Border Terriers are good-natured dogs and can make great companions. Originally bred to aid in fox hunts, the Border Terrier would drive the fox out of his den and into the open where the hounds would chase him down. The Border Terrier is believed to be one of Britain’s oldest Terrier breeds. The Border Terrier is a high energy dog, who has a strong drive to dig and hunt. Therefore, they do best with an active family that can provide plenty of fun activities. This energetic canine has a harsh coat which should be brushed on a weekly basis. Professionally grooming is recommended a few times a year.
Originally, the Border Terrier was referred to as the Coquetdale Terrier or Redesdale Terrier. Coquetdale and Redesdale were areas in which the breed had originated. In the 1800’s the breed became known by the name Border Terrier because of their association with the Border Hunt in Northumberland. The Border Terrier is believed to be related to Bedlington Terriers and Dandie Dinmont Terriers, which were from the same area. The breed was developed by farmers and shepherds from the border of England and Scotland to help reduce the fox population, capable predators who were hunting the farm animals. In the 19th century, foxhunting became a sport. The Border terrier would run alongside horses and the hounds. Their legs had to be long enough to keep up with the chase but short enough to be able to crawl inside the fox’s den. The Border Terrier may have been small in stature but was determined, intelligent and very hard working. The breed became more popular when it was officially recognized by the English Kennel Club as a distinct breed. Border Terriers became registered with the American Kennel Club in 1930. Border Terriers have appeared in several films and television series (There’s Something About Mary, Anchorman, Return to Oz, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). The Border Terrier went from being a working farm dog to hunting with nobility and today he is a popular pet and show dog.
The Border Terrier is known for his otter-shaped head. They have a broad skull and a short, dark colored muzzle. They have short, coarse hair that comes in red, blue, tan, wheaten, or grizzle and tan. They have small keen eyes with a bit of a mischievous expression. They have black noses and small, folded ears that are shaped like the letter “V”. Adorned with only a few short whiskers on the muzzle, the Border Terrier also has strong teeth with a scissor bite. The tail is moderately short and thick at the base. The Border Terrier has a double coat that is short and dense. They have a soft undercoat and a coarse, dirt-resistant, outer coat. They have small and compact feet, which have thick pads. Their hind legs are muscular.
The Border Terrier's coat needs weekly brushing. The outer coat will require hand-stripping a few times year to remove dead hair. The Border Terrier sheds little to none, so they make good pets for people with allergies. The Border Terrier does not require frequent bathing. When you do bathe a Border Terrier it is recommended that you use a shampoo designed for a Terrier’s coat. The Border Terrier is a high energy dog that needs daily exercise and when provided with that, the breed can be happy living in an apartment or a house. They enjoy challenges in the form of both physical and mental activities. There are fun hide and seek toys which can help the Border Terrier to not become bored. Border Terriers, if left alone for extended periods of time with little exercise, can become barkers. It is important to have a safe backyard because they can be escape artists. If left unsupervised in a yard, their instinct to dig can kick in.