Border Terrier Dog Breed (Complete Guide)

Border Terrier Dog Overview

The Border Terrier has a medium bone structure and is slightly taller than long.

Their long legs provide the speed, agility, and endurance required to pursue a horse across any terrain, yet their relatively compact body helps them to squeeze through narrow openings in pursuit of a fox.

Their motion demonstrates a good stride length. Their coat is made up of a short, dense undercoat covered by an extremely wiry, straight, and somewhat broken outer coat that should fit the body.

Their hide is quite thick and loose-fitting, providing them with protection.

Their unusual otter head distinguishes borders, and their alert face corresponds to their vigilant behavior.

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Border Terrier Highlights

  • Border Terriers are prone to becoming overweight, so make sure you measure your Border’s food and provide him with at least a half hour of rigorous activity each day.
  • Border Terriers flourish when they are with their owners and are not designed to live outside with little human connection. These dogs can be noisy and destructive if left to their own devices.
  • If given the time and opportunity, these escape artists will find a way out of a fenced-in yard. They have been known to climb over and dig under fences, and once they’re out, they don’t have much street awareness to discourage them from darting out in front of automobiles.
  • Border Terriers have a high pain threshold. If your dog is ill, the only indicator may be a change in behavior, such as the dog being reclusive or silent.
  • Border Terriers have an innate desire to dig. Rather than battling it, give your Border Terrier his own digging area or put his digging instincts to use with enjoyable games.
  • Border Terriers are energetic and bouncy dogs. They enjoy leaping up on strangers to greet them.
  • To preserve its signature rough texture, the Border Terrier’s coat requires weekly brushing and periodic stripping (removing dead hair by hand or with a stripping tool).
  • Border Terriers enjoy chewing. Some people grow out of chewing on inappropriate items like furniture and shoes, but others enjoy chewing for the rest of their life. Giving them a variety of appropriate chew toys is the greatest way to avoid costly replacements and vet fees.
  • Border Terriers aren’t yappy, but they will bark to warn you of anything out of the ordinary, and they can become nuisance barkers if bored.
  • Border Terriers have a strong prey drive, and they may chase, attack, and even kill neighboring cats, squirrels, and other small animals. They’ll also attack tiny pets like rabbits, mice, and gerbils. Because of their proclivity to chase, make sure your yard is properly gated.
  • Border Terriers get to spend good time with other dogs and family cats if the cat was raised with the Border Terrier or previously resided in the home.
  • Border Terriers make good children’s friends, although they can be hyperactive, especially when young, and can inadvertently injure little children.

Border Terrier Breed Features & Ratings:

Rated base on a 5 Star Scale
ENERGY LEVEL:                                3 Star
PLAYFULNESS:                                 3 Star
AFFECTION LEVEL:                           3 Star
FRIENDLINESS TO DOGS:              3 Star
WATCHFULNESS:                               1 Star
EASE OF TRAINING:                           4 Star
HEAT SENSITIVITY:                              3 Star
VOCALITY                                            4 Star

Border Terrier Characteristics:

  • Dog Breed Group:  Terrier Dogs
  • Height:  At the shoulder, it should be 10 to 11 inches tall 
  • Weight:  11 to 15 pounds 
  • Life Span: 12 to 15 years
  • Type: Purebred 
  • AREA OF ORIGIN:  Border of Scotland and England
  • DATE OF ORIGIN: 1700s 
  • OTHER NAMES:  Russian Bear Schnauzer, Munich Schnauzer, Munchener, Riesenschnauzer
  • Temperament: Affectionate, Alert, Even Tempered, Fearless, Intelligent, Obedient
  • Activities: Agility, Conformation, Obedience, Rally Obedience, Tracking
  • Color: Red, grizzle-and-tan, blue-and-tan, or wheaten
  • Litter Size: 2 to 8 puppies 
  • Puppy Prices: $800 – $1500 USD on average

Border Terrier Health:

A reputable breeder will evaluate breeding stock for health concerns such as hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, juvenile cataracts, seizures, heart difficulties, and allergies.

Some Borders appear to be less tolerant of hot temperatures, thus outdoor exercise should be limited when the temperature rises above 85 degrees.

The National Breed Club recommends the following health tests:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Patella Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Cardiac Exam

Border Terrier Grooming:

The Border Terrier has a wiry topcoat over a short, dense undercoat. His skin is thick and loose, which came in handy while fox hunting because it protects him from bites.

Border Terrier coat colors include red, blue and tan, grizzle and tan, and wheaten (pale yellow or fawn). Some have a little white spot on the chest.

Weekly brushing and periodic stripping of the rough terrier coat (every five to six months) will keep your Border looking neat and tidy.

A fine comb, a natural bristle brush, alongside a stripping knife should be included in your grooming bag (unless you opt for having a professional groomer take care of stripping the coat).

