Terrier Dog Breeds

Top 15 Terrier Dog Breeds: Detailed Information and Pictures

Terrier dog breeds can be special in many ways, the most being how gorgeous these dog breeds are and in general their regal and affectionate behavior. While many terrier-type dog breeds have been bred to hunt certain types of vermin, it is still a fact that some terrier dog breeds are simply far too compassionate to be anything but companion dogs.

These dogs may either be terrifying as guard dogs or be peaceful depending on what sort of type of dog breed they are. One thing should be noted that as these dogs were originally bred for hunting small-time animals or vermin. They can have an instinctive need to hunt and more often than not will try to chase down certain animals which might be your pet but are small.

This article will be dealing with the top 15 types of terrier dog breeds along with what you might do to try and make sure your grip over these dog breeds remain strong and tethered.

Terrier Dog Breeds

Top 15 Types of Terrier Dog Breeds & Their Differences

If you are slightly confused about which terrier dog breed type you should try, first of all, you may just take a look at this list to perhaps find your type:

1. Boston Terrier

Breed Overview:

  • Group: Non-Sporting                 
  • Height: 15-17 inches
  • Weight: 12-25 pounds
  • Coat and Color: Short and smooth coat.  Colors are Black & White, Black Brindle & White, Seal & White, etc.
  • Life Span: 11-13 years
  • Origin: United States

Boston Terrier

A gentle and well-mannered dog, the Boston terrier, by all means, is one of the best affectionate dogs in terrier dog breeds. These dogs are not at all wary of strangers and can welcome them with quite the jest, however, this also affects their ability to be an effective guard dogs.

These dogs generally are happy living with an owner in small apartments as long as their dieting and exercise needs are successfully fulfilled. Else you might just see a slightly irritable Boston terrier just waiting to bark at you.

2. Bull Terrier

Breed Overview:

  • Group: Terrier                              
  • Height: 21-22 inches
  • Weight: 50-70 pounds
  • Coat and Color: Smooth, short coat. Colors can be Fawn, Red, etc.
  • Life Span: 12-13 years
  • Origin: England

Bull Terrier

While it might be a fact that these dogs may not exactly be peaceful in many cases owing to their very violent upbringing. These dogs are some of the most intimidating dogs who can be a great partner to an owner, but violent to strangers.

If you are looking for a good guard dog, then this dog certainly can be a great choice, these dogs on the other hand are great comedians when given the chance!

3. Airedale Terrier

Breed Overview:

  • Group: Terrier                              
  • Height: 23 inches
  • Weight: 50-70 pounds
  • Coat and Color: Short-sized wiry coat. Colors include Black & Tan or Grizzle & Tan
  • Life Span: 11-14 years
  • Origin: United Kingdom, England

Airedale Terrier

Distinctly known for its bearded looks and long snout, the Airedale terrier is a dog who can be effective for many household tasks including cleaning up of certain pests. These are said to be the “king” of terriers for their large size, essentially being the largest of all terrier dog breeds.

These dogs are highly independent and hence will tend to be stubborn at times when being trained, however, these dogs should be socialized for proper behavior in the future. They will also need a good exercise routine to ensure that they do not turn destructive.

Read more: Dog Breeds with Dreadlocks

4. West Highland White Terrier

Breed Overview:

  • Group: Terrier
  • Height: 10-11 inches
  • Weight: 15-20 pounds
  • Coat and Color: Double coat that is medium in size. The color is White only
  • Life Span: 13-15 years
  • Origin: Scotland

West Highland White Terrier

Tiny and adorable, these white fluff balls are highly recommended for those who are looking to have good cuddles and want a highly friendly dog. These dogs can be good playing partners for children and overall can be a good family dogs, they however will need to be engaged to maintain proper mental equilibrium.

These dogs however are prone to various diseases that may occur exclusively to them. The most common one is hyperplastic dermatosis which is a skin condition or westie jaw which causes a huge growth of bones in the jaws of the puppies of this breed.

5. Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Breed Overview:

  • Group: Terrier
  • Height: 8-11 inches
  • Weight: 18-24 pounds
  • Coat and Color: Double coat which is medium in size. Colors include Mustard or Pepper.
  • Life Span: 12-15 years
  • Origin: Scotland

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Looking like straight out of royalty, the Dandie is a dog breed that might be considered small in size, but are great at being guard dogs and won’t hesitate to be aggressive when the situation comes. These dogs can be also great as family dogs and generally do require good amounts of exercise to keep them healthy, both physically and mentally. These dogs, however, have become slightly rare and are on the list of some of the most vulnerable dog breeds.

6. Irish Terrier

Breed Overview:

  • Group: Terrier                              
  • Height: 18 inches
  • Weight: 25-27 pounds
  • Coat and Color: Double coat that is wiry and medium-length. Colors are generally Red, Wheaten, or Red Wheaten
  • Life Span: 13-15 years
  • Origin: Ireland

Irish Terrier

These dogs are said to be some of the best companion dogs, being a good watchdog and overall affectionate. These dogs do have an independent thought process and tend to be free-spirited in whatever they do, this can mean that they might be hard to train under normal circumstances and would likely cause a hard time.

