Border Terrier

Border Terrier
Border Terrier pictures
Border Terrier suitability

In my own words


Oh boy, we’re going for a walk? Yay! WAIT what is that? Oh it’s my tail. Okay let’s go. Isn’t this great? I love going for walks and exploring new surroundings. Look at that nicely kept front garden, I could show you how to dig if you let me off the lead…no? Maybe next time. I like to dig and keep myself busy with tasks. Is that the park? How exciting! I love the park as I like to be let off the lead to run. I particularly like it when you run alongside me as I love company! Try and keep up with me, I’m very agile, not that I like to brag.  Is that a bird? Sorry I was distracted, I am very curious and naturally a keen hunter-this makes me an excellent watchdog. Did you know my ancestors were known to work on farms? That explains why I love being trained pro-actively; I’m a hard worker and keen to please. Are we going home already? I hope the family are home when we get back. I’m very sociable and love to be included in the household.

That was fun!  I think I’ll join you on the sofa. No worries about my fur, it’s very short and rarely moults. This is nice, I like being in mellow surroundings with my family. Are you comfortable? It is my main priority to please you. You have a quick snooze and I’ll keep an eye on things, I don’t need to rest yet, I’m full of boundless energy- you can count on me. When you wake up can we explore the garden? Then can I show you how to dig? No? Maybe next time…

My ideal owner(s)


People who like the outdoors

People who like to go for long runs/walks

Families, preferably with older children

People with loads of free time, retired people or those who work from home

People who live in the city (as long as I still get sufficient daily exercise)

What they say about me


Energetic and lively

Good natured and loyal

Curious and bold

Adorably scruffy

bark on a perfect friendship spanning 15 years, possibly more!

Is this Border Terrier for you?

Test your knowledge about the Border Terrier

Information essential about the Border Terrier


Kennel Club Group: Terrier

Size: small

Weight Male 13 – 16 lb. (6 – 7 kg) Female 11 – 14 lb. (5 – 6 kg)

Height Male 13 – 16” (33 – 41 cm) Female 11 – 14” (28 – 36 cm)



Border terriers are popular in the UK especially amongst retirees. They are known for their docile approach and are loyalty. Famous border terriers include Lady Eccles (Blanche Hunts’ dog in Coronation Street) and Maggie (Andy Murray’s dog who has her own twitter account with over 6,000 followers).

Breed History:


Border terriers have a strong hunting background due to their initial purpose of being bred to work on farms. They originated in the UK, in Cheviot Hills near the border between England and Scotland hence the name ‘Border Terrier’. They are considered to be one of the oldest types of terriers in the UK although their purpose for hunting has waned and they now mostly serve as companions.  If needed though, their instincts still make them an excellent hunter and watchdog.

When first bred, their purpose was to work on the farm in order to kill pests such as foxes, badgers, otters, mice and rats. Their size worked in their favour as they were considered tall enough to follow horses yet short enough to chase foxes into the ground.


Although not as popular in the US, they are still utilized as vermin hunters on farms and the Border terrier was recognised by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1930. As of 2006 the Border terrier ranked 81st in the number of registrations by the AKC and 10th in the British Kennel Club. As of 2008 he ranked 8th in the UK.



Your Border Terrier has a fascinating history of hunting and is of course keen to share this with you! He is very intelligent and continues to add to his growing knowledge by being very curious (bordering on nosey). He enjoys digging, but don’t worry about your immaculately pruned garden, he also takes to training very well and will listen to you if trained from an early age.  He responds to positive training with plenty of praise and patience. Incredibly observant and alert, your Border Terrier likes to take in and explore new surroundings. A visit to the park can involve him lying in the grass and contemplating. It wouldn’t be the same without your company though, he loves having you around. Best friend let you down? Never fear as your Border Terrier is there for you. Not only is he loyal but he has boundless energy and a carefree personality that means no diva-ish strops, whatever you want to do is fine by him.  This also means he is adaptable to changing surroundings and takes to new atmospheres well. Your Border Terrier is a compact, adorable ball of fun. To own him will be a rewarding experience for the both of you.



If your Border Terrier could speak, his most used phrase would be ‘what next?’ He is incredibly lively and active.  His energetic disposition means he can play with children and tire himself and them out- giving you a break! Despite his background in hunting, he is not aggressive and is very docile- he may bark from time to time but mostly to make sure you’re awake! Due to their good nature, it is best to get him accustomed to other dogs fairly early on to avoid him becoming introvert and shy. On the whole, he is good with other dogs but as aforementioned, his ‘calls of the wild’ mean that small pets are discouraged. He thoroughly enjoys company and therefore it is best that someone is at home with him at points throughout the day. If left alone he will get lonely and become destructive in order to alleviate boredom.  It is best to get him used to loud noises while he is a puppy in order to discourage him from being scared and shy. When older, provided he has had a very active life, he will become more mellow and if even possible, more adorable.



