History of the Border Terrier Breed
According to most, the border terrier is thought to be one of Britain's oldest terrier breeds. It is said that this dog's origins lie in and around the Cheviot Hills, which form a border between England and Scotland. The dog was developed to aid farmers by chasing and dispatching fox that had become a nuisance. The border terrier is one of the smallest of the long-legged terrier group, which allowed it to be as fast as a horse but small enough to chase fox into their dens. It is believed that the border terrier is likely related to the Dandie Dinmont terrier, although the specific ancestry of this breed is unknown. The border terrier has been known by several other names, including the Coquetdale terrier and the Reedwater terrier, and some claim that the first evidence of this breed can be found as early as the 18th century. The name border terrier was adopted in 1870, and it is thought to have been influenced by a popular hunt called the border hunt. Basically unknown until it received recognition from the English Kennel Club, the border terrier was shown at most of the shows put on by the agricultural societies in the border country from which the breed originated. The border terrier was first shown in the 1870s, and the AKC recognized the breed in 1930. At first this dog was only popular with hunters, but in recent years it has enjoyed more popularity as a pet and a show dog.
Size and Appearance of the Border Terrier Breed
Slightly taller than it is long, the border terrier has almost a racy look. The front legs are straight with substantial, but not heavy, bone. The hindquarters are muscular with long, molded thighs. The feet at front and back are small and compact with moderately arched toes and thick pads. The head of this breed has been compared to the head of an otter. The moderately-sized eyes are usually dark hazel in color and share an intelligent expression. The small ears form a v-shape, and they are moderately thick. The muzzle is described as short but well-filled, and it features a substantial black nose. The large, strong teeth meet in a scissors bite. The neck of the border terrier is muscular and widens into the shoulders, which creates a well-balanced look to the dog. The back is strong, and the somewhat short tail tapers from the thick base. The tail is usually carried gaily when the dog is alert. The double coat of this breed consists of a short, dense undercoat and a wiry topcoat. The coat comes in a variety of colors including: blue and tan, grizzle and tan, red, or wheaten. The gait of this agile dog can be described as quick and free.
Border Terrier Temperament
Friendly and inquisitive, the border terrier enjoys its independence and loves to hunt. However, it also likes to please, so training is relatively easy. This breed is usually good with other dogs and family cats, but it shouldn't be trusted with hamsters, rabbits, birds or mice and other rodents. The border terrier is excellent with children, and it enjoys playing and being with its family. Note that some dogs tend to dig, and they can be prone to escaping. While this breed will bark, it is generally not aggressive. If considering adopting two border terriers, it is suggested to get a male and a female.
Border Terrier Recommended Maintenance
The harsh coat of the border terrier is relatively easy to maintain. It should be brushed on a weekly basis, and professional grooming is recommended between two and four times a year. The border terrier is a good breed for those who suffer from allergies because it sheds little to no hair. This dog should be bathed only when necessary, and knots in the fur should be clipped out as necessary. This breed is very active, and it should get a good amount of exercise every day. Walks on a leash, games in the yard, or exploration in safe areas are good ways to get the recommended exercise. While at least a small yard is ideal, this breed can live in an apartment as long as enough mental and physical stimulation is provided.
Border Terrier Health
Life span: 12 - 15 years
Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: none
Occasionally seen: CHD, heart defects
Suggested tests: hip, cardiac