderful woodcut dated half a century before the English Stud books began, was captioned Fox Terrier 1806. This was because it was used for fox hunting. But the dog pictured is more likely to be a forerunner of the Border Terrier than its counterpart the Fox Terrier of England. From this early type of terrier originating in the border ... »» Read more...

Irish Terrier Swaggie

Terriers of Ireland

Dogs have been part of the way of life in Ireland since prehistoric times. As the centuries rolled by, Irish dogs consisted of large hounds used for hunting by the wealthy landowners, and terriers for the general farm work of terriers of the tenant farmers. As these were poor people who did not travel outside Ireland, during the 1800's 4 ... »» Read more...

Rat getting to ship

Terriers developed outside Great Britain

British terrier breeds were in the background of all the Terriers considered in this section. Some were carried on board sailing ships to kill the rats and mice that lived in the squalor of the ship's holds. Once they reached their destination, they bore the name of their country of development. The two European Terriers considered here were deliberately developed ... »» Read more...

Bull Terrier with lizard

Bull Terrier Breeds

After dog fighting was banned in England in 1835, four Bull Terrier breeds gradually emerged. They were derived from the old type Bulldogs with or without an admixture of the Old English White Terrier (smooth coat). The Bull Terrier, in a range of sizes and was the first to appear in the First English Stud Book. Half a century later, ... »» Read more...