Welcome To Our Complete Guide To The Most Popular Terrier Mix Breeds.
Looking At What They Are, And Whether They Make Good Pets.
Including Addressing Concerns About The Controversy Of The So-Called Designer Dog Breeds.
Thinking Of Buying A Terrier Mix? You’ve Come To The Right Place.
If you think of yourself as feisty, fearless, and confident, then you may be looking for the perfect canine companion to match your unique personality.
Well, a Terrier may be just what you are looking for.
There are a wide variety of terriers to choose from, and there are even more mixes that may pique your fancy.
While mixes have been called mutts or mongrels for centuries, mixed breeds are surely making waves in the doggy world right now.
This is especially true when it comes to Terrier mixes.
But is this definitely a good thing?
Why do some people object to designer dogs, and are some Terrier mix breeds healthier or happier pets than others?
In this article, we will take a look at the interesting and unique Terrier mixes.
Helping you to decide which new puppy to bring home.
But before we dive in, let’s take a look at that tricky subject – the designer dog controversy.
Terriers are traditional British and Irish dogs that can be traced back to the 18th century and even earlier.
The dogs were working dogs used to kill vermin, hunt small animals, and herd sheep.
The word Terrier is derived from Latin and French words, and it can be translated to mean burrow or earth.
This name is quite obvious if you think about the small, wirey, and quick animals and their incredibly useful hunting and mousing abilities.
As dog breeds started to emerge and gain prominence in England, Terriers were refined.
The dogs were bred with other terriers, hunting dogs, and fighting dogs.
This helped to establish the courageous, tenacious, and fearless attributes that the dogs are known for.
General Terrier Characteristics
In the early days of the terrier, there were only two recognized breeds, the short and long legged varieties.
However, both English and American breeding has helped to expand the Terrier group to include a whopping 31 recognized breeds.
Although there are numerous breeds, there are some general characteristics seen amongst all the Terriers.
Most Terriers are variations of the short-legged Terrier, and the dogs are somewhere between 9 and 12 inches high.
The longer-legged dogs are still small, but they come in at between 14 and 18 inches in height.
All Terriers have wiry hair that is either short or medium length.
Some Terriers can weigh as much as 40 pounds, but many weigh much less.
For example, a Rat Terrier will weigh between 10 and 25 pounds.
Terriers look quite different, depending on the breed, but they are all active, energetic, busy, and fearless.
This means supervision is essential and so is exercise and active play.
But what happens when you mix them with other breeds?
The Designer Terrier Mix
There are a lot of conflicting, and often loud, opinions when it comes to breeding two first generation pedigree dogs together.
Some people really believe that it is wrong to create hybrid dog breeds, and that we should be sticking to those registered by the Kennel Clubs right now.
But a purebred dog is simply one that is on a list, and a manmade list at that. All the purebred dogs we have today were once mixes themselves.
And when they were put onto a closed register, their gene pools inevitably started shrinking.
Mutts and mixes have something we call ‘hybrid vigor’.
The effect that is created when we reverse the process of reduces the genetic heritage of an animal.
In short, mixes really can be healthier. But only if you choose them carefully.
You can read more about the Purebred vs Mutt debate here, but for now let’s move on to the interesting world of Terrier mix breed pups’ health.
Terrier Mix Health
Mixed dog breeds can come with some health problems, despite their hybrid vigor.
Illnesses can come from both breeds, or of course none may show up at all.
It really depends on the way the genes of the dogs’ mix and express in the offspring.
However, if you know about common health problems in the two breeds, you can be aware of what to look at when choosing a puppy.
Dog DNA testing has become more and more widespread since canine genetic markers were first identified in 2004.
Since then, many companies have emerged and expanded on tests to identify diseases.
And good breeders test their stock for those disease that are relevant to the parent dogs.
Terriers are prone to eye problems.
Cataracts and fat deposits along the cornea are common issues.
These problems can obstruct the vision and may progress to the point that visual acuity is severally impaired.
Heart problems can present in Terriers. A disease called chronic valve disease is one of the most common and severe.
This illness involves the continual degeneration of the heart valves, and it typically progresses into heart failure.
As with many other small dogs, patellar luxation or the dislocation of the kneecap, can be an issue too.
