Did you know?
The star of the Harry Potter movies, Daniel Radcliffe, has two Border Terriers named Binka and Nugget.
The censure of a dog is something no man can stand. – Christopher Morley
Once known as the Coquetdale Terrier, the “modern” Border Terrier takes his name from the Border counties of northern England and southern Scotland. It has a long history with the Border Hunt in Northumberland.
For centuries, terriers fitting the description of the Border Terrier were in use by shepherds, farmers and huntsmen who wanted a game terrier with sufficient leg to follow a horse in the rugged hill country but small enough to be able to go to ground after marauding hill foxes. These terriers were small enough to be able to squeeze into fox burrows and chase out the prey for the waiting foxhounds. He was also used to kill rodents, and have even been used to hunt otters and badgers.
Excellent hunters, today’s Border Terriers can still do the job for which they were bred.
Photos displayed courtesy of Danièle Trottier, Terriland, Quebec
Border Terrier weigh in at a maximum of 15 1/2 pounds (7 kg).
They have short, hard, wiry topcoats in shades of red, grizzle, tan, blue and tan, or wheaten over a dense undercoat. This double coat and his thick, loose pelt protect him from unpleasant weather and and his quarry’s sharp teeth! Their coats do require some grooming to keep the dog looking tidy and matt-free. Border Terriers should be regularly brushed and stripped but not clipped.
With his distinctive otter-like head, the Border Terrier’s sweet-natured appearance belies his toughness. Like most terriers, the Border Terrier has been described as a “big dog personality in a small dog body”!
An excellent family pet, they are very good with children, but may chase cats and other small pets. The Border Terrier enjoys swimming and gets along well with other dogs. Bright, perky, active, and affectionate, this breed is a naturally curious and effective watch dog.
Borders are very independent and loyal. Some are known to be territorial and will protect their homes. They have a strong sense of smell and can tell when danger is near. These dogs will investigate any sound and will chase anything that moves!
Generations of breeding have produced a good natured, strong willed dog but one of fearless determination when “on the job”. In the field, he is tough, focused, and intense. This dog is extremely active and agile, and is happily content at home or in the field. He has a high energy level and needs lots of exercise including a daily walk.
The Border Terrier is good-tempered, obedient, and easily trained. They excel in task-oriented activities and have a surprising ability to jump high and run fast given the size of their legs. They are intelligent and eager to please and so learn new tricks quickly. The breed enjoys agility training and does very well in competition. They also do very well in obedience, earthdog tests, and flyball.
Their love of people and even temperament make them fine therapy dogs, especially for children and the elderly, and they are occasionally used to aid the blind or deaf. From a young age they should be trained on command.