For some, Terriers are an acquired taste. These dogs are stubborn, fearless, and incredibly spirited. However, Terriers also have a lot going for them. Bred as working dogs to hunt vermin, Terriers have made a name for themselves as fantastic companion dogs to the right owner.
And if you like Terriers but are looking for a way to tone down that Terrier temperament, why not consider a Terrier mix?
Mixed breeds in general have a reputation of combining certain traits of two favorite breeds, so if this is something you’re interested in with a Terrier mix, you’ve come to the right place.
But before we dive into 12 Terrier mix dogs you probably don’t know about, let’s first talk about what you can expect from different types of Terrier mixes.
What Is A Terrier Mix?
A terrier mix is a dog that is a cross between a Terrier and any other breed.
To understand what a Terrier mix is, you must first have a good idea of what a Terrier is. A Terrier is not a specific breed but instead a term used to describe a group of dogs bred specifically to hunt or guard property.
As such, Terriers tend to have pretty big personalities. They can range in size from super small to pretty large, with the largest of the Terriers being the Airedale Terrier and one of the smallest being the Cairn Terrier.
Just as Terrier breeds can range in size, they also range greatly in appearance and sometimes even temperament. Some Terriers make docile companions and do fabulously with children, while others are bred working dogs who can be problematic for novice dog owners.
If you’re considering bringing a Terrier or a Terrier mix into your home, then you’re on the right track by reading this article. Research and preparation are key to ensuring the dog you decide to commit to is going to be right for your unique lifestyle and family.
And with that in mind, let’s talk about Terrier temperaments in more detail and whether or not Terrier mix dogs make good companions.
Are Terrier Mix Dogs Good Companions?
Terrier mixes can make great companions for the right owner, but it’s important to remember that not every dog is right for every person or family.
As we mentioned briefly above, Terrier mix dogs can make wonderful companions for the right owner. However, because the Terrier group is so large and because there are countless other breeds Terrier mix dogs can be a combination of, determining which type of Terrier mix is right for you will take some time.
That said, there are ways you can go about ensuring the dog you choose to commit to and raise in your home is happy, healthy and well-rounded.
All dogs, regardless of their breed or mix, require proper socialization at an early age. Socializing your dog helps not only reduce anxiety and fear, but also behavioral issues that come along with these insecurities like fear-based aggression, barking, marking, chewing and scratching.
It’s best to begin socializing your Terrier mix during puppyhood, while he is between the ages of 8 and 11 weeks. This is the time puppies go through what is known as their “fear period” and when they will develop their idea of what is safe and what is not safe in the world around them.
That said, you can work to socialize dogs of any age and at any time of their lives, so there is no reason to neglect this important part of being a pet parent.
To properly socialize a dog or puppy, try and ensure that all new and first time experiences are positive for him. Introduce him to as many new people, places, animals, sights, sounds, and situations as possible and get him used to being physically handled.
Work with your dog on reducing resource guardian behaviors, and work with family members and age-appropriate children on how to respectfully interact with the family dog.
Experts also recommend taking some time to learn about basic canine body language. Doing this can help you and your family have a better understanding of how your dog communicates, and can reduce the chances of nips or bites.
Training your Terrier mix goes hand-in-hand with socialization. It’s never too early to begin training a dog, especially if that dog has a tendency to exhibit stubborn behaviors.
When training your Terrier mix, it’s best to use positive reinforcement techniques like treats and praise. Avoid punishing or scolding your Terrier mix if he becomes bored or aloof during training. Punishments have been shown to cause dogs to shut down. Negative reinforcement also hinders learning and can harm the bond built between you and your dog.
In order to properly train your dog, it’s important that he has trust and respect for you. You can build this trust and respect by showing our dog he will get rewarded for following the cues you set up for him.
Again, just like with socialization, it may be easier to begin with puppies when it comes to training, but you can certainly teach an old dog new tricks. In fact, some older dogs may even be more keen to learn, especially if they have built a strong bond with you.
Exercise and Mental Stimulation
Even the best trained and highly socialized dog will act up if he is not kept physically and mentally stimulated. This is especially true for active, intelligent dogs like Terriers and Terrier mixes.
