Fun Terrier Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Nov 30, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Terrier facts are about an energetic group of dog breeds
Age: 3-18
Read time: 9.7 Min

A terrier is a group of dog breeds that share a lot of personality traits and characteristics. Most of the terrier breeds originated in England. However, some, like the Kerry blue terrier breed, hails from Ireland.

As a pet, terriers are quite the companion. They are very protective and can work as guard dogs too. Not all terriers are pet-friendly or child-friendly.

However, socialization from a young age can make them gentler towards children and smaller pets. One of the most notable features of any terrier breed is its love for activities. Since their original purpose was to hunt, dogfight, and even kill vermin, the many terrier breeds still show remnants of those personalities.

Most of the terrier breeds also require moderate to high levels of exercise to regulate their excessive energy. A bored terrier will resort to excessive barking.

Terrier breeds are also quite commonly seen in dog sports and other events. Since they are highly intelligent, they usually respond well to training and thus do well in dog sports. So keep on reading for more amazing content on terriers.

If you liked this article, check out content like these miniature bull terrier facts and Parson russell terrier facts.

Terrier Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a terrier?

A terrier mainly refers to a group of dog breeds that share a lot of similar characteristics. There are many kinds of terrier dogs, and in most cases, they have been named after the place from which they originated. Terriers were bred to hunt vermin and also foxes.

What class of animal does a terrier belong to?

A terrier dog belongs to the class Mammalia. They are part of the Canidae family.

How many terriers are there in the world?

Since the terrier group has many members, it isn't easy to assess an exact population. The American Kennel Club recognizes 31 types of terriers, all of whom have originated from different places.

Where does a terrier live?

Since terriers are a pet dog breed, they can be seen living in households in many parts of the world. Most of the breeds under this group originated in England, while some like the Kerry blue terrier dog and the miniature schnauzer dog originated in Ireland and Germany, respectively.

What is a terrier's habitat?

The terrier dog habitat mostly consists of common household surroundings. They can also adapt to living in farms and barns, as they are exceptionally good at guarding and protecting.

Who does the terrier live with?

Terriers are accustomed to living with people. However, not every breed of terrier is friendly with other kinds of pets. Since terriers have a natural hunting instinct, they tend to attack animals smaller than them.

The Boston terrier breed is noted for being friendly to other pets. On the other hand, the Kerry blue terrier breed does not take well to other pets. In general, a terrier dog would rather prefer being the only pet in the house.

How long does a terrier live?

The different breeds of terrier have a varied lifespan. The Boston terrier breed is known to live between 12-14 years, while the border terrier breed can live between 12-15 years. The rat terrier dog can live as long as 18 years.

How do they reproduce?

The reproductive features of terriers can be assumed to be the same as other dog breeds. Dogs undergo heat or an estrous cycle from time to time, which can last between 18-21 days.

Within this duration, a female dog is receptive to mating for a certain period of time, and successful fertilization can lead to the female dog giving birth after a gestation period of 63 days.

Litter size can vary from breed to breed. The Yorkshire terrier gives birth to 2-3 puppies, while the border terrier can give birth to 2-8 puppies.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of any of the members of the terrier group is Not Listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN. Every breed under the terrier category is domesticated and does not face the threat of endangerment.

Terrier Fun Facts

What do terriers look like?

Terriers are extremely good-looking, and various terrier breeds have distinct characteristics which make them stand out.

The border terrier is one of the smaller terrier dog breeds with an otter-shaped head. These dogs have a double coat with softer hair underneath the outer wiry hair.

Their coat can be wheaten, red, blue, and tan, or grizzled and tan, among various other colors. This dog is also distinguishable by its longer legs when compared to other small terrier dogs.

The West Highland white terrier is unique for being the only terrier dog of Scottish origin to have a pure white coat. These terriers are also small in size and have a medium-length coat. Their tail appears carrot-shaped, and they have dark eyes.

The Irish terrier dog is a medium-sized terrier breed and has a dense and wiry coat. Their coat comes in several colors like wheaten, golden red, or red. Their legs are moderate in length. The Irish terrier dogs are also known for their long bodies when compared to some other terrier breeds. They also have a deep chest.

Yorkshire Terrier sitting

How cute are they?

Terriers are one of the cutest breeds of dogs. The cuteness is not only rooted in their appearance but also in their personalities. They can be great family dogs as well as guard dogs. Hence, it is not really surprising that the several terrier dog breeds are such a popular choice for pets.

How do they communicate?

Just like other dogs, terriers also communicate through barks and certain gestures like the posture of their tails. The tendency to bark differs from breed to breed among the terrier dogs.

For example, the border terrier has a medium tendency to bark, whereas the Airedale terrier has a high tendency to bark.

One of the main reasons why terriers bark so much when compared to other breeds is because they were initially bred as a working dog breed, and hence if they are not active enough, they can resort to barking. Terrier pups are especially known for displaying this kind of behavior.

