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Border Terrier

Border Terrier Dog Breed Information

In a Sentence:

A small, scrappy and energetic dog with a wiry coat and a friendly disposition.

Scientific Name:

Canis lupus familiaris.


Border Terriers are considered a Small Dog breed.
Weight:5-7 kg.
Height:28-41 cm (11-16 inches) at the shoulder.
Length:33-41 cm.


The average lifespan of a Border Terrier is around 12-15 years


What type of dog is a Border Terrier, how do they behave and what temperament do they have? See below for a detailed overview of their traits and personality.

Personality & Temperament

Border Terriers are known for their lively and friendly personalities. They are intelligent, curious and energetic dogs that love to explore and play. They are also renowned for their loyalty and affection towards their owners, making them great family pets.

Temperament-wise, Border Terriers are generally good-natured and easy-going. They are not aggressive dogs and usually get along well with other pets and children. However, they can be stubborn at times, which can make training a bit challenging. They also have a strong prey drive, which means they may chase after small animals like squirrels or rabbits.

In terms of behavior, Border Terriers are active and playful dogs that require regular exercise and mental stimulation. They enjoy going for walks, playing fetch and participating in agility or obedience training. They often have a love of digging, so it’s important to provide them with a designated digging area or keep them away from areas where they may cause damage.

Overall, Border Terriers make great companions for active families who are willing to provide them with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They are friendly, loyal and fun-loving dogs that are sure to bring joy to any household.


Border Terriers are considered to be a highly intelligent breed of dog. They are quick learners and have good problem-solving skills. They are a high energy breed and need mental stimulation, which can be channeled into training and learning new tricks. With proper training and socialization, Border Terriers can excel in obedience, agility and other dog sports. Overall, they are a smart and trainable breed.


Border Terriers are generally considered to be intelligent and trainable dogs. They are eager to please their owners and respond well to positive reinforcement training methods such as treats, praise and play. However, like all dogs, they have their own personalities and may require different training approaches depending on their individual temperament and behavior. Consistency, patience and a firm but gentle approach are key to successfully training a Border Terrier. With proper training and socialization, Border Terriers can excel in obedience, agility and other canine sports.


Border Terriers typically sleep for around 12-14 hours per day, although this can vary depending on their age, activity level and individual needs. Puppies and older dogs may require more sleep, while highly active dogs may need less. It’s important to provide your Border Terrier with a comfortable and quiet sleeping area where they can rest undisturbed.


Border Terriers are moderate barkers. They are not excessive barkers like some other breeds, but they will bark to alert their owners of any potential danger or strangers approaching their territory. With proper training and socialization, their barking can be controlled and minimized.


Border Terriers are not heavy droolers. They may drool occasionally, especially when they are excited or anxious, but it is not a common characteristic of the breed. Overall, Border Terriers are considered to be a relatively low-drooling breed.


Border Terriers are not excessive lickers compared to some other breeds. However, like all dogs, they may lick their owners or themselves occasionally. If a Border Terrier is excessively licking, it could be a sign of anxiety or boredom and it’s important to address the underlying cause.


Border Terriers are renowned for their athleticism and agility. They are capable of jumping up to 4 feet in height, but this can vary depending on the individual dog’s size, age and physical condition. It’s important to provide proper training and supervision when allowing a Border Terrier to jump to prevent injury.


Border Terriers are moderate diggers. They have a natural instinct to dig, which is a trait inherited from their ancestors who were bred to hunt vermin. However, with proper training and exercise, this behavior can be controlled. Providing them with a designated area to dig, such as a sandbox or a specific spot in the yard, can also help redirect their digging behavior. Overall, Border Terriers are not excessive diggers, but they may still need some supervision and training to prevent them from causing damage to your yard or garden.

Good Fit for You?

Is a Border Terrier the right dog for you? Keep reading to find out how compatible you are with a Border Terrier.


