Border Terrier

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Border Terrier


border-terrierRecommended for:  Families, excellent with young children

Maintenance Level:  Medium

Lifespan:  12-15 years

Temperament:  Active, loyal

Health Risk:  This breed is in the lower risk category for developing health issues, hence it is one of the most affordable breeds to insure.



Though not particularly well known in Australia, the Border Terrier is a small powerful, fearless dog that loves to hunt and dig.  He is a good natured, high energy, intelligent and loyal.  This little dog has a short and dense undercoat with a wiry top coat.  The Border Terrier does not shed a lot hair and therefore he is suitable for allergy sufferers.

It has been said that the Border Terrier looks a lot like a junk yard dog with his wiry, somewhat scrappy coat.  Some Border Terriers have a white patch on their chest.

Banner-BreedSelectorThe Border Terrier comes in a variety of colours including red, blue, tan or wheaten.  The Border Terrier’s skin is quite loose and it can be lifted from their body and their water repelling coat is design to keep the dog warm in cold climates.  The Border Terrier’s thick and loose skin was designed to protect him from bites and it came in very useful when these dogs were used for fox hunting.

The male Border Terrier stands between 33 to 41 cm tall and females stand 28 to 36 cm tall.  The male weighs 6 to 7 kg and the females weigh between 5 to 6 kg.

The average lifespan of the Border Terrier is between 12 to 15 years.

Border Terrier



The Border Terrier originated in the rugged country between Northumberland and Scotland.  This little terrier is without doubt related to other terriors from the same region including the Bedlington Terriers and Dandie Dinmont Terriers.

Border Terriers were originally shown in the 1870s and 1880s at the Bellinham show.  The dog was originally registered with the British Kennel Club in 1913.  It has been reported that 41 Border registrations were made between 1912 and 1919 and the breed gained official recognition in 1920.  The Border Terrier Club was also formed at this time and there were 121 members in the club.

These energetic terriers worked with the Border Foxhounds and they were bred to control foxes and followed hunters on their horses.

Mrs. Russell from Melbourne was the first recorded Border Terrier owner in Australia during the 1940s.  The first New South Wales Border Terrier was owned by Mr George Sheaves in the 1960s.

Border Terrier Puppies



The Border Terrier is quite easy to train and with regular and steady obedience training will result in a well-rounded dog.  Border Terriers enjoy family life and are energetic companions for young children.

Like all terriers they do have a mind of their own but with consistent training the Border Terrier will follow basic commands.  As with all dogs it’s a good idea to socialise the Border Terrier when they are young and teach them to know their place in the home.

Border Terriers do get on well with other dogs and cats if they are introduced to them from an early age.  They really enjoy the company of a dog that is not the same sex, so that’s something to consider if you are bringing another dog into the Border Terrier’s home.

They do like to chase and may run after cats and other small animals when outside.

Border Terrier Standing



  • Patella Luxation

Patella luxation is caused either by a deformity or trauma, which results in frequent dislocation of the patella in the knee, locking the leg. It causes pain and can be crippling, but many dogs lead relatively normal lives.

  • Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a condition where the thighbone and hip joint do not fit together properly, causing pain and lameness. Less severe cases can be treated with anti-inflammatory medications, but surgery may be required for serious cases.

  • Pulmonic Stenosis

Pulmonic stenosis is caused by improper flow of blood through the heart due to a weak or malformed pulmonic valve, leading the heart to have to work harder in order to pump blood. This can lead to enlargement of the heart and possibly heart failure. Less serious cases may not require treatment, but surgery is recommended for severe cases.

  • Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough of the thyroid hormone. Symptoms include epilepsy, loss of hair, fatigue and patchy skin. It is treatable with medication and a special diet.

  • Cryptorchidism

This is a condition where one or both of the testicles fail to descent.  Both descended and undescended testicles can be removed through neutering.

Border Terriers



Even though they have a scruffy coat that keeps them warm the Border Terrier does love to be inside rather than left out in the backyard.

They are known as escape artists so make sure the Border Terrier is kept in a secure yard with high fences.

The Border Terrier has a natural instinct to dig so don’t leave them alone in the yard for long periods as they will become destructive.

Border Terriers love to jump and bounce and they should be taught not to jump on people.

Border Terriers have a high pain threshold so that only way you might be able to tell if your dog is sick is when he becomes quiet and withdrawn.

Border Terrier Running



Border Terrier Club of NSW:

Border Terrier Pet Insurance Quote

Getting pet insurance for your Border Terrier will help ensure you can always afford the best vet care for them. Bow Wow Meow offers a range of flexible pet insurance options including cover for accidental injury, illness and routine care.

Wondering how much it would cost to insure your Border Terrier if you got one? It’s quick and easy to get a pet insurance quote.
(Note: dogs must be over 8 weeks old to take out insurance, so please enter a birth date to reflect this when getting an indicative quote.)

November 24, 2017
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