Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Glimpse on the Various Types of Terrier Dogs

A Glimpse on the Various Types of Terrier Dogs

Whatever your dog preference is, you are sure to find terrier dogs among the candidates for a pal. You’ll get energy you want with little grooming and added wit.

Basically bred for hunting and killing vermin, Terrier dogs are now known to offer wide spectrum of features and characters that you might find lovable. They are not as cuddly as toy dogs (while there are some terrier dogs in the toy and companion dog brackets) and they may not be as intelligent like other breeds but they set off these lacks with various things that only they can offer.

Let us discuss in brief some of the terrier dog types that you may find interesting:

Less aggressive but definitely not timid. This best describes Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers. They are definitely alert and very spirited, but when the call for steadiness arrives, they are sure to show you some air of confidence and steady disposition.

This dog type too is gifted with intelligence which makes them very responsive with obedience training.

Parson Russell Terrier is a dog type that exhibits boldness, cleverness, affection and exuberant disposition. While many may find this a playful pal, it is still not advisable for everyone to take Parson Russell home. In fact, formal obedience training is a must for owners since this dog type is more likely to display mischievousness and too much playfulness that make this a very independent pet. For people with active lifestyles and those who can tolerate explorative disposition, this scamp is the best for you.

The Norwich Terrier, on the other hand, is a type of dog that resulted from breeding small Terriers with other smaller breeds, possibly Yorkshire Terriers. Maintenance of Norwich Terrier is minimal and they are content with modest living quarters. They have active disposition though and can be affectionate and fearless. Additionally, they are also known to display stocky and happy personalities which make them ideal pals.

Much like the Norwich Terriers, Norfolk Terriers are also well-spirited, fearless, charming and always ready for game. While both may have some similar physical characteristics, Norfolks can still be distinguished through their folds in the ears.

Basically workman-like dogs, Kerry Blue Terriers are excellent watchdogs and work well in farm settings. This dog got its name from its blue-shade coat color which was originally black during puppyhood.

Wire Fox Terriers are of great interest since they display power through its excellent endurance capabilities and speed. Alertness and quick movements are the dominant expressions of this dog type. It is advisable though that the owner trains this dog and should be given enough doses of daily exercises.

Meanwhile, Smooth Fox Terriers are the frolic and lively types of dogs that are ideal in both country and city living. Displaying intelligence and cleverness, this dog makes good trainees and must be well credited by that. They are also likely to show great affection towards their owners.

These are just some of the many terrier dog types that can be considered as your next pets. In general, this dog type has good dispositions and makes ideal home pets. While some may display obscure aggressiveness, this still does not negate the fact that most types have the capacity to develop affection and keen expression of their attachment to their owners. Be warned though that some dog types in this breed can be very playful and should be given enough amount of attention and time during obedience training and exercises.

Training Your Silky Dog: A Terrier Anti-Terror Basics

Training Your Silky Dog: A Terrier Anti-Terror Basics

It is essential to have a dog that knows how to follow the right rules and how to live around your house. To achieve this, dog training must be considered.

Most people think that training a dog is hard and expensive. Moreover, dog training requires a lot of patience and creativity for your dog. We have to remember that dogs may be intelligent but they can not be as intelligent as us. The article provides some of the basic things dog owners need to know so they can do the training themselves. However, to maximize the full potential of your dog, a dog trainer should be hired instead.

What are the differences between a submissive dog and a dominant dog?

A submissive dog normally:

• avoids eye contact.
• rolls on its back.
• crouch down, ears back and tail lowered.
• is comfortable on its back in your arms.

On the other hand, a dominant dog:

• maintains eye contact.
• is unwilling to move from his place on the couch.
• dislikes grooming and petting.
• is possessive of dishes and toys.

Training your silky terriers requires kindness and consistency. Silkys respond actively to praises and to rewards. In addition, they become harsh and unresponsive towards punishments and animosity, respectively.

