Dog Breed Categories
Herding Dog : Hound : Non-Sporting Dog : Sporting Dog : Terrier : Toy Dog : Working Dog

Terriers are one of the seven major dog breed categories. This group of dogs was originally created to have the desire to catch and kill various rodents and other vermin. Typically small dogs with wiry hair, terriers may even follow their quarry into their underground homes, and are therefore usually great diggers. In fact, the word terrier is actually a reference to the Latin terra, meaning earth - owners should expect them to dig some holes in the yard (or under a fence).

Many of the terrier breeds were crossed with other breeds to create a feistier dog capable of fighting rats or other dogs in a ring. Some of the larger terriers were even trained as bull baiters. The combination of hunting and fighting means that many terriers, while small, these dogs can be brave and tough, and may have a lot of scrap in them. They could possibly have issues with authority - be it their human masters or other dogs, however, as is the case with nearly any dog - proper training can produce a loving and obedient pet. In fact, over the years, careful breeding has turned many terriers from fighters into energetic players.

Terrier Breeds

* Denotes breeds that are may be classified as non-terrier by some kennel clubs (usually as toy or utility/working dogs instead)

Some Famous Terriers

For more famous dogs, see Presidential pets

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Ter"ri*er (?), n. [CF. L. terere to rub, to rub away, terebra a borer.]

An auger or borer.



© Webster 1913.

Ter"ri*er, n.

1. [F. terrier, chien terrier, from terre the earth, L. terra; cf. F. terrier a burrow, LL. terrarium a hillock (hence the sense, a mound thrown up in making a burrow, a burrow). See Terrace, and cf. Terrier, 2.] Zool.

One of a breed of small dogs, which includes several distinct subbreeds, some of which, such as the Skye terrier and Yorkshire terrier, have long hair and drooping ears, while others, at the English and the black-and-tan terriers, have short, close, smooth hair and upright ears.

⇒ Most kinds of terriers are noted for their courage, the acuteness of their sense of smell, their propensity to hunt burrowing animals, and their activity in destroying rats, etc. See Fox terrier, under Fox.

2. [F. terrier, papier terrier, LL. terrarius liber, i.e., a book belonging or pertaining to land or landed estates. See Terrier, 1, and cf. Terrar.] Law (a)

Formerly, a collection of acknowledgments of the vassals or tenants of a lordship, containing the rents and services they owed to the lord, and the like.


In modern usage, a book or roll in which the lands of private persons or corporations are described by their site, boundaries, number of acres, or the like.

[Written also terrar.]


© Webster 1913.

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