Terrier mix dogs have one Terrier parent and one parent from another breed. Terrier mixes come in a huge range of shapes, sizes, colors and temperaments. From the tiny Yorkie Chihuahua mix, to the stocky Pitbull Labrador mix. Today we’ll look at the best Terrier mix breed puppies for different lifestyles and families. We’ll help you to pick a Terrier mix puppy with the traits, characteristics and personality that will suit you best.
- Top Terrier mix breeds
- Where do Terrier mix dogs come from?
- Terrier mix appearance
- Terrier mix temperament
- How long do Terrier mixes live?
- Do Terrier mix dogs make good pets?
- Do Terrier mix dogs bark a lot?
Terrier mix puppies can be crossbreed of two types of Terriers, or a Terrier mixed with a dog from another group. The possibilities are endless, and that means all kinds of coats, builds and personalities are possible in terrier mix dogs as well!
In this article we explore some of the most popular terrier mix breeds already cementing a place in our homes and our hearts. We’ll take a look at the pros and cons of mixing different dog breeds, and the factors you should take into account when picking out a terrier mix puppy or choosing a rescue dog to join your household.
Popular Terrier Mix Breed Reviews
There are a number of dog breeds that show up in Terrier mixes more often than others. You can jump straight to the group that interests you with these links.
- Chihuahua Terrier mix
- Poodle Terrier mix
- Labrador Terrier mix
- Beagle Terrier mix
- Dachshund Terrier mix
- Schnauzer mix
Top Terrier Mix Breed Dogs
Perhaps the most popular of all is the Jackapoo, a first cross between a Jack Russell Terrier and a Poodle. Many people have fallen for more unusual mixes such as the adorable Whoodle, a Soft-Coated Wheaten terrier mixed with a Poodle. Or the Cairn Chi, a Cairn Terrier Chihuahua mix. Other terrier mixes are also popular, here is the top ten:
- Jackapoo (Jack Russell X Poodle)
- Yorkipoo (Yorkshire Terrier X Poodle)
- Jack Chi (Jack Russell X Chihuahua)
- Frenchton (Boston Terrier X French Bulldog)
- Dorkie (Yorkshire Terrier X Dachshund)
- Jackabee (Beagle X Jack Russell Terrier)
- Morkie (Yorkshire Terrier X Maltese)
- Bugg (Boston Terrier X Pug)
- Shorkie (Shih Tzu X Yorkie)
- Sheppit (German Shepherd X Pitbull)
There are many more lesser known mixes of course, some with fun designer dog names like Carkie (Cairn Terrier X Yorkie) And others whose nickname is yet to be invented! Some have multiple names for you to pick from. For example, Jack-Malt, Jacktese, and Maltijack are all nicknames for the Jack Russell Maltese mix
Small Terrier Mix Dogs
You’ll see a common theme here of using either Yorkshire Terriers or Jack Russell Terriers as one of the parents in the mix. That’s partly because these are two very popular small terrier breeds that don’t take up huge amounts of space. Small terrier dogs crossed with other small breeds are very popular among fans of the terrier mix.
It’s good to remember that many mutts available at your local animal shelter may be terrier mixes too. Shelters try their best to identify the breeds that went into their resident mutts, and you can also get your dog DNA tested to confirm the breed mix in your new best friend.
What Is A Terrier Mix?
A terrier mix is a dog that has been bred by crossing one of the recognized purebred terriers with a dog from a different breed. If both dogs are purebred this is what we call a first cross ( or F1 generation) also sometimes known as a hybrid.
There are also many terrier mixes that have one or both parents that are mixes rather than purebred dogs. So it can get very complicated. And sometimes the only way to unravel the parentage of a dog is to have a genetic test carried out. These can be fun but they are also quite expensive.
When we talk about a ‘recognized’ pure breed, we mean a pure breed registered with a national Kennel Club such as the American Kennel Club (AKC). Dog breed organizations like the AKC allocate each of their individual dog breeds into groups or categories based on their type, or original purpose. One of those groups is the Terrier Group
The terrier group is made up of many different individual terrier breeds. So what do we know about the terrier group in general?