Border Terriers are a high-energy breed and require a moderate amount of exercise to stay healthy and happy. They need at least 30-60 minutes of exercise per day, which can include walks, runs, playtime in a fenced yard or interactive games like fetch or tug-of-war. It’s important to note that Border Terriers have a strong prey drive and may be prone to chasing small animals, so it’s essential to keep them on a leash or in a securely fenced area during outdoor activities. Additionally, mental stimulation through training, puzzle toys and other activities can help keep Border Terriers mentally and physically stimulated.


Border Terriers are small to medium-sized dogs and do not require a lot of space. They are adaptable and can live in apartments or small houses as long as they receive enough exercise and mental stimulation. However, they do enjoy having access to a yard or outdoor space to run and play. A fenced yard is recommended to keep them safe and prevent them from chasing after small animals. Overall, Border Terriers can thrive in various living situations as long as they receive enough attention, exercise and mental stimulation.


Border Terriers can be a good dog for apartment living, but they require regular exercise and mental stimulation. They are active and energetic dogs that need daily walks and playtime to keep them happy and healthy. They are also intelligent and enjoy training, which can provide mental stimulation. However, they may not be the best choice for people who work long hours and cannot provide enough exercise and attention. Additionally, they have a tendency to bark, so apartment dwellers should be prepared to train them to control their vocalization. Overall, Border Terriers can be a good choice for apartment living if their exercise and mental needs are met.

Left Alone

Border Terriers are generally independent and can tolerate being left alone for short periods of time. However, they are social dogs and enjoy human companionship, so they may become anxious or bored if left alone for extended periods. It is important to provide them with plenty of mental and physical stimulation, such as toys, puzzles and daily exercise, to prevent destructive behavior and separation anxiety. It is also recommended to gradually train them to be comfortable with alone time from a young age.

Kid/Family Friendly

Yes, Border Terriers are generally good with kids and families. They have a friendly and affectionate nature and they enjoy being around people. They are also energetic and playful, which makes them great companions for children. However, as with any breed, it is important to supervise interactions between children and dogs to ensure everyone’s safety. Additionally, Border Terriers require regular exercise and mental stimulation, so they may not be the best fit for families who cannot provide them with enough activity and attention.

Perfect Fit

A Border Terrier would be a perfect fit for a home/household that has an active lifestyle and can provide plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They are energetic dogs that love to play and explore, so a home with a fenced yard or access to outdoor activities would be ideal. They are also great with children and other pets, making them a great addition to a family. However, they do have a high prey drive and may be prone to chasing small animals, so caution should be taken if there are small pets in the household. Overall, a Border Terrier would thrive in a loving and active home that can provide them with plenty of attention and exercise.

Pros and Cons:

Like any breed, there are both pros and cons to owning a Border Terrier. Here are five of each:

1. Low maintenance grooming1. Low maintenance grooming1. High energy levels
2. Good with children and other pets2. Can be stubborn and difficult to train
3. Intelligent and trainable3. Can be prone to barking
4. Affectionate and loyal4. Can be prone to digging and escaping
5. Small size makes them suitable for apartments or small homes5. Can be prone to health issues such as allergies and hip dysplasia

Overall, owning a Border Terrier can be a rewarding experience for those who are willing to put in the time and effort to train and care for them. However, they may not be the best fit for everyone, especially those who are not able to provide enough exercise and mental stimulation for their high energy levels.


The cost of a Border Terrier in Australia can vary depending on several factors such as the breeder, location and availability. On average, a Border Terrier puppy can cost between $1,500 to $3,000 AUD. It is important to do thorough research and find a reputable breeder who can provide health clearances for the puppy’s parents and ensure that the puppy is well-socialized and healthy. Additionally, ongoing expenses such as food, grooming and veterinary care should also be considered before bringing a Border Terrier into your home.

Breed History:

Border Terriers were originally bred in the border country between England and Scotland in the 18th century. They were bred for their ability to hunt and kill vermin, such as rats and foxes, that were a nuisance to farmers and their livestock. They were also used for hunting small game, such as rabbits and hares.

