Border Terrier

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red, wheaten, grizzle and tan, or blue and tan
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The Border Terrier is a loyal, fearless, alert, active, agile and boisterous dog. It has become one of the most adored breeds of the canine world thanks to its intelligence and charm. It is very good with children and makes a good companion for people of all ages.

The Border Terrier originated in northeast England, near the border with Scotland, during the 18th century. The Border Terrier shares its ancestry with both the Dandie Dinmont Terrier and Bedlington Terrier. It was built to have a long, narrow, flexible body, the better to squeeze through narrow holes and flush foxes out of their hiding places, and legs long enough to follow the horses during a foxhunt.

Early evidence of the breed includes a 1754 painting by Arthur Wentworth of two Border Terriers. In 1920, he was recognized by England's Kennel Club, and by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1930.

Borders have played roles in many movies and participated in TV shows. Today they perform well in Earthdog, obedience, and agility competition. They are also used as therapy dogs for children, the elderly, and ailing adults.

The Border Terrier is an affectionate, alert, bold little hunter. It makes a good family pet. Border Terriers are more even-tempered and less aggressive toward other dogs than most Terrier breeds.

Border Terriers are not always require your attention, but they do desire to be in close proximity to you. They should never be forced to live outside and they do not do well if left alone most of the time. If family members are gone most of the week day, owning two will help provide companionship until people arrive home.

Border Terriers makes a good watchdog. They have a loud bark and will alert you to approaching strangers, but will not act as a guard dog because they are friendly toward people. In fact, Borders tend to jump on visitors in their excitement.

Borders are predatory toward small animals such as rabbits or gerbils. They may be okay (but no guarantees!) with a cat in their household if the cat was there first, but they will attack non-household cats if given the opportunity. If you own more than one Border Terrier, it is better to have a male and a female to avoid any dominance issues. In the case of other dogs, early socialization is crucial. They are less aggressive toward other dogs than most Terriers, because they were bred to hunt with a pack of foxhounds, rather than on their own. But if they dislike another dog, Border Terriers will not hesitate to get in a fight.

Health Problems
The most common health issues that may affect this breed include:

• Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome (CECS), also known as "Spike's Disease" - a recently recognized hereditary disease in for Border Terriers;
• canine hip dysplasia;
• patellar luxation;
• heart defects;
• progressive retinal atrophy (PRA);
• cataracts;
• allergies;
• bite malocclusion.

The double coat of the Border Terrier wiry coat needs to be brushed two times per week with a with a slicker brush and professionally groomed twice a year. Bathing should only take place when necessary. Frequent bathing will eventually wash away valuable oils trapped in the undercoat.

Border Terriers’ coats also need to be hand stripped twice a year. Clipping their coats will change both the colour and texture of their hair and should be avoided. Keep your Border Terrier’s nails clipped and teeth checked and cleaned on a regular basis.

The Border Terrier is an intelligent dog that is willing to learn and always eager to please their owner. Border Terriers are sensitive, but stubborn, so all training should be firm, consistent, and gentle. They are sensitive to noise, voice, and touch; use hands in a gentle, loving manner toward your dog. Socialize him or her as a puppy to every day noises.

Crate training works well for this breed, although no dog should be kept in a crate for more than four hours at a time during the day. Never use harshness toward your pet. Use rewards and positive reinforcement to train your Border Terrier.


Border Terriers need a lot of exercise, both mental and physical. A long daily walk on a leash is essential. They love task related games and activities because they are true working dogs. This breed loves to dig and climb, so even in a fenced yard, your dog should be supervised. Border Terriers have an instinct to chase small animals, with no sense of caution regarding cars. They enjoy chasing after toys and playing fetch.

Border Terriers are adaptable and can do well in apartments, suburban homes, or in the country, provided they receive enough exercise and attention from their people.