The Terrier Group
The word “terrier” comes from the Latin word for “terra” which means earth and aptly describes the part of the landscape in which these were originally employed- Having been bred to drive badgers, foxes, rabbits, and other quarry from their underground retreats. On occasions, when the terriers could not reach into the borrow or the earth, it would still indicate the presence of the quarry to the hunter, who would then unearth it by other means.
Because of the qualities required to perform these underground tasks, most terriers are small to medium sized dogs, often with short legs, great digging skills, and powerful jaws- but always with huge tenacity. In time the name terriers came to be applied to all dogs that were also kept for dispatching vermin such as rats and mice.
Because different sorts of terriers were required for working over many varied kinds of terrain, crossbreeding with other types of dog became common practice. Thus breeds of terriers required to keep up with huntsman on horseback might be bred with Hounds to improve stamina and increase the length of the legs. Terriers used for fighting would be bred with Mastifs and other large powerful dogs to improve their skills in combat.
Many of these new terrier breeds arose because of local needs, and often bear the name of the region in which they originated. Such as the Manchester Terrier, The Skye Terrier and the Australian Terrier, for example, leave no doubt as to the origins.
The rise in popularity of terriers began in the latter part of the 19th century when dogs shows brought many of the animals to a wider audience. This was also the period when many of the breeds standards, were set. As with many other dog breeds, shows today tend to concentrate on appearance, and terriers have been among the top awards breeds.
Terriers range in size from the largest, The Airedal Terrier, which stands 24 in at the shoulder, to the Norfolk Terrier (which stands 10 in tall). Despite these great differences in size, terriers usually display many shared, Characteristics. They are naturally alert and curious dogs, being sharp in movement, it also means that they like nothing better than to explore underground at any opportunity.
Here’s a short list of dogs in the Terrier Group :
Airedel Terriers, American Staffordshire Terrier, Australian Terrier, Bedlington Terriers, Border terrier, Bull Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Glenn of Imaal Terriers, Kerry Blue Terrier, Manchester Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, Norfolk Terrier, Norwich Terrier, Parson Jack Russel, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Welsh Terrier, West Highland White Terrier,