How big is a terrier?

The different breeds of terrier have different sizes. Some of the terriers are small, while some can be described as being medium or big.

The Scottish terrier breed has a height of 10 in (25.4 cm) and a length of 11 in (28 cm).

In the Cesky terrier breed, which originated in Czechoslovakia, the dogs ideally have a height of 10-13 in (25.4-33 cm). The length of the body is between 16-17 in (40.6-43.1 cm).

The Norfolk terrier is one the smallest breed of terriers and has a height of 9-10 in (22.8-25.4cm).

When compared to another popular dog breed known as the golden retriever, some terriers appear around half their size.

How fast can a terrier run?

Since terriers were originally bred as working dogs, members of the terrier group display quite active behavior and usually have medium to high levels of energy. Jack Russel terriers, which were originally bred in England as hunting terriers, have an excellent speed of 38 mph (61 kph).

Hence, they are also known as the 'fastest, smallest' dog breeds. Another terrier breed, known as the rat terrier, has a speed of about 27 mph (43.4 kph). Rat terriers made use of this speed to chase after rats.

How much does a terrier weigh?

Several types of dog breeds belonging to the terrier group have varied sizes and hence, different body weights.

Among border terrier dogs, males have a weight between 13-15.5 lb (5.8-7 kg), while females weigh between 11.5-14 lb (5.2-6.3 kg).

The Irish terrier has a bodyweight between 17-23 lb (7.7-10.4 kg).

Norfolk terriers, being one of the smallest terrier breeds, weighs between 11-12 lb (5-5.4 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

A male terrier is known as a dog, while a female terrier is known as a bitch.

What would you call a baby terrier?

A baby terrier is known as a puppy.

What do they eat?

The exact nutritional needs of the different breeds in the terrier group vary. In general, these dogs can be fed both dry and wet dog food. Apart from that, their diet can also include vegetables, oats, meat, and brown rice.

Grains are best avoided when feeding any of the terrier breeds. Not only are grains more difficult to digest for these dogs, but some are also allergic to grains. Food containing yeast should also not be given to any terrier dog, as they might develop allergies.

Are they slobbery?

Some terrier dog breeds which display slobbery or drooling behavior are the border terrier, Boston terrier, fox terrier, and Australian terrier. The Boston terrier dog is known to drool mainly when they are young and teething.

Would they make a good pet?

Terriers are one of the most popular pet dog breeds. However, terriers can display stubbornness from time to time and require determined owners to take care of them.

The personalities of different terrier dog breeds can vary in certain aspects. Most of the terriers have moderate to high energy levels, and they require sufficient exercise and training.

Obedience training is also a big part of keeping a terrier as a pet dog. The trainability can also vary from breed to breed.

Some other traits and characteristics which make terrier dogs great as pets are their friendliness, intelligence, and affectionate nature. Terriers truly make excellent companion dogs, and some of the breeds can also be considered lap dogs due to their sizes.

They can also adapt to living with different kinds of families if their training has been done well since a young age. Terrier mixes can also be good family dogs, depending on the personalities of both the terrier and non-terrier parents.

Did you know...

The name 'terrier' has originated from the Latin word 'terra', meaning Earth. Additionally, the word 'terrier' in French means burrow. Both these meanings are applicable to the name of this group of dog breeds since some of the terriers were originally used to dig burrows in the ground to catch vermin.

The history of the terrier group includes a painting of two border terriers made by Arthur Wentworth, which was made in the year 1754.

What is a terrier's personality?

The different types of terrier dogs can display different traits and personalities as pets. However, some of the personality traits are common across several breeds.

Members of terrier dog breeds are known to be free-spirited and independent. They love running around and happen to be one of the most energetic dog breeds requiring a significant time of activity with their owners.

They also tend to bark quite a lot. Terriers are known to prefer being solo and do not bond well with other dogs.

They also have a high prey drive and can attack smaller animals, including any pet cat or rodent. The best way to deal with a terrier dog is by providing them with adequate exercise and training.

The West Highland white terrier dog is one of the friendliest breeds of terrier and gets along well with children and other pet animals as well. The Boston terrier dog also has a very friendly personality and has moderate exercise requirements.

What are terriers known for?

Most of terrier dog breeds originated in Great Britain in England, where they were known to be bred for hunting foxes, killing rodents, and also dogfighting. One of the main causes behind breeding terriers was so that they could dig out any kind of vermin like rats.

Hence, terriers are still quite adept at digging burrows and fitting in small spaces. Terriers also acted as guard dogs and protected families and barns.

Gradually, these canines became more normalized as a pet breed, and some characteristics like aggressiveness took a back seat.

Members of the terrier group are also regularly seen in dog sports. Terrier racing is one of the more popular events for terriers and where these canines put their energy and training to good use.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Impala facts and American cocker spaniel facts pages.  

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable terrier coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Gowri Rao picture

Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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