ESA terrier dog

The Right Terrier Breeds for a Multi-Pet Home


Aside from being man’s best friend, a task which they don’t take lightly, dogs helped people cope with 2020, a year we can agree was sent by Hades. A study on the human-animal bond conducted at the pandemic’s start revealed just how vital these furry friends are. When asked about how dogs helped cope with the harsh times, most respondents would use words such as “lifesaver” and “the only thing that kept them sane.”

If you’re thinking of adopting or fostering a dog, specifically a Terrier breed, chances are you saw one make a cameo during your Zoom meetings. You immediately fell for those twinkling brown eyes, silky fur, and pricked ears. Let’s be honest; no one will blame you for wanting to bring that Jack Russell Terrier you saw on the street home. However, it is crucial to know whether you’ll be doing more harm than good. If you already have other pets at home, you need to determine whether the Terrier breed will get along with the rest of the furry friends.

This is why our team rounded up the facts you ought to know about Terrier breeds, including their temperament, size, colors, and those that are hypoallergenic.

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Understanding the Terrier Dog Breed

Brief History

Terriers are extremely active and aggressive dog breeds that are famous for their “chasing game.” These free-spirited animals enjoy running, so you ought to be prepared to chase them for hours. Their name comes from the Latin word terra, which means earth.

Traditionally, the Terrier breed was bred to hunt and exterminate vermin, rodents, and, believe it or not, foxes! Today, these dogs have become a popular choice for pet owners worldwide and are considered companions and not rodent catchers.


Usually, people immediately think of the Norfolk, Cairn and Jack Russell breeds whenever a Terrier is mentioned. While these breeds have small-sized dogs, this feature is not the same for all Terrier breeds.

  • Small Terrier breeds weigh below 20 pounds and are approximately 16 inches and below
  • Medium Terrier breeds weigh anywhere between 25 and 50 pounds and are about 22 inches in height
  • Large Terrier breeds can weigh up to 65 pounds and a height of anywhere between 30 to 32 inches
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Physical Traits of Terrier Dogs

Coat colors

These furry friends come in various colors. For instance, the Cairn Terrier comes in several colors, including light brindle, dark brindle, grey, and wheaten. Note that the coat sizes also differ. For example, Jack Russell, a small-sized dog, has a short coat. In contrast, the Schnauzer has a longer coat.

One thing that most Terrier breeds have in common is their wirehaired coats. Just picture a coconut’s outer layer. It is for this reason that such Terrier breeds require unique ways of grooming, known as stripping.


Fearless, feisty, pugnacious, and a ball of energy are but a few of the terms used to describe these ‘doggos.’ These dogs are not afraid to pick fights with canines twice their size. They can be territorial and will bark at any creature they deem foreign. Terrier breeds are quite stubborn and will, therefore, require patience and proper training.

Types of Terrier Breeds

  • Airedale Terrier. The largest group, intelligent and energetic, best hunting Terrier, weighs anywhere between 50 and 70 pounds and lives for close to 15 years.
  • American Hairless Terrier. Originally from Louisiana, the American Hairless Terrier is a smart and curious dog. This breed is about 14 inches in height, has a short and glossy coat, and is also hypoallergenic. It’s very protective, making it the ideal watchdog.
  • American Staffordshire Terrier(AmStaffs). Often misunderstood, these Terriers are playful, good-natured, and courageous animals. They can grow up to 70 pounds with a height of about 19 inches. With proper care, these furry friends can live for 14 years.
  • Australian Terrier. Traditionally from Tasmania, these dogs are smart, affectionate, and obedient. They are also confident and very curious breeds. They weigh close to 15 pounds and can live up to 15 years.

