Rather inconspicuous in appearance, the Border Terrier is an optimal dog for anyone who appreciates a robust and enterprising companion.
Laymen often confuse him with crossbreeds: the inconspicuous four-legged friend from the United Kingdom may not be noticed at first – yet if you take a closer look, he will catch the eye with his attentive and curious expression. The maximum 7 kg light Terrier from the United Kingdom has a hard, stiff coat that protects him against wind and weather. The coat comes in red, tan, grizzle, and wheat colors. It has droopy small ears and a remarkably flat, fairly broad skull – the shape of the head resembles that of an otter. The long and graceful legs betray the stamina of the Terrier.back to menu ↑
The name already gives it away: the Border Terrier comes from the border area between the United Kingdom and Scotland. Dogs of this breed were originally bred for hunting: they had to be fast and have enough stamina to walk next to a horse. At the same time, they had to be small enough to fit into English fox burrows to chase foxes out. Beauty or breed-typical appearance was not important at the beginning of breeding. It was about the performance. Paintings from the 18 e century, although dogs that seem to admire in appearance to the Border Terrier, breeding is only established at the beginning of the 20 century. In 1920, the Kennel Club officially recognized the breed.
In Europe, it differs per country how often the Border Terrier occurs. In the United Kingdom, for example, the dog can often be found. He is still used there during the hunt. In addition, it is a popular family dog there. In other countries, the breed is less common, but its popularity has increased in recent decades.
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The character of a Border Terrier
It never gets boring with a Border Terrier, he’s always up for a new adventure and he’s both lively and fearless. He is cheerful, playful, intelligent, and not stubborn or aggressive. If something piques his interest, he barks, but it’s not a yelp. Because his ancestors were used in large groups during the hunt and infighting was undesirable, representatives of the breed still get along well with other dogs today. They are very social. A Border Terrier is curious and likes to explore behind hedges, in the bushes or a pond – as a former otter hunter, he has an affinity with water. This, in combination with its hunting instinct, makes a good basic education extra important, so that the dog does not always go out on its own.back to menu ↑
In general, the breed is easy to train if you take the above points into account. If you are consistent, the Border Terrier will be happy to accept you as a pack leader – however, he will occasionally test you because as a hunting dog he is used to making independent decisions. So he is a fat head. If you want to be able to take your Border Terrier off-leash, you have to pay close attention to his obedience so that you can always call the dog to you. This is where a good upbringing comes in. It is best to go to a dog school with your puppy – this is where he has a lot of contact with other dogs which aids his socialization.back to menu ↑
Fortunately, a Border Terrier’s coat is relatively easy to care for. Border Terriers with little beards are usually easier to care for because they have silky smooth hair that is not very thick. Brush the coat well weekly and check it for parasites and skin changes if necessary. You should hand trim or take your Border Terrier to a grooming salon twice a year. Scissors should absolutely not be used because they damage the rough hair structure. To take care of your dog’s teeth, you can get him used to brush his teeth. from an early age special dog toothpaste. This care ritual prevents tartar. Braided floss as a toy and nibbling on carrots or stomachs also works well. Note the nail length and trim the nails as needed. Also, don’t forget the so-called dewclaw; or the thumbnail.back to menu ↑
Border Terrier: food
Like all dogs, the Border Terrier is a carnivore. Therefore, he needs food mainly composed of meat. Pay attention when feeding wet or dry foods that have meat at the top of the ingredients list. The protein content of around 20% is sufficient for feeding adult dogs. Follow the guidelines of the products with regard to the amount of food, but also pay attention to the waist of your four-legged friend: if fat rolls form, the amount of food must be adjusted. If you give snacks, you should count them in the daily amount. If you switch to another food, you have to do this step by step by mixing the new food with the known food. You can always mix in a little more of the new food. For an adult dog, two meals a day are sufficient – young animals should be fed four times a day. Dry chewing products such as beef ears or chewing bones are suitable for dental care.
