Border Terrier

Border Terrier
  • Category SizeSmall
  • SheddingLittle
  • Grooming RequirementsMore than once a week
  • Alone1 to 3 hours
  • Other PetsMedium
  • VocalNot too noisy
  • AllergiesNo
  • Suitability As GuardLow
  • Dog Group Kennel ClubTerrier


Border Terriers are medium-sized terriers with characteristic otter-like heads. They are primarily working dogs and look it. They have a harsh, dense coat that comes in a variety of colours including red, wheaten, grizzle and tan, or blue and tan. On average adult males measure 30.5cm and weigh 6-7kg. Adult females measure around 28cm and weigh between 5-6.5kg.


The Border Terrier dog breed first appeared in the 18th century and has changed little since. They were used as working terriers in the Scottish Borders, hunting foxes which preyed on livestock. During their history they were known as Reedwater Terriers and Coquetdale Terriers but nowadays are referred to as Border Terriers. They are still working terriers in the countryside but in urban areas are mainly family companions.


The Border Terrier breed is an affectionate, fun-loving one. He is brave, adaptable and good with people, especially with children. Generally easygoing, he has an independent nature and likes to make his own decisions. The Border loves to chase rabbits and squirrels but will live in harmony with other household pets, if socialised and introduced carefully. This dog is equally at home in town or country.


The Border Terrier is generally a very healthy dog. Although there are some breed-associated problems known to exist (e.g. eye disorders, epilepsy), these are relatively rare.


The Border Terrier dog breed is very active, bred to follow the hunt and with keen hunting instincts. They need a minimum of an hour's exercise on a daily basis, but will enjoy more. They may chase any small creature that take their fancy regardless of the situation. This can lead them into trouble but an owner who is aware of this and starts appropriate training at an early age will find they can be trained to a high standard.


Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.


The short, dense coat of the Border Terrier means that grooming requirements are undemanding. Brushing will clean debris gathered during forays into the undergrowth from the coat and they may benefit from stripping occasionally.