Stripping entails plucking the dead hair by hand or using a stripping knife or other stripping equipment to remove it. It is a thing you can do while watching a 30-minute television show with your Border.

Your Border’s breeder can demonstrate how to strip the coat, or you can find a professional groomer who does — not all do.

You’ll notice that removing the coat reduces the amount of Border hair on your clothing, furniture, and carpeting.

You can clip the coat for easy cleaning, but the texture and color will become softer and lighter, and the coat will not be weather resistant.

If you don’t mind the rough appearance, you can leave the coat alone without stripping or cutting, but the coat will shed more.

Border Terriers don’t need to be bathed very often – only when they’ve gotten themselves into something filthy and it’s very necessary.

Their coat naturally repels filth, and with weekly brushing and a moist cloth wipe-down as needed, it should stay reasonably clean.

When bathing him, use a shampoo designed for tough terrier coats to help keep the texture of his coat.

Brush your Border Terrier’s teeth at least twice a week to remove tartar accumulation and the bacteria that comes with it. Every day is preferable.

As needed, he has his nails trimmed once or twice a month. They’re too lengthy if you can hear the nail clicking on the floor.

Short nails keep your Border Terrier’s feet in good shape, don’t get caught in the carpet and rip it, and don’t scratch your legs when he leaps up to welcome you.

Begin grooming your Border Collie dog while he is a puppy to get him used to it. Handle his paws frequently – dogs’ feet are sensitive — and inspect his lips and ears.

Make grooming a pleasurable process full of praise and prizes, and you’ll build the framework for smooth veterinarian tests and other handling when he’s an adult.

Border Terrier Exercise:

Border Collies are lively dogs who require regular exercise. A half-hour walk or play session with his owner and a ball or flying disc should be sufficient to keep a Border healthy and happy.

Border Terriers must always be walked on a leash, and play sessions must take place in a fenced-in yard or other secure location due to their tendency to chase small animals.

Terriers are diggers, so any backyard fencing should stretch at least 18 inches underground. Tracking, lure coursing, agility, and earthdog, as well as canine sports such as flyball, are popular activities for BTs.

Border Terrier Training:

Border Terriers demand early socialization and puppy training sessions.

According to the parent club, ‘a Border was bred to think for himself, which can be both his most lovable and irritating attribute.’

When told to stay, he will do so for as long as he deems necessary before slipping away to mind his own business. When confronted, he will apologize since he enjoys pleasing others.

If you punish him excessively, you will break his spirit. If you want a dog who will always be obedient, don’t acquire a Border Terrier.’

Borders cannot resist a chase and should only be let out in properly secured areas.

Border Terrier Food and Nutrition:

Border Terriers are prone to gaining weight quickly. Obesity is a huge issue for pet dogs all around the world, and it can lead to a slew of other, more serious health issues.

It is critical to offer high-quality food and to measure out servings and alter them according to your dog’s activity levels.

Don’t be tempted by their begging eyes to indulge them with too many harmful foods and table scraps.

Border Terrier Temperament and Personality:

Border terriers are relatively calm, affectionate, obedient, and easy to teach, especially for terriers.

They’re extremely intelligent and soon pick up on indications that indicate you’re going for a walk or to the office, when it’s dinner, and what you like and don’t like them to chew.

They aren’t particularly fond of other little animals. They’re brave and tireless when it comes to going after prey (even if you don’t keep them as hunting dogs).

Border Terriers, like all dogs, require early socialization — being exposed to a variety of people, sights, noises, and experiences — when they are young.

Socialization ensures that your Border Terrier puppy develops into a well-rounded dog.

Border Terrier Care/Upkeep:

While Border Terriers are mostly kept as companions nowadays, they nonetheless maintain many of the hunting characteristics for which they were created.

These dogs are extremely devoted to their families and are usually eager for any type of adventure.

They’re versatile tiny dogs who are equally at home in an apartment as they are in a country farmhouse, as long as they get adequate exercise and enrichment.

Because they were raised to work alongside foxhounds, they were bred to get along with other dogs better than the normal Terrier, but they may still be domineering and feisty.

Their hunting past also implies that they have a strong prey drive.

These dogs may be able to live alongside the family cat with cautious introductions, but they will most likely need to be maintained separate from other tiny furries.

Outside, unless you’ve worked on a rock-solid recall, they may need to be on-leash in areas where they could chase a squirrel or other wildlife.

They’re also typical terriers in that they might be excessively alert barkers and dig holes in your yard.

To prevent bothersome yapping, you may need to provide them with a specific digging area and concentrate on asking for alternative behaviors.

Border Terriers are known to be tiny Houdini escape artists, so make sure your yard is secure.

They are, nevertheless, intelligent and will react favorably to positive reinforcement teaching approaches. Trying to push a strong-willed BT to do something they don’t want to do could backfire.

If you use treats, toy rewards, and plenty of fun and short sessions, you might be amazed at how quickly and joyfully your Border Terrier reacts to training sessions.