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His inconspicuous appearance has protected the Border Terrier from fashion breeding. Since the beginning of targeted breeding, quality has taken precedence over appearance. The positive result is that the Border Terrier has almost no breed-typical diseases compared to other breeds. However, there are also cases of hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, or heart disease. That is why it is important to choose a serious breeder: through targeted pre-selection, the risk of these diseases can be limited. Border Terriers can also be affected by Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome (CECS). This is a disease of unknown cause, manifested by seizures. It is recessive heredity and usually only occurs at the age of 2-5 years. Talk to your breeder about this disease and ask about precautions. The small energy bundles also tend to be overweight – so pay attention to the daily amount of food and weigh it if necessary. The robust dogs can live up to 17 years if they are in good health.back to menu ↑
Preferably in the woods
Don’t be fooled by the short legs: the Border Terrier needs a lot of exercises. The dogs prefer to be outside. As working dogs, they need a lot of activity – the brain can also be put to work. Dog sports such as Agility and Dog Dancing are suitable for these dogs. They also like to work with their noses. This breed has an affinity with horses, making the Border Terrier an excellent dog to take with you on outings. Of course, it also goes with you when you go jogging or walking. If you’re going for a jog or horseback ride, build it up slowly so you don’t put too much pressure on him – your four-legged friend needs to be mature for sports that require stamina. As much as the breed appreciates exercise, you should still make sure you give your Border Terrier plenty of rest breaks. Don’t you do this then the former fighter can become a hyperactive whirlwind that just wants to move more? An interesting addition to dog sports could be therapy dog training.back to menu ↑
Is a Border Terrier right for me?
Despite its cute appearance – which makes the dog attractive to those looking for an uncomplicated and easy-to-maintain dog – the Border Terrier is only a dog for beginners or seniors under certain conditions. Beginners should read carefully about the upbringing and seek expert help to carry out the upbringing properly. Seniors must be able to offer the dog plenty of exercises. The breed is suitable for sporty people who like to go out with their dog. You have to make sure that the Border Terrier gets enough exercise in all weather conditions – only then is he suitable to keep in a home. The larger his pack, the more the dog feels at home.
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That is why it is a good family dog or second dog so that he always has company. Children also quickly embrace the dog. In the first years, however, he can play impetuously and you should definitely pay attention to small children. Teach your children to treat the four-legged friend in a respectful way so that nothing stands in the way of a friendship.
Before a Border Terrier moves in with you, all family members must agree and not be allergic. If in doubt, consult your doctor. If you rent, you must know in advance whether keeping dogs is allowed. Have this put in black and white if it is not in the lease. Also, think about future vacations. Do you leave your dog with family, friends, or in a dog boarding house or can he travel with you? Meanwhile, there are many hotels where dogs are welcome. Due to its size and human friendliness, the Border Terrier is a suitable dog for a walking holiday or something similar.
Before you take responsibility for a dog, you should also think about the cost: in addition to the cost of purchase, you will also need basic supplies: food bowls,a harness or collar, a dog bed, a blanket, stuff for the car, brushes and mild dog shampoo. Also think about regular costs for high-quality food, dog loads, and vet checks. Veterinary costs are more expensive in case of illness.back to menu ↑
Where can I find my dream dog?
If you choose a Border Terrier after long and careful consideration, you can start looking. If you want to move a puppy into your home, you need to find a serious breeder. This is characterized by the fact that he is a member of a dog association and that he meets the requirements of the dog association. So the parents have to pass some health and welfare tests before being allowed to breed with them.
The bitches get enough rest to recover between litters. A good breeder will let you meet your dream puppy in peace at his home and will be happy to answer your questions about the breed and its breeding. The puppies and parents make a happy, healthy, and balanced impression. Even after the purchase, the breeder is happy to be your point of contact for specific questions about his puppy, because he thinks it is important that his animals end up well. Therefore, he will probably also ask questions about your dog experience, your expectations, and your home. Be happy because in that case, you have found a responsible breeder!
Don’t buy a Border Terrier without a pedigree – in many cases, you will support the spread of disease. In addition, most puppies from such breeders are not well socialized and their parents live in loveless conditions. The animals may be cheaper at first glance, but these bread breeders earn more than serious breeders. These usually put a lot of money and time into healthy breeding.
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If you want to give an older Border Terrier home, you can look for an association because breeders sometimes have to say goodbye to older animals or know older animals that no longer have a home. Another point of contact are associations that have focused specifically on the mediation of Terriers and occasionally mediate Border Terriers. Of course, a Border Terrier can also wait for a new home in the shelter, but here the chance is smaller. You are more likely to find crosses there that resembles a Border Terrier in appearance and character.
But still, it remains a surprise – which does not have to be negative. You should in any case inquire about the characteristics of the dog. The association will give you advice and determine whether you are the right fit for your dream dog.
We wish you lots of fun with your adventurous Border Terrier!