Border Terrier Information

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Border Terriers are small-sized terriers with a lively appearance and a distinctive double coat. Their muzzles are short and their dark eyes possess an enthusiastic expression. They have black noses and a pair of small ears that fold forward into a “V” shape. Their teeth close in a scissors bite and their short, tapered tails are carried level with their back. Their limbs are lightly boned. Border Terriers have a wiry, coarse double coat that exists in a number of colors including red, blue & tan, tan, and grizzle & tan. White markings may be present on the chest.

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Border Terriers generally get along well with other dogs if they are properly socialized when they are young. As with most terriers, they will not hesitate to start a scuffle with another dog if they dislike them. Generally they strive to please their owners, but are capable of independent though. Their love of people makes them great therapy dogs and they love to be praised. Border Terriers are agile jumpers and love to learn new tricks. They don’t require a lot of exercise but they enjoy it immensely.

Border terriers are considered to be excellent with children. They also bark much less than other terriers.

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11 – 16 inches
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11 – 16 pounds
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General Health

Because Border Terriers are comparatively insensitive to pain and show few signs of illness, owners should pay close attention to the health of this breed. Border Terriers are susceptible to acquiring a hereditary canine disease called Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome. CECS has been recently recognized, and it often is confused with canine epilepsy. Also referred to as “Spike’s Disease”, CECS is considered to be a metabolic, muscle, and neurological disease. Border Terriers typically live for 15 or more years. They average 4 to 5 puppies per litter.

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Originally bred in the Cheviot Hills next to the Scottish/English border, the Border Terrier was initially utilized to drive away foxes and kill them. This breed is very fast and agile, and despite their small size, they possess incredible stamina and a courageous attitude. The Border Terrier has bee used to hunt various types of game like otter and badger. Because of their lovable personality, Border Terriers are now often taken in as pets. The breed was officially recognized in 1920 by the British Kennel Club, and in 1930 by the AKC.

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The coarse, wiry coat of the Border Terrier requires brushing on a weekly basis. Twice per year, this breed should be given a professional grooming. Border Terriers are minimal shedders and are a good choice for allergy sufferers. They should be bathed only as needed.

Their coat needs to be 'plucked' as opposed to cutting with scissors. This involves the hair being pulled out by hand. It is not painful for them, however care does need to be taken around the head and muzzle which shouldn't need too much plucking anyway.

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Ideal Environment

Border Terriers are content to live in a small household or apartment if they receive sufficient daily exercise. Because they were bred for hunting purposes, they have a lot of stamina and energy. They are moderately inactive indoors and will do fine with just a small yard.

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Dog Training!

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Border Terrier Q&A

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Do Border Terriers mind being left alone?

It really depends on how long you plan on leaving them alone. They don’t mind being inside dogs but they do need a good bit of exercise. So, if you’re gone at work all day they should do pretty good as long as you give them plenty of exercise and attent


My dog has round markings that swirl clockwise in direction of hair on his hindlegs. Do these markings have a name?

my breeder calls them "owls eyes" - i don't think there is an "official name" - but they are cute aren't they


I plan on getting a dog this summer and was considering getting a border terrier. I plan on taking the first few weeks of to care for the puppy, but what should i do later? Leave them at home, or pay a babysitter? I just don't know.

borders are better off with company, they can get lonely, but so long as they arn't left all day they should be fine. mine gets left no more than 6 hours twice a week. and even then i try to get family to come for her, and she gets an extra long walk before hand sh she will sleep.


Hi, I have V MILD asthma and would like a Border Terrier - I've heard mixed reports that they shed loads but also that they are ok for allergy sufferers? Can you advise please?

I have very bad asthma and my allergies are even worse! My border terrier sleeps with me every night!! The only time I experience symptoms is when he plays with other dogs and the dander from the other dogs are on him. Other than that he is great to have!


Do they like water or like to swim?

Border Terriers can be teached to swim and they will enjoy it but be carefull that there is always someone with the dog when it is swimming and also I would wait until the dog is 9 months before I let in the water so I know that it is strong enought to swim.


Can Border Terriers be hyperactive or agressive?


I have heard that Border Terriers bark very much! I am extremely confused. Can somebody help me get things straight?

my border does not bark, only when the door goes or when she has to. very mild tempered and good manners in this breed i find. they do have a tendancy to ''sing'' as they call it, i find this is when they are happy (greeding) and possibly lonely, everybody should have a border terrier !!!


Im worried!! my 14 week old Border Terrier male has started snapping at people who try to stroke him while we are out walking. He is fine with people and dogs he knows. How do I stop this before it becomes a problem?


Do your border terriers often get ear infections?

Yes she gets ear infections. We got her when she was 7 years old, and have been battling it on and off for the last 3 years. I'm pretty sure its a food allergy, she can't have chicken, beef, duck and fish (salmon) It looks like we are going to have to try another food. I'll be glad when we can get this problem stabilized, as her ears do get pretty ugly. Right now she is finishing up another round of antibiotics, ear drops, weekly ear cleaning, etc.


Two years ago I've rescued from the street a dog here in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He looks like border terrier to me. How I can find out whether he is of that breed, or not. Could I send a photo somehow? Or if there is such web page or forum that someone can give me the answer about my pet. Thanks in advance!

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