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The Border Terrier, also called the Border, is a small dog breed in the terrier group originally bred to hunt vermin and fox. Borders weigh 11 to 15 pounds and stand at 28 to 36 centimetres at the withers. This dog breed is a cousin of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier and Bedlington Terrier. Borders are energetic and enjoy vigorous exercises and rough interactive games. This dog breed is distinguished by its otter-shaped head, broad skull and short muzzle with scissor bite. It has an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years.
Are you planning to own a Border Terrier? Here is a brief background of this happy and highly energetic dog.
The Border Terrier origin dates back to the 18th century in northeast England, near the border of Scotland. Borders were bred to help farmers hunt foxes and vermin that threatened the farm stock. Borders’ small build is ideal for flushing prey out narrow hiding places. They also have tremendous amount of energy and stamina.
Borders were formerly referred to the "Conquetdale Terrier” or “Redesdale Terrier” after the area where they developed and evolved. However, by the late 1800s, they were known as Border Terrier because of its long history in participating in the Border Hunts in Northumberland.
The 19th century marked the period when Border Terriers proved to be invaluable when foxhunting became a favourite sport. Their stamina and tenacity in tracking, flushing foxes are highly praised. In 1920, the Border Terrier was recognised by The Kennel Club, which is the same year The Border Terrier Club was also created.
Today, Border Terriers are still among the popular breeds in the UK that excel in competing at Championship levels.
Border Terriers are small-sized dog with the classic terrier appearance. The dog weighs 11 to 15 pounds and stands at 28 to 36 centimetres at the withers. Borders are distinguished by its otter-like head, broad skull and strong-looking muzzle. They have small and sparkling eyes that are keen and alert. Border Terriers have short, dark muzzles, black noses, and small V-shaped ears.
When it comes to the coat, Border Terriers sport a double coat. The topcoat is coarse, wiry and weather-resistant while the undercoat is short, thick and soft. Acceptable colours according to the Kennel Club breed standards are red, wheaten, grizzle and tan, or blue and tan. Often the coat requires hand-stripping to remove dead hair, especially during autumn and spring when they shed more. Outside that period, weekly brushing will suffice for some to get rid of loose hair. Borders rarely need a bath, unless it's necessary.
Grooming regimen also includes making sure the paws are cleaned, nails trimmed once or twice a month, and Border's teeth are brushed at least twice or thrice a week to remove tartar build-up. Also, check and clean the ears. Make sure there are no signs of infection such as redness or inflammation.
Borders are good-natured and friendly dogs. They are affectionate, intelligent and sociable. Training is easy because they are obedient and quick learners that they can easily pick up cues on things their owners like or don't like. They are highly-active dogs that need to be kept busy to be truly happy. Their instinct to chase down prey remains strong, which makes them love the outdoors more.
On the flip side, Border Terriers are also stubborn and can even quickly pick up bad habits if not properly trained. Sometimes their strong hunting instinct will overpower any command, and they will just go and follow where it tells them. Knowing this, it is crucial that homes, where Borders will live, have secure fenced-yard or back garden or else they will take any opportunity to escape.
Border Terriers also often suffer from separation anxiety and hate being left alone for any length of time. Excessive barking is their way of showing their displeasure or catching your attention. However, they can be trained to only bark when it's necessary provided that training starts at a young age.
Borders are great with kids but can be a bit hyperactive for smaller children. As with any other dog breeds, it is vital for playtime to be supervised to avoid any accidents or unintentional injuries. Border Terriers tend to get along well with other dogs and cats, but not with smaller pets such as mice, squirrels, hamsters, and birds. Their prey drive is high that they'll likely end up chasing or killing small animals.
A typical serving for an adult Border Terrier is 1 1/8 to 3 1/8 cups of premium quality dry dog food per day, divided into two meals. However, do remember that feeding amounts vary depending on the dog's size, activity level, age, build and metabolism.
Typical calorie needs of adult Boerboel per day:
When feeding your Border Terrier, like with any dog breed, keep a strict feeding schedule. Borders love to eat, so “free-feeding” or leaving food out all day is a bad idea and will encourage obesity, even for active breeds.
The Border Terrier has a lifespan of 12 – 14 years. They are generally healthy dogs, but like any dog, they can also suffer from genetic health problems. These health disorders include Hip Dysplasia, Perthes Disease, Heart Defects, Juvenile Cataracts, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Seizures, and Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome.
One thing a Border Terrier is not is a couch potato. Borders must be given a lot of exercises both physical and mental stimulation such as playing fun and interactive games. This dog breed enjoys the outdoors more than the indoors, but this does not mean they can't stay chill at home. Borders will surely love it if you play with them canine sports activities such as flyball or a simple fetch.
When you buy a Border Terrier, you must be prepared for financial setbacks. Owning a dog is a huge responsibility that literally can cost you. For a Border Terrier puppy, for example, you will have to pay somewhere from £450 to £800 or more if you want to buy a well-bred pedigree puppy.
To offset future veterinary costs for common ailments, select the best pet insurance. A basic cover to insure a Border will cost around £17 a month, while a lifetime cover or policy is about £40 a month. Of course, the latter offers more buffer to your budget, especially for special treatments. However, that will depend if the insurance covers the ailment or health problem. Other than vet bills covered by insurance, you will also have to spend for vaccinations, boosters, neutering and regular health checks, which can quickly add up to £800 a year.
As for food, be ready to shell out £25 to £35 a month for high-quality dog food. You also have to buy dog supplies and equipment such as beds, collars, leash etc. to make your Border Terrier more comfortable at home. Remember you are not only adding a pet but a real family member.
Are you sure the Border Terrier is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Are you still unsure if a Border Terrier is a perfect breed for you? Feel free to check our Pet Finder to find other suggested breeds to fit your lifestyle.
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