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 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.
Physical characteristics of a Border Terrier
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. 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.
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. This breed needs to be brush twice a week and get 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.
Popular Border Terrier crossbreeds
All varieties have an endearing, individual personality with huge amounts of energy.
1. The Border Jack: A cross between a Jack Russell and a Border Terrier
This small dog is full of energy, courageaous and intelligent. Both parent breeds are famous for being hunters, therefore this mixed-breed will certaintly chase anything in sight. Therefore, this crossbreed will need a lot of exercise and will need to be trained.
2. The Border Terrier cross Pug
This crossbreed is an excellent family dog and gets on very well with children. Known for being a friendly dog, this crossbreed will love to spend time with other people. They won't need a lot of exercise in the day, but will still enjoy their daily walk.
3. The Chi Border Terrier: A cross between a Chihuahua and a Border Terrier
This small dog will love to spend time with its family. It is important to train and socialise this dog at an early age. Training won't be too difficult as they response well to positive reinforcement. This crossbreed is alert and curious, although they are small they are good guard dogs and will notify its owner if anything is strange.
4. The Border Yorkie: A cross between a Yorkshire Terrier and a Border Terrier
This small crossbreed can be a little fragile and therefore would be best suited in a house without any children. The Border Yorkie will enjoy spending time on its owner's laps, but will definitely need its daily walk.
5. The Affen Terrier: A cross between an Affenpinscher and a Border Terrier
The Affen Terrier is an active, intelligent and playful little dog. They make great family pets and will love to play with children. This crossbreed is eager to please, therefore it will be easy to train him. They do have a lot of energy and will need to be getting enough interaction and stimulation to feel fulfilled.
Border Terrier crossbreeds and children
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.
Check out these other mixed breeds:
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- Everything you need to know about the Labrador crossbreed
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- Everything you need to know about the Beagle cross
- Poodle crossbreeds: everything you need to know
- Everything you need to know about the Husky cross
- Everything you need to know about the Shih Tzu cross
- The Jack Russell cross: everything you need to know
- Everything you need to know about the Chihuahua cross
- Pug cross: everything you need to know
- Everything you need to know about the French Bulldog cross
- Everything you need to know about the German Shepherd cross
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