Border Terrier Information & Characteristics

Border Terrier

The Border Terrier was developed in the hills between the north of England and the south of Scotland. The breed’s character and shape evolved from its use with Foxhound packs and by the shepherds to guard the sheep and lambs against foxes. It was important that the hunt terrier got on well with the hounds and other terriers and had enough sense to keep out of trouble with the pack and the horses.

Contrary to popular belief, Border Terriers did not run with the hounds, but followed the horses and had to be prepared to go to ground and keep the fox at bay for as long as was necessary.

Average lifespan

These courageous dogs usually live up 14 years, but with good care and attention and a sound diet Border Terriers can live up to 16 years of age.

Average size and weight

This animal is usually up to 6.4kg for the female and 30cm tall, while the male is 7kg and grows to 37cm tall.

Breed personality, characteristics & temperament

There is nothing small about the Border Terrier except its physical size – it is essentially a big dog in a little dog’s frame. By nature these dogs are well behaved and reasonably prepared to do the right thing. However, they do not have the instant response to command like a gun dog or Border Collie, preferring to do things in their own time!

They are sensitive and companionable by nature but not overly demonstrative, liking to keep near their owner or at least keep a close eye on what is going on. Most Border Terriers are good with children, but, as with all dogs, children must be taught to respect their pet, particularly when it is sleeping or eating.

Compatibility with other pets

Border Terriers are generally good with other breeds of dog, but need to be brought up with cats and other pets.

Care requirements

Border Terriers have a rough double coat that needs to be stripped free of dead hair about twice a year. Most pet owners can easily do this. Brushing with a good stiff brush is recommended, along with bathing as required.

Please take note

Although Border Terriers will rarely start a fight, they will not back off in a confrontation.

Ideal owners

Families with older children and active older people.

Click here for advice on adopting a rescue dog and finding a breeder. All information has been provided by the Kennel Club.

Looking for more information on different dog breeds? Head to our breeds category page and get important details about each breed.

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