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Adopt a Border Terrier

Border Terrier Dog Breed

Picture: Kent and Donna Dannen



Area of origin:

border of Scotland and England

Original function:

fox bolting, ratting

Average size of male:

Ht: 10-11, Wt: 13-15.5

Average size of female:

Ht: 10-11, Wt: 11.5-14

Other names:


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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

Border Terrier Dogs Available on Petfinder Right Now

See more adoptable Border Terrier dogs available on Petfinder

Border Terrier Dog Temperament

One of the few terriers bred to run with the pack, the border is one of the most amiable and tractable of the group. He is inquisitive, busy, friendly and biddable. He does like to hunt and can be independent, ingredients that make for a dog that may tend to roam if given the chance. He is generally good with other dogs and cats, but not with rodents. He is very good with children and makes a good companion for people of all ages. He digs, and some bark. Some are talented escape artists.

Border Terrier Dog Care

The border likes activity and needs either a good walk on leash, a vigorous game session or an off-lead expedition in a safe area every day. He does best when allowed to divide his time between house and yard. His harsh coat needs brushing weekly, plus stripping of dead hairs about four times yearly to maintain his clean outline.

Border Terrier Dog Health

Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: none
Occasionally seen: CHD, heart defects
Suggested tests: hip, cardiac
Life span: 12-15 years

Interested in the history of the Border Terrier dog breed?

Perhaps the oldest of Britain's terriers, the border terrier originated around the Cheviot Hills forming the border country between Scotland and England. The dog originated to chase and dispatch the fox that were considered a nuisance to farmers. The smallest of the long-legged terriers, the border terrier had to be fast enough to keep up with a horse yet small enough to go in after the fox once it had gone to ground. The first evidence of these dogs dates from the 18th century. His progenitors are unknown, although he is probably related to the Dandie Dinmont. The breed was once known as the Coquetdale terrier (among other names), but the name border terrier, taken from the Border Hunt, was adopted in 1870. By this time, the breed had risen from his utilitarian roots to take a valued place alongside the foxhounds in the gentry's elegant fox hunts. The Border Hunt had a long association with these game yet amiable terriers whose job it was to dispatch the fox. The first border terrier was shown in the 1870s. The breed was recognized by the AKC in 1930. Less flashy than many other terriers, the border continued to be better appreciated by patrons of the hunt than of the show ring. In recent years, he has experienced a rise in popularity and is fast becoming a fairly popular pet and successful show dog.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

Shelters with Border Terrier Dogs

Some animal welfare organizations with Border Terriers ready for adoption:

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