Border Terriers were bred to keep up with hounds and horses while hunting and to flush foxes, badgers, and otters out of their dens. These travel-sized terriers are laid-back (for terriers...) and loving.
Originally from the United Kingdom (and named for the border between England and Scotland), this small-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 11.5-15.5 pounds and lives an average of 12-15 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Terrier group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Hunting
Origin: Great Britain & Scotland
Breed Group: Terrier
Average Lifespan: 12-14 years
Bark Factor: Moderate
AKC RANKING 84
AREA OF ORIGIN border of Scotland and England
DATE OF ORIGIN 1700s
ORIGINAL FUNCTION fox bolting, ratting
TODAY'S FUNCTION earthdog trials
AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 10-11 Weight: 13-15.5
AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 10-11 Weight: 11.5-14
OTHER NAME none
Energy level Medium energy
Exercise needs Medium
Playfullness Moderately playful
Affection level Moderately affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Shy
Friendliness toward strangers Friendly
Ease of training Hard to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Not very protective
Grooming needs Moderate maintenance
Cold tolerance Medium tolerance
Heat tolerance Medium tolerance
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A BORDER TERRIER'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Border Terriers are smart, friendly, and companionable. These plucky, cheerful dogs are adventurous in the outdoors, but with enough exercise, they can make for calm and affectionate housedogs.
Border Terriers are great with supervised kids and play well with supervised dogs. They can be suspicious of other pets and small animals, but are usually friendly toward strangers.
WHAT IS BORDER TERRIER BEHAVIOR LIKE?
Border Terriers love playing outdoors, particularly with your kids. But their strong prey drive combined with speed and agility means your Border Terrier will need a well-fenced space to run in. They are vigilant watchdogs but tend not to be protective. They're somewhat prone to barking and chewing, particularly if they don't get enough exercise or attention. A neglected Border Terrier can be noisy and destructive if left on their own too much.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A BORDER TERRIER?
Border Terriers are very trainable dogs. Your furry friend will be happiest and healthiest if you go out to smell, run, and play for a while several times a day — preferably in a fenced-in area because Border Terriers love to chase squirrels and cats.
This breed is one of the few terriers who you see often in agility competitions. They also excel at obedience in show rings.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO BORDER TERRIERS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
A Border Terrier's close, water-resistant double coat is very wiry in its outer layer; its undercoat is soft. Border Terriers are seasonal shedders who need occasional grooming. Schedule a hand-stripping two times a year. Their weatherproof coats repel dirt, so they shouldn't need frequent baths.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO BORDER TERRIERS HAVE?
Border Terriers are a hardy breed. Some develop CECS, a disorder that causes seizures.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE BORDER TERRIERS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club doesn't list Border Terriers among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.
You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and allergy-aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, so they produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog as small as a Border Terrier! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT'S A BORDER TERRIER'S BEST DAY?
Playfully wrestling with you on the carpet and then taking a couple spins around the neighborhood would be a delight. Follow with some agility training in your fenced backyard to rock this pup's world.
SHOULD I ADOPT A BORDER TERRIER?
Border Terriers are cute and can be cuddly. Though they were bred as country dogs, they're fairly adaptable to city life. They're not great in extreme heat, but are well suited for warm and cool temperatures.
For their small size, Border Terriers are sturdy and up for gentle roughhousing with your supervised little ones. They're loving and friendly and want to be by your side. They don't need exhaustive exercise routines, and their grooming needs won't break the bank.
Have you decided that a Border Terrier is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.