Border Terrier

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Learn about the temperament and personality of the Border Terrier. Discover what he’s like to live with, his traits and characteristics and how he generally behaves.

Border Terrier Temperament

The Border Terrier is a hardy little dog who will want to be part of your family. They are not as feisty as other terrier breeds, but they do still have a mind of their own. They are intelligent, creatively so, and though they are trainable, they are also independent thinkers, so they are not the most obedient breed. However, they do excel in earthdog, obedience, and agility trials. These are active, agile, athletic dogs who need daily exercise. They are high-energy (though not hyper) and are happiest when they have a job to do. While they are, in essence, a no-frills working dog, they are also excellent housedogs. While they are affectionate, and while they do want your attention, they are not in your face and under your feet every minute. They will be content to be in the room with you, hear an occasional word from you, and get a few hugs a day. Unless you have food — then all bets are off. They have a high prey drive and will chase small furry critters, including cats. They make good farm dogs because they keep nuisance animals away. But they will also kill your son’s pet hamster. They will also bolt across the road after a neighborhood chipmunk. They are not car smart and more Border Terriers are killed each year by cars then by disease or old age. Borders are also prone to just wandering off looking for someone to visit. They are really quite friendly! It is best if a Border Terrier has a fenced-in yard, but even then, be aware that they are the Houdinis of the dog world. They can climb fences and they can dig under them, so you had better prepare to invest in a serious fence. Border Terriers can be aggressive with other dogs, especially those of the same sex, so it is important to start socialization when the dog is young. Many, many Borders do just fine in a household with other dogs. Border Terriers do very well with well-behaved children. Of course, all child-dog interactions should be supervised. They are very loud barkers, and will get fairly excited when they see a squirrel though the window or the UPS man across the street. Most Borders will howl and sing several times a day. Border Terriers are not always popular with the neighbors. They will bark when someone is at your door, and once the door is open, they might greet the person with a kiss. Border Terriers like to jump on people and you might spend your dog’s entire life trying to teach him not to do this. They also like to dig, so if you don’t want help with the gardening, you will need more fencing. They also like to chew. A Border’s chewing phase can last for years. Rugs and chair legs will suffer, and dog toys don’t stand a chance. They hate being left alone and if you try it, they will try to eat your house. But when you are there, they are bouncy, happy little guys who will make you laugh. They are game for anything: learning new tricks, or watching television and licking your feet. They are a great companion for someone who is ready to commit to a dog who needs a lot of exercise, someone who doesn’t mind an assertive dog. Your Border will need regular interaction and stimulation. Oh, and he’ll want to sleep in your bed too.

Border Terrier Training

The Border Terrier is intelligent and quite easy to train. He learns new commands quickly at an above average rate.

Border Terrier Shedding

The Border Terrier sheds practically no hair at all. You’ll virtually never find a hair in your home!

Border Terrier Grooming

Pet coat (less work): Cut his coat short every few months and then it only needs to be brushed every so often.
Show coat (more work): Strip his coat every six months and brush it daily.

Adopt a Border Terrier

Border Terrier adoption