Border Terrier


Border Terrier
Border Terrier Quick Summary
Also Known AsReedwater Terrier
Height (at withers)10-11in (25-28cm)
Weight11-16lbs (4-7kg)
Hair Colour(s)
Lifespan12-15 years
Energy LevelHigh
Litter size4-5
Barking TendencyHigh
Exercise requirementsHigh
Ease of trainingHigh
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftHigh

The Border Terrier is a small but robust terrier. It has a narrow body and an otter-like head, dark and lively eyes, a short and dark muzzle, black nose and small ears, and it wears an inquisitive expression. The coat is made up of a close undercoat and a coarse and wiry outercoat, and the colouring varies but includes tan, blue with tan or red.


Border Terriers are little dogs with big personalities. They are both spirited and keen, and also friendly, alert and enthusiastic. Blessed with good natures, they have plenty of energy and loads of determination and make good companions. As these are responsive dogs and willing to please, they are easily trained, but their high energy levels and spirit mean they are more suited to experienced dog owners and trainers. Border Terriers get along fine with children and other pets they are raised with, particularly dogs, but may tend to hunt smaller animals such ascats and pet rodents. As a cautionary note, their high energy levels and tendency for rough play means they require constant supervision. Their curious nature can often land in trouble, and so shouldn't be unleashed unless in a secure area such as a yard or fenced garden. Although they are also fine around strangers, their tendency to bark still make them effective watchdogs rather than guard dogs.

History & Skills

Border Terriers were developed on the borders of England and Scotland in the UK, which accounts for their name. Also once known as Reedwater Terriers, they were developed for hunting foxes in the countryside along with foxhounds, and they share their ancestry with edlington Terriers and Dandie Dinmont Terriers.

Breed Specific Ailments

Border Terriers tend to live betwen 12-15 years and are generally healthy dogs. Some of the health conditions to look out for include include Legg Perthes, cataracts, luxating patella, thyroid problems, autoimmune problems, seizures, heart murmurs, PRA, hip dysplasia, and allergies.


Border Terriers are low shedding dogs and are suitable for allergy sufferers. The coat only needs to be brushed once a week, and it can be trimmed every few months or so to keep it looking its best. Bathing should only be carried out when necessary, and for show dogs, the dead coat is usually stripped every few months.

Exercise & Environment

Border Terriers are active dogs with high energy levels, and so they need plenty of exercise and play. This can achieved via a long daily walk or access to a secure yard or garden area. They prefer to live indoors with their families, and if tied up outside will tend to bark constantly. They are fine for cities, in small towns, or in the country.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

Breed Clubs

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