An In-Depth Look at Terrier Dogs - Doggy Brace
terrier dogs

Did you know that “terrier” wasn’t just a name for dog breeds, it’s actually the group they’re in? That’s why it’s so easy to identify dogs in the terrier group! These dogs are amazing pets, but they all come with a stubborn streak that requires a determined and firm hand. 

Bred to hunt, kill vermin and to guard their families home or barn, terriers are versatile pups. They come in all shapes and sizes too: from fairly small like the West Highland White Terrier, to large like the Airedale Terrier. 

Well Known Herding Dog Breeds:

  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Bull Terrier
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Scottish Terrier

Terrier Dog Personalities 

There are terrier dog breeds in sizes ranging from small to large. Some have long, smooth coats, while others are short and wiry. With so many different types of terriers to choose from, you should have no trouble finding the perfect dog for you. 

Though their looks are vastly different from breed to breed, their personalities are actually more alike than different. Most terriers are high-energy, intelligent, have a strong prey drive, are independent, love to bark and dig, and don’t get along well with other dogs. 

Two words often come to mind when people think of terries: feisty and energetic. They’re very spirited and love to show that. That doesn’t mean they’re hard to handle though. Although they can be stubborn, terriers are very trainable — they just love to have fun! 

How to Choose the Right Terrier Dog For You

Terriers are usually independent, so they won’t like it if you constantly hound them or are trying to pick them up for snuggles. Let them do their own thing and they’ll love you all the more for it. That isn’t to say that they don’t like affection, however! Terries can be some of the biggest couch potatoes and lap dogs out there…it just has to be on their own time. 

Some terriers can be quite dominant and stubborn, which can make them a little challenging to own. However, they balance it out with their courageousness, curiosity, and persistence. If they want something, you’ll know about it!

Are Terrier Dogs Good with Families? 

Terriers can be amazing with kids if they’re socialized to be. Some breeds are better with kids than others. Like the Australian Terriers love children, and are devoted to its people.

Or the Staffordshire Terrier, are known for being sweet and especially good with children. However, because they’re so powerfully built, it’s essential to get them socialized with people and other dogs early on.

When it comes to other pets, it can be tricky. Terriers are also bred to hunt, meaning they have a very strong prey drive. You may not want to bring them into a home with small pets until you are 100% sure that they won’t see your other animals as prey. This is especially true for rodents. 

Always opt for trial runs and careful introductions before you try to force it. Ask the shelter and ask their caretaker first, if you’re unsure. 

As for other dogs, terries famously don’t get along with their own kind. This isn’t always true, but just be aware that your first introduction may not go as smoothly as you hope. 

Grooming Needs

Every terrier has its own needs. Keep them groomed, their nails clipped, and feed them a good diet for a long hand happy life. It’s probably best to get them used to baths early on too! 

Common Health Problems

Terriers are more prone to health problems due to their various sizes and their energetic personalities. Here are a few things they’re prone too. 

Tracheal Collapse

Breathing issues often affect small dogs. The American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) reports, “tracheal collapse is a chronic, progressive, irreversible disease of the trachea, or windpipe, and lower airways.”

Most dogs who experience this are of middle age or older. Signs include wheezing, difficulty breathing, fainting, and strong coughing. 

Patellar Luxation

Many small dogs have problems with their kneecaps. A “patellar luxation” is just a fancy way of saying dislocated or “floating” kneecap. It’s when it goes out of place, but doesn’t always need corrective measures to fix it. 

When this occurs, a small dog will have trouble putting weight on that leg. If your og seems to be in pain, or if the limping doesn’t stop within a few hours, you should take them to see your vet. 

Torn ACL

A torn ACL (the technical term is CCL, but we use ACL for colloquialism) is a dog’s cranial cruciate ligament, which is very similar to your ACL. It’s located in their rear legs, right by their knees. If torn, it will cause your dog pain, will cause limping and lameness in the leg, and could impact their leg’s stabilization for the rest of their life. 

Dogs tear their ACLs just like humans do; from straining it through over exercise, excessive/unnatural movement, weight, or growing too quickly. It’s a very common injury, which is why dog ACL braces are so popular. The right brace can help prevent ACL injuries! 

And that’s it! We hope you find the right terrier for your family. Even if it’s not a terrier, you can check out our past blogs on other dog groups, such as working dogs or toy dogs