Border Terriers were prized for their tenacity, courage and ability to work independently. They were small enough to fit into tight spaces, such as fox dens and rat holes and were able to work tirelessly for hours on end. They were also loyal and affectionate companions to their owners.

Today, Border Terriers are still used for hunting and vermin control, but they are also popular as family pets due to their friendly and playful nature. They are intelligent and easy to train, making them suitable for a variety of activities, including agility, obedience and tracking.

Current Usage

Border Terriers are versatile dogs that can be used for a variety of purposes. While they are primarily kept as pets, they are also used as working dogs in various roles. Here are some of the ways Border Terriers are currently being used:

  1. Hunting: Border Terriers were originally bred as hunting dogs and they are still used for this purpose today. They are particularly good at hunting small game such as rabbits and rodents.
  2. Agility: Border Terriers are highly agile and excel in agility competitions. They are quick learners and love to perform, making them a popular choice for this sport.
  3. Therapy: Border Terriers are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, which makes them ideal therapy dogs. They are often used to provide comfort and companionship to people in hospitals, nursing homes and other care facilities.
  4. Search and rescue: Border Terriers have a keen sense of smell and are often used in search and rescue operations. They can track missing people and are also trained to detect drugs and explosives.
  5. Herding: While not as commonly used for herding as some other breeds, Border Terriers can be trained to work with livestock. They are particularly good at herding small animals such as sheep and goats.

Overall, Border Terriers are adaptable dogs that can be used in a variety of roles. While they make great pets, their intelligence and versatility also make them valuable working dogs.

Guard Dogs

Border Terriers are not typically known for their guarding abilities. They are friendly and sociable dogs that are more suited to being family pets and companions. While they may bark to alert their owners of potential intruders, they are not likely to be effective guard dogs due to their small size and non-aggressive nature. If you are looking for a dog specifically for guarding purposes, there are other breeds that are better suited for this role.

Where Are They Found?

Border Terriers are popular in many countries, but some of the countries where they are most popular include:

1. United States6. Norway
2. United Kingdom7. Finland
3. Australia8. Germany
4. Canada9. Denmark
5. Sweden10. Netherlands

These countries have active Border Terrier clubs and breeders and the breed is recognized by their respective kennel clubs.


Border Terriers are adaptable to a variety of climates, but they are best suited to moderate climates. They can tolerate both hot and cold temperatures, but extreme weather conditions can be challenging for them. They have a thick, wiry coat that provides insulation in cold weather and protects them from the sun in hot weather. However, they are not well-suited to living in extremely hot or cold environments for extended periods of time. It is important to provide them with adequate shelter and access to water and shade in extreme weather conditions.


It is difficult to determine the exact number of Border Terriers in the world as there is no centralized database or registry for all dogs. However, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC), Border Terriers are ranked as the 81st most popular breed in the United States, with approximately 2,000 new registrations each year. Additionally, Border Terriers are recognized by kennel clubs in many other countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Therefore, it is estimated that there are tens of thousands of Border Terriers worldwide.

Physical Appearance:

Border Terriers are small to medium-sized dogs with a sturdy and athletic build. They have a distinctive head shape with a broad skull, short muzzle and dark, expressive eyes. Their ears are small and V-shaped and they have a strong jaw with a scissor bite.

Their coat is wiry and dense, with a soft undercoat that provides insulation. The coat comes in a variety of colors, including red, blue and tan, grizzle and tan and wheaten. They have a distinctive “otter” tail that is thick at the base and tapers to a point.

Border Terriers have a balanced and agile gait, with a level topline and a deep chest. They are known for their friendly and alert expression and their lively and curious personality. Overall, they are a charming and handsome breed with a distinctive appearance.



Border Terriers can come in several colors including: Red, Blue and tan, Grizzle and tan, Wheaten, Black and tan, Tan. Note that some of these colors may have variations and shades.

Hair/Fur Length:

Border Terriers have a medium-length, wiry coat that is typically about 1 to 2 inches long. The hair on their face and ears is usually shorter and softer than the rest of their body. They require regular grooming to keep their coat healthy and prevent matting.