Because of their zeal, intellect, and stamina, they frequently excel in activities such as agility and even canicross.

Once a week, a good brush out of their coat will be enough to pull out any dead hairs  of the dog and keep their coat and skin in good shape.

The majority of BT owners will have their dogs hand-stripped a few times a year to keep their coats from growing scruffy.

Border Terrier Relationship with Children and Other Pets

Border Terriers like children and can keep up with their activity levels all day, but they’re a little too exuberant for households with children under the age of six.

Always educate your children how to approach and touch your Border Terrier, and monitor any encounters between canines and small children to avoid biting or ear pulling from either party.

Border Terriers normally get along well with other dogs and cats, especially if exposed to them when they are puppies. They work best with dogs of opposite sexes.

They are inclined to chase outdoor cats, as well as squirrels and other wildlife, and should not be left alone with pet birds or small, fuzzy pets like rabbits, hamsters, and gerbils.

Border Terrier Names 

RankBoy NamesGirl Names

All About Border Terrier

The Border Terrier has a medium bone structure and is slightly taller than long.

Its long legs provide the speed, agility, and endurance required to pursue a horse across any terrain, but its relatively thin body allows it to fit through narrow openings in pursuit of a fox.

It walks with a nice stride length. It has a short, dense undercoat that is covered by a very wiry, straight, somewhat broken outer coat that should adhere to the body.

Its hide is quite thick and loose-fitting, protecting from its quarry’s bites. Its unusual otter head distinguishes the border, and its alert face corresponds to its vigilant disposition.

Several terriers bred to run with the pack, the border terrier is one of the most friendly and tractable of the bunch. It is curious, busy, friendly, and biddable.

It enjoys hunting and is self-sufficient, making it a dog that may roam if given the opportunity. It gets to spend well time with other dogs and cats but not with rodents.

It is excellent with youngsters and makes an excellent friend for people of all ages. It digs, as well as some bark. Some people are skilled escape artists.

Border Terrier History:

During the 18th century, the Border Terrier developed in northeast England, near the Scottish border. He is the outcome of an ongoing conflict between farmers and foxes.

Borders were designed with a long, slender, flexible body to let them squeeze through tight crevices and flush foxes out of their hiding spots, as well as legs long enough to follow the horses during a foxhunt.

Of course, they had plenty of stamina, a weather-resistant coat, and thick, loose skin that couldn’t be punctured by their foxy enemies’ teeth.

An early example of the breed is a 1754 painting of two Border Terriers by Arthur Wentworth.

The Border Terrier was well-known in England’s border country for his courageous and unyielding character, but he was less known abroad.

He was undoubtedly seen at agricultural fairs in Northumberland in the late nineteenth century, but dog fanciers paid little attention to him until the early twentieth century.

He was recognized by England’s Kennel Club in 1920, and a breed club was founded. Netherbyers Ricky was the first Border Terrier to be registered in the United States in 1930.

For the most part, the Border Terrier has been an unknown, and his people would love that he stay and keep that way if it means keeping him safe from the ravages of fame.

He is currently ranked 81st out of the 155 breeds and variations registered with the American Kennel Club.

Where to Adopt Border Terrier:

If you want a Border Terrier puppy, you should do your homework and select a reputable breeder.

Backyard breeders and puppy factories can be brutal, and your dog may develop additional health or behavioral issues as a result.

The Border Terrier Club of America is a fantastic spot to start your study.

Consider getting a Border Terrier or another tiny breed. Giving a deserving dog a forever home and watching them emerge from their shell may be a very gratifying experience.

You could contact your local rescue shelters or a breed-specific rescue, such as North American Border Terrier Rescue.

More Dog Breeds and Further Research:

If you’re looking for canines that are similar to the Border Terrier, you might want to look into the following breeds:

Border Terrier Fun Facts:

  • The Border Terrier is well-known for its distinctive head, which resembles that of an otter. 
  • They have a broad, flat cranium with a pair of V-shaped ears that fall toward the side of their faces.
  •  Their tail is medium in length, tapered, and thick at the base.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What do border terriers stand for?

The Border Terrier is a little dog with an alert gaze, a strong desire to hunt and dig, typical terrier vigor, and a kind attitude. He’s as bright, devoted, courageous, affectionate, and determined as any dog can be, and about as annoying as any dog can be.

Are border terriers suitable as pets?

Border Terriers are excellent family pets. These dogs usually get along well with children and like pleasing them. Their hunter’s instincts may cause them to chase cats or other small animals, but they’re normally good among other pets, especially if exposed to them at a young age.

What is the most distance a Border Terrier can walk?

As a Border Terrier can walk all day, the length of the stroll is only limited by your time and energy. The ideal amount of time per day is 45 to 60 minutes. This can be as little as once a day, or as much as twice a day if your schedule allows.

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