Terriers are ground dogs and derive their name for the Latin/French word for ground "terre." They have been used for centuries throughout the British isles as working and hunting dogs. Selective breeding has ensured that the variety of terriers is as varied as the quarry it was bred to hunt or work with. That quarry ranged from bulls at one end of the scale to rats at the other end. In between are the breeds used for flushing or holding foxes or even for running down hares and rabbits.
Terriers were, traditionally, the working man's dog and, invariably the old fashioned poacher kept a brace of terriers for his particular mode of hunting around the edge of the estate. These pages contain a select ion of some of the different breeds of terriers that have evolved in all of the home countries of the British Isles.