Border Terrier Puppies & Breed Information

Border Terrier

Breed Characteristics

  • Size:
  • Grooming Needs:
  • Exercise Needs:
  • Good With Dogs:
  • Watchdog Ability:

Breed Information

Breed Group: Terrier

Weight: Male: 13-15.5; Female: 11.5-14 lbs

Height: 10-11 inches

Color(s): red, grizzle and tan, blue and tan, or wheaten


Originating near the border of Scotland and England in the Cheviot Hills area, the Border Terrier was bred to be a farm worker. Their primary function was to drive fox from their den and kill 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 and continues to be utilized as a vermin hunter on farms.


This breed is small, compact, lively, and extremely energetic. The Border Terrier possesses vitality, stamina, and endurance. They are hardy, robust, and good-natured. As a member of the herding group they are capable of independent thought and action.


Friendly and playful, the Border Terrier is very affectionate and thrives on human interaction and attention. This breed is more placid than is typical of the other terrier breeds. They do best in a home with older considerate children. They will generally get along with other dogs but are not recommended for homes with cats or other small household pets. The Border Terrier does not do well if left alone for extended periods of time and will become destructive and bark excessively if bored or lonely. For this reason a two-career family is not an ideal situation for them. They are wary of strangers but are generally not aggressive. This breed is not recommended for the novice, apathetic or sedentary dog owner.


The Border Terrier must be brushed weekly and have the coat professionally stripped twice a year. Bathing should only be done when absolutely necessary using a mild shampoo to preserve the integrity of the coat. This breed has a high tolerance for pain and will rarely show any sign of illness or distress. Therefore, it is 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.


The Border Terrier has a weather resistant double coat. The outer coat is wiry, straight, coarse, and lies close to the body. The under coat is dense and short. The color of the coat comes in blue and tan, grizzle and tan, red, and wheaten. The muzzle is dark. This breed sheds little to no hair.


Eager and willing to please, the Border Terrier requires early socialization to prevent timidity as well as early obedience. They will not respond to harsh or heavy-handed methods that break their spirit and make training more difficult. Training must be done with praise, motivation, reward, respect, patience, and consistency. The Border Terrier displays talent in such areas as tracking, agility, competitive obedience, and hunting.


The Border Terrier needs regular, daily exercise and enjoys being given a job to do. They benefit from securely leashed walks, family play sessions, and a safely fenced area to romp and run freely. This breed will do okay in an apartment dwelling provided they receive sufficient physical exercise and mental stimulation.


Help reduce the number of dogs in shelters by doing your due diligence. Many puppies are often purchased with little or no knowledge of what goes into parenting one. Uneducated decisions often leave the puppy in need of adoption and in the care of rescue groups. Bringing home a puppy into your family has many benefits but we first implore you to educate yourself. An informed decision will take into account the characteristics of the breed, your lifestyle, expected veterinary care, the demands and limitations of owning one, their activity requirements and levels of companionship required.

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Updated: 11/28/2014

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