Your Terrier mix is going to require plenty of daily exercise each and every day in order to stay happy and healthy. Of course, these exercise requirements are going to vary depending on the breeds your Terrier mix is a combination of, and your Terrier mix dog’s size and age.
Terrier mix dogs also require plenty of mental stimulation in order to keep them mentally sound and to reduce behavioral issues.
Mental stimulation can come in many forms, from consistent training to offering your dog jobs to do around the house, to ensuring your Terrier mix has plenty to keep him busy while you’re away like puzzle toys.
Without proper mental stimulation, it’s not uncommon for Terrier mix dogs to become bored, depressed and subsequently destructive, so be sure to keep on top of this important routine.
Last but not least, we have routine grooming. Grooming is an important part of being a responsible pet parent because it not only helps to keep your dog looking his best, but also feeling his best.
Grooming is a great way for you to build a tight bond with your dog, and it also gives you a hands-on look at your dog’s entire body to ensure he is healthy. Remember, a healthy dog is a happy dog and a happy dog is generally better behaved.
With that noted, let’s do a quick overview of the most common types of health issues Terriers and Terrier mix dogs may face below.
Understanding The Most Common Health Issues Of Terriers Mix Dogs
All dogs can be prone to suffering from genetic health issues, and Terrier mix dogs are no exception.
For the most part, Terrier dogs have been found to be relatively healthy and long-lived. In fact, the average lifespan for a Terrier is between 9 and 15 years. This lifespan can vary, of course, depending on the breed of Terrier you’re dealing with and the Terrier Mix you’ve decided to invest in.
And speaking of mixed breed dogs, we should also take a moment here to discuss hybrid vigor. Mixed breeds like Terrier mixes are somewhat controversial for many reasons, but one of those reasons is due to their predictability.
When it comes to a purebred, you know what you’re getting as far as appearance, temperament, lifespan and health issues. When it comes to a hybrid, however, these characteristics can be left up to chance.
That said, hybrid vigor is a theory that suggests hybrid dogs like Terrier mixes have the potential to be healthier than purebred dogs due to their broader gene pool. While this is a promising idea, it has yet to be widely accepted by everyone.
For that reason, it’s important to remember that all dogs, even cross breeds and mutts, can be susceptible to genetic health issues passed down from their parent breeds.
When it comes to Terriers as a whole, the most common health issues include:
- Patellar Luxation
- Tracheal Collapse
- Mitral Valve Disease
- Regulating Temperature
- Dental Disease
- And Hypothyroidism
Many of the above health issues are common in smaller dogs, which is no surprise considering the majority of Terriers are small to medium in size. However, you should also note that these health issues could be compounded by the breed your Terrier mix is combined with, and we will discuss that further down when we talk about specific Terrier mix dogs.
Now, without further ado, here are 12 Terrier mix dogs you probably didn’t even know existed!
1. The Pitsky – The Siberian Husky And The American Pitbull Mix
A cross between the Siberian Husky and the American Pitbull Terrier, the Pitsky is an energetic and outgoing dog.
Parent Breeds: The American Pitbull Terrier and The Siberian Husky
Height: 16 to 25 Inches
Weight: 30 to 80 Pounds
Temperament: Energetic, Playful, Athletic, Intelligent, Affectionate
Lifespan: 12 – 15 Years
Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, hyperthyroidism, allergies, cataracts
The Pitsky is a mix between a Siberian Husky and an American Pitbull Terrier. Both of these breeds are known for their high energy, so it’s safe to say the Pitsky Terrier Mix is going to be best suited for an active and committed owner.
Pitsky dogs can do well with families, and they are especially fond of children. However, some Pitskies may not get along well with other dogs thanks to their Pitbull heritage. Huskies, on the other hand, are highly social and enjoy other dogs.
This means that there is a good chance you can socialize your Pitsky to be dog friendly, which is great news if you enjoy doggy playdates and outings.
The ideal owners for a Pitsky dog are going to be active couples, singles or families with a backyard and time on their hands to commit to training. Pitsky Terrier Mix dogs also do best with experienced dog owners who understand high-energy working breeds.
2. The Jackabee – A Beagle And Jack Russel Terrier Mix
Also known as a Jack-A-Bee, the Beagle Jack Russell Terrier Mix is a wonderful family dog.
