Border Terrier

Type: Terrier

Height: 10 inches

Weight: Females: 11.5 - 14 lbs.; Males: 13 - 15.5 lbs.

Life Span: 12 + years

Litter Size: 3 - 6 puppies

Country of Origin: Great Britain

Activity: High. Border Terriers have energy and like to play

Watch-dog: High. Their high-energy personalities make them prone to notice things that are different or unusual. Border Terriers are alert but obedient.

Guard-dog: Low. Border Terriers are friendly to almost anyone and anything.


Description: The name of the Border Terrier is in thanks to the fact that they are from the border between Scotland and England where they originally served farmers as working terriers and guard dogs. Border Terriers are able to look after themselves, usually with an amiable outlook on life. Border Terriers are intelligent, obedient, inquisitive and friendly. They can be independent and are generally good with other pets. They are very good with kids and love to play. The Border Terrier will live for longer than usual and remains a good watch dog. They need walks and affection, although not in high demand. Their "otterfaces" are sure to draw a smile, as is their short stature. These dogs are low-maintenance, wiry in coat and carry themselves happily. A no-nonsense little dog, they are game for anything. Unlike other terriers they are not argumentative. Border Terriers are a dog-lover's dog. They are the quintessential family pet.Border Terrier

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Other Names: Coquetdale Terrier, Reedwater Terrier

Colors: Red, wheaten, grizzle and tan, or blue and tan. There is sometimes a small white spot on their chest.

Coat: Harsh and dense with close undercoat. Border Terriers have wiry, rough coats. Unlike the Wire Fox and Lakeland Terriers, Border Terrier coats do not need to be stripped.  

Temperament: Border Terriers are plucky, alert, and inquisitive. They remain friendly to almost anyone, and are generally very good with other dogs and pets. They can be independent and entertain themselves, but like any other dog, should not be left alone for a very long time. They like to dig and some like to bark. He has working abilities and can be trained to work. Border Terriers are active outside but are generally good-natured and loving at home.

With Children: Yes, loves children and will play tirelessly with them. Border Terriers are ideal for a family.

With Pets: Yes, gets along well with other pets. Border Terriers are very friendly towards many animals. They may see small animals as prey.

Special Skills: Hunting dog and family pet. Able to hunt small rodents and medium sized prey, such as foxes.

Care and Training: Border Terriers' wiry coats need minimal grooming. Clip out knots and brush occasionally with a bristle brush. Trim coat on the head, legs, neck and top of tail. Bathe only when necessary. The Border Terrier needs a good amount of exercise and the opportunity to run as they were bred to hunt and have a large amount of vitality and stamina. They should train from an early age as they have a tendency to become destructive and chew things. Border Terriers are generally very obedient.

Learning Rate: High. Obedience - High. Problem Solving - High. Border Terriers are very intelligent.

Living Environment: Border Terriers will do well in the country or in an apartment if they are well trained and exercised daily. Border Terriers can walk for a long time before getting tired. The best owner for the Border Terrier should be active and prefer a high-energy, playful dog.

Health Issues: Luxating patellas, hip dysplasia. Other health concerns include cataracts, epilepsy, heart defects, PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), and shunts.

History: Once known as the Reedwater Terrier, the Border Terrier was originally developed to hunt alongside Foxhounds in the countryside of northeast England. They were bred around the border of England and Scotland, where sheepherding is common. Treasured for their ability to kill foxes and other animals who crept into the farmyard for livestock, the Border Terrier was more specifically bred to have long enough legs to follow a horse, but still be small enough to go to ground and hunt animals such as foxes. It was known as the Coquetdale Terrier until around 1880 when it was renamed for the region in which it presided. Border Terriers are not widely spread, but continue to make strides into other countries. It was only until the early 1900s when they began to spread beyond their home country. The Border Terrier's history is probably much the same as that of the other northern bred terriers in England and Scotland, although not in written history. His ancestry may include the Bedlington Terrier, in which some pups still come out with a soft topknot on the head. Border Terriers may also be related to the Lakeland Terrier and the Dandie Dinmont Terrier.

First Registered by the AKC: 1930

AKC Group: Terrier

Class: Terrier

Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 3), KC (GB), UKC