This group of Dogs is unusual
in that most of its breeds originate in the British Isles.
A reference around 1600 tells us that some of these dogs were long legged and some had short and crooked legs.
Towards the middle of the eighteenth century a writer gave the following description of the breed of that time: "There are two sorts of Terriers, the one rough, short-legged and long-backed, very strong and most commonly of a black or yellowish color mixed with white; the other is smooth-haired and beautifully formed, having a shorter body and more sprightly appearance, is generally reddish-brown color or black with tanned legs".
By 1790 terrier puppies were bred with the occasional white marking. An etching of that time shows a Black and Tan puppy with a white chest. Gradually the numbers of white puppies increased and in 1858 the editor of The Field magazine maintained that "black and tan was the only true color", adding that "many were to be seen white".
The Terrier Group of Dog Breeds includes the following:
Fox Terrier (Wire)
Minature Bull (Terrier)
Soft Coated Wheaton
Staffordshire Bull (Terrier)
West Highland White
Terrier Dog Breeds
The earth terriers - with short legs - were hard working, energetic and extremely tough and would go to ground after fox, badger and rabbit.
The larger dogs were expert at disposing of otter, water rats and many forms of wildlife which lived along river banks and around farms.
It is only since the nineteenth century that they have gradually developed into distinct breeds. Countrymen in various parts of the British Isles realized the importance of breeding puppies along different lines to suit the locality in which they worked.
English (Terriers) in the group originate from various parts of the country. They are different in size, shape and color, and all have strong instincts. The group includes the Airedale, the Bull Terrier, the Wire and Smooth Fox (Terrier), the Manchester (Terrier), the Norfolk and Norwich (Terrier) and the Jack Russell Terrier.
Jack Russell Terrier Puppy
A large number of these breeds are directly or indirectly descended from the Old English Black and Tan and the now extinct White English.
The Airedale and the Bull (Terrier) are two breeds whose ancestry has been influenced by these dogs. The former, in spite of strains from other breeds, has inherited the coloring of the Black and Tan. The latter's all-white coloring is the result of crossing the old type terrier with the White English Terrier.
The Wire and Smooth Coated Fox (Terriers) are descended from dogs with (terrier) and hunting blood in their veins and, as their name implies, they were originally used for foxhunting. In the mid nineteenth century, like other working breeds they became successful in the show ring. In the 187O's the English Fox Terrier Club was founded, with only Smooth-coated dogs accepted. Nearly forty years later a club was founded for the Wire-haired variety (Wire Fox Terrier Association).
The black and tan Manchester (terrier) was developed in the north west of England. It was an all purpose dog, being used in warehouses, mines, factories, docks and homes to control the rat population and also as a sporting dog to hunt rabbits and in contests in the rat-pits.
The Norfolk and Norwich were earth (terriers) and came originally from East Anglia, on the eastern side of England. For their size they were extremely efficient at controlling most types of vermin.
The Jack Russell Terrier from Devonshire, a popular breed which has recently found royal favor, is an excellent worker and companion.
Terrier Dogs: Airedale
From north of the border come a number of well known breeds. The Cairn and the Skye (Terrier) are earth dogs and are thought to be among some of the oldest breeds in the British Isles. Both come from the Highlands of Scotland and were used as working dogs to eliminate fox, badger and other vermin which plagued the crofters and shepherds.
Together with the reserved Scottish (Terrier) and the spirited West Highland White (Terrier), they make up the Scottish terrier breeds that have made their mark in the world.
Terriers from the Border Counties include the Bedlington the Dandie Dinmont, the Border and the Lakeland.
The source of the Bedlington and the Dandie Dinmont are unknown, but it is possible to be more precise as to the origin of their names. The Bedlington, originally known as the Rothbury (Terrier), was named after an area called Rothbury Forest in the county of Northumberland. It was used by miners to clear the mines of rats and by gypsies for poaching. The Dandie Dinmont was given its name from a character in Sir Walter Scott's novel Guy Mannering. The breed was kept by hill farmers to destroy all types of vermin and also for hunting badger and fox.
