One of the smallest of the terrier breeds, the Australian Terrier was bred to be a working dog as well as a companion pet. This dog may be small in size, but his attitude is as large and feisty as every other terrier breed. This loyal, even tempered and extremely active canine is comfortable working and living in almost any environment.
The Australian Outback is a harsh existence for people and animals who venture onto the land ill prepared for life in an unforgiving environment. In the late 1700s, European settlers from Britain arrived in Australia. As more and more people migrated to the Land Down Under, they brought a variety of terrier breeds with them, including ancestors of the Skye, Norwich, Irish, Cairn, Yorkshire, Manchester and Dandie Dinmont Terriers. These British breeds were bred with the small Tasmanian Rough-Coated Terrier to develop an intelligent, alert, brave, fast, and able rough-coated dog – the Australian Terrier – the first dog breed recognized in its native land of Australia.
Terrier breeds come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but even the smallest among them have big personalities and were bred to be feisty for a reason. Terriers are intelligent, tough and energetic working dogs with a proud, stubborn and confident attitude that can get them into trouble if you don’t understand the Terrier personality.
Terriers in the Toy Group are companion pets that weigh just a couple of pounds. Working Terriers are farm dogs and hunters that track, trail and pursue rats, fox, badger and other small prey underground if necessary – although not all working Terriers go to ground. The Airedale Terrier, also known as the “King of the Terriers,” is too big to go to ground. He was bred to hunt down river rat, otter, fox and other larger prey. Bully breeds are powerful dogs bred to bait bulls. However, regardless of their shape or size, what’s common in all Terrier breeds is their feisty, loyal, happy, mischievous and never-give-up personality.
Some Terrier breeds are quieter than others, but canines that pursue prey underground were bred to bark so their owner could find them in a hole and dig out a stuck dog. These excitable canines have an independent streak that can make training challenging. However, when you understand the instincts bred into these dogs, you can meet the challenge – as long as you’re patient, always positive, consistent and fun. Read More »
When most people hear the word “terrier,” an image of a small dog comes to mind. The Airedale Terrier is the largest of the terrier breeds and known as the “King of the Terriers.” He may be a terrier, but the Airedale isn’t small and was bred to take on some large and fierce competitors. This working dog was one of the first breeds trained and used by police in Great Britain and Germany.
The Airedale Terrier hails from the Airedale valley – a region between the Aire and Wharfe rivers in Yorkshire, England. The breed was created by working class people sometime in the mid 1800s as a common man’s sporting dog. The two breeds most prominent in the Airedale’s creation are the now-extinct Old English Rough Coated Black and Tan Terrier and the Otterhound. Even though the development of the breed isn’t well documented, other breeds used were likely the Bedlington Terrier, the English Bull Terrier and an assortment of setters, retrievers and sheepdogs. Read More »
The Glen of Imaal Terrier dog breed has several features which are considered unique by today’s standards, when it comes to terriers. One of those features is the name of the breed itself. The Glen of Imaal Terrier was aptly named to describe the location in Ireland from which it originated. This breed, like many other dog breeds, was bred for a specific purpose.
Playing on the Natural Instinct
Terriers by nature are predators, especially fond of preying on small furry things. While most domestic terriers today aren’t going to be out chasing animals for their owners, this breed was created just for that reason. In the Glen of Imaal, farmers often faced problems with things like foxes and wolves, which would make themselves at home on the farm and make large meals out of the other small creatures the farmer was trying to raise for his nourishment and livelihood. The Glen of Imaal Terrier was created in order to help the farmers manage or even eradicate this specific problem. Read More »
Before fences were used to set boundaries and contain livestock, sheep were free to roam the countryside. Unfortunately, in France farmers who allowed their flocks to roam outside their invisible boundaries were forced to pay high tariffs. Shepherds discovered that the Briard had the temperament and intelligence to work with sheep to keep them contained, but herding wasn’t the original job for this wise dog breed.
The history of the breed begins in France sometime during the Middle Ages. Depictions of large Briard-like dogs are on 8th century tapestries created during the reign of Charlemagne (742-814), and found in writings from the 12th century. Charlemagne gifted friends with Briards, and Napoleon is reported to have owned two of them. Thomas Jefferson fell in love with the breed while serving as Minister to France from 1784-1789, and had dogs imported to his Monticello plantation to tend his flock of Merino sheep. Marquis De Lafayette was a huge supporter of America during the Revolutionary War and brought Briards with him when he joined George Washington’s staff in 1777. Jefferson and Lafayette are both credited with introducing America to this excellent herding dog.
Have you seen the movie Because of Winn Dixie? We watched it recently and fell in love with the big, scruffy mutt that played the title role. But wait – was the role of Winn Dixie really played by a mixed breed? Many famous animal actors really are mutts. For instance, the famous Higgins of Petticoat Junction and Benji fame was a rescued shelter mutt, so it’s entirely possible that Winn Dixie was too. Curious, I decided to research it and discovered that he wasn’t a mutt at all. Even though the dog that played Winn Dixie looked like a shaggy, loveable cross between several breeds, he was actually a Berger Picard.
Pronounced “bare ZHAY pee CARR,” the Berger Picard is a rare French purebred dog whose origins date back to the ninth century. This herding breed is also referred to as a Picardy Shepherd.
The breed was introduced to northern France by the Celts in the ninth century. The Berger Picard became useful for herding sheep and cattle as well as for smuggling tobacco and other contraband across the borders between France and Belgium. In the early 1900s, the Berger Picard was considered a legitimate breed and the first breed standards were written.
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