The cute and distinctive Border terrier is the most popular breed of terriers that people choose. Certainly full of character, these small pups make wonderful companions.
Origins and history of the Border Terrier
As the name suggests, these good-natured terriers were originally bred in the Scottish Borders. Previously also known as Reedwater, Redesdale or Coquetdale terriers, after various locations around the border region. Around the time of the late 1800’s, the name Border terrier was adopted.
Originally bred as working dogs to use in foxhunting sports, these little terriers love nothing more than to dig and hunt. In fact, the word terrier, means “of the earth”, quite apt for this alert, hard-working dog. Border terriers are commonly bred for pest control and in some circumstances, used to bolt the fox from his lair. During the 1800’s these fit, little dogs would run alongside hunters on horseback, showing their great vigour and stamina.
This cute Border terrier is well proportioned, with a leg length in good ratio to his head and body. His tail is quite thick towards the base yet with a tapered tip. Likewise, it’s straight and medium length. The terrier’s ears are “v” shaped falling forward onto his cheeks.
Having a water-resistant coat, that feels rather rough but with a soft undercoat. Their faces and other points of their body have black markings. With coats in a variety of shades, ranging through brown, red and grey tones. The Kennel Club UK recognises certain official colours for the Border terrier, which are Wheaten, Red, Grizzle and Tan and Blue and Tan.
Height: Adult dogs are around 16 inches to the shoulder
Weight: An average dog will weigh approximately 15 lbs
Lifespan: Between 12 to 15 years
Personality of the Border terrier
This tough little dog loves playing chasing and hunting. However, he’s not averse to a few cuddles with you on the sofa. These loving and loyal dogs, although very independent, make fantastic pets for any families that enjoy activities. Border terriers are quite vocal dogs, often inclined to whine and bark. This is a result of them being bred to bark when a prey underground has been discovered. There is no doubt that the Border terrier is a popular breed. Many celebrities have also been charmed by this cute little dog and taken them into their homes.
Popular cross breeds
Border terriers are sometimes crossed with other breeds of dogs. Popular mixes include Border terrier cross Jack Russell and Border cross Poodle. Another option is when crossed with a Lakeland terrier, producing a stocky, rough-coated pup. All varieties have an endearing, individual personality with huge amounts of energy.
Common health issues
Usually quite a healthy breed, the Border terrier breed is susceptible to heart defects and canine hip dysplasia problems. During the 1980’s a condition known as Spike’s disease, an illness causing seizures, was often recorded, having symptoms very similar to human epilepsy.
With a tendency to become quite podgy if too much food is offered, feed in moderation.
A healthy dog will love to participate in a wide range of activities and sports. Border terriers are not normally high maintenance, but a spirit of adventure means he likes to go off to explore. Being quite inquisitive, they often chase after anything that runs, so training to recall is a good plan. He will respond quite well to lots of encouragement and praise. You may find that regular obedience classes can help with his independent spirit.
A Border terrier’s coat is fairly easy to manage. With twice weekly brushing and an occasional trim to strip out his coat, to keep him looking tidy. Your dog will often enjoy digging in the soil and will be used to keeping himself clean, only an occasional bath will be necessary. Expect him to moult his coat a minimum of two times a year often leaving balls of fur around the floor.
Puppies from Border terrier cross breeds
If you are considering adding a Border or a cross breed terrier to your family, choose a small pup that can grow with the children. These terriers are cute, playful dogs, who will form a close companionship with kids. Of course, it’s best not to leave children and these dogs alone, unsupervised. Some kids can play act quite roughly, and the Border terrier has a determination for hunting prey – the two may not mix. Keep them all safe and happy with complete supervision.
All in all, they are an easy-going dog suitable for many families. Equally at home on long walks with the family, or lazing inside at home. The Border terrier breed is certainly more laid back than many other terrier strains.