terrier

The Ultimate Working Dog

The roles of a working Terrier

In my eyes the terrier is the most charismatic and boldest type of dog in the world today. Their origin is from genetic throw back in that I mean they were born of the same as any other dog but just smaller.

We as hunter gatherers harnessed that and used these smaller version of our hunting dog as they were easier to work and more versatile. In this article I am going to compare and Contrast the different kinds of terriers for you.

I have chosen to firstly look at the different types of terrier from the working to the toy terriers to the larger breeds. The reason for this that there are so many different types and they are so diverse in nature that it would be difficult to pick just a few breeds.

lakeland terrier

In the world of working terriers, there are but two roots – colored dogs from the north (Scotland), and white dogs from the south (England and Wales). The “Fell Terrier” is the original non-pedigree colored working dog of the north. From this gene pool has sprung the Welsh terrier, the Lakeland and the Border.

Today’s working Fell Terrier may be brown, black, red, or black-and-tan, and may be smooth, wire or broken coated. The dog may be called a Fell Terrier or a “working Lakeland” or a Patterdale.” From the south of England have come the fox-working dogs whose origins are the same as those of the Jack Russell. The smooth Fox Terrier, the Wire Fox Terrier, the Sealyham and (most recently), the Parsons Russell.

irish terrier

The parsons is not to be confused with the Jack Russell which is commonly found on the working field today. This is a small, principally white-bodied, smooth or rough-coated terrier that originates in the sport of Fox Hunting. The name “Jack Russell” is now most commonly used to describe a working terrier.

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The use of the word “toy” to describe small dogs that belong to a toy breed is redundant and also incorrect, however, some terriers do come in different sizes, such as Yorkshire terrier, which comes in standard, miniature, and toy varieties). The other terriers that come under the toy variety are the Australian silky terrier, the English toy terrier, the Russian toy terrier, the toy fox terrier, and the toy Manchester terrier.

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The bigger breeds of the terriers like the Airedale(hound cross terrier) breed to work the rivers with the hounds, the Bedlington terrier(cross whippet terrier) breed to chase its prey, the Irish terrier breed for its gameness and agility when it came to vermin control. This is just to name a few large terriers which show the terrier characteristics with the working ability of the larger dog.

airedale terrier

In conclusion when it comes to comparing terriers there is a vast contrast in temperament and character between each breed and each classification all be it working, toy or the bigger breeds they are all different. The working types of terrier were and are still bred to be strong and hardy. They must be able to work alone without the humans help when they come across prey i.e fox, rabbit, hare or rats.

Some are bred to work underground and to travel great distances to find and kill their prey. Were as the toy terrier was took on as the small companion terrier, too small for work so we as humans embraced them and continued bred them with a more desirable temperament, character and without that hunting instinct. The bigger breeds although majority where originally bred for working they have some what gone out of favour.
The Bedlington can sometimes be seen out in the field but the Airedale and the Irish are now predominantly for show and companionship these days.

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