Although he’s not as flashy in appearance as some of his terrier relatives, the Border Terrier is still pure terrier, living life with great gusto, whether out and about with people or digging a hole in a flowerbed. Frankly, it’s a bit surprising that he isn’t more popular, given that he’s one of the healthier purebred dogs, is less driven to hunt than most other terriers, and is fairly flexible about exercise. He’s robust, sturdy, and great with children, making him one of the top terrier contenders for a family pet.
The Border Terrier is one of the oldest and smallest of the working terrier breeds that originated in Great Britain. Earlier names for this breed include the Reedwater Terrier, Ullswater Terrier and Coquetdale Terrier. They are well-known for their scruffy face and beard and their friendly, welcoming disposition. They are active, agile and sturdy little dogs, said to be “hard as nails” and “as game as they come.” This breed thrives on human companionship and does well around children. However, they should not be in homes with other small animals such as birds, hamsters or mice, and they always will be inclined to chase cats. Border Terriers are friendly to everyone, including strangers, but will sound an alarm when something new or unfamiliar appears in their home territory.
- The Border Terrier is characterized by his rough coat, “otter”-shaped head, and an “at the alert” attitude.
- As a breed, the Border Terrier has changed little over the years, aside from becoming more consistent in appearance.
- Border Terriers have thick, loose skin, which protects them from adversary bites.Border Terriers become overweight easily, so be sure to measure your Border’s food and give him at least a half hour of vigorous exercise each day.
- Border Terriers thrive when they’re with their people and aren’t meant to live outdoors with little human interaction. When left to their own devices, they can be noisy and destructive.
- These escape artists will find the way out of a fenced yard if given the time and opportunity. They’ve been known to climb over and dig under fences, and once they get out they have little street sense to keep them from dashing out in front of cars.
- Border Terriers have a high threshold for pain. If your dog’s sick, the only sign may be a behavioral change, such as the dog becoming withdrawn or quiet.
- Border Terriers have a natural instinct to dig. Rather than fighting it, give your Border Terrier a place of his own to dig or put his digging drive to work with fun games.
- Border Terriers are active and bouncy. They love jumping up on people to greet them.
- Border Terriers aren’t yappy, but they’ll bark to alert you of anything unusual, and they can become nuisance barkers if they get bored.
- Border Terriers have a high prey drive and will chase, attack, and even kill neighborhood cats, squirrels or other small animals. They’ll also go after small pets such as rabbits, mice, or gerbils. Because of their tendency to chase, make sure your yard is securely fenced, and don’t let your Border off leash in an unfenced area.
- Border Terriers do well with other dogs and with family cats if the cat is raised with the Border Terrier or lived in the home before the Border Terrier.
- Border Terriers can make excellent companions for kids, but they can be rambunctious, especially when young, and can unintentionally hurt small children.
Children And Other Pets
Border Terriers love kids and can match their energy levels all day long, but they’re a little rambunctious for households with children under the age of 6 years.
As with any dog, always teach children how to approach and touch your Border Terrier, and supervise all interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear pulling from either party.
Border Terriers usually get along well with other dogs and cats, especially if they’re introduced to them in puppyhood. They do best with dogs of the opposite sex. They’re likely to chase outdoor cats as well as squirrels and other wildlife, and they shouldn’t be trusted alone with pet birds or small, furry pets such as rabbits, hamsters, and gerbils.
Is the Border Terrier the Right Breed for you?
Moderate Maintenance: Regular grooming is required to keep its fur in good shape. Occasional trimming or stripping needed.
Minimal Shedding: Recommended for owners who do not want to deal with hair in their cars and homes.
Moderately Easy Training: The Border Terrier is average when it comes to training. Results will come gradually.
Fairly Active: It will need regular exercise to maintain its fitness. Trips to the dog park are a great idea.
|Chomp in 102 Dalmatians
Good for New Owners: This breed is well suited for those who have little experience with dog ownership.
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.
Did You Know?
Border Terriers hold more American Kennel Club Earthdog titles than any other breed.
Famous Border Terriers
- Baxter in Anchorman
- Brillo in Misfits episode “Four” as a street puppy eaten by new zombie Curtis
- Hubble in Good Boy!
- Lady Eccles in Coronation Street as Blanche Hunt’s inheritance gift from her friend; belongs to her son-in-law Ken Barlow after her death in 2010
- Monty and Rommel in Monarch of the Glen
- Nancy in Unfabulous as Addie’s pet dog
- Oscar as Scotty the Dog in Ruby Sparks 2012
- Pard in High Sierra
- Pepper as Pinkybones in Another Happy Day
- Puffy in There’s Something About Mary
- Seymour in Futurama episode Jurassic Bark
- Shep Proudfoot, Greg Laswell’s pet dog
- Sickan in My Life as a Dog
- Sorry in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World; Dodge’s dog
- Tansy as Toto from Return To Oz 1985
- Toots in Lassie