English Staffordshire Terrier

Though closely related, the English Staffordshire Terrier, sometimes referred to as the English Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Pit Bull Terrier, are not one and the same, although they share some of the characteristics common to most bull terriers. Nor is the English Staffordshire Terrier quite the same as its American counterpart, the American Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire being nearly twice as large as the English Staffordshire. Aside from that, the features and temperaments of the two breeds are quite similar. The Pit Bull Terrier has of course gained the reputation as being unpredictable and vicious. While there is some truth to this, most pit bulls are in fact friendly and quite obedient. There have however been enough incidents to make many distrustful towards the breed.

The English Staffordshire – Not A Vicious Breed

There are still those however who equate the English Staffordshire Terrier with the Pit Bull, and consider it to be a dangerous breed. This is simply not true. For one thing, the English Staffordshire is a smaller dog, although when it shows its teeth, it can be quite intimidating. The English Staffordshire is a very brave dog, and it is a fierce fighter for a dog its size, but it is mostly known as a breed that is very fond of people, as well as being a safe dog to have around children. The breed is in fact noted for its tolerance of children, earning the nickname “Nanny Dog” in England. The Staffordshire can be, and often is, protective of the people it is around, especially children, but is not known for being particularly protective of property. This, together with the fact that it is not a particularly noisy dog, and not known to bark a great deal, can make it a rather poor guard dog. It can serve as a good watchdog however, simply due to the fact that it can look a great deal more aggressive and unfriendly than it really is. It is in all respects a very tough looking little dog. The Staffordshire is often more apt to show affection towards a stranger than to show aggression.

Where To Find Information On The Breed

Many owners refer to the breed as either the “Stafford” or “English Stafford”. This breed has been registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) since 1975. A great deal of information about the Staffordshire can be found on the AKC website, and also on the website of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of America (SBTCA). Unfortunately, both websites do not always make a clear distinction between the American Staffordshire and the English Staffordshire, except to note that the English Staffordshire was here first! Since the characteristics of the two breeds are so similar, the information presented is generally valid for either breed. The fact that one of the Staffordshire's ancestors is the English bulldog can be seen in the Staffordshire's body, which is rather round and a bit chunky, or as some would say, “fully packed”.

Caring For The English Staffordshire

Who should own an English Staffordshire? The answer is probably anyone who will take the time to see that this highly energetic dog gets its daily exercise, and anyone who is going to take the time to ensure the dog is given obedience lessons at an early age, so its tendency towards being quite mouthy when it is a puppy is not allowed to become a problem once the dog matures. Because the Staffordshire is so very affectionate towards people, it does not like to be left alone for what it would consider to be a lengthy period of time. It will be tolerant of other household pets when introduced into a household as a puppy, and when the other pets are already there, but it may not be quite so tolerant when other animals are brought into the household once it has established residence. The Staffordshire is at times unfriendly towards other breeds, and often delights in chasing a cat that has chosen to run from it.

Injury Prone

An owner of an English Staffordshire should also be aware of the fact that due to its rather stoic nature, this breed will not often show pain or give any indication that it is ill. While it has few inherited afflictions to contend with, the Staffordshire is sometimes prone to injury because of its fearless and energetic nature. As a puppy, it will tend to chew on anything within reach, including furniture and electrical cords. When outside, it may try to tunnel under a fence it cannot jump over. The English Staffordshire has a reputation as being an escape artist. Most importantly, like its cousin the English Bulldog, the English Staffordshire Terrier does not tolerate heat well, and should not be allowed to spend too much time in the hot sun. The Staffordshire is particularly at risk when being left in a car on a hot day. The breed does not tolerate extreme cold either. As far as this breed is concerned, warm and cozy is the rule.

Wire Haired Terrier

There are many wire haired terriers, technically, and this leads us to a rather frustrating end. Unless, of course, one were to whittle down through each of the 27 distinct terrier breeds and decipher the code. There is only one wire haired terrier that actually has the word “wire” incorporated in his name. Though it may peeve a few of our other favorite little tufted dogs, such as the schnauzer and the Yorkshire, the only wire haired terrier called by this name is the wire fox terrier. He’s our guy in this case.

The wire fox terrier is, well, how shall I say, alert. Everything about his demeanor and body carriage denotes that he is at the ready on split second notice. Sometimes confused for being hyper, the wire haired terrier often appears as if his skin is the only thing holding him back from running around the world and conquering Mount Everest. He is to be built of the finest tone and conformation, standing with his forelegs forward and his rear legs rearward in an attention stance for examination. He is not allows to be leggy, nor short of leg, and his height at the withers is not to be greater than 15 ½ inches. According to the American Kennel Club, show dogs who also work in their field of expertise are not to be discriminated against for having surface scars. If the wire haired terrier has free, fluid, and uninhibited movement of all of his parts, he can proudly bare his hard earned scars into the show ring for his admiring public to see.

