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Border Terrier


Border Terrier



Developed in Northumberland, England's most northerly county, the Border Terrier was required to be full of bravado as the farmers often relied on these plucky little dogs to chase vermin which preyed on their flocks and this game Terrier had to display considerable spirit whilst protecting their flocks. Even though small in stature, they could easily keep up with both horse and hound. Often called upon to 'bolt the fox' from its burrow and run with the pack, flushing out the vermin each time it went to ground.



The highly strung and sometimes snappy Border Terrier can become very possessive of their owners and rather wary of strangers - such that many of them have a reputation for 'shoot first, ask questions later'.  This quite intelligent little dog, when well-trained is obedient and often excels in agility classes. It shows itself to be a more placid terrier, not as belligerent as other terrier breeds nor as quarrelsome towards other dogs.  Tending to be somewhat yappy, especially around food, with adequate training, plus mental and physical stimulation these problems can be overcome.



Height:   28-41cm  (11-16in)

Weight:      5-7kg  (11-16lb)

Group: Terrier

The Border Terrier has a harsh and wiry top coat,  and is built for work rather than show.  Their thick skin, or 'pelt' can be lifted from the body and with the water-repelling double coat, is designed to protect the dog from the cold, harsh climate of its homeland.  Colours range from red, tan, grizzle (salt and pepper), wheaten, or tan and blue.



When these dogs shed twice yearly, their harsh top coat will shed or 'blow' and will require stripping away from the undercoat. This is best done by hand by simply pulling the loose, dead fur away from the coat whilst at other times the coat will require weekly brushing or simply combing through with a narrow-toothed comb. Bathing too often is not recommended as the wire coat is best left with its natural oils and stiff structure intact. Clipping is not recommended, the outer coat provides suitable insulation and protection of the undercoat in all conditions.


Life Expectancy

10-12 Years


Health Concerns

This fairly sound and healthy dog is from robust working origins however do have a  reputation of becoming overweight, though this is often attributed to overzealous owners giving in to those pleading eyes.  Being overweight can reduce a dog's life expectancy however, a healthy, properly fed dog will see it living to a great old age with few visits to the local vet. Though not prevalent to the breed, there have been occasional reports of slipping kneecaps in some dogs and heart murmurs in older Borders.



The Border Terrier can make a great little family pet. They are a playful and energetic, low maintenace small dog.


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Terriers: dogs in this group were bred to drive foxes, rabbits and other quarry from their underground retreats. A few in this group include Bedlington Terrier, Jack Russell and Cairn Terrier to mention a few.


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