Border Terrier

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  • Border Terriers in Great Britain
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Exercise Level:
Barking Level:
Good with Children:
Good with other pets:
Height: 33 - 40cm M | 33 - 40cm F
Weight: 5 - 7kg M | 5 - 7kg F
Life Expectancy: 12 - 15 Years

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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. The Border weighs 11–15 pounds and stands 28–36 centimetres at the withers. This dog breed is a cousin of the Dandie Dinmont terrier and the Bedlington terrier. The Border is energetic and enjoys 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 twelve to fourteen years.

Are you planning to own a Border terrier? Here is a brief background of this happy and highly energetic dog.

book icon History

The Border terrier’s origin dates back to the eighteenth century in northeast England, near the border of Scotland. The Border was bred to help farmers hunt foxes and vermin that threatened the farm stock. The Border’s small build is ideal for flushing prey out of narrow hiding places. It also has a tremendous amount of energy and stamina.

The Border was formerly referred to as the ‘Coquetdale terrier’ or ‘Redesdale terrier’ after the area where the breed developed and evolved. However, by the late 1800s, the breed was known as the Border terrier because of its long history in participating in the Border Hunts in Northumberland.

The nineteenth century marked the period when the Border terrier proved to be invaluable when fox hunting became a favourite sport. The breed’s stamina and tenacity in tracking and flushing foxes are highly praised. In 1920, the Border terrier was recognised by the Kennel Club, which is the same year that The Border Terrier Club was also created.

Today, the Border terrier is still amongst the popular breeds in the UK that excel in competing at championship levels.

comb icon Appearance and Grooming

The Border terrier is a small-size dog with a classic terrier appearance. The dog weighs 11–15 pounds and stands 28–36 centimetres at the withers. The Border is distinguished by its otter-like head, broad skull, and strong-looking muzzle. It has small and sparkling eyes that are keen and alert. The Border terrier has a short, dark muzzle, a black nose, and small V-shaped ears.

When it comes to the coat, Border terrier sports a double coat. The topcoat is coarse, wiry, and weather-resistant, whilst 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 it sheds more. Outside that period, weekly brushing will suffice to get rid of loose hair. The Border rarely needs a bath, unless it's necessary.

Grooming regimen also includes making sure that the paws are cleaned, the nails are 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.

bulb icon Temperament and Intelligence

The Border is a good-natured and friendly dog. It is affectionate, intelligent, and sociable. Training is easy because it is obedient and a quick learner that it can easily pick up cues on things its owner likes or doesn't like. It is a highly-active dog that needs to be kept busy to be truly happy. Its instinct to chase down prey remains strong, which makes it love the outdoors more.

On the flip side, the Border terrier is also stubborn and can even quickly pick up bad habits if not properly trained. Sometimes its strong hunting instinct will overpower any command and it will just go and follow where it tells it. Knowing this, it is crucial that the home where Border will live has a secure, fenced yard or back garden or else it will take any opportunity to escape.

The Border terrier also often suffers from separation anxiety and hates being left alone for any length of time. Excessive barking is its way of showing its displeasure or catching your attention. However, it can be trained to only bark when it's necessary provided that training starts at a young age.

The Border is great with kids, but it can be a bit hyperactive for smaller children. As with any other dog breed, it is vital for playtime to be supervised to avoid any accidents or unintentional injuries. The Border terrier tends to get along well with other dogs and cats, but not with smaller pets such as mice, squirrels, hamsters, and birds. Its prey drive is high that it'll likely end up chasing or killing small animals.

food icon Nutrition and Feeding

A typical serving for an adult Border terrier is 1 1/8–3 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 an adult Border terrier per day:

  • Senior and less active: up to 430 calories daily
  • Typical adult: up to 480 calories daily
  • Physically active: up to 535 calories daily

When feeding your Border terrier, like with any dog breed, keep a strict feeding schedule. The Border loves to eat, so ‘free-feeding’ or leaving food out all day is a bad idea and will encourage obesity, even for active breeds.

stethoscope icon Health and Exercise

The Border terrier has a lifespan of twelve to fourteen years. It is a generally healthy dog, but like any dog breed, it 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. The Border must be given a lot of exercise, both physical and mental stimulations such as playing fun and interactive games. This dog breed enjoys the outdoors more than the indoors, but this does not mean it can't stay chill at home. The Border will surely love it if you play canine sports activities with it, such as fly ball or a simple fetch.

pound icon Cost of Ownership

A Border Terrier puppy costs anywhere from £450 to £800. Expect to pay more for a well-bred pedigree puppy from a KC-registered breeder. On top of this, you’ll have to pay an initial £200 for essential dog supplies and equipment including leashes, collars, dog bowls, and toys.

The estimated cost for high-quality food and treats is £25-£35 per month. Expenses for regular check-ups, vaccinations, boosters, and preventive care will cost you about £800 a year. Monthly pet insurance premium for basic cover is £17 a month whilst a lifetime policy is about £40 a month.

Border Terrier Breed Highlights

  • The Border terrier is very affectionate and loving.
  • It is also quite mischievous and an expert escape artist.
  • The Border is intelligent and highly trainable.
  • It is easy to groom outside the shedding season.
  • The Border has a high prey drive and might be a bit aggressive towards small animals.
  • It is prone to suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long.

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 the Border terrier is the perfect breed for you? Feel free to check our Pet Finder to find other suggested breeds to fit your lifestyle.

The information, including measurements, prices and other estimates, on this page is provided for general reference purposes only.

Listings for Border Terrier

Border Terrier Puppy Border Terrier Puppy
Border Terrier Puppy

Luton, Luton 14th Jul 2020 Dogs

550 - 900

KC reg border terrier KC reg border terrier
KC reg border terrier

Belper 8th May 2020 Dogs


Border Terrier looking for a new home Border Terrier looking for a new home
Border Terrier looking for a new home

Epsom 7th May 2020 Dogs


KC Registered Terrier Puppies KC Registered Terrier Puppies
KC Registered Terrier Puppies

Leicester 5th May 2020 Dogs