Yes, Border Terriers do shed, but their shedding is minimal compared to other breeds. They have a wiry, dense coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. They shed their undercoat twice a year, but it is not a significant amount. Regular brushing and grooming can help to reduce shedding and keep their coat healthy and shiny.


The Border Terrier has a wiry and dense coat that requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and free of mats and tangles. They should be brushed at least once a week using a slicker brush or a comb to remove any loose hair and prevent matting. They also need to be stripped or hand-plucked twice a year to remove dead hair and maintain the texture and color of their coat.

In terms of haircuts, Border Terriers do not require regular haircuts like some other breeds. However, their facial hair may need to be trimmed occasionally to keep it out of their eyes and prevent irritation. Some owners may choose to have their Border Terrier’s coat trimmed short for easier maintenance, but this is a personal preference and not necessary for the dog’s health.


Yes, Border Terriers are considered hypoallergenic dogs. They have a wiry coat that sheds minimally and produces less dander than other breeds, which can make them a good choice for people with allergies. However, it’s important to note that no dog breed is completely hypoallergenic and individual reactions can vary.


Border Terriers can run at a maximum speed of approximately 48 kph (30 mph).


Border Terriers are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues, including:

  1. Hip Dysplasia – a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to arthritis and pain.
  2. Patellar Luxation – a condition where the kneecap pops out of place, causing lameness and discomfort.
  3. Progressive Retinal Atrophy – a genetic condition that causes the retina to degenerate, leading to blindness.
  4. Allergies – Border Terriers can be prone to skin allergies, which can cause itching, redness and hair loss.
  5. Canine Epilepsy – a neurological disorder that causes seizures, which can range from mild to severe.
  6. Hypothyroidism – a condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, leading to weight gain, lethargy and skin problems.
  7. Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease – a condition where the hip joint deteriorates, leading to pain and lameness.


Border Terriers typically have 42 teeth.


Border Terriers have a good sense of vision, which is essential for their hunting and tracking abilities. They have keen eyesight and can spot prey from a distance. However, like all dogs, their eyesight can deteriorate with age and they may develop eye problems such as cataracts or glaucoma. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian can help ensure that their eyesight remains healthy throughout their lives.


Border Terriers typically have 8 to 10 nipples, arranged in two rows on their underside.


Litter Size:

The typical litter size for Border Terriers is between 2 to 6 puppies. However, some litters may have fewer or more puppies than this range. It is important to note that litter size can be influenced by various factors such as the age and health of the mother, genetics and environmental factors.

Gestation Period:

The gestation period for Border Terriers is typically around 63 days, give or take a few days.


Border Terriers typically go into heat twice a year, with each heat cycle lasting around three weeks.

Male vs Female:

Male and female Border Terriers have several differences. Males are typically larger and heavier than females, with a height range of 13-16 inches and a weight range of 13-15 pounds, while females are slightly smaller with a height range of 11-14 inches and a weight range of 11-14 pounds. Males tend to have a more muscular build and a broader head, while females have a more refined appearance. Additionally, males may be more dominant and territorial, while females may be more nurturing and affectionate. However, these traits can vary depending on the individual dog’s personality and upbringing.

Tips and Advice:

Border Terriers are energetic and intelligent dogs that make great companions. They have a wiry coat that requires regular grooming and a playful personality that requires plenty of exercise and attention. Here are some tips and advice for caring for a Border Terrier:

