Border Terrier: A Complete Guide

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Looking for a dog or a puppy that loves playing with you or with your kids?

Wouldn’t it be great if the breed you choose is well known for being intelligent and thirsty for learning? The Border Terriers fit into these categories and in many more.

They are lovable little beings that love being around people and other animals if socialized from their early days.

They are protective and will always keep an eye on your kids and call for you if they sense something wrong.

But, how can you know that the puppy you chose has all those and more qualities, or comes with flaws?

Read our guide to get a much better insight into all that makes this breed so special and lovable.

Also, you will learn what to keep an eye on when buying a puppy, and what to expect from the moment you welcome it into your home.

Border Terrier Puppies – Before You Buy…

A small Border Terrier sitting outdoors
Border Terrier is a great companion.

Sure, Border Terrier puppies are cute, but so are puppies from any other breed.

So, before you decide to take a puppy from a certain breed home, make sure that you know everything about that breed, especially how the puppies react to a new home.

Not all have the same acclimation periods and while one breed might be great, the other can turn out to be a disaster in a new home and a new family situation.

Therefore, we decided to bring out the traits of Border Terrier puppies, so that you can make sure they are good pets for your family and home.

Here’s what you need to know before you buy one.

What price are Border Terrier puppies?

The price of a Border Terrier puppy depends on a few factors.

For example, a Border Terrier puppy that comes from both parents being fully health tested means you will be looking at a steeper price tag.

These medical tests cost, but for that price, you know what to expect from a puppy, both physically and mentally, and know whether this puppy is the right choice for you or not.

Also, the price depends largely on where you are in the world. For example, a Border Terrier puppy from tested parents, in the States, will cost you from around $900 to $1600.

While in the UK, the price goes from around £700 to near £1000, again, for a puppy that comes from tested parents.

Of course, if you do the internet search, you will find Border Terrier puppies for a far lesser price. But, you have no guarantee that you are getting a puppy from a reputable breeder.

In other words, you need to be extremely careful because most of the time, you can stumble upon a breeder that didn’t get the puppy’s parents tested and that is a huge gamble.

How to find reputable Border Terrier breeders?

A Border Terrier lying down on its owners foot
Border Terrier is very sociable.

When it comes to finding a reputable breeder, just make sure that the person you are buying the dog from knows everything about this breed.

You will get the best shot at walking away with a healthy Border Terrier if the breeder is very experienced with this breed in particular.

You want to avoid “expert” breeders who switch breeds as the price goes up. Some people don’t care about the animals and are in it just for money, you should be aware of that.

So, when meeting the breeder, try to see if he cares about both the pups and the parents – The dogs he is daily with.

Before you decide to take the puppy to your home, you need to know if it comes from a caring and safe place.

When dealing with experienced Border Terrier breeders, they will be able to give you the puppy’s registry.

This way, they are making sure you realize that the pup is purebred and if there are some health conditions you should be concerned about.

In a nutshell, if the breeder you plan on buying a Border Terrier puppy from is well experienced and caring, he knows that you should be aware of the puppy’s background.

And, he will have no problem showing you all the needed papers. In fact, he will insist on it.

3 Little-known facts about Border Terrier puppies

A side view of the Border Terrier's face
Border Terrier is a great fit for a wide range of families and homes.

When you are about to get a new pet, especially if it’s a breed you have no experience with, the smartest thing to do is to find as many credible facts as you can.

Here are the three we thought you should know about:

  • They shouldn’t be left with other pets alone — their high prey drive can easily kick in

These cute little dogs were once hunters, and they were used to clear foxholes and make the foxes run out where the Bloodhounds would then chase her. Also, Border Terriers love to hunt vermin and pests.

This explains why these dogs love digging and start from their earliest days. However, they also have the so-called high prey drive that makes them chase smaller animals.

They will get along with other dogs and even with cats from your household, but it is not a smart thing to leave them alone with a hamster or a canary without having any prior training.

