The Border Terrier is one of the oldest breed of terriers in the UK, and was bred near the border of England and Scotland. Originally called the Coquetdale Terrier or the Redesdale Terrier for its area of origin, it was renamed for its lengthy association with the Border Hunt in Northumberland. Though originally bred for hunting foxes, otters, beavers and other rodents, the Border Terrier was formally recognised as a breed by the Kennel Club in 1920, while the American Kennel Club recognised the breed in 1930.
The Border Terrier today is mostly used as a companion dog, which can double up as a farm dog to help control vermin.
The Border Terrier was bred for hunting and that reflects in its personality. This dog is alert, extremely agile and very bold. However, with humans they are affectionate, mild mannered and intelligent, making them excellent companion dogs which are easy to train.
- Activity level: 4/5 (very active)
- Intelligence level: 3/5 (intelligent)
- Curiosity: 3/5 (very curious)
- Friendliness: 3/5 (quite friendly)
- Vocal: 3/5 (quite vocal)
Short and sturdy with a medium boned body, the Border Terrier is made for agility as well as power, and is well suited for its job description of hunting foxes. It has narrow shoulders and a short body. The coat of a Border Terrier is generally dense and wiry double coat.
- Fur: Short double coat, dense and wiry; red, blue and tan, wheaten and grizzle and tan colours generally preferred.
- Eyes: Wide set eyes.
- Body structure: Short, well proportioned body with narrow shoulders. Male Border Terrier stands at 13-16 inches, whereas female Border Terrier stands at 11-14 inches.
- Facial features: Broad skull and short, strong muzzle; V-shape ears on the side of head.
- Weight: Male of the breed can weigh between 13 to 15.5 lbs, whereas the female weighs between 11.5 to 14 lbs.
Despite being a hardy breed, the Border Terrier has a few major health complications such as hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy and several cardiac conditions. Hip dysplasia is diagnosed through X-rays and hip scoring tests, whereas progressive retinal atrophy is detected by the means of physical examination and ophthalmological tests such as electroretinography (ERG). Echocardiography and complete blood count are usually used for diagnosing cardiac complications.
The Border Terrier is an active breed which requires frequent exercise. Therefore regular exercising is a must for this breed, as it is prone to gain weight quickly if adequate exercise is not adhered to. A stainless steel comb can be used to brush the fur coat on a bi-weekly basis to remove dead hair, whereas smoothing the fur with chamois cloth causes it to gain a sheen.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely.
Do you know more about this breed and want to share your knowledge with us? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org