Old English Terrier: A Spirited and Lovable Breed | Complete Guide

Old English Terrier


The Old English Terrier is a small to medium-sized breed with a robust and muscular build. These dogs originated from England and were primarily bred for hunting and vermin control. They have a distinctive black and tan coat, which adds to their unique charm. Old English Terriers are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and aggression.Old English Terrier

A brief history of the breed

The history of the Old English Terrier can be traced back several centuries. They were developed in England by crossing various terrier breeds, including the English Black and Tan Terrier and the Old English Bulldog. These dogs, such as rats and foxes, were highly valued for their tenacity and ability to hunt small game.

Size and appearance

Old English Terriers are compact and well-muscled dogs, typically weighing between 13 and 18 pounds (6-8 kg). They have a square-shaped bodies with moderately short and intense necks. The breed’s most distinctive feature is its dense, wiry, and weather-resistant black double coat with tan markings. Their expressive eyes and alert ears give them a keen and intelligent expression.

Temperament and behavior

Despite their small size, Old English Terriers are courageous and confident. They are known for their playful nature and boundless energy. These dogs are brilliant and thrive on mental and physical stimulation. They are generally friendly and affectionate towards their families but may be reserved with strangers. Old English Terriers can make excellent watchdogs due to their alertness and protective instincts.

Training and exercise needs

Training Tips for Old English Terriers

Training an Old English Terrier requires consistency, positive reinforcement, and patience. These dogs are intelligent and eager to please, which makes them responsive to training. Early socialization is essential to ensure they become well-rounded and well-behaved adults. Basic obedience commands, such as sit, stay, and come, should be taught from a young age.

Exercise requirements

Old English Terriers are an active breed that needs regular exercise to stay mentally and physically fit. Daily walks, interactive play sessions, and opportunities for exploration are essential for their well-being. Engaging them in activities like agility training or participating in dog sports can help positively channel their energy.

Grooming and health care

Coat care and grooming routine

The Old English Terrier’s coat requires regular maintenance to keep it in top condition. Weekly brushing is necessary to prevent matting and tangling of the wiry hair. Occasional hand-stripping, a process of removing dead hair by hand, helps maintain the texture and appearance of the coat. Regular ear cleaning, teeth brushing, and nail trimming should also be a part of their grooming routine.

Common health issues in Old English Terriers

Old English Terriers are prone to specific health conditions like all dog breeds. Some common health issues affecting this breed include patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, and eye problems. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and a healthy weight are crucial to their well-being.

Old English Terrier



The recommended diet for Old English Terriers

Old English Terriers should be fed a high-quality, balanced diet formulated for their specific life stage and size. The diet should consist of a combination of premium dry kibble and wet food, with a focus on animal protein sources. Avoid overfeeding and monitor their weight to prevent obesity, which can lead to health problems.

Feeding guidelines and portion control

The feeding guidelines for Old English Terriers may vary depending on age, activity level, and metabolism. Following the manufacturer’s recommendations and adjusting the portion sizes as needed is essential. Dividing their daily food into two or three smaller meals can help prevent bloating, a condition common in deep-chested breeds.

Living with an Old English Terrier

Suitable living environment

Old English Terriers can adapt to various living situations but thrive in homes with secure yards where they can safely explore and play. They are not well-suited for apartment living without ample exercise and mental stimulation. Access to regular outdoor activities and opportunities to interact with their human family members are crucial for their well-being.

Compatibility with other pets and children

Old English Terriers can get along well with other pets and children with proper socialization. However, it’s important to supervise interactions and teach children how to approach and handle dogs respectfully. Early socialization and positive experiences with other animals can minimize any potential issues.

Pros and cons of owning an Old English Terrier

Advantages of owning this breed

Lively and affectionate companionship

Low shedding coat

Good watchdog abilities

Trainable and intelligent

Suitable for active individuals or families

Potential challenges and considerations

High exercise requirements

Regular grooming maintenance

Prone to specific health issues

It may be reserved for strangers

Requires consistent training and socialization


In conclusion, the Old English Terrier is a spirited and lovable breed that brings joy and energy to any household. Their distinctive appearance, intelligence, and loyalty make them an excellent choice for individuals or families looking for an active and devoted companion. However, it’s essential to consider their exercise needs, grooming requirements, and potential health issues before welcoming an Old English Terrier into your home.

Old English Terrier

Also Read :


Are Old English Terriers hypoallergenic?

Old English Terriers are not considered hypoallergenic, but their low-shedding coat may be more tolerable for some individuals with allergies.

How much exercise do they need? 

Old English Terriers require at least 30-60 minutes of exercise daily. This should include both physical activities and mental stimulation.

Can Old English Terriers be left alone for long periods? 

Old English Terriers thrive on human companionship and may experience separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods. They are best suited for families where someone is present most of the time or arrangements can be made for their care.

Are they good with children?

 Old English Terriers can be great companions for children with proper socialization and training. However, supervision is essential to ensure the child and the dog are safe during interactions.

Are Old English Terriers easy to train?

 Old English Terriers are intelligent and eager to please, which can make training easier. Consistency, positive reinforcement, and early socialization are critical to their successful training.


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