Nowadays the Lakeland and Border (Terriers) are famous on the show-bench, but originally they were tough working (terriers) and quite capable of spending long hours with hounds until they had disposed of their enemy - the fox.
From the Principality of Wales come two types of (terrier); the Welsh, which is probably one of the oldest terrier breeds, and the plucky little Sealyham from Pembrokeshire.
Standard AKC Terriers
The Welsh, like the Airedale, is descended from the Old English Black-and-Tan (Terrier) and is probably more closely linked in appearance to its originator than any other breed. Both the Welsh and the Sealyham were, like all terrier breeds, used originally to control and dispose of most types of vermin. They are still workman like little dogs. Those which live in the country and are trained for the purpose are found to be as capable as their ancestors.
There are four Irish (terrier) breeds: from the south of Ireland the vivacious Kerry Blue; from the west the happy-go-lucky Soft Coated Wheaten (Terrier); from the north of the country the compelling Irish (Terrier); and from the east, in County Wick low, the game little Glen of Imaal (Terrier). All breeds lived and worked on the farms and have at sometime or other captivated us with their Irish charm.
The terrier breeds from other parts of the world are: the Australian Terrier; the Jagdhund - smooth- and wire-coated hunting terriers from Germany; and the small attractive Cesky (Terrier) from Czechoslovakia. Both continental breeds are capable hunters above and beneath the ground and have a substantial following.
In the past, dogs in this group played an important part in the lives of many people. Vermin had to be kept under control, and although rat and mole catchers were used for this purpose, most (terriers) just got on with the job without any outside assistance from man. Also, rats which were supplied for rat killing competitions had to be disposed of and this meant that (terriers), especially Black and Tans and English White (Terriers) were in great demand. In the twentieth century terriers have gradually declined in popularity. They are no longer required for sporting events or to keep vermin under control.
In the mid-1990's (terriers) are once more being used as working dogs. A British International Dog Rescue Team, based in north Wales, is training small terrier-type dogs to carry match box size cameras underground. The dogs will work in areas of national disaster to help find casualties who are trapped. They are called 'Tunnel Dogs' and are small enough to work in confined spaces which large dogs are unable to negotiate.
Our Rat Terrier JEWEL
Rat Terrier History
The Rat Terrier is an American breed that originated from a mixture of crosses by early immigrants of this country using old time Fox (Terriers) and other European Terriers common in the 19th century; the Old English White (Terrier), Manchester (Terrier), Bull (Terrier), etc., and later crossed with Beagles, more Smooth Fox (Terrier), Toy Fox (Terriers), Whippets, Italian Greyhounds and other available Feisty breeds.
During the 1910s and 1920s, the Rat Terrier was one of the most common farm dogs. Because Kansas Jack Rabbits were plaguing crops in the Midwest, to increase the speed and versatility of the Rat Terrier, some Farmers began breeding them to Whippets, Italian Greyhounds and other "snap dog" breeds. Around the same time, others in the Central and Southern regions bred their Rat Terriers to Beagles to bring out a stronger prey and pack drive for hunting purposes. These early crosses eventually gave the breed the speed and "nose," as well as the good disposition they are known for today.
However, although (terriers) are still born with the instincts of a hunter, the majority of today's dogs are now good companions and very successful show dogs.
Rat Terriers - Information – Appearance
The UKC registered the Rat Terrier in 1999 and coined the official breed standard (the first breed standard was set in 1994 by the Rat Terrier Club of America). According to this, the Rat (Terrier) is an energetic active dog with the body slightly longer than the legs. The Standard Rat Terrier should stand about 13-18 inches at the shoulder, whereas the smaller variety, the Miniature Rat Terrier, should be less than 13 inches measured at the withers.
For more information on these EXCELLENT Dogs and the availability of Puppies (like the cute pup pictured above), Please Contact:
Mischel Wilson at:
Rat Terrier Puppies / Best Rat Terrier Kennels
Top of Page
To Home Page -- > Best Dog Photos