Terrier – what kind of dog is it? Characteristics and breed descriptions. Is terrier a dog for everyone?

Under the term terrier there is a group of breeds where you will find both ideal dogs for the family and perfect pets for the hunter. They have been bred for several centuries and their popularity is still growing. See why.

What are terriers loved for? First of all, for their incredible stubbornness and intelligence. In each of them, regardless of whether it is a three-kilogram Yorskshire terrier, or a thirty-kilogram airdale terrier, lies the soul of a fearless warrior. In this article we will explain their origin and disposition. We will give you tips on care and feeding. We present two of thirty-four breeds – the perfect working terrier and a great family companion.

Terrier breeds – breeding and origins

Most terrier dog bre eds originated in medieval England. There is ample evidence for this, and the image of these animals can be found in paintings and works from this period. Breeds were obtained by crossing individuals with certain characteristics. What was the purpose of this? To obtain a dog that would be an ideal warrior for hunting game. A dog big enough not to be afraid of wild boar, but small enough to enter a badger’s hole.

Terriers became popular with both the upper class and the poor. They took care of houses and pastures, removing such intruders as mice and rats. They bravely took part in hunting foxes, otters, snakes, marmots and weasels and even wild boars. They guarded numerous estates and watched over children, a role in which they still perform very well today.

Terriers – temperament

Thesedogs have a strong hunting instinct and a warrior temperament. They are able not only to track and catch their prey, but also to kill it. The terrier is a fearless hunter, so it often has trouble living in good relationships with other dogs. It’s not uncommon for five-pound babies to be so confident that they feel no fear of 10 times heavier animals and exhibit aggressive behavior toward them.

The stubbornness of the terrier makes even experienced trainers encounter difficulties during its training. However, despite these features, the representative of this group is usually friendly, cheerful and sociable towards people.

Grooming – combing, shearing, trimming

Terriers differ from each other by the type of their coat. In the case of smooth-haired breeds, grooming is extremely simple, as it is limited to brushing.

Dogs with rough hair also require trimming of the coat. However, under no circumstances should they be clipped with a razor. The undercoat is dense and dead hair needs to be combed out regularly. When properly groomed, a terrier’s coat helps it to feel comfortable in almost any weather condition. Besides taking care of the coat, it is also necessary to control the length of the claws and shorten them if necessary.

Of course, like any other dog, the terrier must be protected against external parasites. A tick collar should be worn not only in summer, but all year round. Similarly, the situation is the same with fighting tablets and parasite repellent drops.

Terrier nutrition

The diet of a purebred dog is essentially no different from that of a mongrel. You must take into account, first of all, the age and test results of the pet in question.

What is the best dog diet for a terrier? The most important thing is, of course, the composition. Wholemeat should come first. Avoid foods whose main ingredient is grain or animal products of unknown origin. Unfortunately, high-quality food is not available in supermarkets, so it’s good to have a larger supply of food for your pet.

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BARF – ideal diet for your dog?

A diet based on BARF is becoming increasingly popular. It’s a diet that involves giving your dog muscle (i.e. meat), bones and animal giblets. Pets usually love this type of food, and it allows the caretaker to save some money. Unfortunately, it’s not a diet without its drawbacks. These types of meals require additional supplementation, and it can be difficult for an inexperienced handler to put together a menu that meets all of your terrier’s needs.

Before a puppy arrives in your home

If you’re about to adopt or purchase a terrier puppy, remember that you need to make sure he has access to special junior food. How does it differ from regular food? First of all, it has an increased protein content and the right ratio of calcium and phosphorus, so the little one’s skeletal system develops properly. It’s best to find out what food your pet is currently eating before picking him up. You shouldn’t completely change the diet from one day to the next to avoid stomach problems. In addition, introducing a new food is an additional stress for a relocating pet.

Every terrier needs consistency

Terriers are self-confident and stubborn dogs. This causes considerable problems during training. However, these dogs also have intelligence and creativity, which can be used during training. If a terrier has joined your family, you should start working with him immediately. Otherwise, your life together will quickly become tiresome for you. As a guardian, you need to be more persistent and basically consistent than your dog, which is not easy with terriers.

