Border Terrier Dog Breed Information – Temperament, History, and More

If you’re looking for affectionate dogs, the Border terrier should be high on your list. These pups are the best companions for both new and experienced pet parents.

These little dogs are covered in a wiry coat and a soft, fluffy inner layer. They are not heavy shedders and thus don’t require much grooming. This is often great news for newbie pet owners.

However, don’t let these small terriers fool you. Like other dog breeds from the terrier family, these little doggos will keep you on your toes. Their ancestors were initially bred as hunting dogs, so they naturally enjoy chasing after smaller animals.

As a result, this mini dog needs plenty of exercise to lead a healthy and happy life. So, if you enjoy a good run around the park, your pup will be glad to join.

Border Terrier Dog Breed Pictures


What Does A Border Terrier Look Like?

If you’ve seen images of terrier dogs before, you know that Border terrier puppies look unique. These cute terrier pups have otter-like heads, making them look different from other terrier types.

Other characteristics to help you are the coat colors ranging from brown to grizzle with blue and tan patterns. Although they have two coats, they don’t shed as much. This means they have low grooming needs and are hypoallergenic. They have dark hazel eyes, which make them look like deep-thinkers.

The Border terrier’s size allows them to fit in tight spaces, which is a great hunting advantage. They are built to keep up with hunters on horseback chasing foxes.

So how big do terrier dogs get? Male adults weigh 13 to 15 pounds, while females range between 11 and 14 pounds. They don’t grow much taller than 11 inches due to their small size.


When it comes to the Border’s personality, these little pups are as playful and intelligent as dogs come. If there’s one thing about terrier dogs, it’s that they are generally very active and need to stay busy. They are so full of energy that they can easily wear you out and even get a little cheeky. As such, pet owners should be ready to exercise, walk, and play with them every day.

border terrier picture

Other positive traits of this small dog include friendliness and loyalty. These canines get along with almost anyone, from little children and big families to single people and active seniors.

Their intelligence and high energy levels make training a Border terrier puppy easy and enjoyable. They also make great companions to other dog breeds or animals as long as they are socialized early.

Living Needs

One of the facts about Border terriers that most people don’t know is that they can live anywhere. That’s right! Whether you live in a city apartment or the spacious countryside, your puppy will feel right at home.

However, you should ensure they get their daily dose of exercise to burn the excess energy. Your adorable, furry companions will be happy to run or walk beside you and play games.

Although they appear small, Border terriers can jump really high and dig pretty deep holes. It’s best to build a tall, extended fence so they don’t run off chasing rabbits and other animals.


How to Groom a Border Terrier?

When it comes to grooming a Border terrier, newbie pet owners will be happy to know they don’t need much. Even though the pups have double coats, shedding occurs seasonally.

During this period, you’ll need to spend 30 minutes every day combing out the dead hair. If you don’t have a rake or stripping tool, your hands should also work fine. As for their regular grooming needs, you’ll only need to brush their coats once every week and trim their nails.

How to Train a Border Terrier?

Puppy training is not always an easy task for new dog owners. However, these training tips will help you understand how best to help your pet.

For starters, these pups are naturally intelligent and independent thinkers. If you don’t understand this terrier behavior from the start, you’ll likely end up frustrated. Border terriers are easy to train as long as you socialize them from a young age. It’s also advisable to use a gentle yet firm voice rather than harsh as these pets are sensitive.

How Much Exercise Does a Border Terrier Need?

As most dog owners know, terrier dog breeds have high energy levels. Border terriers are no different. These active dogs require at least a 30-minute, fast-paced walk to meet their daily exercise needs. However, it’s best to keep them on a leash, so they don’t run off chasing squirrels and other small animals.

If you can’t manage to walk them every day, a half-hour play session will still keep them healthy and happy.


Adult terriers need 1 1/8 to 1 3/8 cups of high-quality dog food daily, divided into two meals.


Most terrier breeds are generally healthy and active dogs. However, this doesn’t mean they are immune to canine health problems. A professional Border terrier dog breeder should screen the pups for various health issues as listed below:

  • Seizures
  • Heart problems
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Allergies
  • Juvenile cataracts
  • Progressive retinal atrophy

It’s also essential to note that these pups don’t enjoy being in hot weather. As such, it’s best to avoid taking them out for walks when the temperatures are above 85 degrees Fahrenheit.


According to the Border Terrier Club, the origin of these pups dates back to the mid-19th century. These little dogs are purebred and known to be one of the oldest terrier breeds in history.

Border terriers originally lived as country dogs just along the English-Scottish border. The farmers in the area bred them to hunt down the foxes that preyed on their livestock. Their miniature, flexible bodies let them squeeze into narrow holes where the foxes hid.

Border puppies haven’t always gone by their current name. They initially went by Coquetdale terrier and Redesdale terrier, which they got from the two countries. But as the 1800s winded down, their link to the Border Hunt in Northumberland gave rise to their current name.

It was not until the 20th century that the breed became recognized by The Kennel Club in the UK. In 1930, they were also registered in the American Kennel Club.

Fun Facts About Border Terriers

  • Did you know that Elton John owns about nine to ten Border terriers? Additionally, he has more than 20 pet dogs.
  • If you’ve been wondering if there are any famous Border terriers, the answer is yes! A terrier pup called Quince plays in the movie Anchorman: The Ron Burgundy Story.
  • In the 1800s, a Border terrier mix pup called Owney once traveled more than 140,000 miles. He was a mascot of the Railway Post Office.
  • This breed has earned more Earthdog titles from the AKC than any other terrier.