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Breed Profiles
Dog Breeds

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Border Terrier

You can find the contact details for specific breed societies local to you by going to the Your Territory area.

You may want to post any specific questions that you have about this breed in our Pet Talk area to ask people with first hand experience.

Border Terrier

General
OtherNames Border
Dog Group Kennel Club Terrier
Breed Classification Borders are medium sized members of the Terrier Group valued for their good natures and gameness. They are bred as working animals but their adaptability makes them active family companions.
Cost of Ownership
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Average Food Cost
< £4
Feeding Requirements
The Border Terrier is a small dog who requires only small amounts of food. They are not fussy eaters but have a good appetite and will become overweight if overfed or not regularly exercised.
Other Expenses
The Border is generally a fit healthy dog so veterinary expenses are usually low, feeding costs are low and only occasionally will professional grooming be required. Puppy prices can vary considerably from around £350 to £500, depending on which part of the country you are purchasing from.
Average Puppy Price
£300-500
Lifespan
> 15 years
Average Litter Size
5
General Physical Description
Border are medium sized terriers with characteristic otter-like heads. They have harsh, dense coats with close undercoats. They are primarily working dogs and look it. They are strong, active, keen of eye and all terrier.
Height Min Max
Bitch 28cm 28cm
Dog 31cm 31cm
Weight Min Max
Bitch 5kg 7kg
Dog 6kg 7kg
Size Category Small
Weight Height Range On average dogs measure 30.5cms at the withers and weigh between 6 - 7kgs. Biitches should ideally measure 28cms and weigh between 5 - 6.5kgs.
Ailments The Border Terrier is normally a very healthy dog. Although some breed-specific problems are known to exist they occur in low numbers and buying a puppy from healthy stock should ensure that your puppy is at low risk from these disorders.
Common Ailments
Susceptibility To Illness
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Pet health and vet advice

Low
Other
History The Border Terrier first appeared in the 18th century and has changed little since. They were used as working terriers in the Scottish Borders hunting foxes which preyed on livestock. Their ancestry is not really known. Their appearance was never of great concern to their owners but their ability to go to ground after a fox was, so they were bred to have strong jaws, to be well boned but not heavy and to have a chest with sufficient capacity but narrow enough to allow them to get back out of any earth they entered. Their extra length of leg enabled them to follow a horse so that they were there when they were needed. During their history they were known as the Reedwater Terriers and the Coquetdale Terriers but nowadays are referred to as Border Terriers. They are still working terriers in the countryside but in urban areas are mainly family companions.
Intelligence The Border Terrier is very intelligent and trainable. They are independent dogs though so require firmness and patience in their training which should start early.
Show Characteristics The head of the Border should be otter-like, moderately broad with a short, strong muzzle. The mouth should have a scissor bite. The nose should preferably be black but liver- or flesh-coloured ones are allowed. The eyes should be dark with a keen expression and the ears small, v-shaped and dropping forward, close to the cheek. The neck should be of moderate length and the body should be deep, narrow and fairly long. The legs are moderately long, not heavily-boned and feet are small with thick pads. The tail should be not too long, set high and carried gaily. The coat is harsh and dense with a close undercoat and the skin must be thick. The preferred colours for the show-ring are red, wheaten, grizzle and tan or blue and tan.
Country Of Origin Scottish Borders
Famous Examples
Records Held
Characteristics
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Energy High
Overall Exercise 100 - 120 minutes
Distress Caused if Left Alone Medium
Personal Protection Low
Suitability As Guard Dog Low
Risk of Sheep Worrying Low
Tendency to Bark Low
Ease of Transportation High
Level of Aggression Low
Compatibility With Other Animals High
Suitable For Children
High
General Character And Temperament The Border Terrier is an affectionate, fun-loving dog. They are brave, adaptable and good with people, especially with children. They are reliably easygoing but have independent natures and like to make their own decisions. They love to chase rabbits, squirrels etc. but will live in harmony with other household pets. They are equally at home in town or country. Puppies may go through a shy phase and it is particularly important to ensure that they are adequately socialised with humans and other animals.
Grooming
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Coat Length Short/Medium
Grooming Requirement > Once a week
Trimming None
Requires Professional Groomer True
Grooming Borders mostly have quite long coats if left to grow naturally. The short coat is only maintained by weekly stripping (or 'rolling') which can be quite time consuming and there is a technique involved. A specialist groomer is required until this has been learnt. A puppy can be left unstripped until the coat is 'blown', usually at about 6 months of age, but it will then need a full hand strip. Clippers must not be used as they will ruin the coat. A full strip by hand can take 2/3 hours. Eyes, ears and teeth should be checked regularly.
Colour The Border Terrier comes in a variety of colours including red, wheaten, grizzle and tan, or blue and tan.
Shedding Heavy
Suffers From Allergies
Tendency to Cause Allergies

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