Another common reaction to the personality of the wire haired terrier is utter disbelief at his insanely cocky and tip of the toes antics. He can be astoundingly hilarious, if not a bit obnoxiously aggressive at the sight of a strange dog. He descended centuries ago from an ancient black and tan breed whose purpose was the ground hunt of fox, flushing them from brush and burrow for their horse master’s sport. The wire fox terrier is the exact replica of the smooth fox terrier, and these two breeds have only been separated into their own categories for about 100 years.

If you feel that you may be able to work or train the over excess of indelible energy from this little powerhouse, you might want to rethink your strategy. He is, after all, a terrier by blood, and one who decides to enter into an agreement with him must take him for what he is. An absolutely spastic clown, but a beloved and loyal friend. A spoiled rotten baby one minute, a viciously indignant protector and defender on a dime.

Irish Terrier

Irish Terriers hold the distinct honor of being the only terrier of solid red coloring. He is also considered to be one the very first European terriers to make the hunting scene. The Irish Terrier is by far the most racy of the terrier group, as his body exudes an athletic and sleek fit, suited to his trademark headlong dash with which he engages threats and enemies. Much is expected of this genuinely intriguing dog when it comes to show quality standards if he is to match the astoundingly heroic and touching reputations of his forefathers on which his standards were built. And if we know anything at all of the regal Irish Terrier it is that he will not fail, he will not falter, he will not disappoint, and he will strut away happily to his beloved family, whatever the outcome.

The stuff that legends are made of, this exemplary dog has inspired centuries old tales of bravery and of stamina, of self sacrifice and loyalty, and of a devoted family member who would lay beside restless and sickly children until the were coaxed to sleep by his calm. A far cry from his little cousin, the Jack Russell Terrier, who would just as soon eat shards of glass as have his ear tugged by a baby, this true and lovely creature lay always between his keep and any possible danger or threat. With the gentle, adoring spirit of a nursemaid, and the instinctively ferocious protection instinct of a mother bear, Irish Terriers have long been entrusted as a premier family dog.

The show quality standards for Irish Terriers are, as mentioned, quite stringent, and slight variances from the model specimen are not tolerated well in the ring. The first impression that this terrier brings to the audience is that of an animal wise beyond his years, yet donning that classic terrier verve for life. His pacing gait should almost jot, allowing judges to get a sense for his streamlined and athletic grace. He is known as speedy, and this should apparent right from the beginning.

His eyes are to express the keen wisdom and intuition for which these dogs are famous, and one may notice that judges tend to gaze a bit longer into the face of this dog than any other. I like to think that they are sharing the secrets of their souls during those few extra seconds, as Irish Terriers enjoy being a shoulder to cry on. When asked to perform, he should light into motion, with a jovial and triumphant happiness, and a wish to be of service to his leader, that shows through to all who look on.

Teacup Yorkshire Terrier

The Teacup Yorkshire Terrier is not a specialized strain of the breed, but is merely an especially small specimen of it. The Teacup Yorkshire Terrier is born of a naturally occurring birth defect which happens to about 1 puppy per three litters. This defect is seldom as severe as dwarfism, but is likened more toward the runt factor. This factor can be forced out of the breed, and has been by some of less ethical breeders in the world. Following fashion trends, and with little regard to the overall health and quality of life offered these dogs, irresponsible breeders will cross runts with runts with runts, in hopes of creating a higher number of smaller, or teacup, Yorkshire Terriers.

Firmly accredited breeders, those with a steadfast respect for, and duty to, this marvelous breed, will spay or neuter the runts of their litters, and either keep them as pets or sell them as pets to those who understand the possible health issues that this tiny version is prone to. The sad fact is, as with any birth defect, these tiny babies have a great deal harder life ahead of them than do their brothers and sisters of standard size. Lungs, digestive functions, muscle and bone structures, and developmental issues are common with teacup Yorkshire Terriers, the likes of which make the fact that he can fit inside of a teacup seem trivial and shallow.

Seeking out and devoting yourself to a teacup Yorkshire Terrier does not make you an irresponsible person, but it is important that you understand the facts behind this little phenomenon, and also that you do not promote the irresponsible behavior of “fashion breeders.” Naturally occurring teacups happen often enough, and putting your name on a waiting list for a neutered or spayed teacup from an established and caring breeder is definitely worth the effort.

