Border Terrier

Border Terrier by Shutterstock.

Quick Facts

  • Weight: 11 – 16 pounds (4.99 – 7.26 kg)
  • Height: 9 – 10 inches (22.86 – 25.40 cm)

The Look of a Border Terrier

Border Terriers have small, sturdy frames covered in harsh wiry coats. Their otter-like heads have short muzzles, V-shaped ears that hang close to the cheek, and a pair of dark, intense eyes. They have muscular necks, strong backs and thick tails carried horizontally. Overall, the Border Terrier has a hardy but wonderfully disheveled look.


  • Cute and scruffy
  • Easygoing
  • Energetic
  • Curious
  • Loyal
  • Durable

Ideal Human Companion

  • Active, sporty types
  • City dwellers
  • Families
  • Retirees

What They Are Like to Live With

One of the more laid-back terriers, Border Terriers can be mannerly and calm around the house. They have a friendly, outgoing way with everyone in the family. However, they still have the typical terrier feistiness. Give them lots of room to run, daily walks, positive training and plenty of attention, and they will always be playful, loyal and easy to manage.

Things You Should Know

Border Terriers like to dig. They also happen to be really good at it: Just make sure they don’t tunnel their way to into the neighbor’s yard. Keep in mind that Border Terriers have an intense curiosity coupled with a strong hunting instinct: If the other family pets include small critters like gerbils and hamsters, keep them well out of the Border Terrier’s reach.

Border Terriers can live as long as 15 years, aging gracefully. Generally healthy, some can develop eye problems like glaucoma and cataracts. They are very easy to maintain, needing only a weekly brushing and the occasional grooming. Border Terriers don’t shed very much at all.

Border Terrier History

The Border Terrier originated along the border between England and Scotland. The farmers in this area needed a terrier that was tall enough to follow horses yet short enough to chase a fox. Border Terriers not only fit these requirements, they also had the tough, weatherproof coat to withstand all kinds of harsh weather.

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