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  • Bedlington Terrier. If you’re looking for the ideal cuddling companion, then look no further than the Bedlington Terrier. These dogs are both loyal and gentle. They are also perfect for people who struggle with allergies. They weigh an average of 17 pounds and can live for up to 16 years.
  • Border Terrier. While these dogs have a reputation for being “hard as nails,” these Terriers are laid back and make the perfect playmate for small kids. They weigh about 14 pounds and can live up to 14 years.
  • Cairn Terriers. Don’t let their small size fool you. These Terriers are alert and energetic dogs that love to explore. Their sassy personality makes them perfect for patient owners. Their average weight is 13 pounds, and they can live for close to 13 years.
  • Dandi Dinmont Terrier. This dog breed is named after a fictional character and is not only well mannered but rare. This Terrier weighs about 13 pounds and can live up to 13 years.
  • Glen of  Imaal Terrier. Traditionally from Ireland, these Terriers are ideal for country living. They can weigh up to 15 pounds and can live for an average of 13 years.
  • Irish Terrier. These redhead Terriers are not only beautiful but also charming. These dogs can grow up to 27 pounds and live for an average of  14 years.
  • Kerry Blue Terrier. The Kerry Blue Terriers, a.k.a Kerries, are today the most popular show dogs. While their puppies are born with a black coat, they develop a blueish tint as they grow older. Their average weight is 35 pounds, and they can live for about 13 years.
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Characteristics of Terriers
  • Lakeland Terrier. Traditionally from England, the Lakeland Terrier is a spirited and funny dog often described as clownish. These dogs can grow up to 17 pounds and live for about 13 years.
  • Manchester Terrier. Manchester Terriers are sleek, fast-moving dogs that also make great companions. They can weigh anywhere between 12 and 22 pounds and live for about 16 years.
  • Norfolk Terrier. The Norfolk Terrier is a fearless and curious dog breed. These dogs are perfect for globe trotters. They weigh about 12 pounds and can live up to 14 years.
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier. When properly trained, this Terrier adopts a nurturing nature making it an ideal playmate for small children. It can weigh up to 38 pounds and live for about 13 years.
  • Welsh Terrier. The Welsh Terrier is both friendly and intelligent. It can weigh up to 20 pounds and live for close to 15 years.

Fun fact: Most Terrier breeds were named after their areas of origin

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Which Terrier Breeds Get Along with Other Dog Breeds?

As mentioned earlier, Terriers were originally bred to kill small animals that were considered pests. Therefore, bringing a Terrier to a home with small children and pets can be tricky. To ensure everyone’s safety and that Terriers will get along with the other canines, it is advisable to adopt a Terrier as a puppy

As a puppy, it becomes relatively easier to train and socialize Terrier breeds to make them the perfect companions. Puppy socialization is a systematic process of introducing your Terrier to new things, and it includes:

  • Slowly introducing your puppy to different people
  • Getting your Terrier used to different sounds and noises
  • Familiarizing your Terrier puppy with smells and touch
  • Getting your puppy used to sit in the car 

There’s no scientific evidence to point out the specific Terrier breeds that get along with other dogs. Dog experts recommend puppy training and socialization. Also, some suggest choosing the opposite Terrier sex from the one you already have at home. Some of the things you might want to consider include your ability to effectively train your Terrier, especially if you have smaller pets such as squirrels and kittens in the house. 

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Terrier Breeds Friendly with Other Dogs

Based on dog owners’ reviews, the following Terrier breeds are friendly with other dogs.

  • American Hairless Terrier
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Norfolk Terrier
  • Toy Fox Terrier
  • Welsh Terrier
  • West Highland White Terrier, a.k.a Westie

The Best Hunting Terrier Breed

The Airedale Terrier is also known as the “king of the group” and is the best hunting Terrier. This is perhaps a no-brainer considering that this dog serves with the police, British military, and the American white house. This dog requires rigorous training, especially if you are planning to keep it in a multi-pet household.

Is There a Superior Terrier Breed?

If you thought that purebred Terriers were prime breeds, imagine the result of a mix of the most intelligent dog breeds. Here are some of the superior mixed breeds:

  • Chihuahua Terrier
  • Poodle Terrier
  • Schnauzer Terrier
  • ‘Boglen’ Terrier (Boston Terrier and beagle mix)

Hypoallergenic Terrier Breeds

Literature shows that close to 20% of the global population is allergic to dogs. Therefore, if you or your loved one struggle with an allergy, a hypoallergenic Terrier breed would be perfect for you. Note that no dog is entirely hypoallergenic.

However, some Terrier breeds are less allergenic due to their hairless or non-shedding nature. Once you bring the Terrier into your home, you may want to consistently groom them, clean their beddings and maybe not let them sleep on your bed. Here’s a list of hypoallergenic Terrier breeds as listed on the American Kennel Club website.

  • American Hairless Terrier
  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Kerry Blue Terrier
  • Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier
  • Yorkshire Terrier

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In Sum

You now know which Terrier breed is perfect for you and which ones will get along with your loved ones’ dogs. All that is left to do is head on to a licensed shelter to fill that adoption application. If you’re thinking of getting an ESA, it would be best to seek guidance from professionals.

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