Aside for the predominant health issues of the teacup Yorkshire Terrier, you will find that he is absolutely abounding with energy, personality, and a true vigor for life and affection. Healthy teacups resemble closely the actions and traits of their sturdier counterparts, and you he will assuredly be the light of your life. Not much bigger than a rat himself, this bitty pooch will not be able to hunt much, but his curious nature and vivacious hunger for stimulation will make for some good playtime with the sock on the floor in the living room.

Yorkshire Terriers, those of both sexes, are notorious for scenting, which is a polite way of saying that they like to pee on every new scent which enters their territory. This is instinctual and is not intended as disrespectful, but he feels he must make clear on his points. He has spent a good chunk of time getting things just as he wants them, and foreign smells, such as your guest’s shoes placed by the door, make him uncomfortable. He needs to be able to smell prey and danger, and this new odor serves as a deterrent to his life’s mission. Good luck!

Maltese Terrier

For twenty-eight centuries and counting, the loyal and deeply beloved Maltese Terrier has left clear and concise marks on the record of history, and on the hearts of some of the most powerful and influential royalty of all time. The astounding findings of archeologists turned up an elaborate molding of a Maltese Terrier in the Fayum of Egypt. Egyptian kings were buried with artifacts and statues of their most beloved, and most worshipped, possessions and Gods. The Maltese terrier figure is thought to have been created in the common style of an Egyptian idol, lending weight to the early portrayals of this tiny dog being coveted and worshipped through many of the early centuries.

The Maltese Terrier, or “Ye Ancient Dogge De Malta,” is classified in the toy category, and should not weigh more than 7 pounds for show quality considerations. It is not uncommon to find these dogs slightly obese by way of spoiling, but it is recommended that killing your Maltese Terrier with kindness may not be the kindest to show your love. He is a vital, cheerful, and resilient creature, not at all as delicate as one might assume from a dog of this wee stature. He owns the terrier mantra, “If I can’t see it, I have to catch it!” His flowing, silky hair and enlarged, emotionally expressive eyes should not sway you from the true nature within. He is agile at full speed, and gracefully precise when on the hunt.

This breed does not have an undercoat, which would explain its ancient survival in desert climates such as Egypt. His single coat should be of stark white, flowing straight and preferably touching the ground beneath him. A slight tone of cream or tan is permissible, but not readily desirable according to the breed show quality standard. The facial and forelock hair should never be cut, but left flowing down or tied in a breed specific bun knot above the eye brow.

The Maltese terrier is thought to be the most affectionate and responsive of the toy or miniature class breeds, and he offers much comic relief and emotional stimulation to his masters. Publius, the Roman governor of Malta circa 40 AD, was the proud companion of a Maltese named Issa, and his love for her was forever held in history by the writings of Publius’ friend, the poet Martialis, wrote this passage of the devoted pair:

“Issa is more frolicsome than Catulla’s sparrow. Issa is purer than a doves kiss. Issa is gentler than a maiden. Issa is more precious than Indian gems…Lest the last days that she see light should snatch her from him forever, Publius has had her picture painted.”

Wheaten Terrier

The history of the wheaten terrier is a bit baffling, as he has been rumored to exist since long before the days of breeding records. Survivors of the sunken Spanish Armada, over two hundred years ago, was said to have dragged themselves ashore in Ireland to the greetings of soft, wheat colored, and squarely shaped dogs. The mingling of the ancient wheaten terrier to the Kerry Blue terrier is also brought to question, but the enthusiasts and experts of the American Kennel Club are quite content to set any bloodline rumors to the side. The wheaten terrier, as well as the Kerry Blue, is as respectable, desirable, noble, and beautiful today as he was rumored to be so long ago.

He is of a medium and square build, with a soft, wavy texture to his wheat colored coat. Life is as joyous to the wheaten terrier as it is for the rest of his spunky family tree, and his agile discrimination and willing attitude are also among his strongest assets. He offers the ultimate intermingling of terrier tenacity and vigor with the proud, steady ethic of a work dog. Thought to have been bread for this purpose, as well as for protecting his masters from both vermin and predators, it makes perfect sense that he is so beloved and trusted now with the protection of his human family.

He is expected to be alert and responsive when being handled in the show ring, but also to betray the calm and sensible aspect which defines his personality so distinctly from his fellow terriers. Because his breeding and evolutions are unknown, experts are forced to piece together pieces of history, folklore, and the consistency of his earliest recorded standards in order to determine what is expected of the wheaten terrier today. The American Kennel Club strongly assumes that his forefathers, and the curators of this breed, would be most proud and thrilled with his well respected status.