These will vary from Terrier to Terrier however, so you will need to look at the particular mix and of course the breed they are combined with carefully.
And there are a lot of possible options out there.
What Is a Terrier Mix?
Any dog from the Terrier group that is bred with another canine produces a Terrier mix.
Typically, mixes are created with purebreds. However, this is not always the case.
Also, since there are so many Terrier breeds, there are many options when it comes to mixes.
While this is true, there are certainly some common choices.
For example, the Labrador is often bred with the Bull Terrier and the Chihuahua is often mixed with the Rat or Jack Russell Terrier.
We’ll have a look at some of these in just a second.
But first, what does the Terrier put into the mix?
Terrier Mix Temperament?
Terrier mix temperaments definitely vary based on the breed of dog mixed with the Terrier.
This means your canine may just be a laid back dog or a feisty and aggressive one.
Knowing some of the traits of the Terrier can help you to determine what you may see in a mixed breed dog.
However, there are no guarantees, as genetics can mix in a variety of ways to create the temperament.
Terriers are known for their strong-willed personalities, and the mixed canines do retain at least some of these breed characteristics.
You should know that Terriers are also not fond of other animals, since they were bred to hunt and chase vermin.
So, keep this in mind if you have other pets in the home.
However, the traits may be amplified or softened a bit by the personality of the dog mixed with the Terrier.
Terrier Mix Exercise
Terriers need a great deal of exercise, as they are dogs that are used to chasing, hunting, jumping, and digging.
Keeping your dog busy is the key to a happy and healthy dog that exerts energy in a positive manner.
Without exercise, your canine may become bored and destructive.
Compulsive tail chasing, which some terriers are prone to, is one example of a compulsive behavior that can be caused by boredom.
Exercise requirements vary. However, you should invest in at least one hour of active exercise and play every day.
Terriers love to fetch and play with chasing toys.
Many Terriers are considered “escape artists” though, and can effortlessly dig underneath a fence, so play-time should always be supervised.
But of course all of these behavioral factors could be increased, decreased or stay exactly the same based upon which other breed they are being mixed with!
Popular Terrier Mixes
It is not surprising that many of the Terrier mixes are ones created from some of the most popular Terrier breeds.
These include Rat, Jack Russel, Fox, Yorkshire, and Bull terriers.
Do not be surprised though, if you see a mixed pup with an Irish, Lakeland, or Airedale mother or father.
Since mixed breeds are so popular, more and more unique variations are being created by breeders.
Of course, if one of the long-legged Terriers are used for breeding, the resulting mixed dog will be a bit bigger.
So, what types of mixes might you come across?
Well, there are quite a few options.
Chihuahua Terrier Mix
Let’s start with one of the most petite Terrier mixes out there, the Chihuahua Terrier mix.
These dogs are almost always created with the smaller canines like Rat or Bull Terriers to produce a canine that is a bit larger than a traditional Chihuahua.
This mix will produce pups with the telltale Chihuahua head and a body that similar to the Terrier.
When it comes to Chihuahuas and their temperament, they are certainly full of personality.
The dogs are sometimes quite feisty, stubborn, bold, and energetic.
They are also protective and alert.
Since Chihuahuas have many of the same traits as Terriers, do not be surprised if your mix retains an active, energetic, and headstrong personality.
When it comes to health issues, Chihuahuas are prone to a few.
This is one reason why it is absolutely necessary to inquire about the health of the Chihuahua parent.
Like other small dogs, patellar luxation is a problem.
Also, something called hydrocephalus may be an issue where cerebrospinal fluid builds up around and inside the brain.
The problem is seen in certain Terriers as well, but studies show that it is most common in Chihuahuas.
Hydrocephalus can cause some neurological issues and pain.
Heart disease is an issue to be aware of too. Chihuahuas are prone to general heart disease and heart enlargement issues.
Also, like some Terriers, the dogs can develop heart valve formation issues.
Something called tracheal collapse, where the trachea weakens and degrades over time, is another concern, and so are eye issues.
However, most eye problems, like dry eyes and allergies, are mild.
When you buy a Chihuahua Terrier mix puppy, ensure that both parents are health tested for those conditions associated with their breed.
