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border terrier up close to camera

The Border Terrier: thinking about getting a Border Terrier?

Eager to please but without losing sight of their own minds, Border Terriers are independent dogs that love to explore and take in their surroundings.

They make for relatively low-maintenance pets and might be a good choice for owners who don’t have too much living space.

Place of origin: Northumberland

Border Terrier life Expectancy: 12 – 15 years

How big do Border Terriers get? 28 – 40cm

How heavy are Border Terriers? 5 – 7kg

Colour: Blue & Tan, Grizzle & Tan, Wheaten, Red

Please note: A dog’s exercise, training/stimulation and grooming requirements can depend on several factors such as age and health. The same goes for ongoing costs of ownership. For advice on one specific dog, we always advise chatting with a vet.

How much exercise does a Border Terrier need?

Border Terriers are high-energy dogs and will need a minimum of one good walk a day to ensure they stay fit and healthy, as well as stimulated.

Originally bred as hunting dogs, Border Terriers love to explore independently and have retained their impulse to dig; it’s a good idea to keep them on a lead in any area where they could wander off out of your site.

Training: how to train a Border Terrier

Border Terriers typically pick up simple training tasks such as using the toilet quite quickly. Their strong independence may make it more difficult for them to learn complex tricks but with the correct training methods and plenty of patience on the part of the owner, there’s no reason a Border Terrier can’t be trained just as well as any other breed.

Border Terriers are keen observers and enjoy watching their surroundings. Although they are loyal and eager to please, they don’t rely on company as heavily as other breeds.

cute border terrier on grass

Grooming: do Border Terriers shed?

The Border Terrier’s characteristic rough coat is designed to repel dirt, making them low maintenance in the grooming department. We recommend a gentle brush every week or so, and that you only bathe them when needed – when a wipe won’t do.

When it comes to your Border Terrier’s health and grooming routine, don’t forget the importance of brushing their teeth, trimming their nails and checking their ears for signs of infection.

Border Terrier temperament, socialising and ideal home environment

Border Terriers make great family pets. They typically get along well with children and are eager to please. Their hunter’s nature might see them chasing cats or other small animals but they’re usually fine around other pets, especially if they’re introduced to them at a young age.

That said, a Border Terrier wouldn’t have too many complaints with being the only pet in the household.

Providing they get one good walk per day, Border Terriers can live comfortably in smaller spaces such as flats or apartments.

Cost of owning a Border Terrier

When considering the lifetime cost of owning a border terrier, remember to take into account:

As a rough guide, allow between £80 and £100 a month to cover the ongoing costs of owning a Border Terrier. Our vets have drawn up this handy guide to save dog owners money.

Need more info?

For more info on finding the best dog breed for you and your lifestyle, have a chat with your vet.

Find your nearest vet using our Find a Vet page, or speak to a vet online using Online Vets.

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