Trainings with obedience classes can be intensely beneficial in petting your silky terriers. In many dog training schools, classes for puppies are available. Young dogs are taught to get accustomed with other dogs and people using limited trainings. However, there are areas that do not conduct formal obedience training unless the dog is at least half a year old. Always remember that a dog is never too old to benefit from training when a good trainer is available, or if the owner is fully committed to the task.

Here are the recommended ways of training silky terriers:

1. Reiteration or Repetition

Reiteration is the name of the dog training game. In here, dogs are asked to do a task over and over again to achieve mastery. Dog tricks are best learned when reiterated and reinforced through rewards.

2. Persistence

Patience is a virtue that requires you to tolerate hardships. Persistence is trying to be patient for a longer time until a goal is achieved. Apparently, dog training requires a lot of persistence from the owner or from the trainer Physical and psychological aspects of the owner and/or the trainer must be sound.

3. Commendation and Amendation

Simply put, if a dog does the right thing, it should be said aloud. Otherwise, the dog should hear, "No, that’s not it!" when the trick is not complete or appropriate for the command given. These words reinforce correct responses and diminish the unwanted ones.

4. Rewarding

Bits of cheese would really be good treats for dogs who responded correctly to a given command. Other food can be bought at pet sores. However, if you are able to get the respect of your pet, commands will be executed even if there are no longer involved treats. Likewise, these things reinforce warranted responses.

If your lifestyle permits being in charge of training your own pet, you can do the training as long as you have gathered enough patience and commitment by:

1. spending time grooming your dog.
2. having regular training times on the leash.
3. stroking its belly and toes and rolling it on its back
4. hand feeding some food to ensure that the pet is taking treats gently and slowly.

In asserting dominance, always practice consistency and firmness. Afterwards, you can be a master and a dear friend to your own pet.

The Scruffy Little Hunter Dog: Border Terrier

The Scruffy Little Hunter Dog: Border Terrier

The Border terrier got its name from the area called Cheviot Hills, which is actually near the border of England and Scotland. This is where these dogs were made to attack and terminate predatory foxes.

They have wiry coat that is why they normally appear as scruffy. However, this scruffiness is an attention-grabber that is why owners do not forget to hug their little ball of energy.

The following are some of the basic facts breeders would really love to know about Borders:

Category: Terrier

Living Environment: indoors (highly recommended); outdoors (fenced yard)

Coat: wiry and short; double coated

Colors: tan, red, grizzle and tan, and/or blue and tan

Height: between 11 and 16 inches

Weight: between 11 and 16 pounds



• they are scruffy, hard and bold hunters
• they are active as puppies but mellow down as they mature
• they are not friendly with rabbits, rats, hamsters, and even birds
• they are economical to feed
• their activity die down when left alone all day as they really love to please people especially their owners

When properly trained,

• they can get along with the household cats but not with cats in the neighborhood
• they may even catch a burglar
• they may lose timidity when accustomed to active environments

Breeders should note of the following health issues:

• Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome or CES, also called as "Spike’s disease", which is a hereditary, neurological, metabolic and muscle disorder that is sometimes confused with canine epilepsy
• Cataract, or loss of transparency of one or both lenses of the eyes
• Cryptorchidism, wherein testicles do not descend into the scrotum
• Deafness
• Skin problems and a few skin allergies

Care and Exercise:

• Their coat needs weekly brushing.
• They should be professionally groomed at least twice a year.
• They should bathe only when necessary since they shed little to no hair. Their physique requires a regular exercise routine which includes a daily play time while on leash.
• They should be on leash while walking in public places because of their hunting instincts.


The exact origins of Border terriers are obscure but many breeders accepted the story that the variety was developed in the Cheviot Hills area, which is near the border of Scotland and England. The Borders have been used as hunters of rabbits and hares. They can even keep up with running horses with their short yet sturdy legs. They were also used by farmers to lure predatory foxes into their dens before killing them.

They were also trained to hunt otters, marten, and even fierce badgers. Like most terriers that were once molded as hunters, they also evolved as pets and became lovely, friendly, and loyal companion dogs. They also take part in dog shows and they can easily grab their audience attention with their agility, appearance, and bright disposition.

