One of the rarest of the terriers, the Border Terrier goes back to the 17th century, when he was used to kill large foxes. He is a superb worker and first-rate hunter of foxes, badgers and vermin. Fearless and energetic, he is a great favorite with farmers and shepherds as he will promptly get rid of all unwanted animals on his property. He is trustworthy, loyal and wants nothing else than to work hard all day and love his owner. The breed is considered to be one of the pluckiest to hunt with the hounds as Borders will go to earth and never leave their quarry until dug out.
Country of Origin: Great Britain
FCI Classification: Group 3 Terriers; Section 1: Large and medium-sized terriers; without working trial; AKC Classification: Terrier Group
Size: Small (11-13 inches at shoulders)
Colors and Coat: The coat is harsh and dense (very wiry) with close undercoat; not curly or wavy; water-resistant and repels most dirt. Red, wheaten, grizzle and tan, or blue and tan colors. A small white patch on the chest is not uncommon. Puppies may have white tips on their toes which usually disappear when they get older.
Photo courtesy of Aiga Viva Border Terriers
Litter Size: 4
Life Span: 11 years
Grooming Requirements: Use a strong metal-toothed brush and stiff-bristled brush. Because Border terriers have thick pads, they tend not to wear the toenails down, even doing lots of road work, so you need to trim nails regularly. They also tend to develop ear problems when the coat grows too long around the ears (due to poor air circulation). Blue and tans usually have harsher and easier coats to manage. To maintain wiry look, the coat needs to be hand-stripped twice a year. Clipping will result in fluffy, soft and lighter coat.
Personality: >Active, loyal, fearless
Social skills: Many Border terriers live in peace with other animals, but terrier instincts remain very strong in this breed. Occasionally, you may hear about a Border terrier chasing and even killing a cat.
Suitability for Children: Border terriers gets along well with children and will accept strangers after a brief introduction. Border terrier puppies usually play hard, so they need to be supervised closely when around small children.
Exercise Needs: 40-60 minutes a day
Train Ability: Borders are very intelligent and independent and not an easy breed to work in obedience, so start early. They can never be trusted off-leash in the open area. When in the yard, your Border terrier should be securely fenced, as he is a professional digger.
Health & Behavioral Issues: The Border terrier is a healthy breed. The following problems are not widespread in the breed (thanks to careful breeding). Several of the diseases seen in Borders only turn up infrequently: congenital ventricular septal defects (diagnosed in young dogs as heart murmur), PRA, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, seizures, allergies, hypothyroidism, undescended testicles, and problems with bite formation.