Border Terrier Traits & Facts

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Last Updated on September 20, 2023

. Are you curious about whether the Border Terrier is the right pet for your family? This is the one-stop-shop guide to breeds for anyone who wants to adopt this little pup. They might be small and inconspicuous-looking, but they are anything but ordinary. This dog may not be the best option for many people, but it might work well for you.

These dogs are happy-go lucky pooches who enjoy life to its fullest. These dogs are full of cheeky Terrier personality and a hunting dog work ethic. They also have frenetic energy that requires an outlet. They will destroy your belongings and run away if they are not exercised. You can still expect lots of love, fun, and canine companionship all wrapped up in a cute package.

While you don’t have to be a dog owner with a lot of experience, patience and the willingness to spend time with this dog are essential. Let’s look at their past, personality, exercise requirements, puppy information and other details to determine if you are the right person for a Border Terrier.

Border Terrier

Breed History

The Border Terrier is a hilly breed near to the Scottish-English border . Farmers created agile, hardworking terriers centuries ago to hunt down and eliminate the hill fox, which was a powerful and prolific predator of sheep. Although small enough to reach fox lairs, the terriers had to have long legs so they could keep up with huntsmen and foxhounds on horseback. These dogs are the ancestors to the breed we love today. These dogs were capable of climbing any wall or getting through wire entanglements. They would go underground for hours until they found the fox. There were not many farmers in England’s North-East without Border Terriers.

Fox hunting was made illegal in England in 2002, but this hasn’t made the Border any less popular in England. However, they are less well known in America and usually find themselves between 80th and 90th place in the American Kennel Club (AKC) popularity ranks. The first Border Terrier, Netherbuyers Ricky, was registered in 1930 in the US.


Border Terriers are highly prized for their pocket-rocket dogs who are full of bouncy beans. They are small and need plenty of stimulation to stay happy. You can invite an exciting, fun dog into your home . This is a great choice for families looking for a sibling or companion for their children. If you are looking for a calm lapdog, this is not the right dog for you.

Their high prey drive means owners must be constantly alert when they are out in public spaces. They will chase all non-canine furries. To keep them under control, you should invest in an escape-proof harness Border owners aren’t brave enough to let their dogs off-leash. The Border is not for you if you are looking for a dog that will obey commands and be walked off-leash.

Borders bark at anything that enters their yard. This makes them great watchdogs. They are friendly and friendly with everyone .. They are friendly with strangers and intruders, but they don’t make good guard dogs. Breed lovers love their friendliness.

They love to cuddle on the couch ., as long as they get enough exercise. They are very sweet and need to be pampered. They will jump on your lap as soon as you touch them. Many people assume they want to hunt foxes or other animals, but this is not the case.

Unlike other comfort-craving dogs they don’t worry about being out of reach. They are fearless and resilient dogs that can be left alone for hours without feeling anxious. They are well-balanced and adaptable, making them ideal family dogs.

Size and Appearance

Considered a small dog breed, they usually weigh between 11.5 and 15.5 pounds and measure 12 to 15 inches tall. Borders are usually taller than their size. This is due to the fact that they were bred with long legs in order to keep up with Foxhounds when hunting foxes.

Borders are distinguished from other small terriers by their slim legs. Many describe their distinctive head shape as similar in appearance to an otter’s. Their triangular, drop-down ears are distinctive. In the breed standard, they are described as being “full fire and intelligent.” They appear sporty and always ready to take on new challenges.

If you wish to have your dog show in the show ring they must adhere to the Border Terrier breed standards .. Conformation awards may not be awarded to dogs that are more deviant than the rest. deviation to the appearance standard is not so important if you’re looking for a family pet. Families are more likely to have a balanced Border personality.

Coat and Colors

This Terrier breed has a dense, short undercoat that is covered with a bristly, coarse and wiry top coat. Borders don’t need to be trimmed or brushed. Dog show participants must keep their dogs in a natural state. Their coat should be wild and wiry, but not curly or wavy.

