Border Terrier Dog Breed and Puppy Information

You want a naturally happy dog, try The Border Terrier. They love running and playing with other dogs.

In addition, their large teeth are good for grasping something when they go into dark holes when chasing foxes.

Weigh 10 to 15 pounds, with muscular builds and a wiry coat in spite of being, small.

One of the most popular dogs for families as they are happy with humans and adapt to family life fast.

Do not be worried when they are around children as they are children friendly. They are obedient but in a pack can lead each other astray.

What Makes Border Terrier A Lovable Pet

Highly recommended as they are quick to learn and slow to obey and constant training is recommended.

The nature of their body and coat safeguard them from health issues experienced in other breeds.

Comes with a harsh coat which is a plus as it allows them to survive in winter (harsh weather).

Back in the 1800 other breeds of terrier were breed together to come up with Border Terrier.

They were trained to flush out foxes when they hide into a hole, by farmers and shepherds.

Their small and round body is ideal and allows them to go into narrow tunnels and holes, it was their job to foxes out.

Key Breed Facts

  • Border Terriers are an active breed.
  • They are an intelligent breed and use their brain to get solutions.
  • Easy to train and not keen on playing with toys.
  • Due to their hunting instinct, they have a tendency to destroy a noisy toy, they think it is another animal they are hunting.
  • Hard top coat and inner soft coat make it easy to groom, as you can just hand strip it at home and save on vet expenses and time.
  • No many health issues like the other breeds due to their nature.
  • Sweet otter face, makes it look loving and hence affectionate with children.
  • Good house pet might be a bit stubborn if you bring a cat after, but if they find the cat there they will be accommodating too.

Breed Characteristics

  • The Border terrier is energetic and athletic and loves being busy.
  • Loves children and other animals.
  • Long legs that can deal with hilly terrain.
  • Well behaved when having a human companion, do not like to be left alone.
  • Tends to play rough and prefers vigorous exercise and interactive games due to their hunting nature.
  • Likes to explore, chase a lot and if not kept in a fenced area can go far or dig under the fence.
  • Have a short dense undercoat covered with a very wiry and somewhat broken top coat.

Breed Highlights

  • They love food, have a big appetite and won’t say no to food, if not regulated they can become overweight.
  • They have maintained their original hunting abilities more than many other comparably old breeds.
  • Due to its small and strong size, it was able to keep up with the horses and be pack oriented enough to get along with the pack of fox-hounds.
  • Has longer legs and less dog-aggressive temperaments.
  • Border Terriers perform well in Earth dog class, Obedience training, and Agility competition.
  • Due to their affectionate nature, they are used as therapy dogs for children, the elderly, and sick adults.
  • Border Terriers have a dense topcoat over a soft thin coat.


The Border Terriers originated from the rough terrain along the border between Northumberland and Scotland.  Were referred to as the Conquetdale Terrier or Redesdale Terrier.

Officially named in 1870 and are related to Bedlington Terriers and Dandie Dinmont Terriers.

Registered with the British Kennel Club in 1913 for the first time.  Nevertheless, it dates back into the 18th century when the breed was first recorded.

Apart from this, it was recognized in 1920 and remained a favourite among hunters. Besides being a lovable pet and also a show dog it was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1930.

Due to their long legs, a shorter body, and in general, a less head, they were good at going underground to flush out foxes. Farmers and shepherds used them to control the fox population in the border towns between England and Scotland.

Their body size and statue made them strong and able to bolt to the hills and follow the horses.

Subsequently, they worked together with the border foxhounds during hunting sessions.


Can say this is a breed of many colour ranges to choose from: red, wheaten, blue and tan, or grizzle (dark gray) and tan.

When searching for a Border Terrier breed its advisable to check if the colour meets the breed standards.

A Few of Border Terrier Breed Colour Shades

They can have a bit of white on their chest; dark muzzles are the norm and considered desirable to humans.

The Border Terrier is a small dog with a compact body.

Its ears are typically folded over the forehead and its eyebrows.

Rough coated dogs of medium size, with a narrow, racing build.

Male Border Terriers should weigh 13 to 15 ½ pounds and females 11 ½ to 14 pounds

Usually, sport a few short whiskers as their muzzles are short and filled-out.

The cheeks are a bit full and their black noses are of a generous size. Their teeth are strong and relatively large for the dog’s size; their mouths close in a scissors bite.

Their dark hazel eyes are medium-sized, and always have an alert expression that conveys intelligence.

An alert breed of a dog, seen when the tail is set moderately high and carried jauntily.

The active Border terrier is of medium bone, his makeup depicts strength and endurance. Although he is narrow in the shoulder and body he’s very active.