The Terrier Group
Terriers vary greatly in size and appearance. But they all have something in common.
These scrappy dogs were developed centuries ago to control vermin around human farms and settlements. Their background as tenacious hunters of vermin makes them famously brave, feisty, and strong-willed.
The word ‘terrier’ means ‘of the earth’ and many terriers were originally bred to follow their prey underground. Fox terriers for example were used to follow the fox into his burrow or earth.
Many working terriers today still have rather shorter legs than other dogs in order to enable them to move more easily around narrow tunnels and that feisty nature enables them to fearlessly persist in the face of an often larger and fiercer adversary.
Even very small terriers got their start as working dogs – the cute little Yorkie was first bred to hunt small vermin like rats and mice. These days, the AKC recognises 31 breeds in their terrier group, and the UK Kennel Club lists 27.
If you’d like to find out more about the history and origin stories of some of our most famous terrier dog breeds, you’ll find links to the breeds at the foot of this page
With so many types of terrier dogs to choose from, why did we start crossing pure bred terriers with other dogs? Let’s find out!
Where Do Terrier Mix Dogs Come From?
Crossbreeding different kinds of dogs is as old as domestication itself. Perhaps one of the reasons it’s so easy to conjure up the mental image of a generic terrier is because these dogs have lent their genes to multitudes of mutts and mixed breed offspring.
In the last thirty years or so, a new kind of mixing has become popular: mating pedigree parents of two different breeds.
The first generation offspring of these crosses are sometimes known as designer dogs. This trend can be good for dogs’ health – mixed breed dogs benefit from a wider genepool, which can protect them from hereditary illnesses. But they are also difficult to predict.
There’s no promise that they’ll only take the “good” qualities of each parent, or reach a full grown size which is exactly in between sire and dam. So next, let’s look closer at what you can expect from a terrier mix.
Terrier Mix Appearance
Terriers come in all shapes and sizes! Some of the smallest Yorkies barely tip the scales at 4lb, whilst the stately Airedale Terrier can reach over 60lb!
There are three main types of terrier coat. Wire haired, smooth, and long haired. Many of our popular farm terriers are wire haired or smooth coated as these are easier coats to manage.
But the coat of the terrier mix can range from long and silky to short and smooth, via every kind of wiry and wavy on the way.
A terrier mix dog can borrow their looks from either parent. But it helps to know that wire hair is dominant over smooth. This means that a wire haired terrier mix is the likely outcome if we cross a purebred wire haired terrier like the Border Terrier, with a smooth haired dog.
If their parents are a similar size, and they both have a smooth brown coat (say, a Rat Terrier and a Dachshund) the outcome is unlikely to surprise you.
And when a dogs with very different shapes and coats (say, a Standard Poodle and a Jack Russell Terrier) make puppies, especially if one parent is not purebred, the results can take many forms, even within the same litter.
Many terrier breeds are parti-colored, usually black and white, or brown and white. So if you are looking for a black and white terrier type dog, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding one. Quite a few are tri-colored with black and tan strongly featured on a white background. Others are solid, in various shades of brown.
Terrier Mix Temperament
As there are many different breeds in the terrier group, and even more breeds outside the group to mix them with, it is impossible to define an archetypal terrier mix temperament. Terrier breeds in general are often described as being smart, tenacious, proud, and confident.
For generations we expected terriers to get on and do their work without sight of their handler, so even today they remain outgoing and independent dogs, fond of doing their own decision making.
And while terriers are frequently very loving and loyal towards their people, some do have a reputation for not getting along well with other animals, including other dogs.
Many still have strong chase instincts and a high prey drive, which can cause mayhem in the presence of wildlife.
Mixing Terrier Temperament With Another Breed
The temperament of a terrier mix dog is a lucky dip, with no guarantees. Their terrier-ness might shine through, or it might be the other breed that they call to mind.
