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Border Terrier – Dog Breed Information And Temperament

Border Terrier
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Lovers of the agile and upbeat Border Terrier praise their breed’s reputation and charm as a no-frills labor dog.

These no-nonsense, friendly, happy, and plucky dogs are amazing pets in country and town.

The wiry coat remains a low maintenance dog for all seasons. This good-natured, smart dog was mainly bred to help in driving foxes, and assist in foxhunts.

These breeds are still strong and powerful enough to hunt and dig at the same time.

Border Terrier Breed Characteristic Sheet

  • Origin: Scotland and England
  • Size: Small
  • Dog Breed Group: Hound
  • Purebred: Yes
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Height: 12 to 15 inches
  • Weight: 11.15  to 14 lbs
  • Coat Appearance: Dense and short undercoat; Broken and wiry outer coat
  • Coat Colors: Wheaten, blue and tan, grizzle and tan, and red
  • Temperament: Social, friendly, smart, affectionate, kind, independent thinkers, self-thinking
  • Good With Children: Yes
  • Intelligence Level: Moderate
  • Good With Pets: Yes
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Grooming: Moderate-high
  • Shedding: Low
  • Barking: Barks when necessary
  • Suitable For Apartments: Yes
  • Need For Exercise: Moderate
  • Easy To Train: Yes
  • Good For First Time Owners: Yes
  • Health Issues: Spike’s Disease, Hip Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Legg Calve Perthes Disease
  • Litter Size: 4-5 puppies(average)
  • Average Price: $800-$1500 USD; £700 to £1000

Border Terrier History

Developed in the pristine hills between the south of Scotland and the north of England. The breed’s shape and character evolved from its interaction with Foxhounds to protect the lambs and sheep against foxes.

Contradicting popular belief, these dogs followed the horses and did not move along with the horses. He had to keep the predators at bay and do his duty as the chief protector.

In the misty countryside near the English-Scottish border, the local farmers developed smart, quick terriers to help guard sheep against the wily hilly fox. This meant developing terriers with strong legs to run with huntsmen and foxhounds on horseback.

On the other hand, these terriers also had to dig into the predator’s lair and bring it out into the open.

These terriers,  the fathers of today’s dog, were tireless, strong, and energetic, with a weatherproof fur coat. It protected them from tough terrain, mist, and rain of the borderland.

Early dog breeds included the Coquetdale, Ullswater Terrier, and Reedwater Terrier, all derived from town names located in the north of England.

The Border, according to experts, is known as terriers who get on amazingly well with his dog companions.

Foxhunting with these Terriers was different from the traditional British foxhunts. Borderland foxhunts were bred for – to protect farmer’s stock from predators.

The UK Kennel Club recognized this breed in 1920. The AKC recognized this breed in 1930.

Border Terrier Infographic

Border Terrier Infographic

Border Terrier Appearance And Coat


He is a smart terrier of medium shape, quite strongly put together. Border Terriers are full of agility and endurance, but they are rather narrow in quarter, body, and shoulder.

The body is fully wrapped in an intensely wiry close-fitting jacket. The popular “otter” like head with its combined, keen eye with a cute body poise. These terriers display implacable and fearless determination characteristic of this breed.

These breeds are working terrier dogs. He should be built in such a way to run behind horses and do his job.

For this work, terriers need to be small enough to squeeze through narrow openings, agile and active and alert.

By nature, they are easily trained, obedient, affectionate, and good-tempered.

  • Head – Similar to an otter’s head
  • Eyes – Dark Hazel; full of intelligence and fire, Medium in size, nor beady and small
  • Ears – Moderate thickness, V-shaped, small
  • Muzzle – “Well filled” and short
  • Nose – Black
  • Teeth – Strong with a sharp scissor-like bite
  • Neck – Muscular, long, well-balanced appearance
  • Body – Fairly narrow, and deep
  • Tail – Thick at the base, and moderately short
  • Forequarters – Shoulders laid back
  • Hindquarters – Racy and muscular

Border Terrier Coat

A dense and short undercoat. The coat looks broken and wiry. It shows no tendency to wave or curl.