Parent Breeds: The Jack Russell Terrier and The Beagle
Height: 15 Inches
Weight: 85 – 35 Pounds
Temperament: Devoted, Intelligent, Loving, Alert
Lifespan: 12 – 16 Years
Health Issues: Legg Calve-Perthes Disease, Patellar luxation, and Epilepsy
Sometimes called the Jack-A-Bee, the Beagle and Jack Russell Terrier Mix is a wonderful dog for families with children. This dog is playful, cute, and super smart. Both the Jack Russel and the Beagle are bred hunting dogs, however, so your Jackabee is going to have a pretty high prey drive when it comes to smaller animals.
Walking your Jackabee should always be done with the use of a harness and leash for this reason. The good news is that Jackabee dogs are highly trainable. They are also athletic and energetic, and will need at least an hour or more of exercise each and every day.
Jackabee dogs are heavy shedders, and they shed most during shedding season which occurs in spring and fall. For this reason, we suggest investing in some quality grooming tools to help keep your Jackabee’s coat nice and healthy and to reduce the amount of loose hair in and around your home.
3. The Shorkie – A Shih Tzu And Yorkshire Terrier Mix
The Shorkie is a great dog for those with older, gentle children.
Parent Breeds: Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier
Height: 6 to 14 Inches
Weight: 5 to 15 Pounds
Temperament: Sweet, Affectionate, Energetic, Impulsive
Lifespan: 12 to 15 Years
Health Issues: Spinal disc disease, lens luxation, dental disease, brachycephalic airway syndrome, glaucoma, congenital liver disease and respiratory issues.
The Shorkie is perhaps one of the more popular Terrier Mix dogs on this list, especially for those who adore smaller designer dogs. This little cutie is a mix between the popular and people-oriented Shih Tzu and the spirited Yorkshire Terrier.
Due to the Shorkie Terrier Mix dog’s parent breeds, his personality could vary quite a bit. Shih Tzus are generally more go-with-the-flow, while Yorkies are known for their big-dog persona.
Small and sweet-natured, the affectionate Shorkie is likely going to be a high energy dog who enjoys play time as much as he does naps and snuggles. This dog requires a moderate amount of exercise each and every day and does well with novice dog owners.
While Shorkie Terrier Mix dogs can get along well with children when properly socialized, they are best suited for older, more respectful children who will not play with them too roughly.
4. The Frenchton – A French Bulldog And Boston Terrier Mix
It’s not always easy to tell that the Frenchton is a crossbreed, but this cutie is a mix between the Frenchie and the Boston Terrier.
Height: 11 to 14 Inches
Weight: 15 to 25 Pounds
Temperament: Affectionate, Strong-Willed, Social
Lifespan: 8 to 15 Years
Health Issues: Brachycephalic airway syndrome, eye issues, digestive problems, heat intolerance and allergies.
The Frenchton is a newer Terrier Mix to the scene, and since both his parent breeds look relatively similar, there’s a chance you’ve seen a Frenchton and not even known it.
These dogs are incredibly lovable, with their squished faces, inquisitive eyes and adoring personality. But there is a catch when it comes to owning a Frenchton Terrier Mix. This hybrid also has a big stubborn streak, which can be problematic for unprepared dog owners.
Early socialization can help, as can keeping training sessions short, light and fun. Use positive reinforcement and high quality treats to keep your Frenchton’s attention, and remember to steer clear of negative reinforcements like punishments.
In spite of their hard-headedness, Frenchton dogs make great pets for first time dog owners. They do well with children and other pets and enjoy being around their family. However, they do not tolerate being left on their own for long periods of time, so the ideal owner will be one who has a flexible schedule.
5. The Sheppit – German Shepherd and The American Pitbull Terrier Mix
The Sheppit is a lesser known Terrier Mix, but he’s an intelligent companion for experienced dog owners.
Parent Breeds: The American Pitbull Terrier and the German Shepherd
Height: 17 to 26 Inches
Weight: 30 to 90 Pounds
Temperament: Loyal, Intelligent, Work Oriented, High-Energy
Lifespan: 10 to 12 Years
Health Issues: Demodicosis, hip dysplasia, pannus, panosteitis, perianal fistulas, hemophilia, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, degenerative myelopathy, dermatofibrosis, renal cystadenocarcinoma and nodular.