The breed was registered by the British Kennel Club in 1920 and by the American Club ten years after.

At present, Borders are highly favored as companion dogs and pets due to their adaptability, friendliness, and winning personality. Nonetheless, they can be reliable when it comes to tracking down vermin. In fact, some of their esteemed talents include hunting, guarding the family, and performing tricks and sports that require competitive obedience.

Like most terriers, you can be rest assured to have a loyal and bright companion dogs if you give your attention and affection to a Border. You can be sure that they can definitely drive away your bore!

The Stylish and Reserved Dog: Scottish Terrier

The Stylish and Reserved Dog: Scottish Terrier

The Scottish terriers, also known as Scotties, are short-legged British terriers. They are one among other go-to-ground and wire-coated terriers developed in the highlands of Scotland. The Scotties are said to have jaunty attitude so they are often used to represent advertisements of the country to where they originated.

However, Scotties’ nature is not in coherence with their public image or trademark. In fact, Scotties are like the citizens of his native land who are independent, stoic, and fiercely loyal to their masters. They also adhere much to their own privacy.

Scotties, Westies, and Cairns are very similar regarding their appearance. The Westies and the Cairns are, in fact, closely-related. The Westie can be considered as the white variety of the Cairn who has a coat of any color but white. Westies are hybrids of white dogs crossed with Cairns of western Scotland. Scotties, however, have longer heads and bodies, have generally dark coats and are aloof than the other two.

The following are some of the basic facts breeders would really love to know about Scotties:

Category: Terrier

Living Environment: either outdoor or indoor (mostly preferred by breeders)

Coat: wiry, short (about 2 inches) and thick

Colors: iron gray or steel, black, wheaten, or sandy; the coat may also be brindled or grizzled

Height: about 10 inches

Weight: between 18 and 20 pounds

Temperament: they need to be praised frequently and they adapt with the moods of the household

Breeders should note of the following health issues:
• Von Willibrand’s disease (VWD), an inherited disorder
• Flea allergies and other skin problems
• Epilepsy
• Jawbone disorders
• Scottie cramp, a minor condition that causes walking difficulties
• Cerebellar abiotrophy, a slow-to-progress and rare neurological disease that causes loss of coordination

Care and Exercise:
• Their coats need special care to maintain its appearance and texture. It is suggested that they should be subjected to professional grooming once or twice each year for their coats to stay wiry and firm.
• The fur needs to be combed a couple of times in each week and even needs occasional trimming.
• Scotties’ dead hairs should be plucked out through stripping. Using electric clippers will only make their coats dull and soft.
• Play with them. Hunting and squeaky balls and toys are their favorites.
• They should be on leash while walking in public places.


The origins of the breed are obscure. It was noted that forerunners of Scotties were sent to France’s Royal Highness by King James I of England during the 16th century. Later on, three different terriers were revealed as Scotch Terriers, which included the Westies, the Cairns, and the Scotties. The Dandie Dinmont variety had also been noted as closely-related to the abovementioned terriers but its apparent physical differences categorized itself as a separate breed.

Terrier dogs that were bred in Britain were developed to hunt vermin that ate grains, and pestered eggs and poultry farms. Most breeds grew as scrappy and courageous dogs and were trained to follow badgers or foxes into their dens. Their wiry coats and soft undercoats protected them against rugged terrains and harsh climates.

If you want to have a Scottie in your life, you should not be impulsive about the matter for animosity and lack of proper training will only harm and traumatize the dog. If properly taken cared of, this breed can even appoint itself as a guardian of the family. It can also be fiercely loyal, that is it can protect you even if it means endangering its own life.

To this effect, I guess you must agree that a Scottie is a dog that is second to none.

The Dog of the Highlands: West Highland White Terrier

The Dog of the Highlands: West Highland White Terrier

At around 1700s, the Isle of Skye and other highlands in Scotland were already producing lots of small terriers. Scottish breeds were separated into two: the Skye terriers and the Dandie Dinmont terriers.

