The Border Terrier – Affectionate and Obedient


Border terriers are the 10th most popular dog breed in the UK. 

They are small, rough and ready to be your pet.

But do you know everything you should about the border terrier breed and how to properly train, look after and socialize it? Here’s every fact you need to know about border terriers before getting one.

Border Terrier Facts

Breeding Background Facts

The border terrier comes from Northumberland in the UK (at the border between Scotland and England).

All terriers were bred to hunt vermin but, in the 1800s, the hills on the Scottish border were filled with farms and foxes, so border terriers were bred specifically to hunt foxes. They are:

·  Part of the terrier family

·  Bred to be working and hunting dogs

·  Bred to be small and fit into holes/burrows to chase out foxes

·  Rough double-coated, so their fur is water repellent

Border Terrier Temperament

What is the temperament of a border terrier?

Well, border terriers are extremely friendly dogs. Obviously, the personality of your dog depends upon the individual but there are some common traits among border terriers:

·  Excitable

·  Social

·  Energetic

·  Loves to chase things

·  Feisty

·  Barky

·  Impulsive

Generally, border terriers shouldn’t be let off the leash in open spaces because they’re extremely prone to chasing things like cats, rabbits, and birds. As we said, it’s all in their breed.

Another thing they like to do is dig up your back garden. Don’t punish them for this. You should use good healthy ways to stop your dog from digging and control it in a healthy way so that you are both happy. 


Border terriers were bred in the North of England and Scotland, so they’re okay living in colder climates. And again their double coat makes them resistant to the rain so they don’t get too cold there either.

Since they are small, they are suitable to keep in any sized house or apartment (so long as they’re taken outside enough.)


Smaller terrier breeds (and other smaller dog breeds) generally live a little longer than larger ones. Border terriers, in particular, live for 12-15 years.

Border terrier size

Since they are small terrier dogs, they are very light. Healthy border terriers weigh 11.5lb-15.5lb. Border terrier length is around 12-15 inches long and they are 10-11 inches tall.

How To Look After Your Border Terrier

Socializing Your Terriers

Border terriers are generally quite social, friendly, and adaptable. But you should still try to socialize border terriers as early as possible (to humans and animals and the whole world) so that it becomes a well-rounded dog. Proper socialization is the best way to lower any dog aggression.  

Terriers’ destructive chewing is well known because of their disposition to separation anxiety. So you might want to consider crate training and keeping them occupied with loads of different toys.


Border terriers don’t shed too much but they still need to be kept clean. They also have very rough coats.

With border terriers, you should stick to good, regular grooming, which includes regular brushing, toenail clipping and, for their coat maintenance, clipping hair is also fine. Just remember to wash them regularly—this can help with certain skin conditions that affect their health.

Border Terrier Health

Border terriers are usually happy and healthy dogs but, like all dog breeds, they are particularly susceptible to certain breeding-related diseases.

Are Border Terriers Hypoallergenic?

Because they don’t shed much hair, yes, they are one of many hypoallergenic dogs. You are less likely to suffer from an allergic reaction with border terriers. 

Health Problems

Some common border terrier health problems include:

·  Heart defects

·  Cataracts

·  Shaking puppy syndrome

·  Hip dysplasia

·  Canine epileptoid cramping syndrome (CECS) which results in muscle spasms tremors, and sometimes seizures

These are often old border terrier problems. They are genetic diseases that are the result of many years of poor genetic dog breeding. Although some can’t necessarily be avoided, you can still make your terrier’s life as healthily as possible.

How to look after a Border Terrier’s health

Not sure how to look after your border terrier’s health? Follow these steps:

  1. Take it to the vet regularly
  2. Feed them good quality food
  3. Don’t feed them more than a handful of treats a day
  4. Brush your dog’s teeth 3-7 times a week
  5. Wash your dog often
  6. Give it dentist sticks
  7. Research the signs and symptoms of any health problems
  8. Regularly examine your dog for any health problems

Border terriers love exercise so take them out as often as possible for a daily minimum of 1 hour. For the specific problems that terriers have with their health, you might need to do things slightly differently. For heart defects, for example, your border terrier might need medication, different food, and less exercise.

Remember always talk to your vet. Try to reduce the risk of health issues (and know how to deal with them) by reading Malcolm Fields’ ultimate guide to dog health too.

Border Terrier Training

Even though terriers are known to be stubborn to train (and they aren’t the easiest dogs to train either) border terriers are still decent. Still, the best training regime for border terriers is a consistent one. They can be quite stubborn and are easily bored. They also are prone to running off and hard to control in open spaces.

Do training sessions in short frequent bursts with your terrier.

As we said, terriers love to dig. So if you want to learn how to control digging, as well as avoid training problems, use a proper dog-training guide to teach your terrier how to behave. Teach them house training, obedience (and how to do some tricks too!)

Are Border Terriers A Good Family Dog To Have?

Border terriers can be great family dogs: they are really friendly. However, because of the feistiness and possessiveness of terriers, they sometimes aren’t the best for families with, particularly small children.


Border terriers are great little dogs and even better companions to have. If you love small dog breeds, they’re an amazing choice, so think about picking one up from a local shelter.

Want a simple book to learn about Border Terrier (or any dog’s) health, training, behavior?

Try out Kingdom of Pets’ The Dog Training Mastery Multimedia Package.

It is an amazing deep-dive into dog psychology, behavior, and training methods. It’ll help your border terrier live longer while keeping both of you feeling closer and happier the whole time.