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terrier, classification used by breeders and kennel clubs to designate dogs originally bred to start small game and vermin from their burrows or, in the case of several breeds in this group, to go to earth and kill their prey. Today these dogs are raised chiefly as pets. The following breeds are classified as terrirers by the American Kennel Club: airedale terrier, Australian terrier; Bedlington terrier; border terrier; bull terrier; cairn terrier; Dandie Dinmont terrier; fox terrier; Irish terrier; Kerry blue terrier; Lakeland terrier; Manchester terrier; schnauzer (miniature); Norwich terrier; Scottish terrier; Sealyham terrier; Skye terrier; Staffordshire terrier; Welsh terrier; and West Highland white terrier. See dog.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a group of breeds of sporting dogs and pet dogs bred down from them. Most terriers are native to Great Britain, where they have been known since the 12th century. They were used for hunting burrowing animals and to control small predators and rats. Terriers, with their well-developed hunting instinct, boldly attack animals that exceed them in size and weight. They are usually affectionate toward man.

There are approximately 30 breeds of terriers. Sporting breeds, measuring 30–40 cm in height, include wirehaired and smooth-haired fox terriers, Welsh terriers, Irish terriers, Scottish terriers, bullterriers, and Cesky terriers. Breeds raised exclusively as pets, measuring 18–26 cm in height, include Kerry blue terriers, Lakeland terriers, Skye terriers, Tibetan terriers, bomskii terriers, Yorkshire terriers, Boston terriers, and toy terriers. One breed, the Airedale, measuring 62–66 cm in height, is used as a working dog.

In the USSR, fox terriers are used to hunt foxes and raccoon dogs and sometimes badgers. Airedales and several pet breeds are raised as well.


Posobie po sobakovodstvu, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1973.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


any of several usually small, active, and short-bodied breeds of dog, originally trained to hunt animals living underground


English legal history a register or survey of land
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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