With such a cover, a Terrier should remain as original as possible. Hide loose-fitting and thick.


Wheaten, blue and tan, grizzle and tan, and red. A little bit of white color can be seen on the dog’s chest.  The muzzle looks desirable and characteristic.


Rhythmical and straight before and behind. The gait looks quick, agile, and free.

Border Terrier Size And Lifespan


  • Weight – 11.15 to 14 lbs (female); 13 to 15.5 lbs (male)
  • Height – 12 to 15 inches

Border Terrier Lifespan

The average lifespan of a Border Terrier is between 12 and 15 years of age. There is really nothing insignificant about the Terrier.

A big dog hiding in a small dog’s body.

Border Terrier Temperament

  • Border Terriers are easily trained, eager to please, obedient, friendly, and good-tempered
  • In the field, these dogs are quite hard as concrete and very much driving in attack
  • These dogs were mainly bred for a subpar non-aggressive temperament.
  • They can live and work peacefully with other canines
  • These canines are not suitable for part-timers. They love to mingle with this family
  • Borders are not barkers, they will know when people are at the door. These Terriers are determined diggers.
  • An independent thinker, these dogs were bred to think and act for themselves

Border Terrier Care

Borders are strictly not an expensive dog to maintain. These breeds do not require regular bathing. Toweling and wiping your dog is strong enough when he’s dirty and wet.

Too many baths can manage the coat and it is a dirt repellant. Border Terriers have a soft odor.

You should use a metal slicker brush. These breeds will only shed minimally. They are hand stripped at least twice a year.

If you decide to go with their natural look, it will create more odor. You can ideally clip the dog’s coat.

These are active dogs. They need regular and love exercise in large quantities. Some Terriers are noisy and active when someone knocks on the door.

Border greetings are really profuse.

Chewing is done by most puppies, but many Terriers do not cross this stage.

Common household items are the main targets. If you find it difficult to crate your pet after you leave your house, then they may not suit you.

This dog can easily get along with other cats and dogs. Some of the best-trained dogs will chase a rabbit or squirrel. It is better you keep them on a leash.

These dogs are easily adaptable. They will do well in the country, or in small towns. They gain weight quite easily so take care to match food with appropriate exercise.



Border Terrier Grooming And Shedding

These dogs possess a double coat. A fluffy undercoat covered by a hard, wiry coat. This is a hypoallergenic breed and best suited for allergy sufferers.

Being a double-coated breed, this Terrier sheds seasonally. In most cases, a quick rapid brushing once every fortnight is enough.

During the shedding period, dog lovers should expect to spend at least 30 minutes for stripping out the hair.

The outer coat resists dirt and debris, but bathing can compromise this ability. In most cases, a muddy Terrier can be easily cleaned up with a brush and a towel.

As with most other breeds, the Terrier’s nails need regular trimming.

The Border dogs are hand stripped at least twice a year. This method involves removing the dead hair by hand. The new coat may take around 8 – 10 weeks.

Some dogs remain in neat coat round the clock through a simple process called “rolling.” Grooming experts are not needed for these procedures. But, training is helpful.

The length, thickness, and texture of the pet’s coat will determine the appearance. As old fur dies off, these dogs will continue to shed more hair. New hair will appear in places where old fur has come out.

A slicker brush plays a crucial role in removing the dead hair.

Clipping is not a favorable method of grooming. This method shortens and not completely remove the dead fur.  A groomer will clip the dog.

A Terrier who has been clipped can lose the color and texture of his protective coat.

Border Terrier Training And Exercise

Puppy training classes and early socialization are ideal for Border Terriers. The breed’s club notes, “A Border was produced to act for himself. This can be both his most frustrating and endearing quality for itself.