These Border dogs can be bred in four colors: red; blue and tan; grizzle, tan and wheaten .. Borders can be any combination of these colors. The color grizzle can be described as a combination of earthy colors that appears to be one from far away. The ears and muzzles of show dogs are usually darker than the rest.

Exercise Requirements

They need around 45 minutes of intense exercise a day to stay healthy and happy. They would love to be able to keep going for longer periods of time, if you have the energy. It’s a great way for them to stay fit.

After their outdoor adventures, they need to get more exercise at home through playtime. They can become bored easily without playtime, whether it’s with their family or alone. A bored Border is something you should avoid. Their nature is to chew, dig and bark excessively, jump, destroy, and destroy . things. If you are unable to provide basic exercise for your dog, don’t allow it on.

Living Conditions

They are country dogs at heart. However, they can happily live in a small area so long as they get enough exercise. They would prefer to have their own yard for play and patrolling, but that isn’t a requirement compared to other breeds. Breed fans love their easygoing nature. Border Terriers are good with other dogs. They do require proper socialization as puppies. This breed loves to be with other dogs .. Because of their playful and silly nature, they are great with children. This pup is a great sibling for children, although you will need to supervise them. They are small and agile, but they make a great family pet.

They will not tolerate certain things. This breed of dog requires a family that is able to give them lots of energy and time to exercise and play. This is not a couch potato dog, as you will soon see. They are also unable to live with small animals due to their high prey drive. If they are raised with cats, they may be able to live with them. However, this is not a guarantee. Multi-pet households that do not have a canine must be cautious about inviting this dog into their home. It may not work out well.


They love to please their masters and are persistent in achieving the end goal ,. This makes them trainable and obedience-oriented pups. This program is perfect for dog owners who are just starting out in the world of dog training. However, they are not for everyone all dogs require training .

Border Terriers prefer positive reinforcement over harsh or strict training. To successfully train your Border, you need to discover what motivates them. You are more likely to succeed if you begin training your Border sooner than later.

While the Border may get along with most people (except foxes, of course), they still need socialization from an early age .. When you bring your puppy home, you should mix them with other dogs, humans, and experiences. The crucial stage for effective socialization is 3 to 12 weeks. Training is essential to increase their confidence and friendliness as adults.

Introducing Many Border owners find the “quiet” or “leave It” commands a blessing in disguise. The quiet command is helpful for Border owners who are often loud when they are bored or see things outside their home. The leave it command is useful for when they are digging or chewing on something that shouldn’t be there.


The Border Terrier is a relatively healthy dog breed that typically enjoys a long lifespan of 12 to 15 years. Even though your Border may not be suffering from any of these conditions, the following summary will help you to understand what to look out for.

Hip Dysplasia

This is one of the most prevalent health issues in the dog world. It is possible to inherit hip dysplasia from your parents. Therefore, it is important to get hip reports from breeders. It can also be caused by abnormal or rapid skeletal growth in puppies. It can lead to painful arthritis and mobility problems that may require surgery. It can cause abnormal rear limb movement, stiffness and general pain.

Eye Conditions

The most common eye problems in the Border bloodline include juvenile cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy and glaucoma. If not treated, both of these conditions can cause total vision loss. You should be alert for signs such as a change of appearance, such as squinting, light sensitivity, or squinting.

Patella Luxation

This is a common problem in small dog breeds like the Border. This happens when the kneecap is not properly placed , and the joint is basically floating. This can be quite painful and may require surgery. It is similar to hip dysplasia. The symptoms include kicking in pain and the feeling that they are trying to fix the joint.

Cardiac Concerns

This dog is at high risk for developing heart problems. These are usually detected during routine vet visits. It is important to catch it early so that your dog doesn’t become lethargic, intolerant to exercise, gain weight, or lose consciousness. Pulmonic stenosis is the most serious. This occurs when the valve narrows and puts extra strain on the heart.


*Border Terriers are more likely to have seizures than other breeds. Although seizures can be caused by many things, they are usually managed with medication after being investigated. Seizures can cause trembling, sudden stiffness or loss of consciousness.