Remember that like any dog, a terrier mix is an individual. If you get one as a puppy, there are no guarantees as to what its temperament will be as an adult. For many dog lovers this is exciting! But if it’s not for you, that’s ok too.
Training and Exercising Your Terrier Mix
Terriers are generally very spirited and lively dogs. Most dogs need between 30 and 60 minutes of exercise per day to stay happy and healthy.
It is highly likely that any terrier mix will be very enthusiastic, and a busy little dog. So lots of focused exercise is key.
In addition to regular walks, your terrier mix will also enjoy play sessions with you several times a week.
You can do casual activities like chasing a ball in the park, or get your dog involved in organized activities like flyball or agility trials.
High energy terrier mixes might enjoy a sport called terrier racing.
In terrier racing, small sized terriers chase a lure across a course that contains obstacles like short hurdles they can jump over and tunnels to run through.
Chihuahua Terrier Mix Dogs
The Chihuahua terrier mix is particularly popular among people who like toy dogs. Chihuahuas are often bred with the smallest terriers to create a small and cute companion animal. You will often see Chihuahuas crossed with Rat terriers to create the Ratchi and with Yorkshire terriers to create the Chorkie.
The Ratchi is usually a small, short coated dog with an alert face set off by large, bat-like ears. This breed mix can have the temperament of either parent breed. The Chorkie is a small sized dog with a medium to long length coat. The average adult Chorkie is under 10 pounds.
The personality of this mix can vary. Fanciers say that the Ratchi forms a close bond with its owner, but may be suspicious of strangers and overactive children. They can also be barkers. Like both Chihuahuas and Yorkies, the Chorkie tends to be very affectionate with its owners but can be wary of strangers and small children.
Poodle Terrier Mix Dogs
Besides the Whoodle Wheaten-Poodle mix, there are other popular Poodle terrier crosses. There’s the Westiepoo (West Highland White terrier and Poodle), the Jackapoo (Jack Russell terrier and Poodle), and the Yorkipoo (Yorkshire terrier and Poodle).
Most Poodle terrier mix dogs tend to be small, with a medium to long length coat that is curly or wavy. The Whoodle is bit larger than toy Poodle terrier cross breeds, ranging from 20 to 30 pounds. The cute and popular Yorkipoo can be as small as 4 or 5 pounds, depending on the size of the Poodle used.
Be cautious if a Poodle terrier mix puppy is described as “teacup” size. Dogs bred for extremely small size can have significant health problems.
Labrador Terrier Mix
The Labrador Retriever is often bred with larger terrier breeds. The Lab is crossed with an Airedale to create the “Lab’Aire.” Lab and Pitbull terrier mixes are known as Labrabulls or Pitadors.
The Lab’Aire tends to be an active, medium to large sized dog. The coat can be rough and shaggy, usually black and/or brown in color. The Labrabull has a short coat and is medium to large in size.
Although there is no guarantee of a crossbreed’s temperament, this mix tends to be active, loyal, and protective in nature.
Beagle Terrier Mix
The Beagle terrier mix is another popular cross breed. As with other mixes, several different terrier breeds are used. They include the Rat terrier – resulting in a Raggle – and the Jack Russell terrier – creating a Jack A Bee. The Raggle is a small to medium sized dog with a short coat, often white mixed with brown and/or black.
The best Raggles combine the Beagle’s loving nature with the Rattie’s perky energy. However, as with any cross breed, the ultimate outcome is unpredictable. Jack A Bees are also small to medium in size with short coats that are often white with tan and/or brown markings. They are frequently described as friendly and loving towards their owners, but can be timid or even aggressive with strangers.
Dachshund Terrier Mix
There are a number of possible hound terrier mixes, along with the Beagle, the Dachshund terrier mixes seem to be the most popular. What about if you’re a Doxie fan – are Dachshunds crossed with terrier breeds? Yes! In fact, there are several popular Dachshund terrier cross breeds.