They will oblige and later move out about his own work.

Confronted,  he will behave properly, since he is eager to please. Don’t use negative reinforcement, and you will stop his progress.

If you wish a canine that is steadfastly obedient, do not opt for a Terrier.

Remember that Terriers can’t resist an easy chase. They should be off-leash in fenced areas.

Getting Started

Make sure your canine is well-identified or microchipped with a tag before removing the leash. Train in a secure area so that BTs cannot escape.

Find out what inspires your pet and develop on that. Does he wish to chew on a rawhide bone?

Use these things to provide substitutes to running away.

Off-Leash Commands

  • Train in a secure location

Give a puppy early learning with different off-leash commands. Train in a different area where your pet cannot escape.

First, start in a small room, the house, and gradually on a long leash, and finally off the leash.

  • Teach “Come”

Train your dog to come as and when you call him. Give her a small reward every time she obeys your command. Provide treats with play, toy, and praise.

  • Teach “Touch”

Train your dog to touch you with her muzzle by calling out this command, “touch.”

Provide a good quality treat. Use this command sparingly, and your dog will respond 9 out of 10 times for the treat you give.

Use this command in a grave situation.

  • Teach “Stay”

Teach your pet “down-stay” or “sit-stay.” Give treats to reinforce. Work in a small area and then gradually move to a bigger area.

  • Practice both on and off-leash commands

Make your dog wear a long leash. You make him follow all off-leash commands. Reward with play, praise, toys, and treats to keep yours under control.

Offer high-quality treats for “Touch” commands without fail for a better response.

Border Terrier Exercise

Borders need a lot of exercises daily. They are active dogs. A brisk play session with his parent and a flying disc can keep your Border happy and healthy.

These animals instinctively chase small animals. Carry on play sessions inside a secure area.

These dogs are diggers. Any backyard fencing can extend underground. Border Terriers love taking part in flyball, Earthdog, agility, lure coursing and tracking.

Border Terrier Health Problems

These dogs are normally a healthy dog breed. A responsible breeder should screen stock for different health conditions including allergies, heart problems, seizures, juvenile cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and hip dysplasia.

Some dogs seem very less tolerant of humid weather. We suggest you keep all the outdoor activities to a minimum as long as the temperature does not cross above 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

These dogs are less susceptible to conformational health defects, but they too are prone to some inherited issues.

Major Health Problems That Affect Border Terrier

Legg Calve Perthes Disease

This disease causes a pet to go lame. Dogs or pets suffering from this disease will show signs at around 6 months of age.

Experts agree that the Legg Calve Perthes Disease is an inherited one. There is no DNA test to confirm this finding.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Progressive Retinal Atrophy remains as a genetic factor that makes a canine lose its eyesight.

There is a good DNA test to detect this condition. If both parents have this genetic gene, then there is a high chance that your puppy could later develop PRA.

So, it’s advisable that you test both for this disorder.

Hip Dysplasia

In canines, hip dysplasia refers to the abnormal formation and can cause painful arthritis and crippling lameness.

It’s seen in various dog breeds, for instance, the larger breeds. They are the most common cause of arthritis.

Good and responsible breeders will ensure that their breeding stock is all healthy. If you are scouting for a puppy in America, then ensure that both parents’ hips are good.

Spike’s Disease

Canine epileptoid cramping syndrome (CECS) or Spike’s Disease is an inherited problem similar to canine seizures.

During a seizure activity, these dogs will suffer from moving difficulty. Some dogs also suffer from diarrhea and vomiting. Twitching or dystonia is also not ruled out.

Consult your puppy’s breeder and check for any health issues.

Border Terrier Food

These dogs love high-quality or homemade diet. No matter whatever you choose, it should contain best –quality ingredients including vegetables, rice, or meat.

BTs do well on top-quality canine food. It could be both homes made with your vet’s approval and supervision or commercially manufactured food.

