The Border terrier is first, foremost and essentially a working terrier. Although a Border will willingly become part of your family and can become a loyal and loving friend, a Border does have some habits, or traits, which are part of the breed characteristics, which may not always endear him/her to you or your extended family and friends.

Border’s were originally bred to work to fox and other vermin, and should be capable of following a horse all day and then still be fresh enough to go to ground to bolt the fox. Because of this, Border’s can have lots of energy. Although Border’s will be happy relaxing on your knee and having a cuddle, Border’s also needs plenty of walks to keep them healthy and happy.

Border’s may be inclined to chase small critters and it is not always easy to train them to distinguish between the rat you would like despatched and your child’s pet hamster!

Border’s can live peaceably with other animals if introduced at an early age and many people have Border Terriers and cats which live together quite happily, but if a Border sees a cat which is not part of the family, then see above re vermin! Unless socialised at an early age, some may become aggressive towards other dogs, so an early socialisation class may be the best option.

They are an intelligent breed, who can be quick to learn, but sometimes slow to obey if confronted with something else they would rather do, such as chasing small critters, rolling in unmentionables or chewing your best pair of shoes/3 piece suite/wallet full of money etc!

The breed was officially recognised by The Kennel Club in 1920, although its history can be traced back into the nineteenth century. The breed has, in the last few years, become one of the most popular Terrier breeds registered with the Kennel Club and usually has one of the highest Terrier entries at Championship Dog Shows.

The breed clubs are concerned at the increasing popularity of the breed, as coming with that will sometimes be the surge in breeding by those only interested in the breed for monetary gain, so buyer beware!

Please do not buy a Border Terrier, unless you have the time and space to devote to it and can give it a permanent loving home, with sufficient food, warmth and exercise.

Every member of the family should want the dog; if any of your family has reservations about having a dog in the household, this will impact on the dog’s happiness in the future.

(an extract from “Discover Dogs Leaflet” by kind permission of The Border Terrier Club)