It is important not to skimp on high-quality nutrition . This can lead to poor health, and an unhappy dog. Choosing a high-quality kibble made for small breeds or a fresh food-subscription service such as Ollie can make a world of difference to your dog’s health.

Depending on the size of your Border, their activity level, age, and other factors, you can expect to feed them anywhere from one to one-and-a-half cups per day. Terriers are known for their greed, so you shouldn’t feed them more than they need. You risk your Border becoming an obese, banana-shaped dog, with higher chances of developing weight-related diseases and illnesses.


The Border Terrier does not require a rigorous grooming regimen. To keep their appearance best ., they need to be hand-stripped twice a year. You might need to brush them more frequently during shedding seasons. Hand stripping refers to the removal of dead hairs from a dog’s body. This is usually done as a grooming method for dogs with wire coats. Many owners invest in a stripping knife or a tool to strip their dogs’ hair. You can either learn how to strip the coat yourself or hire a groomer to help you. If you don’t intend to show your dog, you can choose to trim the coat. This will ruin the wet texture and make it less weather-resistant.

Even more grooming requirements are regular tooth cleaning .. Smaller dogs are prone to periodontal diseases more so than larger breeds because their mouths are tightly compacted. Doggy-toothpaste should be used to brush their teeth several times per week. As a puppy, it is easier for them to be familiar with their grooming routine. This should be part of your puppy training.

Breeders and Puppy Costs

It might take longer to find a Border Terrier breeder. You might also have to travel farther to meet them. It’s important to work closely with responsible and reputable breeders in order to ensure your puppy’s health and well-being.

The average price for a puppy usually falls between $800 and $1,500. Prices vary from one state to the next depending on where they are located, their pedigree and how much they are wanted. The AKC lists Border Terrier breeders, and this is a great place to start your research. To get a sense of the breeding environment and practices, it is important to meet the parents and the breeder.

Buying a puppy that is cheaper than the others can be a sign of a less experienced breeder, a lack of screening for health issues, or if the breeder is not concerned about socializing the puppy. You are more likely to purchase a sick or poorly socialized puppy that could cause you problems in the future. This usually means you will have to spend more money on the problems in the long-term, so don’t be tempted to work with irresponsible breeders

Puppy costs can be quite high even for small dogs. You will need to purchase everything your puppy needs . in addition to the puppy’s initial price . It is important to factor in the cost of toys, food, insurance, crates, beds and toys. To ensure they do not escape, you need to border-proof your yard and home. They may not be as costly as a Mastiff but they require financial responsibility and the ability to access resources.

Rescues and Shelters

Not everyone is able to adopt a puppy. Some families choose to adopt an older dog who is in dire need. The cost to rescue a dog is typically less than buying a puppy.

Unfortunately, many families accept the Border believing that they don’t need to exercise or can cause much damage to their homes when bored. Many families give their Borders to rescue shelters. There are almost always Borders that need rescuing. Either visit your local shelters or visit the Border Terrier Club of America website for information on this breed’s rescue and available dogs.

As Family Pets

Here are some general information and to summarize. These are

  • A small dog who is relatively adaptable to most, single pet family environments.
  • Capable of living in small apartments or large homes, in the city or the countryside.
  • Very active dogs that need a minimum of 45 minutes of intense exercise and additional play sessions throughout the day.
  • An extremely high prey drive, so stay on high alert when walking, keep them on-leash. You should not share your home with furry, small animals.
  • High energy and small frame means they are tons of fun for the whole family.
  • Vocal dogs who bark at everything that visits their home.
  • Sweet and affectionate dogs who need plenty of cuddles.
  • Friendly and accepting of strangers.
  • Prone to chew, dig, jump, and destroy everything in their pathway when boarded.

Final Thoughts

The Border Terrier

is a small dog that is full of fun terrier personality, tenacity and cheekiness. They are lively and make great companions for active families. They are great for families with children or dogs. They are happy-go-lucky, friendly dogs who get along with anyone they meet.

Although they are easy to train and care for, they can become devilish dogsgos if they don’t have the basic necessities. They are naturally curious and will chase after things. They are great family pets if you give them all they need.

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