The Dandie Dinmonts were categorized as a separate breed. The Skyes included the Scotties, the Cairns and the West highland white terriers or the Westies.

It was also noted that these terriers were the hybrids among the crossed Cairns, Scottish, and Dandies terriers. One could assume that the hybrid would really be loyal and its hunting instincts could not be belittled. In fact, many royalties in Scotland owned terriers that were very similar to the Westies of today.

Another remarkable story is about a Westie that stopped a mother from constantly yelling at her daughter. Every time the mother would yell at her teenage daughter, the Westie would attack the mother. The aggression of the dog got worse over the years that resulted in the mother’s complete inability to scold her teenager.

It turned out that the girl was actually rewarding the dog for his protection by calming and soothing him down after every "threat" from her mother. Many would perceive that the daughter was able to help her mother to change her ways when in fact she was helping herself by rewarding the dog for its behavior.

The following are some of the basic facts breeders would really love to know about Westies:

Category: Terrier
Living Environment: indoors (highly recommended); outdoors (fenced yard)

Coat: about two-inch coarse and wiry outer coat and soft, dense, and furry undercoat
Color: white

Height: between 10 and 12 inches

Weight: between 13 and 22 pounds



• they like to bark and dig
• they are not as willful like most terriers
• they love companionship

When properly trained

• they can become fairly friendly towards strangers
• they develop close affinity with behaved children
• they love to chase cats but they do not hurt them
• they can become a very good watch dog
• they can become very lively

Breeders should note of the following health issues:

• Chronic skin problems
• Perthe’s disease (hip problems)
• Jawbone calcification
• Cranio mandibular osteopathy (lion jaw)
• Patella luxation, a disorder in the kneecap
• Liver ailments
• Deafness
• Congenital heart disease

Care and Exercise:

• Their coat should be brushed regularly using a brush with stiff bristles.
• They should bathe only when necessary.
• Their whole coat should be stripped at least twice a year and trimmed every four months.
• The fur on the eyes and ears should be trimmed using blunt-nose mirrors.
• They will surely be more agile and healthy after regular sessions of play and/or walk.


As noted, they share the same lineage with Cairns and Scotties (from Skye terriers), and even with the Dandies. This trio was developed in the Isle of Skye, which was one of the highlands in Scotland. It was noted that white whelps were chosen from the wiry-coated Cairns, Scotties, and Dandies to produce the variety that were known as Poltalloch terriers.

Following are some items in the history that show the Westies’ reputation of being owners’ favorite companion dogs.

Records in the history mentioned that around 1620, King James 1 of England requested some small white dogs from Argyleshire in Scotland. Colonel Malcolm, who was considered as the originator of Poltalloch terriers, that are very similar to the Westies of today, accidentally shot his terrier (a dark one). From then on he vowed to have only white terriers.

In the 19th century, terriers that were very similar to the Westies were known as Roseneath terriers in honor of Duke of Argyll’s interest and patronage of this breed. Roseneath was the name of his estate at Dumbartonshire.

In the first-ever dog show that were organized in the late 1800s, the Westies were called as White Scottish terriers. In 1904, they were classified under the name West Highland White terriers.

During the mid-1900s, breeders of the Cairns in Argyll, Scotland selected white puppies from the stock and interbreed some to obtain white Cairns. However, in 1917, the American Kennel Club ruled that Cairns could be listed if they have the Westies’ lineage.

We can say the history repeats itself for this delightful terrier is now mostly a favorite companion dog of many households.

The Loyal Working Companion Dog: American Pit Bull Terrier

The Loyal Working Companion Dog: American Pit Bull Terrier

This breed of dog, also fondly called as APBT, is known for its loyalty and intelligence. The dogs with this breed make excellent companions since they are very aggressive because of their protective nature.

