Y’all, I have such a time telling Terriers apart. Chewy is a type of Terrier, with his probable Affenpinscher self.
Gadget, my mom’s newest dog, is probably a Brussels Griffon, which is a Terrier.
Jan’s dog, Ricky, is definitely a Terrier, but I have no clue what type.
What Is a Terrier?
So what makes a dog a Terrier? Let’s break it down. Wikipedia says this:
A terrier is a dog of any one of many breeds or land races of terrier type, which are typically small, wiry, very active and fearless dogs. Terrier breeds vary greatly in size from just 1 kg (2 lb) to over 32 kg (70 lb) and are usually categorized by size or function.
So according to this, the Terriers range from Toy Dogs all the way to Large Dogs. Yes. Chewy and Gadget would be considered Toy, Gadget weighing in at less than ten pounds. But does active and fearless, small and wiry cover the entire type? What image comes to mind when you think Terrier? I don’t know about you, but I always think wiry fur, like Ricky.
But my neighbor’s Rat Terrier, Sparky, has a smooth coat. And Sparky isn’t wiry, believe you me. He’s a little pudge.
So what else defines the Terrier? Because some even have soft coats, like Preston and Pierre, both West Highland Terriers.
Dog Time helps us out with this description of the Terrier in general:
Terriers are the rascals of the dog world. Their name comes from the Latin word terra, meaning earth, and references their love of digging for such prey as foxes, moles, badgers, and rats.
So Terriers are rat dogs. Which I can totally attest to with Chewy. He hunts the rodents in the back yard relentlessly, and has delivered a couple of mice to me.
We have these Terrier attributes so far:
- Rodent hunters
Active? How about fast?
A Yorkie is a Terrier (Yorkshire Terrier):
A Schnauzer is a Terrier, and they come in giant and miniature, as well as standard.
As I look through the list of Terriers, I find that even the Bull Terrier is part of the group.
I can totally see Reba chasing mice and rats. She’s a Sitting Bull Terrier.
I hope I cleared things up for you. I’m not sure I understand the distinction between all the types of Terriers, and when I look at the list including their photos, I see a lot of wiry haired dogs, but as you see here, there are quite a few which aren’t. But if you’re looking for a dog who’ll keep your mouse and rat population down, as well as be a great companion dog, I think you can’t go wrong with a Terrier. Just keep in mind that they’re active and will need plenty of exercise and mental activity.
Oh, and plenty of Jones chews. That goes without saying, though, doesn’t it? 😉
Until I write again …