Terrier Dogs were bred in farms to track and hunt down vermin like rats, rodents and mice, which would otherwise create havoc in a farmhouse. This required a particular tenacity and determination and terriers were famous for these qualities. Slowly they also started being used by hunting parties to track down small quarries and this only served to hone the hunting instincts of these dogs. In due course of time, these terriers were bred with various hunting and fighting dogs to enhance some of their tenacity and fighting spirit, leading to a variety of terrier breeds.
Lately, they have proved to be great pets bringing great energy and joy to their owners, yet they still maintain their feisty old nature and it is not always easy to train and control a terrier. Let us take a quick look at some of the more popular terrier breeds today.
1. Airedale Terrier – This terrier hails from the Valley of Aire, Yorkshire, England, the place also giving it its name. Though this is one of the bigger terriers, it is also one of the most patient and gentle ones. It possesses a very even temperament and is great with children. The Airedale terrier has a reputation as one of the most intelligent terriers and is considered to be very quick to pick up commands. As a result, they are great as watchdogs or guard dogs, especially if you have children in the family.
2. Bull Terrier – These terriers are typically very fearless and at the same time very mischievous and great fun to have around the house. Though they may seem too energetic at times, they are extraordinarily affectionate and loving. Though they may be a little too much to handle for small children, they make fantastic pets for older children. Since they are so full of energy, being cooped up in an apartment may not work out for them. Also, bull terriers are notoriously stubborn and can be difficult to train. However, if they are brought in when they are puppies and are patiently taught obedience training, they will turn out to be great companions.
3. American Staffordshire Terrier – This terrier is again a very active but playful dog, generally very patient and friendly. It is relatively easy to train an American Staffordshire than some of the other dogs and they get along great with children. They may be a handful for little children but are great playmates for older children. However, they do require careful training as at times their hunting instincts take over, especially if there are birds or cats around.
4. Jack Russell Terrier – Though you may find that almost all terriers in general are very energetic by nature, the Jack Russell is probably by far the most active. It demands full attention from all the family members and wants to be involved in all the family activities. A Jack Russell may be small in size but needs enough exercise because otherwise it may start getting bored and may turn to destroying things in and around the house.