How, then, are they different from the Staffies? For the UKC or the United Kennel Club, Staffies and APBT are of the same breed but many disapprove of this suggestion. For instance, if the American Kennel Club has an American Staffordshire terrier, it will be registered as an American pit bull terrier by the United Kennel Club. Furthermore, many breeders noted that their lineages have been separate for a long time already for these dogs to be still considered as having the same variety.

Meanwhile, the American Kennel Club does not register a UKC-listed American pit as an American Staffie. In order to gain dual-registry, the dog must initially be recorded as an AKC American Staffie before it can be listed with the UKC as an American pit bull, and not the other way around.

The following are some of the basic facts breeders would really love to know about APTBs:

Category: Terrier

Living Environment: either outdoor or indoor

Coat: smooth, shiny, thick, and short

Colors: color varies

Height: between 18 and 22 inches

Weight: between 30 and 60 pounds

Temperament: courageous, full of energy, and loyal; should be socialized early on with other animals especially with children

Health Issues: heart murmurs and mange

Care and Exercise:
• Bathe when necessary.
• Brush their coat only occasionally using a brush with firm bristles.
• Rub down their coat with a towel or a chamois to remove hairs that are loose.
• Their physique requires a regular exercise routine which includes a daily play time and/or running along a bicycle while on a leash.
• They should be on leash while walking in public places.


The ancestors of APBT came to the US in the mid-1800s with some Irish-Boston immigrants. Like the Staffie, they were originally bred from bulldogs and terriers. Since APBT is a forerunner to the Staffie, it was also molded to be a fighting dog. However, the Americans made their variety some pounds heavier and trained them to have a more powerful head.

Bull baiting and dog baiting were prohibited in England so bull terriers were no longer bred for bouts. It is in America where the pit bull also gained its popularity for many uses and reasons like:

1. It was used to embody the country in one WW1 artwork.
2. Well-known companies like the Buster Brown Shoe Company and even RCA used the breed as mascots.
3. Petie, a pitbull, was one of the stars in, “Our Gang”, a well sought children’s TV series.
4. A mix breed called Stubby was transformed into a popular and decorated WW1 hero.
5. Pits became good companies of pioneer families on their journeys.
6. Jack, a working pit bulldog was owned by Laura Wilder of lines of books called “Little House”.
7. Popular people like Helen Keller and US President Theodore Roosevelt owned the variety.

Here is some history about the cause of dilemma regarding the registries of APBTs.

In 1898, the United Kennel Club or UKC was structured to provide fighting guidelines and registration for APBT as fighting dogs. Later, there were breeders who shun away from dog fighting so they asked the AKC to recognize their pits so they would be fit for performance events like dog shows.

In 1935, the AKC approved of their petitions but the dogs were registered as Staffordshire Terriers, naming them after the little province in England that the breed was known to have originated from. Thus, many breeders have dogs that have dual-registry.

It is interesting to note that Petie, which was one of the stars in the, “Our Gang” TV series was the first breed that was dual-registered to be Staffordshire Terrier/Pit Bull. However, the UKC later started registering other performing-type varieties and they also began holding dog shows comparable to those of the American Kennel Club.

The AKC soon sealed its studbooks to APBTs. They allocated registration to those pit breeds with lineages that are listed as Staffies. For a little time during the 1970s, the AKC disclosed the American pits to their studbooks.

In 1973, the American KC decided to add the word "American" with the pit’s name to discriminate it from a Staffie. At present, those dogs with mixed APTB-StaffIe parents are recognized by UKC and even the American Dog Breeders’ Association as “American pits or American pit bull terriers”.

Nowadays, the pit has employed as search and rescuers, police/armed service dogs, livestock workers, and even as therapy animals because they are good as companions and working dogs.

Moreover, the variety can even compete in dog sports such as herding, obedience, and conformation, French Ring, and Schutzhund. Breeds of this type can be very loving as pets for everyone. The physical demands and harshness of various activities developed a healthy, strong, and stable animal.

If you want to have an APBT as a pet, be sure that the puppy is handled well and properly socialized. A solid and good training will surely produce an obedient, tranquil, and good companion or even a working dog!