Border Terrier

Breed stats

Breed group Terrier Size Small Life span Over 12 Years Exercise Up to 1 hour per day Grooming More than once a week Coat length Short Coat sheds? Yes
Border Terriers are an intelligent, busy, hard-working, little dog that loves human company.

Colours include tan, dark red, blue/tan and wheaten and they often have a grizzle, a kind of flecking, over the top of the coat. The coat is very harsh with a large pelt. They are strongly built but quite slim-bodied with large teeth for their size and a short, straight tail. This look has been shaped by the job these terriers were bred for.

Borders are a mixture of other terrier breeds, bred by Masters of the Border Hunt to flush out foxes. This resulted in a dog that was supple and brave with good teeth to defend itself and a tail the length of a man's hand to enable him to be pulled out of a hole. Owners need a secure garden and when out off the lead care should be taken as their instinct is to "go to ground" to flush out anything there.

Quick to learn but slow to obey, they often have a love of small spaces which can get them into trouble. Like many terrier breeds, they can be wilful but their keen interest in food can help with training.

Very happy with people and children, they have been bred to get on well with other dogs, too, as they would have worked alongside each other. Although their instinct can make them a danger to other small furry creatures, Border Terriers can be trained to accept small animal companions if introduced early. These terriers had to be fit and have good stamina to be able to keep up with horses and are a naturally active breed that require a good amount of exercise.

Their coat was designed to protect them in harsh weather conditions and is very good at doing just that. The soft undercoat and harsh top coat needs stripping but moults very little. With very few health problems, they tend to be very long living. Occasionally pups are born with undershot or overshot jaws which doesn't affect their quality of life but looks a little odd.


Watch our videos about some of the dog breeds in the Terrier group.