Top 7 Terriers and Their Characteristics

Terriers are by far the most popular type of dog breed. There are many different terriers. In fact, there are 38 terrier breeds represented on the American Kennel Club’s Most Popular Dog Breeds list. The most popular terrier breed, the Yorkshire Terrier, ranks in the Top 15 coming in at No. 13 in 2020. The 2020 list is the most recent at this time.

Yorkshire Terriers are the most popular of the terrier breeds.

The Top 7 Most Popular Terriers

  1. Yorkshire Terrier – This dainty little seven-pound dog has all the energy and feistiness you would expect from a terrier. They have a silky steel grey and tan coat that is grown down to the ground for dog shows. They are known to be good purse pets, due to their diminutive size, and come in at the top of the terriers at, thirteenth overall on the Most Popular Dogs List by the AKC.
  2. Boston Terrier – At number 21, this amusing little dog is a good all-around family dog. They are affectionate with their family, good with children and get along well with other pets. They can weigh between 12-25 pounds and around sixteen inches in height. They are best known for their black and white markings but do have a brindle and a seal variation in color.
  3. West Highland White Terrier – Westie for short, at number forty-four, will keep you entertained. They are loyal and smart. As the name implies, they are all white and possess striking dark eyes. While fluffy looking, their coat is stiff and rough. They stand 10 inches and weigh 15-20 pounds full grown.
  4. Scottish Terrier – This spirited and independent breed has high energy and require adequate walk and play time each day. They are iconic in all black, however there is wheaten and several shades of brindle variations as well. They stand 10 inches and weigh an average of 20 pounds. This terrier is aloof with strangers and is protective of their people by nature.
  5. Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier – The Wheaten is a larger terrier standing an average of 18 inches and weighing an average 35 pounds. They were bred in Ireland as a farm dog and are affectionate with children and deeply devoted to their family. Their stubborn nature can make them difficult to train.
  6. Airedale Terrier – This eager to please breed is the tallest of the terriers at 23 inches and the heaviest at 50-70 pounds. Known to be clever and courageous, this breed is known for its black and tan markings. Black on the back, sides, tail and up the back of the neck and tan on the legs, head, chest, and stomach. They have been given the nickname ‘The King of Terriers.’
  7. Bull Terrier – While comical and playful with their people, this dog does not do well with other dogs. They stand approximately 21 inches and weigh between 50 and 70 pounds. The bulldog and terrier were originally cross bred for dog fighting. In the 1860s this dog became refined and standardized as the modern, charming Bull Terrier of today.
Boston Terrier high pawing the handler
Boston Terrier giving paw

While there are many differences amongst terrier breeds, there are some characteristics that are true of terriers overall. Terriers, at the soul of the breed, were bred to hunt and kill vermin and they have a strong prey-drive toward small, furry animals. They are not good in a house with pets like mice, hamsters and other Rodentia. Smaller pets in general may not be a good idea unless raised together.

They are energetic, active dogs and may be stubborn at times. They should be trained and socialized from an early age. Basic obedience training is a must. Terriers are prone to barking and it is best to allow them active time each day. A walk or play time or both is a good outlet for this high energy dog.

Terriers come in a range of sizes from seven pounds to twenty-three. Depending on size, your pup could need either a small or medium size PlexiDor Dog Door. Our doors our available through walls, doors, and glass and come in either standard or electronic models. Call our Customer Service Department today at 800-PET-DOOR with any questions.