Home Breeds Dog breeds Border Terrier | Information & Dog Breed Facts

Border Terrier | Information & Dog Breed Facts

Border terrier
Border terrier

The Border Terrier is a dog that is valued primarily for its wonderful character, friendly disposition and ability to quickly adapt to any living conditions.

The appearance of the representatives of the breed is unremarkable, but nature compensated for this by rewarding the boarders with strength, endurance and dexterity.

By socializing this dog properly and spending the time it needs, the Border Terrier is an obedient and very loving dog with children, as long as they have been educated to respect animals.

Border terrier
Border terrier

For centuries, the Border Terrier has been used as a hunting dog for martens, foxes and other burrowing animals. In the modern world, he has been re-qualified as a pet, which is not used in hunting.

Keep reading and discover, with the help of Pets feed, the general characteristics of the border terrier, its care, education and possible health problems to offer you everything you need.

Breed history

The Homeland of the Border Terrier is Great Britain. To be precise, this breed appeared from the border areas of England and Scotland.

The history of these terrier dogs dates back to the eighteenth century. In those days, farmers really needed dogs to fight rodents and to hunt foxes, badgers, and other burrowing animals.

Border Terrier breeders tried to maximize the following qualities in dogs:

  • The physique is small in size, allowing the terrier to easily penetrate burrows for prey.
  • Long limbs so that the dog keeps up with the horses during the hunt.
  • Thick, dense coat that protects from cold and natural precipitation.
  • Speed, agility, sharpness, so that the border can successfully pursue the game.
  • A flocking instinct, hunting requires the coherence of a whole flock of dogs.

When the formation of the Border Terrier was over, the breed representatives met all of the above requirements.

These characteristics are also suitable for modern boarders. Being in comfortable conditions, the descendants of hunting dogs did not lose their abilities.

They are just as small, with long legs, fast and fearless.

Initially, the Border Terrier was known and popular only in its homeland. This continued until the beginning of the twentieth century.

In 1920, the breed was officially recognized. There were clubs of fans of this type. Little terriers are recognized outside the UK.

Border Terrier dogs are more popular in the USA, a little bit less in Europe.

Border terrier

Border terrier physical characteristics

Small but athletic, the Border Terrier is a true working dog, and this is reflected in its rustic appearance. The main physical characteristic of this dog is its head. It is typical of the breed and, as indicated by the standard, is shaped like an otter. Vivacious expression eyes and “V” ears help define the typical appearance of the border terrier.

This dog’s paws are long in relation to its height, and that is one of the characteristics that allow it to “be able to follow a horse”, as indicated by the official breed standard.

The Border Terrier has a strong physique. Despite its small size, it is strong and muscular.

The weight of adult boarders is 5-7 kg., Height is about 26-28 cm.

The head is kept on a not too long neck, which in its shape resembles the head of an otter.

At exhibition shows, experts pay special attention to the shape of the head, it must strictly comply with the standard. The skull is wide. Ears of small size, triangular, hanging.

The eyes are not large, dark, not bulging.

The muzzle is short. The nose is large, it may be flesh or brown, but a black nose is preferable. The nostrils are wide open.

Border terrier jaws are powerful, teeth are strong, sharp. A scissor bite, not considered a defect and a direct bite.

The body is narrow, stretched format. The loin is strong. The chest is deep, the ribs are not too convex.

The tail is relatively short. The Border Terrier carries it high, but never throws it on his back.

The legs are straight, muscular, long. The skeleton of the limbs is not rough. Paws are not large with dense pads.

The coat is thick, the outer hair to the touch is coarse, hard. There is a short, dense undercoat, similar in structure to felt. What is reliable protection against cold and moisture.

On the face, a mustache and beard, characteristic of all terriers.

The color of the Border terrier is as follows: zoned, red, black-and-gray, tan and gray, fawn, grizzly.

The muzzle and ears are in many cases a darker shade. White marks on the chest are undesirable.

