Are you looking for a Terrier Dog that will suit you? If you want non-stop fun, affection, and a little bit more laid back than the other Terrier dogs, the Border Terrier Dog might be the dog for you.

Border TerrierBorder Terrier in front of a white background

If you love the outdoors and are also very active, the Border will be a great fit for you. Not only are they full of energy, but they are brilliant and affectionate dogs too!

They may not be the flashiest on the physical appearance. They are still purebred Terrier dogs. 

Like a typical terrier dog, they are very affectionate, compliant, and easily trained. 

In the mid-1800s, originally from the Cheviot Hills on the Border of Scotland and England, Border Terrier dogs helped farmers hunt foxes who mess with their livestock. 

With their almost unlimited energy and strong legs, they would need to go toe-to-toe with their horseback owners. But they also need to be small to dig into fox lairs.

You can probably see every border farmer owning a Border Terrier Dog due to their toughness and stamina. But they’re not popular with everyone.

They were only recognized as a breed by the British Kennel Club in 1920 and by the American Kennel Club 10 years later.

Furthermore, before it was called Border Terrier in the 1800s, their called many names like Coquetdale Terrier and Redesdale Terrier.

Border Terrier Dog


Border Terrier Characteristics 

Standing from 11 to 16 inches at the shoulder and 11.5 to 15.5 lbs in weight, Border Terrier is a small dog. Their undercoat is short and dense, while their outer coat is straight and wiry. 

The different colors of their coats are red, blue/grizzle and tan, or pale yellow. Another feature to some Borders is having a small white patch on their chest.

Border Terrier loves to run. They are swift with their long legs and have a lot of stamina. And don’t be fooled by their sizes!

With their small sizes, they come with huge personalities. 

Border Terrier may love your attention, but they can also be independent dogs. They can adapt to different environments quickly. That’s why a lot of families choose Border Terrier as their dogs.

Furthermore, be careful on some Border Terriers as they are an escape artist. They love to dig and run around, so make sure to have a secure place for your dog.

Leaving them in your backyard is not ideal as they’ll somehow find ways to escape.

It would be better to set up exercises for their physical needs and minds as they are brilliant dogs.

Border Terrier is also a great pet because of its low maintenance. Their coats only require brushing once or twice a week.

They do not require high maintenance in grooming and don’t shed as much as other dogs. 

They can be bathed only if necessary, like if you can’t remove dirt quickly. Dirt on their coat can be easily removed by brushing.

Border Terrier Health 

Adopting a new dog is not just like adding a new toy or thing to your life. Keep in mind that these dogs will now be part of your family.

Border Terrier has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. And they might encounter a few health problems. 

A few examples are:

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

It is an orthopedic issue that starts when they’re young due to the malformation of the hip socket or a poor fitting on the ligaments. 

As your Border Terrier grows older, stiffness in their hips or elbow can cause difficulties and result in arthritis. Notice if your dog is having difficulty getting up and lying down.

The sooner the treatment starts, the better. Dogs can undergo daily medication, surgery, or even hip replacements because of Hip Dysplasia.

Heart Problems

Border Terrier is also prone to other heart-related issues. They are prone to heart murmurs and congenital heart disease.

Heart murmurs are caused by disruption of blood flow through the heart.

The most common heart problem for Border Terrier is pulmonic stenosis. The narrowing of the valve isolates the right part of the heart from the lungs.

Always thoroughly research the breeder before adopting a dog. Check if the breeder used a dog with heart defects in the breeding process.

There are still other heart issues to look at so remember always to consult your vet.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

The Border Terrier breed has a higher risk of having this eye problem. It is an inherited disease that leads to blindness. 

It may not be painful, but sadly, there’s still no cure. 


You can sometimes find environmental and food allergies in Border Terries on rare occasions. Treatment can go to exclusion and other medications.

For humans, symptoms can appear in rashes or sneezing. But in dogs, allergies can be seen from itching. This skin allergy is called atopy

Border Terriers commonly have this type of allergy. The most common parts affected are the ears, feet, and belly. 


Malocclusions are abnormal tooth alignment. It is when the dog’s jaw doesn’t fit together. 

There are three types of incorrect bites. Firstly, is the overshot bite. Also known as the overbite or overjet

Overshot occurs when the lower jaw is shorter than the upper jaw. In more severe cases, the lower jaw or teeth can bite the roof of the mouth.

Secondly is the undershot bite. It is the opposite of the overshot bite, where the lower jaw grows faster and becomes longer than the upper jaw.

This might seem familiar to other dogs, but this may lead to difficulties to Border Terrier. Best be on your way to the vet as some Border might need surgery when this happens.

Lastly, the wry mouth. It is a rare condition that mainly affects large-nose breeds. A crooked mouth or a wry bite happens when one side of the jaw is more significant. 

In other cases, puppies can grow out of these incorrect bites. Wait until ten months old. If it’s not fixed then, going to the vet would be your first choice. 

