Border Terrier

Country of Origin:

Great Britain

Breed Group:

AKC (Terrier); ANKC (Terriers); CKC (Terriers); FCI (Terriers); KC (Terrier); UKC (Terrier)


Small. Weight: Male: 13-15.5, Female: 11.5-14 lbs; Height: 10-11 inches


Wiry, straight, and coarse.


Red, Grizzle and Tan, Blue and Tan, or Wheaten

Life Span:

12 to 14 years

Breed Profile

Affection Level – 100
Barking Tendencies – 60
Cat Friendly – 30
Cold Weather Tolerance – 80
Exercise Needs – 60
General Health – 80
Grooming Needs – 60
Hot Weather Tolerance – 60
Intelligence – 100
Kid Friendly – 100
Playfulness – 60
Shedding Level – 20
Social Needs – 30
Watchdog Ability – 100

Did You Know?

The Border Terriers shed little to no hair.

Border Terrier Overview

Originating near the border of Scotland and England in the Cheviot Hills area, the Border Terrier was bred to be a farm worker. Their principal function was to drive fox from their den and slay them. They were also used to hunt otter, badger, and marten. Today, the Border Terrier is relatively rare in the United States, but is a highly regarded companion dog and continues to be used as a vermin hunter on farms.

Border Terrier Characteristics

This dog breed is small, compact, lively and very energetic. The Border Terrier possesses vitality, stamina and endurance. This is a hardy, robust, well-balanced and good-natured breed that is capable of independent thought and action.

Border Terrier Temperament

Friendly and playful, the Border Terrier is very affectionate and thrives on human interaction and attention. This dog breed is more placid than is characteristic of the other terrier breeds. They do best in a home with older considerate children. They generally get along with other dogs, but are not suited to homes with cats or other small household pets. This dog does not like to be left alone for extended periods of time and when this happens they may become destructive and bark excessively. They are cautious of strangers, but generally not aggressive. This breed is not recommended for the novice or sedentary dog owner.

Border Terrier Care

This dog breed requires weekly brushing. Their coat should be professionally stripped twice a year. To preserve the natural oils of the coat, this dog should only be bathed when absolutely necessary using a mild shampoo. This breed has an extremely high tolerance for pain and rarely shows any sign of illness or distress. It is therefore imperative to closely monitor their health. Border Terriers are prone to hip dysplasia, PRA, cataracts, seizures, heart defects, allergies, and a low tolerance for anesthesia. It is important to not over-feed this breed as they have a tendency to gain weight easily.

Border Terrier Coat

This dog breed has a weather-resistant double coat. Their outer coat is wiry, straight and coarse. The under coat is dense and short. The coat comes in blue and tan, grizzle and tan, red and wheaten. The muzzle is dark. The Border Terriers shed little to no hair.

Border Terrier Training

Eager and willing to please, the Border Terriers require early socialization and obedience training to avert timidity. This breed does not respond well to harsh or heavy-handed methods. Training should be performed with praise, motivation, reward, respect, patience and consistency. The Border Terriers excel at tracking, agility, competitive obedience and hunting.

Border Terrier Activity

This dog breed needs regular, daily exercise and enjoys having a job to do. This dog enjoys leashed walks and  family play sessions. This breed adapts well to apartment living provided they receive sufficient physical exercise and mental stimulation.

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