The Border Terrier 

Small but fearless, the paw-some, good-natured Border Terrier may seem like a furry bundle of joy at first sight, but there is more to this creature than just being a playful pet.

Origins and History

The ancestors of the Border Terrier can be traced back to the 18th century hillside setting of the Scottish-English border where they worked alongside shepherds as flock guards. Shepherds have long battled sheep losses from predators; prompting them to develop a strong and agile terrier breed that can both drive away foxes from their narrow dens and run alongside hunters in horseback.


Earlier termed as Reedwater Terrier, Ullswater Terrier, and Coquetdale Terrier, this terrier breed was treasured by the farmers in the countryside. However, the Border Terriers public reputation for its foxhunting abilities and its ability to work well with fellow canines was quite low-key for several years. It was not until 1920 that the Kennel Club in England recognized the terrier breed, and 10 years after, the American Kennel Club followed suit.

Character and Abilities

Generally, Border Terriers are good-natured, loyal, and self-reliant, and are excellent watchdogs, thanks to the agile and feisty blood of their ancestors. They are affectionate towards their owners and can be friendly and playful around children. They love spending time outdoors, and their curious nature allows them to spend some of their time outdoors either digging or chasing vermin on your lawn.

Trainability and Intelligence

Border Terriers are easy to train. Puppies as early as eight weeks old can already grasp every bit of training information provided to them. Letting your Border Terrier socialize first with its fur-ever family is a great start to the series of trainings that you plan to teach him. Your furry friend will surely enjoy spending quality time with you.


Border Terriers are not couch potatoes. They love spending time going for daily walks. They will surely be happy to participate in your game of tag and fetch within your backyard. You can also take them for a decent length stroll or jog around the neighborhood as they have a good amount of stamina. However, your Border Terrier must be leashed when strolling around with you as it has the tendency to chase small creatures.

Living Conditions and Adaptability

Because the Border Terrier’s origins are accustomed to surviving life in the hillside borders, they can easily adapt to any new environment they find themselves in. Whether you place the Border Terrier in big cities or in the countryside, in small houses or in huge mansions, or even in community shelters, this breed will always find its way to survive.


Border Terriers are a relatively healthy breed, though they can also get ailments if not properly taken care of. Some ailments that may occur in this breed include hip dysplasia, heart murmurs, hypothyroidism, patellar luxation, as well as more serious cases such as seizures and other genetic illnesses.

Average life expectancy:

12 to 14 years

Physical characteristics:

Border Terriers are short, narrow-bodied, and long-legged, with an otter-shaped head and a short and broad skull. They have V-shaped ears hanging from the sides of the head to the cheeks and a strong muzzle with a scissor’s bite.




Border Terriers sport a wiry double coat. Their outer coat is dirt-resistant with no curl or wave while their undercoat is short, dense, and soft.


Red, wheaten, grizzle and tan, or blue and tan


Border Terriers do not need frequent bathing as their outer coats are dirt-resistant. Routine grooming procedures include weekly brushing of fur coat, trimming of nails, as well as brushing of its teeth to ensure good overall health.


11 to 16 inches (height)


11.5 to 15.5 pounds



Energy Level


Good with kids