Border terrier

Character and temperament of the Border Terrier

The border terrier is a very active and determined dog. His strong personality is easily noticed, but he does not tend to be a dog with a strong or aggressive character. On the contrary, it is usually very friendly, both with people and with other dogs. However, it is particularly child-friendly and can therefore be an excellent pet for families with children old enough to understand that the dog is not a toy. It is not appropriate for families with very young children because they can hurt him, since he is a small dog.

In order to briefly describe the terrier border, this is a fearless, very energetic, ruthless hunting, but friendly and affectionate dog in the home environment.

The Border Terrier is not a decorative, sofa pet. This dog has a balanced character, picky and friendly. This terrier is always ready for active games and fun, but often mischievous, likes to fool around.

This is a very curious dog. It takes every opportunity to explore the world. It is literally interested in everything – sounds, smells, new places, people, animals, birds …

It is curiosity that pushes the border terrier to shoots, to uncontrolled independent walks.

Representatives of the breed get along well with children, especially with adolescents. The Border terrier is happy to play and quite patiently endures children’s pranks.

But there are limits to this patience, so you don’t need to leave the terrier in private with young children. It is important to teach the child respect and care for the dog.

The Border Terrier is endlessly friendly. It never shows causeless aggression. It can make friends with people close to its family, enjoys the arrival of guests and peacefully watches strangers on the street.

But if a stranger enters the territory of the Border Terrier without asking, the dog will immediately notify the owner of uninvited guests with a loud bark.

It coexists normally with other pets, but it is not recommended to keep a born rat-catcher together with decorative rodents. It is able to make friends with a cat if it grew up with it in the same house. With other dogs, the Border Terrier is very friendly, because it has a flocking instinct.

Border terrier


The average lifespan of a border terrier is 13-14 years. With proper maintenance, such a pet can live up to 16-17 years.

Each owner of the border terrier should familiarize with the list of diseases that his dog is predisposed to:

  • Hypothyroidism is a violation of the thyroid gland.
  • Joint dysplasia – leads to arthritis, accompanied by severe pain, lameness.
  • Cryptorchidism is a hereditary disease in males that results in one or both testes not descending from the abdominal cavity into the scrotum.
  • Cardiovascular disease – narrowing of the valve, pulmonary stenosis.
  • Dislocation of the patella – immediately or over time causes severe lameness.
  • Malocclusion – deformation of the dentition. The sooner the bite is corrected, the easier and faster you can achieve good results.
  • Nervous disorders – accompanied by seizures, involuntary bowel movements, depression, lethargy, impaired coordination of movements.
  • Perthes disease – characterized by a violation of the blood supply to the femoral head, which subsequently leads to aseptic necrosis.
  • Cataract – a violation of the transparency of the lens, leading to decreased vision.
  • Dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin that affects its entire structure without forming a rash.
  • Allergy – more commonly observed food.

You can avoid many health problems if you take the border terrier to the veterinary clinic 1-2 times a year for testing, x-rays, preventive examinations by veterinarians.

It is important to regularly conduct deworming, vaccination, treatment against skin parasites.

When buying a puppy, pay attention to its appearance. The coat should be smooth and shiny, and the abdomen should not be swollen.

The puppy behaves actively, without showing much fear. A hot, dry nose, a swollen stomach, dull hair and lethargic behavior are the exact signs of a disease.

Basic Care

The Border Terrier is a small size dog, so it feels comfortable both in a private house and with apartment living.

Also, these dogs can be kept in an aviary with a warm booth. In any case, the border terrier must get daily access to the outside, to free movement and to active games.

For representatives of this breed, high physical activity is vital. Each walk should last at least an hour.

If the border terrier is kept in the apartment, the owner should take into account the fact that such a pet has a tendency to chew all around.

It can often be caught chewing on master’s shoes; furniture can also suffer from dog teeth. To avoid such troubles, you should teach your dog to bite only special toys from puppyhood.

Usually, a puppy chooses the most favorite among all the toys bought, about which he will sharpen his teeth.

