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Border Terrier
A Plucky Dog From A Working Heritage!

border terrier

Back in its working days, the Border Terrier went along with the pack hounds on foxhunts and when the prey was grounded, he was the one expected to enter the den and bolt the fox. By all accounts, he did his job very well!

This terrier is known foremost as a working dog that originated, as you may have guessed, in the border region between England and Scotland.

He was a great asset to the farmers in controlling the fox population that threatened their livestock, as well as ridding properties of unwanted vermin.

Documented accounts of this breed's existence date back to 1880, though without doubt they were present long before that.

This plucky terrier with a high degree of gameness, has many attributes well-suited for the job he performed.

He has a tight, wiry and weather resistant coat that tolerates the harsh weather of the border country; a flexible body and ideal size for entering and traversing dens; and a distinctive bark which can be heard underground.

In addition he has the remarkable stamina to run for long distances and keep up with the pack.

Nowadays, the Border is mainly a family companion and dog show participant.

Personality and Traits:

This small terrier breed is friendly around strangers and quite sociable around other dogs. He does have strong terrier characteristics and can be a barker if bored.

Digging is also one of his specialties left over from his working days. Given an opportunity, he may put these skills to use if he spots something interesting on the other side of the fence.

Wise owners, acknowledging these natural instincts, will take the precaution of sinking some wire into the ground around their property lines.

With his family, the Border is a good natured and affectionate fellow. While he is by no means a lap dog, he thrives on your constant companionship.

His intelligence makes him easy to train, though his independent nature will require someone with strong leadership and kindly persistence to take charge of his training.

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border terrier outside among the leaves

Appearance and Coat Care

Height: 11 inches
Weight: 13-15 lbs.
Color variations: Red, Wheaten, Grizzle/Tan, Blue/Tan

The Border Terrier, though small, is long-legged and has a wiry, less formal looking coat. His expression is very alert and his face has an appealing and whiskery cuteness. His head shape has been described as resembling an Otter.

The coat is hard, dense and closely fitting. It requires only a modest amount of grooming and could be described as hypoallergenic as it sheds very little. However, to keep it in good condition, stripping should be done about twice a year.

Activity Level:

This breed is quite active and inquisitive. Plenty of exercise is needed to use up his energy and keep him out of mischief.

Space Needs:

The Border Terrier can adapt to an apartment if he is given sufficient walks and playtimes. Any property with grounds should be secured to prevent tunneling under perimeter fencing.


This breed is sociable and likes children. However, he plays hard and does best with older, considerate children who don't provoke pets.

The "good sense" recommendation is to have constant adult supervision when pets are interacting with children.


Good companions for elderly owners who are still active. They are more reserved than most terriers and do not require extensive grooming.

Tell Us About Your Border Terrier

Are you the proud owner of a Border Terrier? Would you like to share your dog's story and pictures on his very own web page, as well as your first hand knowledge of this delightful breed?

We love dog stories and pics, so we've made it quick and easy for you to brag about your dog with us and our visitors. You're invited to go here and get started.

We can't wait to have your dog join our community!

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Reading Resources:

About the Border TerrierAbout the Border Terrier

About The Border Terrier

Comprehensive guide to the breed. Includes history of the breed, breed standard, choosing a puppy, training, nutrition, health matters, pregnancy and whelping.

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