Terrier Dog Breeds
Feisty is the word most often used to describe terriers. From the Latin terra, for earth, most terriers were originally bred to "go to ground" after burrowing vermin, larger rodents and even foxes. These fiery little dynamos would dig up underground dens and burrows while barking furiously, forcing the inhabitants out where hunters awaited. Some breeds were even bred to finish the job themselves. Let loose in your backyard, a terrier can build an entire golf course in a day — the 18 holes at least. Too large to go to ground, the popular Airedale terrier puts its strength and stubborn streak to use as a surprisingly ferocious watchdog. Like most terriers, this "king of terriers" has little time for other dogs, and if not properly supervised may engage in some street brawling. If it weren't for the fact that most terriers, such as the Cairn and the Norfolk, are fairly small, their tenacious nature and boundless energy would make them hard to control. Due to some unscrupulous breeders and unmindful owners, a few breeds within the terrier group have developed rather notorious reputations. The crossing of bulldogs and terriers for the express purpose of creating fighting dogs has produced several dog breeds that can be dangerous in the wrong hands. Combining the taut muscles and compact power of the bulldog with the tenacity and aggressiveness of the terrier, some controversial bull terrier breeds have been involved in some highly publicized biting incidents, several involving small children. When these dogs bite, they don't let go. Unfortunately, these incidents tarnish the reputations of what can be friendly, stable, even calm pets. But without the right training and socialization, and in irresponsible hands, these can be dangerous dogs.