Losing is not in a terrier’s vocabulary. Own a terrier and one word will spring out at you immediately—determination! They take a bite out of life and won’t let go! There are two types of terriers: vermin hunters and fighting breeds.
The Vermin Hunters:
These self-assured, spirited breeds are a lively bunch. Originally bred to listen for and hunt vermin on the farm, they are always on the alert and feisty when set to a task. Agile and independent, they don’t excel in off-leash training and need to be leashed when outdoors.
If you’re not a control freak and want a dog with spunk and good humor, take a good look at this list. Untrained or over-isolated, however, these dogs can become chronic barkers, chewers, or markers, and may develop aggression over objects and food.
Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Fox Terrier (Smooth and Wirehaired)
Kerry Blue Terrier
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
West Highland White Terrier
The West Highland White Terrier
Originally bred to fight other dogs or to bait bulls, these breeds are cocky and courageous. Thankfully, they are no longer used for fighting and their combative instincts have been bred down. These dogs can make agreeable and entertaining pets. Early socialization and training are important—their pugnacious nature has been tamed, but not eliminated. Without this effort, fighting breeds can be dangerous around other animals, adults, and children.
American Staffordshire Terrier
Miniature Bull Terrier
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The American Staffordshire Terrier
Some slightly deranged people still think it’s cool to watch dogs rip each other limb from limb. Although it’s illegal, it still happens, so be very careful when buying one of these puppies. Make sure your breeder is breeding for mild temperaments only.