The Sheppit, also known as the Shepherd Pit, is a cross between two of the world’s most devoted breeds. Both the German Shepherd and the American Pitbull Terrier are bred working dogs, and both do well with experienced dog owners.
For this reason, it goes without saying that the Sheppit Terrier Mix is going to be best suited for dog owners who are also experienced with dogs who have a working background. And while Sheppit dogs can make wonderful companions to the right family or owner, they require a lot of work.
It will take lots of time, commitment, training, socialization, and exercise to ensure the Sheppit is happy, healthy and well-rounded.
6. The Bugg – A Pug And Boston Terrier Mix
The Bugg is more than just a cute name for a cute dog. Unfortunately, this Terrier Mix may also come with a number of health issues.
Parent Breeds: The Boston Terrier and the Pug
Height: 14 to 18 Inches
Weight: 15 to 25 Pounds
Temperament: Comedic, Intelligent, Affectionate
Lifespan: 10 to 13 Years
Health Issues: Brachycephalic airway syndrome, eye issues, heat intolerance
We can’t even lie – the Bugg Terrier Mix has one of the cutest names in the canine kingdom. Best of all, he even looks like a little bug! But this small dog packs a big punch when it comes to personality.
Affectionate, silly, and very clever, Bugg dogs make great companions for both novice and experienced dog owners. They enjoy children and other pets and become very bonded with their people.
Bugg dogs are also outgoing, and they like to go on adventures. However, these pups can be prone to some serious breathing difficulties, so you’ll need to take it easy on them when it comes to exercise. On average, Bugg Terrier mix dogs need about 30 to 45 minutes of routine exercise every day to stay happy and healthy.
They are also best suited for owners who have plenty of time to commit to training, socialization, and love.
7. The Airedoodle – A Poodle And The Airedale Terrier Mix
The Airedoodle is a Terrier Mix that puts a new twist on doodle dogs.
Parent Breeds: The Airedale Terrier and Standard Poodle Mix
Height: 22 to 26 Inches
Weight: 40 to 65 Pounds
Temperament: Incredibly Intelligent, Athletic, Energetic, Affectionate
Lifespan: 10 – 15 Years
Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, bloat
The Airedoodle puts a fun twist on the ever popular doodle hybrids sweeping the nation. These Terrier mix dogs are also some of the most intelligent in the world. Airedoodles are a cross between the clever Airedale Terrier and the brainy Standard Poodle, making this the ideal dog for a committed owner or family.
Airedoodles are highly trainable, but they are also energetic and athletic. They require routine exercise each and every day and plenty of mental stimulation to keep them from becoming bored, depressed and anxious.
8. The Airedale Shepherd – A German Shepherd And The Airedale Terrier Mix
The Airedale Shepherd is a mix between two highly intelligent dogs.
Parent Breeds: The Airedale Terrier and The German Shepherd
Height: 24 to 26 Inches
Weight: 48 and 88 pounds
Temperament: Highly Intelligent, Trainable, Protective, Energetic
Lifespan: 10 to 13 Years
Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia.
The Airedale Shepherd is a healthy, intelligent, and highly energetic Terrier Mix that is best suited for committed and experienced dog owners. That said, this is also a Terrier mix who is super simple to train. He is eager to please and enjoys his families, though he can become over protective if not properly trained and socialized.
Super affectionate and devoted, Airedale Shepherds can do well with children and families of all ages. However, they require plenty of time and commitment, especially when it comes to exercise.
One of the largest Terrier Mix dogs on our list, the Airedale Shepherd does best in homes with enough space to move about comfortably and a backyard where he can burn off excess energy.
9. The Morkie – A Maltese And Yorkshire Terrier Mix
The Morkie is a family friendly dog, but he is small and can be prone to accidental injury if handled too roughly.
Parent Breeds: The Maltese and The Yorkshire Terrier
Height: 9 to 12 Inches
Weight: 8 to 13 Pounds
Temperament: Sweet, People-Oriented, Playful, Affectionate
Lifespan: 10 and 16 Years
Health Issues: Dental disease, tracheal collapse, reverse sneezing, portosystemic shunt, and patellar luxation.