Any diet should fit your dog’s age and activity. Some canines are susceptible to becoming obese, so consider your dog’s weight level and calorie consumption.

Treats and rewards are important in training. Moderation is the key.

Fresh, clean drinking water should be available.

Safe Foods For Dogs

Not so safe foods for dogs

Border Terrier Puppies Names

These dogs have a distinct following. Border Terriers were developed as herders emerging from the farms. Their hunting instinct is highlighted by their affectionate demeanor.

They are ideal for kids as aggression is not their forte. Border Terriers live by kindness and praise.

With these traits, you will have an amazing dog for all occasions. You will have some great fun choosing a name.

Consider their untiring attitude and independent spirit. More unique names would be based on their roots as a guardian, hunter, and herder.

Male Border Terrier Puppy Names

  • Steve – Named after the famous crocodile hunter, Steve Irwin
  • Christopher – The great explorer Christopher Columbus
  • Indiana – The protagonist of the “Indiana series”
  • William – “Strong-willed warrior”
  • Travis – “Passing through an entrance”
  • Sigmund – “Victorious defender”
  • Rocket – “Space travel”
  • Chase – “Huntsman”
  • Howard – “Noble watchman”
  • Garth – “Defender”

Female Border Terrier Puppy Names

  • Willa – “Resolute”
  • Sasha – “Defender of mankind”
  • Cass – “Man’s defender”
  • Anaiya – “She who’s free”
  • Freya – “Goddess of fertility and love”
  • Diana – “Goddess of the hunt”
  • Jane – “The popular British Anthropologist”
  • Isabella – “After Isabella Bird, a famous English explorer”
  • Winda – In Swahili, it means “Hunter”
  • Resa – “In Latin, it means Laughter”

What Are Girl Dog Names For Border Terriers?

  • Ariel
  • Liesel
  • Rosie
  • Mia
  • Rylee
  • Snickers
  • Emily
  • Bows
  • Amy
  • Molly
  • Izzy
  • Azzurra
  • Penny
  • Zailey

Interesting Facts

  • These dogs have a strong weather resistant coat. The soft undercoat repels dirt and a hard, wiry outer coat.
  • Borders were expected and trained to gather their own food. They had no other chance than to be great hunters to survive.
  • The first registration in America was 1930.
  • Border Terriers are easily trained, affectionate, obedient, and good natured.
  • The early dog’s value was depending on its uncanny ability to hunt bolt fox. They would be a great solution for vermin control.
  • They were developed in Northumberland in the 1860s.
  • These dogs perform well in Earthdog trials.
  • Being hypoallergenic, Border Terriers are ideal for those suffering from allergies.
  • Puffy and Baxter are the two popular Terriers.

Border Terrier Price And Breeders

Their price depends a lot on your location. If you decide to buy a healthy puppy, you will have to pay a higher price.

Border Terrier Price

In  America, you should expect to shell out between $800 and $1500 USD for a healthy puppy. These puppies are sold for £700 to £1000.

You can buy puppies for lower prices, but most dogs will not be certified so be alert and cautious.

Border Terrier Mix Puppies For Sale

If you are looking for a Border Terrier mix, check out your local shelter or rescue center.

These mixes can be excellent pets. Ensure that both parents are health checked for all genetic diseases. Bear in mind that cross-breeding fails to remove all the risks entirely.

Border Terrier Rescue

Meet the authorities at your local adoption center and clearly explain what sort of pet you are looking for.

Rescue Border Terriers make good pets too.

List Of Breeders In America

  • Lndi’s
    San Jacinto, California 92581
  • Kernow Border Terriers
    Broken Arrow, OK 74014
  • Sundevil’s Border Terriers
    Sheila Hanna
    Glendale, AZ 85310
  • Rita Ford
    Moss, TN 38575
  • Morgan Mills Farm
    Denise Meehan
    Loudon, TN 37774
  • Elamarie Basson
    Hico, TX 76457

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