Treatments include tooth extraction, crown height reductions, or spacers. Remember to research breeders, as dogs with incorrect bites should not be used for breeding.


There are three types of dog seizures, reactive, secondary, and primary. Reactive attacks are from the brain’s reaction to metabolic problems. 

Secondary seizures are from a brain tumor, stroke, or trauma, and if there’s no other cause that you can find, it falls under Primary seizures or idiopathic epilepsy.

Border Terriers can often inherit idiopathic epilepsy. It usually begins on their puppy stage around six months old to three years old. 

Treatment includes lifelong medication to help keep seizures under control. Remember that there’s still no cure for attacks, but you can manage it with proper medication.

Border Terrier

Living With a Border Terrier

There are a lot of dogs that require a lot of space to live in. Luckily for you, if you’re staying in the city and rocking that apartment lifestyle, the Border Terrier is a great companion.

Furthermore, if your lifestyle is the opposite, and you love the outdoors, Border Terrier is still a wonderful breed!

Since Border Terriers are originally hunting dogs, they are always ready to go.

Border Terrier is also terrific with other dogs and even cats. It depends on how well you’ve socialized your pup at an early age.

Since Border Terrier has a strong drive to chase prey, you should introduce your cat to the early stages of their lives. It still all comes down to how you raised them.

Furthermore, another thing to consider is that sometimes, Border Terriers don’t grow out to their chewing stage. Some everyday household items might be damaged.

Border Terrier Exercise

Border terriers have lots of energy and would love to walk with you for as long as you can. Denying your dog exercise not only will affect them physically but also mentally. 

Plan a 30-60 minute walk every day (split into two) to keep your pup healthy and active.

Playing games and going on walks is still the best way to get your dog some exercise. It will also serve as bonding for your relationship.

Walking to the park is an excellent example of an exercise as Border can socialize with other dogs in this situation.

They are brilliant and active dogs, so don’t just waste it by letting them sit around your home.

But also be careful not to over-exercise them; puppies and adults should have different times or different exercise activities.

Remember that your puppy is still growing, and over-exercising can cause danger to their joints as they’re developing. 

Border Terrier Close-Up
Border Terrier Close-Up

Border Terrier with Kids and other Pets

From a very young age, socializing is one of the critical parts of raising a dog. Teaching socialization is not just for mixing with other dogs, but with other humans.

A great way to start is by showing your different pup environments in the world. This will help them react more positively to the world.

Moreover, Border Terriers are known for their high energy. With proper socialization, your children and dog will have a great and fun relationship. 

But don’t forget that they are very energetic and can lead to too much excitement. Best be still on the lookout when they are playing with your kids.

Furthermore, having a cat in the family should still be very lovely as long as you’ve introduced them to each other properly at a young age.

They will get along, but it is still advised to supervise them while they are together.

Moreover, smaller pets like hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs, and rats are not recommended to be partnered with Border Terriers.

With their high prey drive, they might look at some of these smaller pets as something to hunt or something to chase.

Running Border Terrier
Running Border Terrier


Where to Adopt a Border Terrier?

Finding and researching a breeder close to you is a great start on finding a Border Terrier.

A Border Terrier puppy can range from $800 to $1,500, depending on the breeder. Pick a breeder that carefully checks for hereditary diseases.

A great place to start looking for Border Terrier is at the Border Terrier Club of America. Another great website that can help you find your Border is at PetFinder

Furthermore, another great option is by adopting through a rescue organization. Border Terriers are sometimes available through organizations like North American Border Terrier Welfare, Inc.

Take into account that not just adopting a dog is cheap but raising one will be costly. You will not be buying a simple accessory or toy for you to play with.

This is an actual living thing full of affection and fun. Taking care o a dog’s health will take up time and money.

If you want your Border Terrier to live a long and happy life, you’d have to buy specific diets and have regular checkups with the vet.

Pure Bred Border Terrier
Pure Bred Border Terrier

Border Terrier Conclusion

Border Terriers are very energetic and very affectionate dogs. They have colossal stamina for playing hard and loving hard.

They require a lot of attention but at the same time can be independent.

Border Terriers are adaptable and can adjust to different living situations like a small apartment. But it’s advised to have them in a space where they can run around.

They are also good with children but still need supervision to avoid biting and ear pulling. They are great playmates even though they are small in size.

Cats are also acceptable playmates for your Border as long as they are introduced early and adequately. Socializing in their early stages is key to a great relationship.

Smaller pets are not recommended to be partnered with Border Terrier as they have a high drive for chasing prey. They may not look at these animals as family or friends.

If you are fond of the great outdoors, the Border Terrier is an excellent suit for you. They are always ready to go and explore. 

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Toby loves spending time with his dog and two cats. They are the best stress reliever and affectionate pets, especially his Belgian Malinois, Shawie. Shawie's favorite activity is running or jogging. But their go-to spot is to chill and swim around a nearby river.