You will also want to meet the Chihuahua and Terrier parent, to ensure they have friendly personalities.
Poodle Terrier Mix
Poodle Terrier mixes are also quite adorable and feature medium to long hair.
This means a bit more brushing may be required, and you may need to invest in some time at the groomer to tame the wavy and curly locks.
Like the Chihuahua mix, the Poodle variety is often developed with one of the smaller Terrier breeds.
Both Yorkshire and Jack Russell Terriers are commonly bred with Poodles.
Poodles are agile, energetic, and intelligent dogs, so be prepared to invest in some significant playtime with interactive toys if you own a Poodle mix pup.
Poodles are peaceful dogs, extremely sociable, and sensitive. They also love spending time with their owners.
This can make for a Terrier mix that is more sociable and calmer than a Terrier alone. But there is no guarantee!
Poodles, like many other dogs, have some health problems that can appear in the Terrier mix.
The dogs are specifically prone to a variety of eye diseases.
Cataracts, glaucoma, retinal dysplasia, and progressive retinal atrophy are ailments to be aware of.
When it comes to retinal atrophy, studies show that the ailment is most pronounced in miniature poodles, and it leads to eventual blindness.
Poodles are prone to seizures and you may notice some skin issues, if your Terrier mix develops allergies due to the genetic background of the Poodle.
Also, it should be noted that a great many poodles die from cancer.
Studies indicate that poodles are prone to the development of oral and mammary cancers.
Tumorous carcinomas that develop in the toes are an issue as well.
Endocrine issues and orthopedic problems are a few less common health ailments you should be concerned about.
When you buy a Poodle Terrier mix puppy, ensure that both parents are health tested for those conditions associated with their breed.
Lab Terrier Mix
If you want a canine companion that is a bit larger, then a Lab Terrier Mix is definitely something to look into.
These mixed pups are bred using the medium sized Terriers like the Airedale.
Sometimes, the smaller Bull and Fox terriers may be bred with the Labrador.
Many Lab Terrier Mixes are medium sized dogs with a great deal of energy, especially since Labs are quite the playful and active dogs, just like Terriers.
Labradors are people pleasers with friendly personalities, and you may see these wonderful personality traits in your Terrier Mix.
You can expect your canine to be both loyal and protective as well.
If you want the Labrador mix, be aware that some Terriers and Labradors are prone to joint issues.
Specifically, hip and elbow dysplasia may be problems inherited by both breeds.
Cataract issues are present in both Labradors and Terriers, and so are some health problems like cardiomyapathy.
Labradors also have a higher chance of developing cancer than other dogs.
According to research studies, the dogs are likely to develop highly aggressive mast cell tumors.
They are also genetically predisposed to the development of lymphoma, according to research studies.
The Labrador parent must have as a minimum a clear eye test, PRA clear DNA test and good hip and elbow scores.
Beagle Terrier Mix
If you have been yearning for a dog that retains the cuteness, small stature, and large eyes of a puppy, then a Beagle Terrier mix may be about as close as you can get.
The mixed canines are often created using the Rat or Boston Terrier to create a miniature dog that has the long telltale body of the Beagle.
Beagles have a lot of the same personality traits as Terriers, and this may not necessarily be a good thing.
The canines are smart and inquisitive, but they are also stubborn and busy.
The dogs can easily become bored and will often end up digging, howling, and barking in response.
Since Terriers also love to dig and need to stay busy, the Beagle Terrier mix is a good choice only if you have an active family with kids and adults who are more than willing to put in the time and effort required for training, exercise, and playtime.
Thankfully, Beagles are also loving dogs, so the Terrier mix can make a good addition to a household with kids.
Beagles have some genetic eye issues to be aware of. They can develop glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, and cherry eye.
Also, hip dysplasia is an issue, as with many Terriers.
Beagles are also prone to a disease called intervertebral disk disease.
While the illness is one with a specific genetic predisposition, the ailment is most likely to form as your canine ages.
Intervertebral disk disease involves the degeneration of the spinal disks that sit in between the spinal vertebrae.
The jelly within the disks, that helps to cushion the spine, is forced against the spinal cord, placing pressure on it.
