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15 Popular Types of Terriers – Terrier Dog Breeds

Feisty, determined, intelligent, and energetic are the first things that come to mind when it comes to Terriers. Bred to exterminate vermin, Terriers range in size and appearance but are great companions and family pets.

But what are the most popular Terrier breeds? Most popular Terriers are:

  • Bull Terrier
  • Welsh Terrier
  • Border Terrier
  • Smooth Fox Terrier
  • Irish Terrier
  • Dandie Dinmont Terrier
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Australian Terrier
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Airedale Terrier
  • Norfolk Terrier
  • Rat Terrier
  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Boston Terrier

With so many different Terrier breeds to choose from it can be hard to pick just one. But that’s why we are here to help!

Stay with us till the end of this article to learn more about different types of Terriers and find the best breed for you.

Popular Terrier Breeds

Terriers are a specific group of dogs that come in different shapes and sizes, but all were bred to dig and hunt vermin. Smart, driven, energetic, and spirited Terriers are amazing pets to people of all ages and families with children.

Take a look at the most popular types of Terriers!

1. Bull Terrier

beautiful english bull terrier

Developed by crossing Bulldogs and Terriers, the Bull Terrier was used to control pests and in bull baiting. This muscular and agile breed is well-known for its long, egg-shaped head and small eyes that sparkle with mischief.

Bull Terriers are playful, affectionate, and energetic dogs that are extremely loyal and devoted to their owners. With early socialization and proper training, they make excellent family pets.

2. Welsh Terrier

dog welsh terrier

The Welsh Terrier was bred to hunt otters, badgers, and other rodents. While medium in size the Welshie has a strong personality, and its independent and determined nature might be too much for a novice owner.

This highly energetic breed needs a lot of exercise and mental stimulation to stay out of trouble. A working dog at heart, the Welsh Terrier has a strong prey drive and is not recommended for homes with small pets such as rabbits or guinea pigs.

3. Border Terrier

Border Terrier

The Border Terrier is a small dog best known for its otter head with a strong prey drive. While hard workers, Borders are also extremely affectionate and adventurous companion dogs that get along well with children and like playing with them.

While bred for the country living, the Border does well in the city and will adapt to apartments. Just make sure to exercise and interact with your Border every day and he will be a happy camper.

4. Smooth Fox Terriers

Smooth Fox Terriers

Bred to hunt foxes below the ground, the Smooth Fox Terrier is a small dog with a huge personality. Intelligent, energetic, and fearless this breed can easily become destructive if not mentally stimulated and exercised daily (source).

Being a lively and sociable dog, the Smooth Fox Terrier gets along with everyone and will be fun to have around. Keep in mind that they have a strong prey drive, so any smaller pets will be in mortal peril with this type of dog running around.

5. Irish Terrier

Irish Terrier

The medium-sized Irish Terrier has a sturdy lithe body, long legs, and striking red coat. Fierce, protective, and dominant the Irish Terrier is a versatile breed that can be a watchdog, companion, and rodent exterminator.

Highly energetic, affectionate, and curious this dog prefers being the only pet, but it can warm to other dogs with early socialization. Due to the dominant nature, they like to be in charge and will start running your entire household if you don’t assert yourself as a pack leader (source).

6. Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier originated in Scotland and is a small dog breed in the Terrier group. They are easily recognizable for their long bodies, short legs, and a huge tuft of hair on the head.

Stubborn, independent, and alert, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is an excellent watchdog with a powerful bark. Although a great exterminator, this breed likes to play and interact with people and will make a devoted and loyal family companion.

7. American Staffordshire Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier

Also known as AmStaff, the American Staffordshire Terrier is a stocky, well-built, and powerful breed. While their appearance and strength might seem intimidating to some, AmStaffs are friendly, attentive, and devoted family dogs.

Being intelligent and eager to please, makes them highly trainable, but they do need a strong and assertive owner who will be able to set boundaries. When properly trained and socialized from a young age AmStaffs are wonderful companions and amazing family pets.

8. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier

Originally bred for fox hunting, the Jack Russell Terrier is a small dog with a huge personality. These clever, fearless, independent, and friendly dogs need a lot of mental stimulation and exercise to be on their best behavior.

Although smart, Jack Russell Terriers are also very stubborn which makes training difficult for novice owners. But if you put in the effort and time to socialize and train your Jack Russell from a young age, you’ll be rewarded with a ton of love, devotion, and companionship.