The Jack Russell terrier mixed with a Dachshund is affectionately called a Jackshund. You will also see the Dachshund crossed with Cairn terriers, Fox terriers, and Yorkshire terriers (the diminutive Dorkie).
Most Dachshund terrier mixes are short in stature, with an elongated body. That’s because they inherit the gene for anchrondpasia – also known as dwarfism – from their Dachshund parent. Both Dachshunds and terriers can have smooth or wirehaired coats, so the coat of a Dachshund terrier mix will vary, depending on the parents.
This mixed breed dog tends to be friendly and playful, but is more comfortable around its family than strangers. Usually an alert and active dog, the Dachshund terrier mix benefits for living with people who can devote time and energy to occupying their busy minds.
Your individual Dachshund terrier Mix can have any personality trait of either parent breed, so there is no guaranteed temperament.
Schnauzer Terrier Mix
The Schnauzer is often referred to as a terrier-type dog, and it does share some common physical and personality traits with terriers. Schnauzers range in size from miniature to giant, and terrier breed sizes vary, so the size of a Schnauzer terrier mix can vary great as well.
Terrier breeds often mixed with Schnauzers include the Cairn terrier (producing a Carnauzer), the Airedale terrier (resulting in a Schnairedale). The Schnauzer terrier mix tends to have some of the distinctive Schnauzer bearding on their muzzle, and a medium length coat. Coat color can vary, and eye color is usually brown.
The Giant Schnauzer is a calm and loyal large dog, the Standard Schnauzer is lively and smart, and the Miniature Schnauzer is perky and playful. The temperament of Schnauzer terrier mixes can vary from one dog to another, given the personality differences of both Schnauzers and terriers. You can generally expect an alert and energetic dog.
Border Terrier Mix Breeds
The Border Terrier is a tough, coarse or wirehaired terrier with long legs, bred to run alongside horses and hounds rather than being carried like the shorter legged terrier.
Borders Terriers have a happy, confident nature and will produce wire haired puppies when crossed with a short haired breed. So a Border Terrier crossed Beagle for example will produce a Beagle with a very attractive rough coat.
German Shepherd Terrier Mix
With German Shepherds, the most common mix we see is the Shepherd Pitbull mix. This is a mix to adopt with caution as both Shepherds and Pitbulls can have strong guarding and protection instincts. You need to be confident in your ability to socialize, and train such a dog, and be prepared to put the time in to raise a confident friendly dog.
Spaniel Terrier Mixes
You may also come across small spaniel breeds such as the Cocker Spaniel or Springer Spaniel, mixed with one of the smaller terriers.
Some spaniels have powerful hunting instincts and high energy levels, and you might expect to find these traits in a spaniel terrier mix puppy
Role Of The Terrier Mix In Making Mini Dogs
Some terrier mixes have been developed with the aim of miniaturising a different breed. The Boston Terrier mix for example, is a Boston Terrier crossed with a Boxer. These dogs are also known as Boston Boxers or Mini Boxers.
Making miniature dogs is a problem when both parents are already small as further miniaturisation comes with a raft of health risks. Making a larger breed smaller isn’t necessarily a problem, though in the case of the Boston Boxer these are both breed prone to breathing difficulties, so it’s not an ideal mix from a health point of view.
Large Terrier Mixes
Not all terrier mixes are small. When we mix one of the large Terrier breeds with another large breed the result can be a very big dog.
The biggest terrier by far is the Airdale and with their course curly coat, an Airedale mix can bring a new dimension to another breed. Examples are the Goldendale (Airdale x Golden Retriever) or for extra curls the Airdoodle (Airdale x Poodle)
Little And Large – Mixes With Big Size Differences
There can be practical obstacles in the way of breeding a very small dog with a large one, especially when the very small dog is a male, but as the old saying goes, where there’s a will there’s a way! And many puppies are born each year to dogs with parents of very different sizes.
The Jack Russell German Shepherd mix is just one such example. And it’s very difficult to predict just how a puppy like this will turn out.
In general, female dogs produce puppies that are the right size for them to deliver safely. So if the female is the smaller of the two, the puppies are likely to be smaller too.