This causes some discomfort, but it can also lead to eventual paralysis.
When you buy a Beagle Terrier mix puppy, ensure that both parents are health tested for those conditions associated with their breed.
Dachshund Terrier Mix
Dachshunds, like Beagles and Terriers, are extremely busy and curious dogs.
The canines are stubborn like the other canines, and they also have the same digging and hunting instincts.
Daschunds are good watchdogs and will bark when strangers approach.
Unfortunately, like Beagles, the dogs do tend to bark when they become bored and listless. They do have a loyal streak though and do well with children.
Daschunds can develop progressive retinal atrophy, patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, and intervertebral disk disease.
The risk of intervertebral disk disease is a high and heartbreaking one in Dachshunds, so you will need to think long and hard if you want to buy even a cross with one of these dogs.
Also, both obesity and diabetes may become an issue, so you do need to work diligently to make sure a good diet and exercise plan is followed.
Schnauzer Terrier Mix
Like Terriers, Schnauzers were originally bred to control vermin. This means a Schnauzer Terrier mix will certainly make sure that your home is free of all rodents.
Schnauzer Terrier canines are dogs that retain quite of few of the Schnauzers telltale and unique physical traits.
The “old man” or aged look of the Schnauzer with the fuzzy and scruffy muzzle will often be quite prominent.
You can also expect the small to medium sized dog to have a wiry coat with medium length hair. Of course, this means you may need to pay a bit more attention to grooming.
Schnauzers are intelligent, stubborn, and may become bored quickly.
Like Daschund and Beagle mixes, this means encouraging activity, games, and tasks that help to fulfill the activity and curiosity needs of the canines.
Schnauzers may have some hip dysplasia and diabetes issues, but these are not widespread problems to be concerned about. However, urinary problems are something to be aware of.
This is a concern for miniature Schnauzers, and these dogs tend to develop calcium bladder stones.
The good news is that this issue can easily be controlled by diet.
When you buy a Schnauzer Terrier mix puppy, ensure that both parents are health tested for those conditions associated with their breed.
Pug Terrier Mix
The petite and wide-eyed pug is one of the most popular dogs, so it is no surprise that the Pug Terrier mix is also popular.
The Pug Terrier mix is a small dog that is just a bit bigger than the Pug.
The dogs keep the wrinkled, wide-eyed look of the Pug, but the features are softened slightly by the physical attributes of the Terrier.
This may be a very good thing, since the flat-faced Pug can easily develop breathing issues. Terrier mixes have a longer and rounder snout, so this is not a huge issue.
Also, the eyes do not bulge as much, so eye problems are often reduced.
Pugs are playful dogs that absolutely adore attention. They are also loyal, loving, and smart.
As always, the intelligence of the dog can really bring out the stubborn streak, so be aware of this.
Fortunately, they do not bark or act out when bored like some other breeds, so your Pug Terrier Mix may be a bit more behaved than some of the other mixed canines.
Hip dysplasia and patellar luxation are issues with the miniature canines.
The canines can develop some fairly mild skin issues as well, like allergies and fungal infections.
Collapsed trachea problems may be a concern and some dry eye issues and corneal issues can appear as well.
Unfortunately, although the Terrier mix might have less prounced brachycephaly, this is not guaranteed.
You will therefore need to do a lot of research on brachycephalic airway syndrome and brachycephalic ocular syndrome before committing to a puppy.
Make sure you meet the Pug parent and confirm that they have a longer than average muzzle, and wide open nostrils.
Do not buy a pup from a Pug parent that has need surgery to help their breathing in the past.
Terrier Mixes As Pets
As you can see, Terrier mixes vary significantly depending on the type of dog that is bred with the Terrier.
Of course, you also need to realize that you are likely to see all sorts of different variations in physical appearance and personality depending on how the genes are expressed.
Heath issues may crop up too, so you need to investigate the parents used during breeding to make sure they are as healthy as possible.
Make sure both parents are health tested for issues relating to their own breed.
If you go about your puppy search the right way, and bring home a healthy puppy, then there is no reason your Terrier mix won’t be a wonderful new addition to the family.
Do you have a Terrier mix that you cherish? Let us know in the comments below.
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