It still is recommended to make sure that these dogs get proper exercise every day, else they will turn destructive and miserable.

7. American Pit Bull Terrier

Breed Overview:

  • Group: Terrier                              
  • Height: 17-19 inches
  • Weight: 30-85 pounds                                                                                  
  • Coat and Color: Short and shiny coat. Colors may include Brown, Fawn Brindle, etc.
  • Life Span: 12-16 years
  • Origin: United States, United Kingdom

American Pit Bull Terrier

Muscular and tall, the pit bull is one of the most common guards dogs one may see in various households. These dogs however also have a bad reputation for being an aggressive dog breed, in fact, an owner who is not dominating should not get this dog breed at all.

Originally bred to be a fighter dog, the pit bull terrier may have lost most of its basic programming, but the dog breed is still a force to be reckoned with. It is recommended to get this dog constant attention and exercise.

8. Scottish Terrier

Breed Overview:

  • Group: Terrier
  • Height: 10 inches
  • Weight: 18-22 pounds
  • Coat and Color: Double coat medium-sized and wiry. Colors mainly include Black, Brindle, or Wheaten along with other possible color combinations
  • Life Span: 12-15 years
  • Origin: Scotland

Scottish Terrier

Known for its distinctive hairy look, the Scottish terrier is an excellent dog breed that can both be a companion and a watchdog. These dogs, however, have a stubborn personality common in many terrier-type dog breeds, therefore it is important to socialize them early to get along with other dogs and strangers rather than becoming violent.

You should also ensure that these dogs get proper grooming due to their hairy coat as they can shed quite a bit, but not too much.

9. Black Russian Terrier

Breed Overview:

  • Group: Working                           
  • Height: 26-30 inches
  • Weight: 80-130 pounds
  • Coat and Color: Medium-long double coat which may be curly or slightly thick. Colors are Black, Sable, Blue, Salt & Pepper or Black & Tan
  • Life Span: 10-12 years
  • Origin: Russia

Black Russian Terrier

Powerful and sturdy, the black Russian terrier rightfully deserves to be called a strong terrier dog breed due to just how tenacious and intimidating they are. Bred by the USSR to be heavy workers, these dogs are generally harder to handle than other terrier dog breeds due to their stubborn personalities. They also will not get along with other dogs or strangers as they can be wary of both.

10. Kerry Blue Terrier

Breed Overview:

  • Group: Terrier
  • Height: 17.5-19.5
  • Weight: 33-40 pounds (females might be less)
  • Coat and Color: Wavy coat medium in size. Colors are Black, Silver Blue & Black, etc.
  • Life Span: 12-15 years
  • Origin: Ireland

Kerry Blue Terrier

Bred for hunting small-time games, these dogs are efficient at being both companions while also having the keen senses of a hunter. These dogs can do a variety of tasks in a professional way, some of the being guard dogs, herding livestock or protecting them, etc.

These dogs do will need exercises to keep them steady and ready for any sort of mental trouble that they may face along the way if they are left alone for a period of time.  These dogs are generally excited and engaged when given a task to do.

11. Cairn Terrier

Breed Overview:

  • Group: Terrier                              
  • Height: 9.5-10 inches
  • Weight: 13-14 pounds
  • Coat and Color: Wiry medium-sized double coat. Colors include Black, Brindle, Cream, etc.
  • Life Span: 13-15 years
  • Origin: Scottish Highlands, Scotland

Cairn Terrier

Slightly upbeat and willing to be a great family dog, the Cairn terrier might have been bred for luring foxes and other small games for their hunter companion. But they are fully capable of being happy and energetic.

These dogs are high-spirited diggers. Therefore, an owner might just have to make sure that these dogs do not dig in their backyard too much by training them.

12. Welsh Terrier

Breed Overview:

  • Group: Terrier                              
  • Height: 15 inches with females being smaller
  • Weight: 20 pounds with females weighing less
  • Coat and Color: Medium length Wiry topcoat and undercoat. Black & Tan, Grizzle & Tan are the colors.
  • Life Span: 12-15 years
  • Origin: Wales, United Kingdom

Welsh Terrier

Slightly tall with an intimidating posture and bred for hunting foxes and other sorts of small animals. This dog breed has become a rare but special terrier-type dog.

These dogs are often used in dog shows to show off how special they are and why they should be better protected. Otherwise, these dogs have the same characteristics as other terrier-type dogs.

13. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Breed Overview:

  • Group: Terrier                              
  • Height: 14-16 inches
  • Weight: 24-38 pounds
  • Coat and Color: Short coat that is smooth. Colors are Black, Fawn Black & Tan, etc.
  • Life Span: 12-14 years
  • Origin: United Kingdom

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

This terrier might have been a brutal fighter in the beginning, but this dog breed has now become far more domesticated and has lost most of its traits of such.

These sweet dogs generally won’t be harmful to the owner, however, they can be slightly mixed in terms of being a guard dog. This is owing to the fact that these dogs are slightly trusting of strangers.