How not to train your dog?

Under no circumstances should you use punishment during training. It will probably help you to teach your pet some bad behaviors, but it will definitely make him distrust you and stop wanting to work with you. Training should be fun for both the handler and the pup.

What instead of punishments? Positive reinforcement of desired behavior, of course. The choice of reward will depend on the preferences of the individual dog. Treats are loved by almost every terrier, but it should be kept in mind that the pet shouldn’t eat too much of them. A good way to do this is to subtract a handful of munchies from the meal and use them as a reward. If you are practicing a command with your pup that he has already mastered fairly well, you don’t have to give him a treat for it every time. A good alternative is petting or playing with a tug – depending on what your four-legged friend likes better.

Tiring out your terrier? Tough, but possible

Terriers are physically and mentally demanding dogs. When bored, even with proper training, they will find things to do on their own. Unfortunately, a five-minute walk around the block is definitely not enough for such a volcano of energy. Every terrier, even the one weighing not more than three kilograms, needs a lot of exercise. How to provide him with it? A good way are dog sports such as agility and obedience. It’s great fun not only for the dog, but also for the owner.

Physical activity is of course important, but don’t forget to give your pet the right amount of mental stimulation. As a hunting dog , the Terrier’s love for tracking game is in its blood. How to satisfy his instincts? By organizing various games. Bury treats in the house, then release the dog and let him look for rewards. You can also buy or make intelligence toys yourself, which are extremely helpful and can occupy the pet for a long time.

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Proper socialization process is the foundation of your pet’s well-being

A puppy that doesn’t go through a proper socialization process can cause a lot of problems in its adult life – and then it will be much harder to correct them. This is a process that begins as early as the fifth week of a puppy’s life, so it is extremely important to choose an experienced breeder. Before buying, it’s best to verify whether the kennel is listed in the register of the Polish Kennel Club.

A kitten cannot be isolated from people and other animals. After completing a set of vaccinations should fully participate in family life. Of course, you can’t introduce him to all the novelties at once, but you also can’t protect him from everything that was previously unknown. Try to take your terrier to different places and get to know him with different people and animals. With intensive walks, your pet will quickly begin to notice what is a real threat and what only seems to be one. Let him explore new sounds, smells, surfaces and don’t forget to reward positive behavior.

Terrier – groups according to FCI

Terriers are the third group in the FCI classification. The breeds are divided into four sections:

  • high legged terriers;
  • short-legged terriers;
  • bull-type terriers, which are actually descended from mastiffs;
  • miniature terriers.

Although they all differ in appearance, breeders of pedigree dogs agree that in each of them lies a small warrior with a strong character. Among them, you will find not only the perfect dog to accompany you during hunting, but also one that will be a great companion for the whole family.

German Hunting Terrier

Among the dogs of this breed, we can distinguish between the rough-haired and the smooth-haired German terrier . Sometimes this dog is also called a jagdterier. Its strong character makes it perfect as a hunting companion, but it will not be a good family dog.

The breed was developed in Germany, but like most terriers, it originated in Britain. In the blood of the Jagdterrier there are admixtures from the gene pool of the Foxtrot and other German hunting breeds. A purebred dog should measure from 33 to 40 cm and weigh no more than 10 kg. It comes in black, dark brown or grey-black with red markings.

Welsh Terrier

Originally known as the Carnarvonshire Welsh Terrier, the name was shortened over time. According to the breed standard, he should measure from 36 to 39 cm and weigh no more than 10 kg. He has a strongly muscled body with a compact build, and as a result, he works well in many four-legged disciplines. His coat is black toothed or grey toothed. His tail is of medium length and is set high. Years of careful breeding have mellowed his character and now this terrier can be a great companion for an active family.

Depending on the breed, the terrier will excel as both a watchdog and hunting companion, as well as a family friend. His self-confidence and enormous energy reserves make him perfect for many dog sports, but he needs an experienced guardian to guide him properly. If you take care to teach him the house rules early in his life, you will gain a loyal friend for life.

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