Most Border Terriers are independent, stubborn, bossy as they have a mind of their own, quick to chase and impulsive.
Due to their active nature, you need to provide them with enough exercises and activities to develop them physically and mentally.

With undesirable behaviours such as digging and barking keep your Border Terrier active and engaged. Importantly, provide him plenty of exercises and activities with you.

The Border Terrier dog is small in size, making it able to dig out or follow a fox into its burrow and very swift to match the horse’s pace.

Check out, for an early alert signal when your pet is about to act especially when its tail is high.

Intelligence / Trainability

They are numerous training that a Border Terrier can be enrolled in.

Especially, obedience classes as most will run away and need to be taught to obey when called. On the other hand, you can join the earth dog class where they are encouraged to dig and tunnel without harming themselves.

Due to their intelligence, they need supervision. They can jump over the fence or dig under the fence you leading to putting a high fence and sink a wire below to prevent them from escaping.

They are very good at agile competition when they obey. Although, you must consistently train them to obey you.

A treat can be a good motivator for your dog when she obeys you. Alternatively, you can let her play with her favourite toy instead of using a treat as she can decide to still misbehave when she wants regardless of the treat.

Constant training of command should be the best way to go. This will create consistently in obeying regardless of whether there is a treat or not.

Use positive reinforcement more than corrective training, but in other cases, both can be used.

Dogs learn best from balanced dog training. Where you reward desirable behavior with a reward( say yes, give a treat or toy or praise.

Contrary to, use a commanding voice and body language and do not give a reward if behaviour is bad). Dogs are especially reactive to your body language and tone of voice hence use it to their benefit.

Invest in a good quality leash/lead or harness for control movement when your dog is in open area.

Children and Other Pets

Great companions for kids as they are small and playful dogs.

Best Family Pet

Border Terrier, the Best family pet that is affectionate with Children and other Pets.

It should be noted, care should be taken when around small children despite them being loving and affectionate.

Being territorial the breed can be possessive and might react harshly even to a small child/other pets(cat) who is clumsy around their spaces.

The Border Terrier can fit anywhere as long as it is in a family.  Despite, of whether it is in an apartment, countryside or city.

Doesn’t like to be left alone and if not in a cage can damage toys and furniture left lying around as it is a chewer.

Border terriers sometimes show aggression toward other dogs.

It is important that your pet is socialized from the start, so he will know how to get along properly with other dogs.


Border Terriers are healthy but there are some genetic disorders that may be present.

Genetic diseases known to affect border terriers include hip dysplasia; patellar luxation.

This can cause lameness in the affected leg. In addition to this; heart defects, particularly pulmonic stenosis and heart murmurs; hypothyroidism; seizures; malocclusions, or misalignment of the jaws; and undescended testicles.

Take your border terrier for regular visits to his veterinarian for health checkups and to establish a vaccination schedule.

Make sure that your new pup’s parents had clear eye tests and low hip scores before you commit to buying a Border Terrier puppy.

Proper training is essential to your dog’s well-being, safety, and ability to fit smoothly into the family.

Caring for a Border Terrier

undoubtedly, a very affordable dog bred which is low maintenance.

Its hard coat doesn’t require regular bathing when wet or dirty.

A border will shed minimally, you can hand stripped after a few months (6) saving you time and money as it is done at home.  Stripping reduces heavy shedding and loose fur everywhere.

Some owners might prefer clipping done at the vets which exposes the soft coat and makes it prone to matting.

Keep your border on a leash as once it sees a rabbit, mice and squirrel it might dash off after it.

You can get him a wire cage that is safe for family travel or a comfy place she can relax inside the house. Where you can put his water in a bowl, a comfy blanket, and some dry treats when training her.

They need regular washing and plenty of water for drinking to keep hydrated as they are active dogs.


The Border Terrier can be hand strip after every few months to remove the hard coat and a new softer coat to be visible.

It is better than clipping as it can be done at home but can be time-consuming.

The soft coat is prone to matting hence do the clipping once the hard coat is a lot.

Grooming A Border Terrier

You can have a brushing comb and stripping knife to ease the job.

The coat requires regular brushing and occasional stripping to keep it in shape.

Keep the stripping short and pleasant and ensure you know how to do it before starting on your dog.

You can also seek professional help or your vet if it proves to be challenging to you.

No need for hurting your dog. Regular stripping and daily maintenance ensure you don’t bath your dog daily.

A stripping knife is used simply to improve your grip on the hairs when you are stripping out.

Bathed occasionally very few times only to remove stubborn odors or heavy dirt. To be able to preserve the oils in his coat dry brush him or wipe with a wet cloth to remove the dirt.

