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Terriers

Terriers are natural diggers; their name comes from the Latin 'terra', meaning 'earth'. Terriers were originally bred and trained to hunt and catch vermin such as foxes, otters, badgers and rats, both above and below ground. Given the nature of their prey, terriers tend to have a brave and persistent temperament, and plenty of energy in spite of their often small size.

As a group, terriers of all sizes display a bravery and confidence often in direct proportion to the size of the the perceived threat, even the smallest of terriers can make great watchdogs. Their confidence, coupled with their stubborness can lead them into trouble at times, as they simply don’t back down, even if facing off a challenge from something much bigger than themselves.

Versatile, plucky and big-hearted, terriers are adaptable. The Kerry Blue Terrier and Airedale Terrier are particularly noted for tackling river rats and otters in deep water, while other types were crossed with Bulldogs to increase courage, or with hounds to improve hunting skills.

Broadly speaking Terriers can be divided into bull types, such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, working types such as the Jack Russell and Patterdale Terriers, hunt and fell types, such as the Fox Terrier, bred to assist in the control of foxes, and toy or companion types like the Yorkshire Terrier.