  • They are fine with children and are usually good watchdogs – but they are not aggressive

Your Border Terrier will get along with your kids right from the start. It will be their faithful companion in their adventures and will make sure they don’t get into trouble.

The Borders are alert animals and even when they are puppies, they will react to sudden movement, sounds, and will bark when something is going on.

They are great watchdogs, but keep in mind that they mostly bark to let you know, they are not aggressive and they won’t attack.

  • Training and socialization are required to eliminate the possibility of SDS (Small Dog Syndrome)

The Border Terrier is a small breed, and sometimes, smaller dogs are more favored than the big ones, so people tend to go easy on them for their size.

No wonder why they develop that Small Dog Syndrome and act like they were the biggest beasts in the neighborhood.

To let your dog know that he or she is not the “biggest badass” on the block, boundaries need to be set.

Otherwise, the dog might get the idea that he/she is in charge, and consider you as the Beta male. Imagine a 15-pound dog thinking he owns everything and everyone!

To avoid that, your dog needs training and socialization from the earliest of days. It needs to realize that he is not the Alpha dog and that there is a limit to what he is allowed to do.

And yeah, carrying the pup around if it gets “tired” doesn’t help this cause at all.

The bottom line, training and no special treatment and your Border Terrier will grow up to be one cheerful, smart dog that loves its family.

Physical Traits of the Border Terrier

In this section, you get to know how big a full-grown Border Terrier is, and how long can you expect it to be your faithful companion. A little tip, you are in for many happy memories…

How big is a full-grown Border Terrier?

We are pretty sure that by now, you realized that Borders are not huge dogs.

In fact, with an average height of 10 to 11 inches for males, and a few inches shorter for females, the Borders can be placed in the small-dogs group.

They are not that heavy as well. For example, Bulldogs tend to be a bit on the heavy side despite their height. The Border Terrier males, on the other hand, are not that bulky.

They have an average of some 14-15 pounds, while the females tend to be a bit lighter, at 12-13 pounds.

What is the life expectancy of the Border Terrier?

As we hinted above, Border Terriers are in for a longer run. The average lifespan is 14 years.

However, there are many cases where borders, with great care throughout the entire life and plenty of love from the family, lived up to be 18 or 19 years old.

So, if you do decide to get this breed, know that the family album is going to be filled with happy memories with your terrier.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Border Terrier

Okay, you know that the Borders are not huge in size, but did you know that they are huge in the heart?

Also, they are highly intelligent dogs and if used to having company around, they can get along with everyone.

In fact, there are tons of cases where owners of one Border Terrier decided to get one or more Borders so that they have company.

On the other hand, if you already have more animals, but other species, getting your Border pup to meet the other pets as soon as it is welcomed into your home, is a really good idea.

Otherwise, if he is separated from other animals all the time, once they are together and alone, the Border’s hunting instinct could kick in…

As for Borders and kids, there is not a single thing you should worry about. They simply adore kids and love to play with them for hours.

Border’s playful nature and their terrier energy serve great when it comes to babysitting the kids in the backyard.

Also, you don’t have to be worried if the dog will be too pushy towards the kids. There isn’t a single aggressive cell in their body and they are gentle with kids.

Furthermore, when playtime is finished, they won’t bark and jump around hoping for more play.

Instead, they will be the most obedient “kid” and send a great example to your kids for how when parents call, you get in the house and take your place on the sofa or the bed, and relax.

When it comes to how complicated the training of the Border Terrier is, you can relax, they are exceptionally intelligent and love to learn.

Though, you should keep in mind that these dogs have a memory of an elephant.

This means that if your Border once learns that something is okay to do (for example, you accidentally treating him with a “good boy!”, for something that was a “bad boy!” situation, while the dog was still a puppy), you will have a hard time convincing him/her otherwise.

But, of course, if you give him love and devotion, your Border Terrier pup will gladly wait for you to teach him something new and it will be happy, and so will you.