Terrier Mix Lifespan
There is no definitive lifespan for terrier mix dogs. Factors that influence the longevity of a terrier mix includes the breeds used and the overall health of the individual dog.
In general, most terrier breeds have relatively long lifespans, especially in comparison to other, larger breed dogs.
The average terrier lifespan can range from 10 to 20 years, with the smallest ones generally living longer than the bigger ones. The lifespan of a terrier mix largely depends on the size of the dog and the breed of the other, non-terrier dog.
Experts say that one of the best predictors of lifespan in dogs is size and weight, with longevity declining as size goes up. What’s nice is that breed mixes tend on average to live longer than purebred dogs.
Do Terrier Mix Dogs Make Good Pets?
There’s no doubt that all the numerous terrier mix dogs are cute and appealing. They can vary in both size and temperament, but are generally small to medium sized with lively and perky personalities.
Some purebred terriers can be stubborn, energetic, and independent, and a terrier mix can easily inherit the strong-willed terrier personality.
The other breed in your terrier mix can temper these qualities, depending on the characteristics of the breed. The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a terrier mix puppy is that all dogs are individuals.
Breed alone is not a predictor of the adult size, appearance, and personality of your dog.
Raising a Terrier Mix Puppy
Proper training and socialization from puppyhood onward is the best way to ensure that your dog will behave the way you want it to. Active and determined dogs like terriers and terrier mixes can especially benefit from good training.
If your chosen mix has a reputation for being aloof or nervous around strangers, invest lots of time in socialising them when they come home.
Your terrier mix puppy may inherit a strong prey drive from their terrier parent, so it’s important to work on a strong recall with them from day one.
If your terrier mix puppy combines too very small breeds like the Chihuahua and the Yorkie, they might also have trouble holding their bladder and potty training. This guide might help.
Do Terrier Mix Dogs Bark A Lot?
Many terrier breeds have a reputation for being vocal. Crossing them with a quieter breed doesn’t necessarily guarantee a quieter dog – their offspring are just as likely to inherit a terrier’s tendency to bark.
Bear in mind that some of the crosses we’ve met here include two parents who like to make themselves heard – Dachshunds and Schnauzers are famously vocal.
And of course the Beagle is a pack dog who loves using a long loud bay to communicate with his brothers and sisters. So a Beagle terrier mix might do the same!
In short, if you live in an apartment, a terrier mix puppy might not be the most sociable choice. However, you might be able to find an older, rescue dog who’s proven to be quieter.
Is a Terrier Mix Right For Me?
In the right home, a terrier mix can make a wonderful pet.
Do your homework on both parent breeds, and confirm that a breeder has conducted health tests before you meet their litter.
It’s far easier to walk away from an irresponsible breeder before you have their puppy in your lap.
Since you can’t guarantee which temperament a mixed breed puppy will most take after, consider whether you’d be happy with any outcome.
Do You Already Share You Life With a Terrier Mix?
What mix are they, and which parent do they most take after?
Please share your experience in the comments box!
- Airedale Terrier
- Bull Terrier
- Cairn Terrier
- Fox Terrier
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Pitbull Terriers
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- West Highland White Terrier
- Wheaten Terrier
- Yorkshire Terrier
References and Further Reading
- OFA Canine Health Information Center
- Carlstrom et al, “Inadvertent Propagation of Factor VII Deficiency in a Canine Mucopolysaccharidosis Type I Research Breeding Colony”, Comparative Medicine, 2009.
- Oberbauer et al, “Ten inherited disorders in purebred dogs by functional breed groupings.” Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, 2015.
- Farrell et al, “The challenges of pedigree dog health: approaches to combating inherited disease.” Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, 2015.
- Lappalainen et al, “Estimate of heritability and genetic trend of intervertebral disc calcification in Dachshunds in Finland.” Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, 2015.
- O’Neill et al, “Longevity and Mortality of Owned Dogs in England”, The Veterinary Journal, 2013.