Border Terrier

AKC Group: Terrier

Border Terriers originated from the region of the boundary between England and Scotland. Predatory foxes and vermin-like rats and mice are not a farmer’s friend. Farmers turned to a small but gutsy dog that rose to the challenge. They were also brought along on foxhunts because the Border Terrier’s longer legs allowed him to keep pace with the horses.

Size: 13 to 16 inches; 11 to 16 pounds

Color: Red, wheaten, grizzle and tan or blue and tan. A small white patch on the chest may occur. Puppies are often born with white toe tips that disappear with age.

Life span: 15 years

Health problems: Legg Perthes (a spontaneous disintegration and collapse of the femur), cataracts, luxating patella, thyroid problems, seizures, heart murmurs, autoimmune problems, allergies, hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).

The Border Terrier’s shaggy coat is due to a double coat of coarse, wiry hair. Their teddy bear face, soft eyes, black button nose, their intelligent and charming personality makes this a breed that’s hard not to love. They have short, tapered tails. Though they are a small breed of dog, they are sturdy.

Alert, enthusiastic, energetic and determined, this is a dog that will keep you on your toes. When his energy is spent, he’s easygoing and laidback. Ever curious, make sure your yard has an adequate fence he can’t squeeze through or dig under.

Border Terriers get along well with children and other dogs. They can learn to love a cat if raised together from his puppyhood. If your children have small rodents, your Border Terrier may try to hunt them, so beware. Strangers usually don’t bother them, but they do bark.

Your Border Terrier will need to be brushed on a weekly basis and clipped every few months. Bathe him only when it’s absolutely necessary. They don’t tend to shed much when groomed regularly.

A Border Terrier is eager to please and if you give him time and attention, he’ll learn just about anything you want. Have no fear, this terrier will retain the behaviors that you want, though he may try to push the limits to see what he can get away with. A good obedience class in his early days can curb that habit nicely. A Border Terrier is a great breed to use as a therapy dog or service animal. They’re often seen on TV or in movies because they have the amazing ability to not be distracted by lights, equipment and the activity on the set.


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