Their love and thirst for learning is the biggest reason why they are often starring in movies and TV shows.

It seems that the Borders simply love obedience training, and they are devoted. This also makes them a great breed for people with disabilities.

A friendly tip: The Border Terriers are chewers, meaning, they can turn any toy into a pile of plastic or wood. Therefore, from the beginning of your training, make sure you let your pup know what he or she can chew on, and what is forbidden.

Buying a toy, specially made for sharp, puppy teeth (in fact, buying a few), might be a great idea if you don’t want to wake up to chewed slippers.

To wrap it up, with an adorable mixture of being lovable, easygoing, and affectionate, the Borders are a great fit for a wide range of families and homes.

If you train your pup young and show him, love, you will live to see how it becomes a well-behaved, cheerful dog.

The Border Terrier Diet

When it comes to the Border Terrier diet, they really aren’t that picky. Borders can have a raw/homemade diet, yet they will also be pretty happy if they get their paws and noses on high-quality dog food.

Whichever diet regime you decide to use, just keep in mind that it should be vitamin and mineral-rich. This includes high-quality foods such as rice, meat, and vegetables, and even supplements.

How much Exercise does a Border Terrier need?

If you think that because your Border is not large, he doesn’t need daily exercise, you are wrong. All dogs need exercise, and when they are as active as Borders, that energy needs to be burned.

But don’t worry, you won’t have to run marathons with your dog. An hour or two in the park playing fetch and running with other dogs is quite enough for a Border to burn out that excessive energy.

One tip, you will notice how your Border likes digging, even while still a pup.

To prevent this NO-NO from becoming an annoying habit, include plenty of toys your pup, later a dog, can chew on, toss around, and run with. A distraction of a sort, if you will.

Border Terrier Health and Conditions

To get your stone off the chest right away, the Border Terriers are well known for being a robust breed when it comes to their health.

This breed is not known for having issues with disabling conformational defects, but, it is well known that pedigree breeds can come with a few inherited health issues.

And, here is what you need to know when it comes to Border Terriers:

  • Spike’s Disease

This illness is likewise known as CECS or canine epileptoid cramping syndrome.

And, before buying a pup, you should ask the breeder if there is any history of epilepsy in your pup’s family line because CECS is a similar disorder to canine epilepsy, and it is hereditary.

  • Hip Dysplasia

In some cases, Border Terriers can suffer from hip dysplasia. Respectable breeders will make sure that the pup’s parents are both hip scored and that they have good scores.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Unfortunately, Borders can sometimes start losing their sight. One of the causes can be the PRA blindness.

There is a test for this genetic condition and you should make sure that both of the puppy’s parents are cleared.

If one of the parents is a carrier, even though the dog didn’t suffer from that disorder, your puppy can end up having PRA blindness later. So, check with the breeder about these tests before buying the puppy.

Of course, these diseases and conditions are not that often and, as we mentioned, Border Terriers are known for being healthy and energetic dogs.

However, making sure that the breeder provides test results that concern you, should always be a priority.

My final thoughts on the Border TerrierA Border Terrier looking curious

We have reached the end of our tale about these tenacious, brave, and bold furballs.

By now, you should have a much clearer image of Borders, and you now know if this is the breed you’ve been looking for.

Just keep in mind that once you become an owner of a Border Terrier, you will have to save some of your energy for burning his.

That is why this is a great family dog, the kids have plenty of energy, and when they meet out in the open, those energies cancel each other out.

How does “Kids sleeping like angels, while the dog is passed out by you on the sofa in front of the TV” sound?

Still having second thoughts about this breed?

We will just remind you that a well trained and socialized Border is a great companion for both outdoor and indoor occasions.

To sum it all up and share the last advice, don’t rush in, take your time when choosing the breeder you want to buy a Border Terrier from. Also, check all the papers and cleared tests.

If you make the right choice, both you and your family will get a new family member that will bring you only love and joy.

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