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An Ode to Terriers

Author: Erin Schneider | Date: March 9, 2012

My name is Erin Schneider and I am addicted to terriers. I love their “stubbornness”; I love their endless energy; I love their curiosity; I love their appearance; but most of all, I love their big hearts. My trainer friends think I’m crazy for my love of terriers, but I am quite proud of it. Don’t mistake me and think that I don’t love other breeds, because that isn’t true. I love ALL dogs and can appreciate each dog’s uniqueness. But this is an ode to terriers, so I’ll have to save the other breeds love letters for another day.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) writes the following on the terrier page of their website. “People familiar with this Group invariably comment on the distinctive terrier personality. These are feisty, energetic dogs whose sizes range from fairly small, as in the Norfolk, Cairn or West Highland White Terrier, to the grand Airedale Terrier. Terriers typically have little tolerance for other animals, including other dogs. Their ancestors were bred to hunt and kill vermin. Many continue to project the attitude that they’re always eager for a spirited argument. Most terriers have wiry coats that require special grooming known as stripping in order to maintain a characteristic appearance. In general, they make engaging pets, but require owners with the determination to match their dogs’ lively characters.” I think this sums them up perfectly.

Most terriers are small, but they have the energy of a much larger dog, which can be very tiring.

They tend to be very mischievous, which can get them into a lot of trouble and if you aren’t ready for it, can be quite exhausting. They can also come across as stubborn. As a dog trainer, I know that is only anthropomorphising and can’t be true, but it’s hard to argue with that observation.

After reading the last paragraph, you are probably thinking to yourself, “this doesn’t sound like a love letter, but a warning”. That is partially true. I have a lot of friends ask my advice about what kind of breed would be a good fit and I rarely, if ever, recommend a terrier. I’m not trying to be selfish and keep them all for myself, but if you are new to owning dogs, you might not know what you are getting into. That being said, terriers are a great addition to many families.

If you have read any of my previous posts, you have probably heard me mention my Westie, Bailey. She is a terrier and proud of it! Before I picked Bailey, I did a lot of research and made sure that I was ready for the many adventures she would bring into my life.

If you are looking to bring a new dog into your life, I always recommend doing your research.

Maybe a terrier will be the perfect fit for your family. But if not, there are many other wonderful breeds (both purebred and mixed-breed) that will be a great addition.

So, a big shout out to all my fellow terrier lovers! Feel free to share your stories here, you know you have a bunch.


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