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Border Terrier

One of the most popular terrier breeds, Border Terriers are small to medium-sized terriers with characteristic otter-like heads. Originally bred to help Foxhounds with hunting, these dogs are fast, love to dig, and have a high prey drive. 

Border Terriers are ready to go running or playing games at any time of the day given their energetic nature so they would be best paired with someone who has the time to give them plenty of physical and mental stimulation. 

12–15 years
Border Terriers have a harsh, dense coat that comes in a variety of colours including red; wheaten; grizzle and tan or blue and tan
Kennel Club group
The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for non-experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
  • Small dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Generally friendly with other dogs
  • May need additional training to live with other pets
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a small garden
  • Can happily live in the city
  • Can be left occasionally with training
Generally healthy breed

The Border Terrier breed can suffer from:
- Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome, which is where muscle spasms, cramps and seizures that can affect all or part of the body. 
- Atopy where the skin reacts to allergens in the environment and becomes sore and itchy.
- Spongiform leucoencephalomyelopathy, also known as shaky puppy syndrome, which is an inherited condition that affects the nervous system causing tremors often affects growth and development.
- Canine gallbladder mucocoele, which is where the gall bladder doesn't empty properly.
Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
None but there are several recommended schemes that the Kennel Club recommends which can be found here.

Border Terrier Appearance

Boasting a short and dense undercoat with a wiry topcoat, the Border Terrier is and looks alert and courageous. They also have a thick but loose skin that protects them from bites, a characteristic that would have come in handy during their fox-hunting days. As for the Border Terrier colours, they can be red, grizzle and tan, blue and tan, or wheaten. 

Border Terrier Personality

The Border Terrier breed is an affectionate, fun-loving one. They are brave, adaptable, and good with people, especially with children. Generally easy-going, they have an independent nature and like to make their own decisions. The Border loves to chase rabbits and squirrels but will live in harmony with other household pets, if socialised and introduced carefully. This dog is equally at home in town or country. 

The Border Terrier would suit an active owner who loves the ‘big dog in a small body’ attitude of a terrier but who prefers a softer, less feisty — and more social — version.   

Border Terrier Fun Facts 

  • As the Border Terrier was bred to run with the hounds, they are longer legged than many of the other terrier breeds and are more social than most too!   
  • This breed is known for being escape artists, so you’ll need to make sure you have a secure garden to prevent them from getting out. 
  • Border Terriers are keen diggers; however, you can prevent ripped up flower beds by providing them with their own space to dig such as a sandbox. 
  • They’re usually not yappy but if bored, they may resort to nuisance barking. 
  • Border Terriers shouldn’t be kept with small furries such as rabbits, guinea pigs, etc as their hunting instinct is too strong. 


Do Border Terriers have a good temperament? 

Yes, they are loving, loyal, and have a good-natured temperament. They are known for being social and full of energy, but you can also count on them for occasional cuddles. 

Do Border Terriers shed? 

The shedding will be minimal for a Border Terrier and as long as their coat is brushed frequently, you will see very few hairs around your house. 

Are Border Terriers intelligent? 

Border Terriers have been bred for jobs that require concentration and decision making so their intelligence is higher than average. 

Are Border Terriers okay to be left alone? 

Border Terriers form very strong bonds with their owners so they might become anxious when left alone. However, with training, they could be taught to be by themselves for a few hours a day. 

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