14. Russell Terrier

Breed Overview:

  • Group: Terrier                              
  • Height: 10-12 inches
  • Weight: 9-15 pounds
  • Coat and Color: Wiry and Smooth coat that is short in length. Color is mainly White with brown markings on the face, ears, or other parts of the body
  • Life Span: 9-15 years
  • Origin: England

Russell Terrier

Often confused with the Jack Russell terrier, this dog is also called the Parson Russell terrier. These dogs, mostly small and white in color, are quite energetic and innocent.

On the other hand, these dogs show a fondness for meeting people and are often fine with even playing with other animals such as horses.

15. Norfolk Terrier

Breed Overview:

  • Group: Terrier                              
  • Height: 9-10 inches
  • Weight: 11-12 pounds
  • Coat and Color: Wiry double coat short in size. Colors mainly are Black & Tan, Grizzle, Red Wheaten, Red
  • Life Span: 12-16 years
  • Origin: Great Britain

Norfolk Terrier

Tiny and drop-eared. The Norfolk Terrier is an affectionate and loving terrier-type dog breed, these dogs may act lazy at times, but they are highly active and will tend to tire you out instead!

Tips for Choosing Terrier Dog Breeds

When it comes to choosing a terrier dog breed, there are a few things you need to take into consideration. Terriers were originally bred to hunt vermin, so they have high energy levels and can be quite stubborn. They also come in a wide range of sizes, from the tiny Yorkshire Terrier to the large Airedale Terrier.
If you’re looking for a feisty, spunky little dog to join your family, you may be considering one of the many terrier dog breeds. Terriers are notorious for their high energy levels and scrappy personalities, but they can also make wonderful pets. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right terrier breed for your family:

  1. Consider your lifestyle. Terriers were originally bred as hunting dogs, so they have a lot of energy and need plenty of exercises. If you live in an apartment or don’t have a lot of time for walks and playtime, another type of dog may be a better fit for you.
  2. Think about what size of dog you’re looking for. Terriers come in all shapes and sizes, from the tiny Yorkshire Terrier to the larger Airedale Terrier. Consider how much space you have in your home and whether you want a small or large dog before making your final decision.
  3. Choose a hypoallergenic breed if allergies are an issue. Not all terriers are hypoallergenic, but some breeds (like the West Highland White Terrier) don’t shed much and may be less likely to trigger allergies insensitive people.
  4. Be prepared for some shedding (and maybe some barking). Most terriers do shed at least moderately, so if you’re not okay with pet hair around the house this may not be the right breed for you. And since terriers were bred to hunt vermin like rats and mice, many still have strong hunting instincts – which means they may bark at small animals outside or try to catch them if given the chance!

Which Terrier is Easiest to Train?

Dogs are individual and will therefore respond differently to training. However, some terriers are generally considered to be easier to train than others.

These include the Yorkshire Terrier, the Jack Russell Terrier, and the Cairn Terrier. All of these breeds are intelligent and eager to please, which makes them quick learners. They also have high energy levels, which means they need plenty of exercise and stimulation in order to stay happy and healthy.

When it comes to obedience training, these breeds typically excel. However, it’s important to remember that all dogs require patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement in order for training to be effective.

Which is the Calmest Terrier?

When it comes to terriers, there is no clear consensus on which one is the calmest. This is likely because each individual dog has its own personality and energy level. Some terriers may be more laid back than others, but in general, they are all relatively active breeds.

If you are looking for a calm terrier, it is important to consider the individual dog’s personality and energy level when making your decision.

Terrier Behavior Problems

If you’re the proud owner of a terrier, you may already know that these dogs are full of energy and mischief. While this can make for a fun-loving companion, it can also lead to behavior problems if not properly managed. Here are some common terrier behavior problems and how to deal with them:

  1. Digging – One of the most common terrier behaviors is digging. If your dog is constantly digging up your yard or garden, it’s important to provide him with an alternate outlet for his energy. Try setting up a sandbox in your backyard or taking him on more walks/runs to tire him out.
  2. Chewing – Terriers are notorious chewers and can destroy everything from furniture to clothing if left unchecked. The best way to deal with this behavior is to provide your dog with plenty of chew toys and bones to keep him occupied. You should also avoid leaving anything around that you don’t want him to chew on (e.g., shoes, remote controls, etc.).
  3. Barking – Another common terrier behavior is excessive barking. This can be frustrating for both you and your neighbors so it’s important to nip it in the bud early on. The best way to do this is by teaching your dog basic obedience commands such as “quiet” or “speak.”

You should also provide him with plenty of positive reinforcement when he does bark appropriately (e . g .  treats, praise, etc .)


Types of terrier dog breeds can be varied at times, but the most important part about them is their energetic personality and stubborn behavior. If you are the type to not have an over-energetic dog, you might have to refrain from getting them.

But on the other hand, those who desire a cuddle partner, a fluffy buddy, or simply a capable guard dog. Then you might just take a look at some of the top 15 types of terrier breeds. However, it should be kept in mind that a terrier might need to be well taken care of in terms of exercising as terriers mainly need to be kept engaged to keep them happy and obedient along with being active.

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