Do you want to adopt the Border Terrier dog breed? If yes, then you are at the right place because we have everything you need to know about this teeny-tiny dog. 

When we think of the Border Terrier dog breed, we think of their cute appearance and puppy eyes, which can win anyone’s heart. In this 5-minute read, you will learn all about the Border Terriers. 


Height10-16 inches
Weight11-16 lbs
Life span12-15 years
Exercise needs1-2 hours daily
TemperamentProtective, Affectionate, Energetic
GroomingLow maintenance
OriginUnited Kingdom, England and Scotland

Origin of the Border Terrier

This Anglo-Scottish breed named the Border Terrier has much more to offer than their cute little paws and shabby appearance. If we talk about their origin, these dogs are said to have their history revolving around the United Kingdom, Scotland, and England in the 18th century. Primarily, these dogs were bred to fight and scare off foxes and rodents (yeah, imagine these little buddies scaring away the foxes!) Their courage and willingness to prove themselves are not to be doubted, as these farm dogs were known for their determination and hunting skills. 

Moreover, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier and the Bedlington Terrier contributed to developing the breed we know today as the Border Terrier! Sooner or later, these terriers were recognized by big dog clubs and organizations, which led to their popularity among the masses.

Appearance of the Border Terrier

1. Size and body

The Border Terrier dog breed is a small-sized dog that can fit right in your arms, and you can carry them around all day. It is because they are just 10-16 inches tall and weigh about 11-16 pounds. Despite that, these terriers have a well-balanced and muscular appearance that makes them look sturdy and intimidating. 

2. Coat

These dogs have a double layer of coat that protects them from harsh weather conditions and also your super hard hugs. Not only this, but their outer layer is wiry and rough to the touch, but the undercoat remains soft. Such type of harsh coat helps to repel water or any dirt, isnt that really cool? Also, for the colors, these dogs come in various shades such as red, blue, and tan, grizzle and tan, or wheaten. 

3. Other features

The Border Terrier dog breed has very expressive facial features such as their dark, medium-sized eyes or their ears that drop forward close to their cheeks. Moreover, if we look at their tail, we can see that it is moderately short, yet they keep it high like their pride!

Personality and Temperament of the Border Terrier

The Border Terrier dog breed has a personality and temperament that sets them apart from other dog breeds:

1. Quick learners

If you are looking for a dog breed that is responsive to your commands and is easily trainable, then the Border Terrier might be the one for you! And we are not just saying that because these dogs are known for their quick learning abilities and intelligence. 

2. Protective

Despite their small size, these terriers are always up for a fight with any enemy! In fact, even if there is a dog of their 3x size, the Border Terriers will not be the one to step back. They are very protective and will go to any extent to keep their owners and family safe.

3. Affectionate

Another awesome thing about the Border Terrier dog breed is that besides being protective, these dogs are also very affectionate. They can form strong, emotional bonds with humans and often enjoy being part of family activities. 

4. Energetic

When it comes to the Border Terrier dog breed these dogs thrive on physical and mental stimulating activities. It is because they have high energy levels, and if you do not manage their energy levels in the right direction, they can get behavioral problems. 

The “Border” in this dog’s name comes from their origin in the border areas of England and Scotland!
a Border Terrier on a stroll outdoors

Grooming Needs of the Border Terrier

Congratulations! The Border Terrier dog breed is a hypoallergenic dog that barely sheds. This is why they are also low maintenance and, as a first-time owner, a perfect match. Here are their grooming needs:

1. Brushing

Even though Border Terriers are low shedders, you should brush them once a week to get rid of any loose hair. As they are harsh and wiry hair, their might not be any loose fur, but a lot of tangling for sure. Hence, use a slicker brush or grooming mitt. 

2. Bathing

As for bathing, you only need to bathe the Border Terrier dog breed once every 6-8 weeks. This too only with dog supplies (and dog-friendly products) like shampoo, conditioner, and soap. This will ensure that your dog isn’t muddy or smells bad after a tiring training day. 

3. Overall hygiene

Lastly, you must take care of your dog’s overall cleanliness. This includes cleaning the eye boogers, ear wax build-up, toenails, and debris. Besides, it would be best to keep an eye on the fleas and ticks that might attack the Border Terrier dog breed. 

Exercise and Training Needs

The Border Terrier dog breed might look like compact little dogs, but their training needs are that of a large dog! It means that their training session can last up to 1-2 hours per day, so buckle up for these daily needs:

  1. Border Terriers are known for their reserved nature. This may or may not lead to a lack of confidence in social settings. This is why it is essential that you give your dog early socialization training by helping them interact with the environment and humans. 
  1. As these dogs are super energetic, you need to channel their energy in the right direction. For this, you should indulge the Border Terrier dog breed in physically stimulating exercises. This can include daily walking, clicker training, interactive plays, and agility training. 
  1. Last but not least, you should be very consistent with the rules, regulations, and time! It also means that you need to show a lot of patience till Border Terriers learn to wake you up for training sessions and not the other way around!

Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, we can say that if you are a first-time dog owner going for the Border Terrier dog breed, it may or may not be the best choice for you! Even though their grooming needs are pretty basic as they barely shed or get dirty. On the other hand their training needs can be a headache! These dogs have super high energy levels, which can be hard to keep up with for a newbie. Also, you might need to hire a professional dog trainer. Besides this, their nutritional needs also depend on their activity levels, so you better take care of that as well!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can border terriers be left alone?

The Border Terrier dog breed is not really a dog to be left alone for extended periods of time. If it is a whole situation, you can train these dogs at an early age to adapt to living alone for 2-3 hours. Otherwise, leaving them alone can cause separation anxiety

Are border terriers dangerous?

Not at all! Border Terriers are not considered dangerous dogs, but they are definitely one of the most courageous ones! In reality, these terriers are affectionate and gentle when they trust people around them.

What are the negatives about Border Terriers?

There are not many cons about Border Terriers unless you are a first-time dog owner. Firstly, their training needs can be a hustle to deal with, and along with that, their independent nature and digging instincts may need a lot of management.

Is the Border Terrier aggressive?

No! The Border Terrier dog breed is not considered to be an aggressive breed and does not really go around biting others. However, individual temperament can vary, and you should treat your dog with positive training methods.

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