A Border Terrier is a small dog breed with a rough coat and originates from the Terrier dog group. Its original purpose was to assist hunters in hunting foxes and other burrow-dwelling animals. At the time, regular foxhounds were too big to chase out foxes out of their holes.
Border terriers were used alongside the regular foxhounds as they were small enough to go into the whole and chase out its prey so the hunters could easily shoot their prey. Their small bodies and short legs were perfect for the job that they were meant to.
Also, they used to hunt in packs, so a group of hunts would usually have a group of border terriers with them. Today, they are mostly used as companion dogs and make great pets. But they still have a strong drive and can be aggressive when chasing something. This could interfere with them being good as a pet as they can sometimes be stubborn and vocal, mainly due to their high levels of energy. But Border Terriers are still considered as great dog breeds for having them around the house.
Border Terrier History & Origins
Border terriers were originally developed as foxhounds. Their small bodies provided them with a unique advantage which allowed them to go into holes and flush out their prey. They were also used for hunting various kinds of rodents, otters and even badgers. Their ancestors are Bedlington terrier and the Dandie Dinmont Terrier.
They originate from an area called Redesdale, which also explains their early name as these dogs used to be called Coquetdale Terrier or Redesdale Terrier. But during the 1800s the dog came to be known as a border terrier because of its mostly related to the Border Hunt in Northumberland. The breed was officially recognized in 1920 by the Kennel Club.
Characteristics & Temperament
A border terrier can be stubborn and strong willed, but they are generally affectionate, obedient and good tempered. Actually these dogs are very trainable and you can easily train them to do even some tricks. If you do everything properly you will be able to train the Border terrier to recognizing good and bad situations and when it is time to eat as well. They can jump high and run fast, due to their high levels of energy, so that is why it is easy to learn them to do tricks as well. But these dogs are not good with other smaller animals, as their basic instinct tends to kick in. They are prone to chasing cats, but are affectionate with children and can be really loyal. They are very intelligent dogs and can be really good pets.
It is better that you start socializing your border terrier from an early age. This will ensue that your dog becomes a well-rounded dog. So training can start as early as puppyhood and it is fairly easy to do, so you do not need so much experience. Help them experience many situations and sounds and you will see your dog being trained as a perfect animal.
Border Terrier Appearance, Colors, Size
A border terrier was made to squeeze into tight places, so its size is pretty small. They can grow up to be 13 to 15.5 pounds for males and 11.5 to 15 pounds for females. They usually stand to grow up to 10 to 11 inches in size.
They are characterized by having a small, otter-shaped head. This means that they have a broad skull and a short muzzle with a scissor bite. The ears are usually V-shaped. They bodies are narrow and well-proportioned. Usual coat colors include grizzle-and-tan, blue-and-tan, red, or wheaten. Their coat consists of a double coat, a short undercoat and a very resistant outer coat with curls and waves.
Border Terrier Health
Generally speaking, border terriers are a very healthy dog breed. But there are certain conditions which affect them and which owners need to be aware of. These do not affect all dogs but can be considered as something to watch out for. Like for instance hip dysplasia, perthes disease, various heart defects, juvenile cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy and seizures.
Grooming & Shedding
When it comes to shedding, a border terrier has a rough overcoat and at certain points sheds it about every five to six months. You still need to groom your dog properly in order to help it look as neat as possible. You will have to periodically brush the hair of your dog and you can do that with a soft brush in order to keep its coat nice and tidy. It is also advised to use a natural bristle brush or a stripping knife.
You can also opt for a professional groomer and they can do the entire job for you with ease. You also do not to bathe your dog too often. You will need to do that only in situations when your dog gets too dirty. Otherwise, just normal and periodic bathing is okay. You will also have to start grooming your dog from an early age so it gets used to it.
Price and Breeders
Getting your own Border terrier is quite easy. The breed is spread almost everywhere, or at least in all of the major countries. Of course, most of the breeders are found in America. But you can find others in Canada, Germany, UK and elsewhere. Getting a Border terrier puppy will generally cost you somewhere between 200 USD and up to 1.000 USD.
Border Terrier Rescue
Sometimes you can save your money and rescue a border terrier. These options are also very much suitable for people who are interested in these breeds of dogs but cannot afford the price that is demanded. Look for adopting or rescuing a dog at North American Broder Terrier Welfare, which gives you a large offer of this breed of dog.