Opinions on terriers or other people focused small breeds?

(66 Posts)
stressystressy Sat 24-Aug-19 17:27:57

I’m currently dogsitting a Norfolk Terrier with a broken leg (I spent a huge amount of time with this dog before he broke the leg and think he’s generally great). He is an utter delight - great with children, fab with other dogs, smart, and happy to left alone for a few hours (or come along and experience the world). Generally a happy go lucky little chap with medium energy. However I’ve always loved the biddable nature of spaniels, and how people focused they are.

I’m in a position to get a dog (happy to rescue or rehome an oldie). I’ve never much liked terriers, but this guy has completely changed my mind. I also love how portable he is, and how I can literally take him anywhere - so I love his size. Any small terrier breeds which generally have biddable, people focused temperaments?

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Jouska Sat 24-Aug-19 17:32:56

grin at spaniel are people focused apart from when there is a scent, a squirrel, a tennis ball, a rabbit did I mention a scent ......

CaptainMyCaptain Sat 24-Aug-19 17:36:45

My Jack Russell is totally devoted to us, her family, and an ideal, small house dog. She's a bit of a bugger with barking at other dogs on walks, though and does feel the need to defend us from anyone who dares to walk past the house. I'm currently dog sitting a springer spaniel who is lovely but takes up a lot of space and her ears drip all over the place after she's had a drink, I've been mopping every day. I'd rather have a terrier.

stressystressy Sat 24-Aug-19 17:37:17

Very true @Jouska although I’m quite confident I could forgive the distractions. There’s something I really love about a spaniel leaning against your leg and flopping its head in your lap though 😍

I actually think I may be missing out on some great breeds by being spaniel-biased though so I’d love some alternative suggestions.

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NuffingChora Sat 24-Aug-19 17:39:33

Border terriers can absolutely fit in to this bracket. Usual caveats of thorough careful socialisation and training as a pup though. Ours is pretty much bombproof (other than, ironically, around other border terriers, after having been attacked by four separate ones 🤦🏼‍♀️) and is brilliant with children, essentially no prey drive, incredibly low maintenance, able to be left for several hours and can take as much or as little exercise as is on offer. He’s always been like that too. We’ve decided we can’t have another one as he’s so perfect that no other border would match up grin

stressystressy Sat 24-Aug-19 17:40:52

@Captain I have memories of our family JRT being fiercely independent and not giving a crap about where we were. Perhaps that was just him...😂

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ThisIsNotAIBUPeople Sat 24-Aug-19 17:47:39

Would they be a complete no around cats? I am also looking at dog breeds but we have 2 cats. (Thread hijack, sorry!)


stressystressy Sat 24-Aug-19 17:54:17

The Norfolk I currently have is a bit too interested in cats, but I’ve known him since he was eight weeks old and if a confident cat (like my sister’s Russian Blue) had bopped him on the nose at that age for being too interested I’m sure he’d have reconsidered!

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Chesneyhawkes1 Sat 24-Aug-19 17:56:32

I have a jrt and a working Lakeland terrier. Both lovely little dogs! They love people and kids, especially the lakie. He's devoted to my DSS who's 6.

Both terrible with small furries and have high prey drives 😂 I love big dogs and have a big dog too but I like small dogs with big dog attitudes as well.

Banjo watching his "brother" sleep 💤

MattMagnolia Sat 24-Aug-19 18:46:32

Terriers have the reputation of being yappy and snappy. That’s because lots of them are.
We have a terrier cross. He’s got no prey drive, is loveable and was easy to train but omg he’s a barker!

LordProfFekkoThePenguinPhD Sat 24-Aug-19 18:49:45

Border terrier! Not happy at all. We had jack Russell’s as small dogs when growing up (ones with the long legs - parsons? Something clerical anyway). Also nice dogs but yappy.

A dreadful trip hazard though! Spaniels are lovely - very smart and very cuddly.

LordProfFekkoThePenguinPhD Sat 24-Aug-19 18:50:30

Not yappy (they are generally very happy little chaps)

stressystressy Sat 24-Aug-19 18:54:17

terriers have the reputation of being yappy and snappy

@MattMagnolia this is my experience of terriers. I just want to do my due diligence before succumbing to the charms of a spaniel. I’m assuming this Norfolk is something of an anomaly.