If the border terrier lives in a private house, it must walk around the enclosed area. In this case, the owner must take into account the tendency of the border terrier to dig the ground. This dog is very fond of digging under fences, digging beds and flower beds.

It is impossible to deal with such habits; a border terrier is born with the ability to penetrate the earthen burrows of foxes and badgers. But there is a way.

Just give a dog a special place in the yard for digging holes, make it clear to it that you will not forbid digging in the ground only in this territory.

We support the beauty of the Border Terrier and its health using the following procedures:

  • We comb out once a week using a special brush for hard, thick wool.
  • Trimming is required twice a year; it is better to entrust this procedure to an experienced groomer.
  • We bathe our dog 3-4 times a year, this is a planned procedure using detergents. But you need to take into account the over-activity of the border terrier dogs. They often get very dirty during walks, so an unplanned bath is required if necessary.
  • Clean the paws after every walk.
  • The border terrier loves water, so in the summer, if possible, take it to natural reservoirs.
  • The claws to be cut as they grow.
  • The eyes to be cleared of nightly discharge every morning.
  • We brush our dog’s teeth 1-2 times a week or give the dog special bones purchased in a veterinary pharmacy.
  • We regularly inspect the ears and clean them once a week using cotton buds and discs; a special solution will also be required.

The nutrition of a this small terrier must be taken seriously. The fact is that these dogs are prone to food allergies and obesity.

When compiling a ration and daily allowances, it is better to ask a veterinarian for help or ask the breeder who raised the puppy for advice.

An ideal option for a border terrier is a premium dry hypoallergenic food. Make sure that protein predominates.

The natural way of feeding is not excluded. The basis of the diet is low-fat meat products. Very useful sea fish, add it to the feed about 1-2 times a week.

If the border terrier is loaded with heavy physical exertion, during this period its diet increases. It is important to ensure that the dog does not overeat in the absence of such loads, as it can quickly gain extra pounds.

Training and education

The border terrier with its irrepressible character and amazing energy requires an appropriate approach in training.

Representatives of the breed are very smart dogs. A border terrier is capable of learning quite a lot of commands in a short, comparatively short time.

If the owner has contact with the pet, and if the pet is well brought up and trained, he understands without words by signs, movements what is required of him.

It is important to maintain consistency in training. Training should not be monotonous and boring. But this requires strict adherence to the regimen, engage with the terrier on a schedule.

Active, diverse lessons, partly in a playful way, are the key to successful training. Avoid rudeness and physical punishment. Encourage your pet using goodies and praise.

If the border terrier is to be used in hunting, starting from the age of six months it will be dragged.

Border terrier puppy

Border Terrier Fun Facts

  • The Border Terrier is the smallest of working terriers.
  • In some European countries, border terrier dogs are considered excellent therapists who can cheer up even the most inveterate pessimists. That is why these dogs work in nursing homes and in shelters.
  • In Sweden, the border terrier dogs are used to search for people in the rubble, in the UK as helpers for the deaf, in the USA, they are an indispensable member of the Search and Rescue team. The team is engaged in the search for missing persons.
  • Borders do not suffer from seasickness and like to ride in vehicles.
  • Border Terrier dogs are completely not afraid of horses and can freely walk between the hooves of these animals.
  • Borders, being in excellent mood, “smile”. They stretch their lips, while showing their teeth, resulting in a funny smile.

Border Terrier Dog Breed Highlights

Despite its friendly disposition, the Border Terrier is not suitable for all people. This dog is full of boiling energy, so its owner must also lead an active lifestyle.

Positive points:

  • Friendliness, devotion.
  • The mind and quick wits.
  • Loves children.
  • Suitable for apartment maintenance.
  • Get along well with other dogs.
  • Not expensive maintenance.

Negative points:

  • Propensity to allergies.
  • Requires daily walks and physical activity.
  • Likes to gnaw everything around and make digs.
  • The tendency to shoots.

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