Category Archives: terriers

Dog Breed Profile: The Spunky Australian Terrier

By Linda Cole

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.

Read More »

EmailGoogle GmailBlogger PostTwitterFacebookGoogle+PinterestShare

How Well Do You Know Your Terrier?

terrier wiggleBy Linda Cole

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 »

The Fiercely Loyal Glen of Imaal Terrier Dog Breed

glen of imaal jinterwasBy Langley Cornwell

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 »

What is a Feist Dog?

feist MgrayBy Linda Cole

Even though feist dogs have been around in the United States for hundreds of years, these little dogs aren’t widely known north of the Mason/Dixon Line. They were developed for one reason – to hunt. A feist is described as a small, noisy mongrel; a mixed breed dog with a spirited and feisty demeanor.

A feist (also spelled fice or fyce) dog can easily be misidentified as a Jack Russell, but there is a difference. Unlike the Jack Russell, feist dogs are of mixed heritage and are a type of dog, not a breed. However, they do resemble a terrier in temperament and appearance. The hunting style of the Jack Russell is also different from a feist, which doesn’t go to ground after prey.

The United Kennel Club recognizes feists, but the American Kennel Club does not. Also known as Mountain Feist or Treeing Feist, these energetic dogs are found largely in the southern regions of the U.S., especially around the Ozark Mountain and Southern Appalachian regions where the American feist originated. At one time, feists were popular working dogs found on farms throughout the south.

Read More »

The First Dog to Fly Over the North Pole

Umberto_Nobile_NYWTSBy Linda Cole

In the early 1900s, the notion of flying an airplane over the North Pole was considered dangerous and an almost impossible task. Umberto Nobile’s dream was to fly a dirigible over the top of the world, and he wasn’t deterred by skeptics who scoffed at his insane idea. Nobile was a determined adventurer and with his loyal dog Titina by his side, he made a historic flight over the Arctic in an airship. This earned them recognition as the first man and dog to fly over the North Pole.

Titina was a stray Fox Terrier wandering the streets of Rome when she found Nobile one day in 1925. The two month old pup was lost, starving, and desperate for help. She approached him, stood up on her hind legs and pawed the air with her front feet. He bent down and petted her on the head. Unable to leave her behind, Nobile scooped her up and carried her home. From that moment on, Titina followed Nobile wherever he went.

She didn’t share her owner’s love of flying, but her desire to be with him was stronger than her fear. Nobile had intended to leave Titina at home during his 1926 flight over the Arctic, but the little dog wasn’t about to be left behind. As his airship the Norge rose from the ground, Nobile clutched Titina tight against his chest as thousands of well wishers cheered. A green, red and white Italian sash hung around the dog’s neck. The Norge headed north and began a journey that would make Titina and Nobile household names.

Read More »

Dog Breeds Named After the People Who Created Them

By Linda Cole

Many dog breeds were named based on their country of origin or original job they were bred to do. Some, like the Papillon, got their name from their physical appearance. A handful of dog breeds were named after a person, including the following:

boykin luke faraoneBoykin Spaniel – In the early 1900s, Alexander White took in a small brown dog he found wandering around the Methodist church he attended in Spartanburg, South Carolina. His intention was to keep the dog he named Dumpy as a pet, but it wasn’t long before White noticed Dumpy had an interest in birds, so he sent the dog to his hunting partner in Camden, South Carolina to be trained. Dumpy blossomed into a premier turkey hunter and retriever. The breed that began with a little stray dog was named after the man who trained him, L. Whitaker “Whit” Boykin.

King Charles Spaniel – King Charles I of England loved toy spaniels and passed his love on to his son, Charles II. When Charles II assumed his role as King, he was seldom seen without one or more dogs by his side. He issued a decree that gave his little dogs access to all public places, including in the House of Parliament – a decree that is still in existence today. The popularity of the breed was at its highest during the reign of the House of Stuarts. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is closer to the original dogs Charles I and II adored, and is larger with a longer muzzle than the King Charles Spaniel, which is known as the English Toy Spaniel in America.

Read More »