@NuffingChora I think Borders are lovely. What kind of character does yours have?

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WhoWants2Know Sat 24-Aug-19 18:56:28

I love the Westie/Scottie/Cairn Terrier type dogs, as king as they're well brought up. Funny personalities, clever and food motivated enough to be clicker trained easily, and small enough to pick up if needed.

moobar Sat 24-Aug-19 19:06:52

I have parson terriers. Far to many of them. Absolutely wonderful, friendly, clever little dogs. They adore people, fuss, walks and love. I used to take two into an office job and they slept under my desk.

I show one and two do agility. One keeps the basket warm.

They make me laugh every day and have got me through some very dark times. Almost human like in temperament

They come on holiday, like to sleep under a duvet, and adore my much longed for baby as much as I do.

BertrandRussell Sat 24-Aug-19 19:12:13

Our Border is wonderful, incredibly loving and cuddly, loves her basket- (or someone’s bed) but will happily walk all day. She’s happy, loves people and practically never barks. They need to be hand stripped, which is an expensive pain in the neck, but apart from that, practically perfect in every way.

Lickyourlollypop Sat 24-Aug-19 19:14:47

Parsons terriers are lovely

Bonkersblond Sat 24-Aug-19 19:23:43

Another Border Terrier owner here, ours loves people, brilliant with the children, gets on with all dogs unless provoked, small and portable, ok to be left, loves walks no matter short or long, generally she’s a good all round family dog. Very pleased we have her and she had big shoes to fit after we lost our beloved lab.

Bonkersblond Sat 24-Aug-19 19:24:29

Oh and yes she’s hand stripped, but I do this myself.

Girliefriendlikescake Sat 24-Aug-19 22:32:47

We've just got ourselves a terrier cross puppy, yorkie/jrt. I deliberately picked the quietest pup from the litter and so far he seems brilliant.

He sleeps well in his crate night and day, picked up toilet training almost straight away, has learnt lots of commands, fantastic with kids, very portable. The only negative has been he has chased the cat a few times, she is currently three times his size so she's not bothered but obviously he will get bigger.

We grew up with a yorkie who absolutely loved cats though so I know they can live together harmoniously.

I love terrier personalities and the fact they're generally fairly robust, solid little dogs.

Honeybingbong Sat 24-Aug-19 22:45:59

I had a jack Russell terrier he was wonderful with kids. He just adored them.
He was a bit of a arsehole when he was a puppy/teenager with his mischievous ways but he grew into a proper gent and he was so smart. He easily had more intelligence than me.
He never cost me a penny in vet bills except the normal neutering and yearly vaccinations. I doubt I’d ever get a jrt as wonderful as him again.
He died earlier this year and I miss him dearly. Especially on days like today when he’d be chilling in the sunshine all day.

A little bit of my heart is owned by a Jacket Russell

raspberryk Sun 25-Aug-19 09:38:50

Just get a spaniel may be a small cocker, we just got a Sprocker so I'm biased. Or a staffy cross something smaller.
I'd avoid most small terrier types if you have cats.

BigmouseLittlehouse Sun 25-Aug-19 09:49:02

We had two wire haired fox terriers when growing up ( along with a lab) - one of the foxes was the soonest dog I’ve ever known, wasn’t happy at all and was very people focussed. The bitch could bark at times but no more than other dogs, she was a rescue so a bit more shy but again very loving. Both very, very funny dogs with big personalities. We also had cats and the cats definitely bosses the dogs - particularly the dog who we had from a puppy. I love terriers!

BigmouseLittlehouse Sun 25-Aug-19 09:49:41

Sorry typos - softest dog and was very happy should have read!

thumper59 Sun 25-Aug-19 10:02:05

This is my jack x Yorkie. He is perfect in every way. Not yappy at all! Will happily cuddle up to you but is equally happy to mind his business in his own bed when your busy. I love him to pieces. We do also have a full yorkie... but he is a different kettle of fish altogether and as lovely as he is he is a complete pain 😂 but we love him all the same!

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