9. Australian Terrier

Australian Silkie Terriers

The Australian Terrier was bred to hunt snakes and rodents but it is also a great watchdog and companion. While small in size, this breed has a lot of energy and can easily get destructive if not exercised and stimulated daily.

This high spirited and affectionate breed is an ideal choice for active families that have plenty of time to interact and play with their canine companion. As all other Terrier breeds, the Australian Terrier can be stubborn at times so use reward-based training to reinforce desired behavior and make the training stick.

10. Scottish Terrier

Scottish Terrier

Also known as the Scottie, the Scottish Terrier is a small dog breed that was originally bred to dig and follow its prey into the ground. As all other Terrier dog breeds, the Scottie is an excellent watchdog with an independent and stubborn streak.

Despite their small size, these dogs are fearless and have a powerful bark that can scare intruders and neighboring cats away. While reserved towards strangers, the Scottie is deeply devoted and affectionate towards its family and makes a wonderful companion.

11. Airedale Terrier

Airedale Terrier dog

Known as the “King of Terriers”, the Airedale Terrier is the largest of all Terrier breeds and is renowned for being an amazing companion and working dog. This hard-working and versatile dog breed has a strong prey drive and a lot of energy.

The Airedale likes to dig, chase, and bark, so you should consider whether you are willing to accept those types of behavior. However, with early training, socialization, and a lot of attention, the Airedale will be a fun-loving, active, and reliable protector of your family.

12. Norfolk Terrier

Norfolk terrier dog

The Norfolk Terrier is a small and cute-looking dog with a lively personality and ton of energy. This fun-loving breed is in perpetual motion, always ready to play and in pursuit of new adventures.

The Norfolk Terrier adapts well to apartment living and is the happiest when he is involved in all family activities and can get a taste of the action. Devoted and loyal, these dogs develop strong bonds with their people and are excellent watchdogs.

13. Rat Terriers

Rat terrier dog mix

While small in size, the Rat Terrier is a tough, feisty, and energetic rat killing machine. Bred to work all day, Rat Terriers have a ton of energy and will chew, dig, and destroy everything in sight if not exercised and stimulated.

Although wary of strangers, this tiny pooch loves its family and is deeply devoted and loyal to its owners. They are also very fond of children and will enjoy playing with someone who can match their energy levels.

14. Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington terrier dog

Originally bred to hunt vermin, the Bedlington Terrier is easily recognizable for its pear-shaped head, arched back, and curly coat. While this breed still has excellent hunting instincts they are nowadays mainly kept as family companions.

Highly energetic and playful, Bedlingtons love to be the center of attention and are very affectionate with their owners. They don’t like to share their owners with anyone else and prefer being the sole pet who will bask in your affection and attention.

When socialized and trained from a young age the Bedlington will be friendlier towards other canines and will grow up into a well-behaved dog. This breed can live in small apartments or big homes as long as they get a lot of attention and exercise.

15. Boston Terrier

Boston terrier puppy dog

While originally bred as a fighting dog, the Boston Terrier is everything but, and is one of the most popular companion breeds. Affectionate, lively, gentle, and smart they are excellent apartment dwellers and get along with children and other dogs.

Although intelligent, they can be stubborn at times which can make training difficult, especially if you are a novice owner. However, persistence, consistency, and reward-based training give excellent results, so stick with it, and you’ll end up with a well-behaved and friendly dog (source).

Other Less Popular Types of Terriers

  • Black Russian Terrier
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Cesky Terrier
  • Glen of Imaal Terrier
  • Kerry Blue Terrier
  • Lakeland Terrier
  • Manchester Terrier
  • Miniature Bull Terrier
  • Norwich Terrier
  • Parson Russell Terrier
  • Sealyham Terrier
  • Silky Terrier
  • Skye Terrier
  • Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Tibetan Terrier
  • Toy Fox Terrier
  • West Highland White Terrier
  • Wire Fox Terrier
  • Yorkshire Terrier


There are many different types of Terriers, but all were bred to exterminate pests and guard farms. While most Terriers still have a strong instinct to dig and hunt rodents below ground, they are nowadays mostly kept as pets and family companions.

Besides having unique personality traits, Terrier breeds also range in size from small Yorkshire Terrier and Cairn Terrier to the big and imposing Airedale Terrier. But regardless of their size and appearance, all Terriers are highly energetic, intelligent, friendly, loyal, and protective of their families.

Whichever Terrier breed you decide to choose, you can rest assured that you have found a loyal and spunky friend for life.

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