Border terriers have a very distinctive, dishevelled look. They are small with long legs and thick wiry coats. They have otter like faces with v shaped ears and short muzzles. They also tend to have big wide set dark eyes and a black nose.  Despite being fairly small, they have medium sized bones and sturdy necks and backs. Their tails are also thick. They have a durable double coat, with the outer coat being wiry, straight coarse and close to the body. The undercoat is dense and short. Due to their short hair they do not tend to moult. The Border Terrier is known for his adorably unkempt look, and requires very little grooming.



Typical colours of the Border Terrier are red, grizzle and tan, blue and tan or wheaten. They have a dark muzzle and sometimes a white chest.



Border Terriers love to please, but also like to be rewarded. Like most dogs (and human beings) they do not respond well to heavy handed methods as this breaks their spirit and they tend to give up. They like a training programme based on motivation, reward, respect, patience and consistency. It is advisable to start socialising with other dogs early on in order to prevent timidity.  Border Terriers have earned more AKC Earthdog titles than any other terrier.


A very basic grooming ritual is needed in order to provide your Border Terrier with the correct care. They need brushing only weekly and their coat professionally groomed twice a year. Bathing is only required when completely necessary (i.e. when he decides he can’t resist the mud in the forest). Due to the fact they don’t tend to moult, this is a good choice for allergy sufferers. Although easy to do (he’s so cute), lay easy on the treats as overfeeding this dog can cause them to gain weight easily



Your Border Terrier can live up to 15 years provided he has the right care. Eye problems can occur such as glaucoma and cataracts. Other health concerns are patellar luxation where the knee cap is moving and hip dysplasia in which the hip bones become abnormal. They can also suffer from heart defects, seizures and allergies. Another condition is Canine Epileptoid Syndrome also known as CACS or ‘Spike’s Disease’ which is similar to canine epilepsy. As your Border Terrier has a very high pain threshold, he will rarely show that he is in pain this is why it is imperative that you know your dog, and closely monitor them. Check-ups at the vet are crucial, as well as the standard jabs, wormers and flea tablets. Choice of a quality food is also important; consult an animal specialist to decide the best kind to make sure your Border Terrier is getting all his nutrients. Regular exercise when young can alleviate some common health problems by strengthening the muscles and joints.

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Advice on choosing your breed »

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The following grid gives a fast track review which covers all breeds. You can apply it to help you decide if a Border Terrier is suitable for you, the environment where you live, your personality and your lifestyle. On the grid, 1= strongly disagree, and 5= strongly agree. For example, if you are looking for a dog that is good for older people, scroll down and you will see in red the Borders score is 5, this means he is very good for older people. You might like to save or print off this section and keep it for reference while you check some other breeds before making your final choice.

Be the first to rate this breed »

Noahs Breed Rating | Community Breed Rating

Good jogging companion5/5
Good walking companion5/5
Likes water/swimming5/5
Likes learning new tricks4/5
Likes to hunt5/5
Likes to fetch5/5
Good gundog/retriever2/5
Barks a lot2/5
Gets easily jealous3/5
Friendly with strangers5/5
Expensive to insure3/5
Expensive to feed3/5
Happy to sleep outside2/5
Prefers countryside5/5
Suits urban environment5/5
Prefers temperate climate5/5
Prefers hot climate5/5
Prefers cold climate5/5
Moults a lot1/5
Requires lots of grooming1/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly5/5
Ideal for singles1/5
Ideal for couples with no children5/5
Ideal for family with children5/5
Good watch dog5/5
Good guard dog3/5
Good with other pets2/5
Good with other dogs5/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs1/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs1/5
Requires lots of exercise5/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners2/5
Good for experienced owners5/5
Good recall4/5
Easy to train4/5
Good jogging companion0/5
Good walking companion0/5
Likes water/swimming0/5
Likes learning new tricks0/5
Likes to hunt0/5
Likes to fetch0/5
Good gundog/retriever0/5
Barks a lot0/5
Gets easily jealous0/5
Friendly with strangers0/5
Expensive to insure0/5
Expensive to feed0/5
Happy to sleep outside0/5
Prefers countryside0/5
Suits urban environment0/5
Prefers temperate climate0/5
Prefers hot climate0/5
Prefers cold climate0/5
Moults a lot0/5
Requires lots of grooming0/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly0/5
Ideal for singles0/5
Ideal for couples with no children0/5
Ideal for family with children0/5
Good watch dog0/5
Good guard dog0/5
Good with other pets0/5
Good with other dogs0/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs0/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs0/5
Requires lots of exercise0/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners0/5
Good for experienced owners0/5
Good recall0/5
Easy to train0/5

*PLEASE NOTE: All our breed profiles are general, and all dogs are individuals. Always talk to the breeders and meet the owners you are buying from. Try to meet the dog and its parents if it is a puppy in their home environment.

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