  • Grooming: They have a double coat that needs to be brushed regularly to prevent matting and tangling. They should be bathed only when necessary to avoid stripping their coat of natural oils.
  • Exercise: They are active dogs that require daily exercise. They enjoy walks, runs and playtime in a secure yard. They also excel in agility and obedience training.
  • Training: They are intelligent and eager to please, but they can be stubborn at times. Consistent and positive training methods are recommended to help them learn commands and good behavior.
  • Socialization: They are friendly dogs that enjoy the company of people and other dogs. Early socialization is important to help them develop good manners and prevent aggression towards other animals.
  • Health: They are generally healthy dogs, but they can be prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia, allergies and eye problems. Regular vet check-ups and a healthy diet are important for their overall well-being.
  • Mental stimulation: They are intelligent dogs that need mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Puzzle toys, interactive games and training sessions can help keep them mentally stimulated.
  • Safety: They are curious dogs that love to explore. They should always be supervised when outside and kept on a leash or in a secure yard to prevent them from wandering off or getting into dangerous situations.
  • Love and attention: They are loyal and affectionate dogs that thrive on human companionship. They need plenty of love and attention from their owners to be happy and healthy.


Border Terriers are small to medium-sized dogs and typically require about 1/2 to 1 cup of high-quality dry dog food per day, depending on their age, size and activity level. However, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate amount of food for your specific dog.

Border Terriers are food-oriented dogs, which means they enjoy eating and may be prone to overeating if given the opportunity. It’s important to monitor their food intake and provide them with a balanced diet to maintain their health and prevent obesity. Additionally, using treats as a reward during training can be effective, but it’s important to use them in moderation to avoid weight gain.


Here are three interesting facts about Border Terriers:

  1. They were originally bred to hunt foxes: Border Terriers were developed in the 18th century to help farmers and gamekeepers control fox populations. They were prized for their tenacity, agility and ability to work independently.
  2. They have a distinctive coat: Border Terriers have a wiry, weather-resistant coat that comes in a variety of colors, including red, blue and tan. Their coats require regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling.
  3. They are great family pets: Despite their hunting instincts, Border Terriers are known for their friendly, affectionate personalities. They are loyal and devoted to their families and love to play and cuddle. They also get along well with children and other pets, making them a popular choice for families.


Names that suit Border Terriers often have a rugged or outdoorsy feel to them. Here are 15 names that would be a good fit:

1. Scout6. Rocky11. Sadie
2. Rusty7. Charlie12. Rosie
3. Finn8. Max13. Lily
4. Bailey9. Cooper14. Poppy
5. Tucker10. Jack15. Daisy


Over the years, several Border Terriers have gained fame for their impressive accomplishments, appearances in movies and TV shows and celebrity ownership. Here are some of the most famous Border Terriers of all time:

  1. Max – Played the title character in the 2015 movie “Max.”
  2. Scruffy – Starred in the TV show “The Littlest Hobo” in the 1960s and 70s.
  3. Ch. Oxcroft Border Patrol – Won Best in Show at the prestigious Crufts dog show in 1979.
  4. Ch. Tythrop Tap On Wood – Another Crufts winner, this Border Terrier took home the Best in Show title in 1990.
  5. Monty – Owned by British Prime Minister David Cameron during his time in office.
  6. Digger – Gained fame for his incredible ability to detect cancer in humans.
  7. Rufus – Won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 2006, becoming the first of his breed to do so.
  8. Baxter – Starred in the movie “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” alongside Will Ferrell.

These Border Terriers have left their mark on the world, whether through their impressive achievements or their memorable appearances in popular culture.


The Border Terrier is a small-sized dog breed that originated in the border country between England and Scotland. They are a type of working terrier that was bred to hunt vermin, particularly foxes and rodents. The breed is known for its scruffy, wiry coat that comes in a variety of colors, including red, blue, tan and grizzle.

Border Terriers are renowned for their friendly and affectionate nature. They are intelligent, energetic and loyal dogs that make great companions for families and individuals alike. They are also highly trainable and excel in activities such as obedience, agility and tracking.

The breed has a long history dating back to the 18th century when they were used by farmers and gamekeepers to control vermin on their land. They were also used for hunting foxes and other small game. Today, Border Terriers are popular pets and are adaptabile to different living situations, including apartments and small homes.

Overall, the Border Terrier is a great pet for those looking for a loyal and affectionate companion that is also highly trainable and adaptable. They are great with children and other pets and make excellent family pets. However, they do require regular exercise and grooming to keep their coat healthy and their energy levels in check.