The wheaten terrier has been recognized by the Irish Kennel Club since 1937, and was inducted into the breed listings of the American Kennel Club on May 1st, 1973. The first breeding stock of this breed introduced to the US was imported by a Massachusetts woman by the name of Lydia Vogel in the 1940’s. The real movement and circulation of this breed in America, however, did not pick up steam until the Irish families of O’Conner and Arnold imported their breeding stock in the latter part of the 1950’s.

As strong as he is graceful, and as happy as he is content, the wheaten terrier can easily and readily adjust to nearly any living conditions. His ideal situation, however, would find him romping and scouting through rough fields and country sides, in search of new game and in constant awareness of potential dangers to his adopted human family.

Yorkshire Terrier

Not actually called the Yorkie terrier, this little powerhouse of fun and exasperation is officially named by the American Kennel Club as the Yorkshire Terrier. One of the top ten most popular breeds in the world, he is classified as a “toy”, because of his portability and the way that he tucks right into the arm of his master. He is, however, all terrier, in every sense of the word. He is unafraid, and nothing thrills him more, or intimidates him less, than a good intrigue. Unfailingly loyal and steadfastly determined, he seems to be blissfully unaware of his “teacup” status.

The Yorkie terrier has a huge, curious, and brave personality, which he uses to wiggle into your heart and into plenty of trouble. He is, despite our insistence on bathing and coddling him, a devout and natural hunting, with the heart and courage of a lion. He wants to know what that is, why it’s here, where it’s going, and how to kill it. And, to our dismay, he will not stop until his instinct has been answered. Supervised time outdoors, therefore, is his best and safest exercise options.

In his early days, he was commissioned as a rat and mouse hunter within the confines of clothing factories. He was treated well, though many tasteless jokes went around about using his silky locks in the looms. After proving himself both extremely invaluable as a hunter and exceptionably adorable as a companion, his migration into the homes of the wealthy and influential began. He quickly embodied the persona of a pampered pet, as he is very well at ease with being carried around and babied for extended periods of time. He was, however, prone to flights of rebellion when released for defecation purposes, often to the dismay of the harshly punished servant who had been entrusted to his care.

The Yorkie terrier has one acceptable coat coloring for consideration in the Westminster and American Kennel Club show standards. He must be tan and blue, sometimes referred to as blue and gold. Though he is born with a much more intense, darker shades of tan and black, and often has many intermingling black hairs in his tan areas. As he matures, however, he is to take on a steel blue color to all of his hair from the base of the neck to the tip of the tail, which should be the darkest area. His tan should be pure, free of any black, silver, or white intermingling hairs. The only exception to this rule is the possibility of one white marking on his chest, which cannot exceed 1 inch in diameter. His hair should be of a silky texture throughout, and completely straight when flowing to the ground.

Jack Russell Terrier

Your Jack Russell Terrier, or any one of them you may fall instantly in love with, sees the world as his very own. He is independent, unless he can’t reach an itchy spot but he knows that you can, and he is as free spirited as a wild horse. He trots around, head held high, and gives a knowing wag to those he has allowed to enter his heart. Not to be confused with a wary dog that cannot be trusted, Jack Russell Terriers merely choose to acknowledge those they care for, and don’t feel that they need acceptance from anyone else. He has his people, and that is that.

His energy and love of adventure are almost as strong as his loyalty to his chosen family members. Jack Russell Terriers are easier to call back home while they are on a jaunt, however, than many of his cousins are. He is smart to a fault, and has his pride, so raising your voice at him rarely does other than to have you ignored. On the other hand, Jack Russell Terriers are very sensitive to being ignored by their masters, and this reverse psychology can be an invaluable training technique for this fascinating breed.

Also Known as Parsons terriers, or Parson Jack Russell’s Terriers, he has been a frontrunner for popularity in the terrier group for literally hundreds of years. He knows no fear, he has no boundaries, and he will go to ground against anything, regardless of size or distance away. He often has no tolerance fellow household dogs or other pets, unless he was raised around them. Still, this puppy doesn’t seem to realize he is a puppy, and if he makes the decision to remain tenaciously intolerant toward another creature, you will have years of trouble on your hands, or a few difficult decisions to make. He is the boss of every situation when it comes to other animals, and cannot be reasoned with should he take a disliking.

Another thing to beware of with Jack Russell Terriers is their tendency to train their masters rather than to be trained themselves. Sounds pretty preposterous to you? The most famous trait of this breed is their astute cleverness. Sure, the poodle is said to have the greatest capacity for learning, but this little terrier has the instinct it takes to manipulate and bend both situations and their potential results. He is that spiteful, childlike dog who will defecate on your freshly made bed because you left him alone. If you try to crate him to subdue this behavior, he will simply do it in front of you as soon as you let him out. He is a force to be reckoned with, but also one of the most rewarding dogs that one could hope to own once his antics have been sorted out.