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Border Terrier Information


These little dogs weight from thirteen to sixteen pounds and stand between eleven and sixteen inches high.  Slightly shorter than it is tall, they have a well-balanced, racy look.  Border terriers have a wiry, short, coarse, double coat, and lively, moderately sized dark eyes.  Border terriers ears are small, its muzzle short, and have a substantial black nose.  Their relatively short tail tapers and unless excited, remains level with their back.  The Border terrier comes in grizzle and tan, blue, red and tan, and tan.  Some have small patches of white on their chest but they do not allow white on the feet of show dogs.  The Border terrier coat type varies with some dogs having shaggy, longish hair while others have relatively smooth coats.    


The Border terrier is a lively, alert, mild mannered little fellow that is inquisitive and friendly.  They love to hunt and enjoy their independence and are easy to train because they love to please.  It makes a wonderful family dog, loves children, and enjoys being with and playing with family.  Border terriers are normally good with family cats and other dogs but cannot be trusted with small animals such as hamsters, birds, mice, and other tiny pets.  Make sure you have a secure outside area as most border terriers love to dig.

Grooming & Shedding

Border terriers shed minimal or no hair at all, is great for people with allergies, and is easy to maintain.  Although you should brush their wiry, durable coat weekly, they only require professional grooming two or three times a year.  When groomed, the Border terrier should have a completely natural look.  Only bathe a border terrier when required.  Occasionally the Border terrier gets knots in their fur, which should be clipped out as needed.


Many believe that the Border terrier is one of the oldest terrier breeds in Britain and that they originated around Cheviot Hills, which borders between Scotland and England.  They developed the border terriers to help farmers, by chasing and killing predatory foxes that had become a problem.  These sturdy, spunky, bold little dogs have enough stamina and legs long enough to keep up with horses.  In 1920, the British Kennel Club officially recognized the Border terrier and in 1930, so did the American Kennel Club.  Border terriers are great as a watchdog and for hunting, agility, tracking, performing tricks, and in competitive obedience.  

Health Issues

  • Major Concerns: none
  • Minor Concerns: canine epileptoid cramping syndrome (CECS)
  • Occasionally seen: canine hip dysplasia, cardiac issues
  • Suggested tests: heart, hip



Males 13-16 inches (33-41cm)

Females 11-14 inches (28-36cm)


Males 13-16 pounds (6-7kg)

Females 11-14 pounds (5-6kg)


12-15 years


Medium – decreases with age





Young Children

Yes – with socialization

Need exercise space

Yes – long walks and runs

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