The Morkie is a beloved Terrier Mix by those who enjoy smaller lap dogs. The purebred Maltese is a bred companion while the Yorkshire Terrier was a bred vermin hunting dog. This combination makes the Morkie a playful, spirited, and people-oriented Terrier Mix best suited for owners with plenty of time and a flexible schedule.
These Terrier Mix dogs also do great with families who travel a lot, but only if the Morkie can come along for the adventure. If left alone for too long during the day, Morkies can experience separation anxiety that can lead to destructive behaviors.
10. The Pitweiler -The Rottweiler And The American Pitbull Terrier Mix
Strong and loyal, the Pitweiler makes a great guard dog.
Parent Breeds: The Rottweiler and the American Pitbull Terrier
Height: 17 to 25 Inches
Weight: 40 to 100 Pounds
Temperament: Devoted, Intelligent, Protective, Energetic
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, bloat and cataracts
Sometimes known simply as the Rottie but also called the Rotten Pitt, the Prott, the Rottbull and the Rottie Pit, the Pitbull Rottweiler Mix is a combination of muscle, devotion, and intelligence.
The Rottweiler is a bred guard dog while the Pitbull has a high prey drive. This combination can spell disaster for the wrong owner. That said, the right owner can work with this Terrier Mix and come out with one of the canine kingdom’s best companions.
This is a Terrier Mix that has the potential to do well in a number of homes and environments so long as he is properly trained, socialized and cared for.
11. The Labrabull – A Labrador And American Pitbull Terrier Mix
The Labrabull is a cross between a family favorite and a dog with a controversial past.
Parent Breeds: The Labrador Retriever and the American Pitbull Terrier
Height: 20 to 24 Inches
Weight: 45 to 95 Pounds
Temperament: Intelligent, Playful, High-Energy
Lifespan: 10 to 14 Years
Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, osteochondrosis, progressive retinal atrophy, and allergies.
The Labrabull is a mix between two of American’s most favorite dog breeds. The Labrador Retriever, in fact, currently sits at number 1 out of 197 on the AKC’s list of America’s most popular dogs.
The American Pitbull Terrier is also a family favorite, as we’ve now learned. Both dogs combined make an energetic, devoted, and family-friendly companion.
The Labrabull Terrier Mix can do well with children, though he may have some issues with other dogs. In order to prevent any behavioral issues in the mix, it’s important to implement training and socialization at an early age.
12. The Chorkie – A Chihuahua And Yorkshire Terrier mix
The sweet and tiny Chorkie is a clever, people-oriented dog.
Parent Breeds: The Chihuahua and The Yorkshire Terrier
Height: 6 to 9 Inches
Weight: 8 to 15 Pounds
Temperament: Spirited, Intelligent, Stubborn, Independant
Lifespan: 10 to 15 Years
Health Issues: Collapsed trachea, dental disease, skin issues, allergies, hypothyroidism, and patellar luxation.
The tiny Chorkie is a spirited and affectionate Terrier Mix, but only when he wants to be. A mix between the Chihuahua and the Yorkshire Terrier, this is a hybrid dog who is known for his human-like personality and bossy attitude.
Chorkie dogs do best in homes with older families, singles, reiterres and laid back individuales. They do not require too much in the way of exercise, but will still enjoy getting out each day for a brisk walk.
Otherwise, Chorkie dogs are relatively low maintenance and ideal for more laid back owners. They can be impatient with young children, however, so care should be taken not to leave handsy kiddos and your Chorkie alone.
Is A Terrier Mix Right For You? Let’s Take A Look!
It’s important to do plenty of research on the specific Terrier Mix you’re looking into getting before deciding if this dog is right for you.
Deciding if a Terrier mix is right for you is going to take time, patience and plenty of research. Remember, the term “Terrier Mix” is a broad one and can encompass a wide variety of different dogs and dog combinations.
The good news is that you have a huge list of Terrier Mix dogs to pick from, so finding the dog of your dream is not out of reach.
When looking for the ideal Terrier mix for you and your family, it’s best to go through reputable sources. Stick with qualified breeders or shelters you trust, and avoid online sellers, backyard breeders, or going through sources selling dogs at astronomical prices or prices that are too good to be true.
And, just as importantly, remember to prepare. Understanding the type of breed or mix you are bringing into your life will not only enable you to be the best dog parent possible, but it will also set you and your dog up for success in the long run.
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.