When bathing him you can use shampoo and work it into the undercoat with your hand to ensure all dirt is removed.


Their exercises are not intensive and can take 40-60 minutes daily.  Give a walk or allow them to chase each other in the yard. These are dogs that love being outside and are active and playful nature.

Use a retractable leash to allow them more freedom as they walk while maintaining control which stimulates their mind.

Enough Exercise Ensures Your Dog Utilizes Pent Up Energy Well.

Engage your Terriers with games like fetch, Frisbee, Earth dog sport or agility sport. Running ensure he stretches his muscles, back and chest keeping him fit for many years to come.

Once you keep them busy with exercises and behavior you utilize their pent up energy.

Otherwise, they will start to exhibit negative behaviors such as barking, digging and being destructive.

These exercises facilitate both their physical and mental development in their 12-14 year lifespan.

For puppies- be careful with their body as their bones, muscle, and joints are still growing and developing. Vigorous exercises can cause harm and are not necessary. As they age you can start with short walks and playing with toys.

When walking your puppy keep the walk short from 5 minutes and add more minutes as they grow older. If you notice they are getting tired, panting and slowing down do not insist.

Exercises that will strain their muscles and joints are not recommended. Due to health issues, puppies should not be let out if they haven’t received all their vaccinations.


Remember nutrition is more important than ingredients when shopping for best dog food for Border Terriers.

Feed up to 1 3/8 cups of high-quality dry dog food per day over two meals.

Adjust the quantity according to your pet’s individual needs and condition. Border terriers are prone to weight issues, keep that in check.

For puppies-Border Terrier puppies burn energy very quickly when they are growing, so you may need to monitor your feeding schedule if the growth is not at proper rate as advised by your vet.

Particularly your puppy food should have carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber intake in correct proportions to be able to grow healthy.

When puppies are younger 2-3months they eat a lot, four meals.  As they age the meals reduce to three until two when they are more than 6months.

You also need to be careful with the food given as Border Terriers have a sensitive stomach and might be allergic to other food ingredients.

These allergies can lead to health-related issues, such as obesity, hip dysplasia, constipation, etc.

Avoid food with fillers, artificial colouring, and sweeteners that are not adding any nutritional value to your Terrier.

Minimize on giving a lot of treats during training or in between meals to prevent obesity and overfeeding.

Average Cost to keep/care for a Border terrier

From healthy tested parent you can get a Border Terrier puppy in the UK for a price between £700 and £1000.

Above all, ensure you buy a Border Terrier that has certificates and documents from a breeder that is registered in the Kennel Club (UK) to view.

Check also if he/she is healthy and the parents also to avoid getting a puppy with hereditary diseases.

When taking a Border Terrier home you need to consider its initial cost. These will include: vaccination costs, grooming, products supplies, and food/treats and other treatments like (flea, deworming, and neutering).

Breed Specific Buying Advice

Do not buy a puppy from a newspaper advert or a market. You need to join your nearest Border Terrier Club and visit local shows. This will be a good opportunity for you to view them in close proximity and decide which dog or puppy you would like to take home.

Choose wisely this is a breed that you will stay with for 12-16 years. Get its’ parents health history to avoid getting one with hereditary diseases.

Before buying the Border Terrier puppy try to see the litter twice if you can. The first time can be after 4 weeks with its’ mother and another visit after 8 weeks to familiarize with it before it leaves the dam.

Due to demand, you might need to be put in a waiting list. Even so, when the breeder gets a puppy available for you, you will be informed.

This is the time to get all the information from its’ parents and the certification he/she has. By now the puppy has gained confidence and active leading sometimes to mischief.

Mostly a healthy puppy will be playful and active, and interested in what is going on around it. Look at the ones available closely and choose the best. If the eyes are not clear and clean, if the tummies are hugely distended, anything that makes you unsure just ask for another puppy.

Final Thoughts

Do not carry a sick puppy as you will have to live with it for more than 12 years. Moreover, if you have children they will bond with it and separating them might be hard for the whole family.

This is a breed you love from the word go unconditionally.  Its affectionate nature makes it recommended for many families to buy.

Make the home environment conducive for your border terrier before bringing it home. Ensure the fence is high enough for it not to escape and sink a wire to prevent digging under it. Have products supplies in check from the water bowl, wire cage, bed, toys, blanket, and food.

Border Terriers are sociable and would not enjoy being left alone for many hours. Ensure that you are not gone for long hours. This is the best dog for family and someone who has time to make the dog feel they belong.

A record card can also be given when you pick the puppy from the breeder if it had already been done with various vaccines.

If not let your vet who has taken over give the puppy its second dose and in case of any concerns you can still contact the breeder for more support.