The Border Terrier was originally known as the Reedwater or the Coquetdale Terrier. It was first bred in the Cheviot Hills near the border of England and Scotland. It wasn't until around 1880 that the named was changed to Border Terrier (Terrier coming from the Latin word Terra meaning earth) and not until 1920 was the breed recognised by The Kennel Club.
Border Terriers are essentially a working terrier, bold and agile. They have great vitality and stamina, originally bred to bolt foxes and kill rodents which they were very successful at. They are generally a hardy breed suffering few ailments.
In recent years Borders have become very popular. In 2008, the Border Terrier ranked 8th in number of registrations by the UK Kennel Club. They can be kept in a small flat or house but remember they have loads of energy and require a long walk or a total of 1 hours exercise each day to keep them contented. When not out walking they are happy sat on your knee or in long grass watching the world go by. They get on well with most other animals but beware leaving them alone with smaller pets. They were bred to chase vermin and this instinct will be still with them.
Border Terriers can be stubborn and strong willed but usually they have good temperaments and make a great pet for all the family. They work well in agility training and are sometimes used to aid the blind or deaf. They are affectionate dogs, eager to please and easy to train. Remember to start early with any training and be consistent with praise.
- height 13-16 inches (33-41cm)
- weight 13-16 pounds (6-7kg)
- height 11-13 inches (28-36cm)
- weight 11-14 pounds (5-6kg)
Border Terriers are a small, medium boned sturdy dog. They have otter shaped heads, a broad skull, powerful jaw with a scissors bite. The V-shaped ears (usually dark) are on the sides of the head and drop forwards close the cheeks. Their body and shoulders are generally narrow. The space between their dark hazel eyes is relatively wide. The nose is black. Their coat colours range from red, grizzle and tan, blue and tan, or wheaten. They have a few short whiskers. The tail starts thick at the base and tapers down to the point of the tail.
The Border should have a double coat, a short dense, soft undercoat for warmth and a harsh, wiry weather and dirt resistant, close-lying outer coat with no curl or wave. They need to be groomed once a week and some dogs may need to be hand stripped twice a year to remove any dead hair. Bathe only when necessary.
Border Terriers will live to 12 years and some will pass 15 years or more. Their litters are from 2 – 8 puppies, averaging 4 or 5.