Border Terrier

Terrier Group

Two Border Terriers standing in front of a white background

Height at Shoulders

12-15 in

Weight

Females 11.5-14 lbs, Males 13-15.5 lbs

Life Expectancy

12-15 yrs

History

The Border Terrier originated in the hilly countryside of the Scottish-English border sometimes in the 18th century. The Border Terrier was bred to hunt hill foxes, an infamous predator of sheep. Extreme stamina and perseverance were selected for in the development of the breed. Their wiry coat also allowed them to zoom through thickets without getting snagged. The Border Terrier gained a reputation throughout the region as being a skilled foxhunter as well as hunter of other small game. The foxhunts that Border Terriers took part in were very different from the traditional British fox hunts where noblemen took part in the affair solely for sport, setting off on their estates with a pack of foxhounds. Rather, these northern county fox hunts were a matter of necessity for farmers, protecting their livelihood from livestock predators.

Breed Characteristics

While not all Border Terriers will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★☆☆☆

★★★★★

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★☆

★★★☆☆

★★

★★

★☆

Intelligence

★★★★★


Affection Towards Family

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★★☆☆


Exercise Needs

★★★★★


Energy Level

★☆


Sensitivity

★★★☆☆


Noise Level

★★


Prey Drive

★★


Shedding

★☆

Common Traits

Happy, friendly breed that thrives on human companionship, even from strangers

Independent but generally eager to please and easy to train

High energy and known to be escape artists (especially when bored)

May become excessive diggers, nuisance barkers, or otherwise destructive if bored or left alone for long

It's not uncommon for these dogs to get hit by cars while pursuing prey- they need to be on leash or in enclosed space