Border Terrier: history, character, standard and health (+ photo)

One of the few dog breeds in the world that has not undergone dramatic changes during its formation and development is the Border Terrier. You can verify the above yourself, just compare the photos of dogs who lived in the UK in the 1880s and modern exhibition Borders. Such a tolerant attitude to the primary gene pool is doubly surprising, given that breeding was done in England. It's no secret that English breeders were and remain fans of their craft, and such “zeal” led to a complete change in the format of some breeds.

History reference

Border (Border), translated from English means the border, and the terrier, respectively - a burrow hunter. The history of the breed began in the bordering regions of England and Scotland, which have always been famous for service dogs. The reason is that people intentionally brought four-legged animals with excellent working qualities and did not put their appearance at the top of their priorities.

Peasants, small traders, nomads and farmers living on the poverty line could not keep dogs for pleasure, there simply was no means for this. Hunting was entertainment for the rich and a means of survival for the "common people", therefore, work on the development of the "ideal terrier" was carried out constantly. Active breeding work in each region explains the differences between terriers of those times.

A strict selection of working qualities led to the instability of the exterior, which deprived the breed of the slightest chance of recognition. In the literature there are negative reviews about the first Border Terriers. Breeders wrote about the incompleteness of the image, the angular structure and unattractive appearance. It is reliably known that breeders used an admixture of other breeds - Fox Terrier and the extinct White Terrier - as a “polishing”.

Crossing the established pedigree line with the White English Terriers, the breeders took great risks, but the calculation turned out to be correct. The gene pool of future Border Terriers is so strong that the appearance of the dog has become softer, but has not changed radically. The only obvious legacy of the ancestors is small white spots on the chest and paws of some members of the breed.

It is interesting! In the history of Border Terriers, two families of hunters and breeders are mentioned everywhere - Robson and Dodd. It is known that several generations of breeders actively used the Borders in the hunt for foxes and otters.

The importance of maintaining the primary proportions of the body was enormous. The Border Terrier was entrusted with many duties and it was thanks to his physique that the breed was considered universal. First of all, dogs were used in hunting, and Borders worked in a group with other breeds. The hunters needed a small, light, but long-legged and ripe dog. The tactics are as follows: a pack of Foxhounds drives a fox, and the Border Terrier works when a distraught and extremely aggressive victim tries to hide in a hole.

It is interesting! The ability to communicate and get along with dogs of other breeds was considered mandatory.

The breed was very popular on farms, where dogs were entrusted with guarding the territory, catching mice, rats and other animals encroaching on food supplies. It is known that tetrapods successfully fought badgers! Borders were used as protectors of farm animals, for example, dogs guarded kids and lambs from foxes.

It is interesting! Border terriers, living everywhere in different regions, received a single name only in 1880. The desire of the British to bring out "their" terrier led to the appearance of many "popular names of the breeds", which were often duplicated.

Over time, "artisanal" terriers began to appear in small rural displays. Farmers-breeders boasted of the working skills of their wards and even planned to mate the best manufacturers. By 1881, breeders made an official description of the breed, which allowed the Borders to formally participate in exhibitions. 12 years later, in 1913, the Kennel Club of England approved the standard of the Border Terrier breed. The first official representative of the breed was the one-year-old male Moss Trooper. It took the British Kennel Club another 7 years for the Border Terrier breed to be recognized.

Without thinking twice, fans of the breed in the same 1920 organized the Border Terrier breed club. The community pursued two goals - improving the exterior and maintaining working qualities. It should be noted that the breed survived two world wars, during which factory activity completely ceased. By a fortunate coincidence, during the Second World War, the number of Border Terriers was almost not affected. It was the Border Club that became the first cynological union to hold an exhibition in 1946.

It is interesting! Despite the slow development of the breed, modern Borders are considered one of the 20 most popular breeds in the UK.


Perhaps you need to start with the fact that the dimensions and appearance of the Border Terrier are confusing for many people. It is difficult for future owners to understand how such a small almost toy dog ​​can be so dexterous and hardy. On the other hand, how else? A working Border must keep up with the hounds and horses, and when the time comes, dig, climb into the hole and fight with the wild animal. Borders are deservedly called the smallest working dogs. The weight of males varies from 5.9 to 7 kg, females 5.2-6.4 kg, height at the withers up to 34 cm, regardless of gender.

Breed standard

  • Head - small, flat. The forehead is wide, sloping, smoothly turning into the bridge of the nose. The muzzle is shorter than the forehead line, decorated with a beard, the nose is wide and even. The eye sockets and cheeks are tightened. The lips are black, moderately thick, hide the lower jaw, but do not hang down.
  • Teeth - Strong, tightly set, fangs and lower incisors unexpectedly powerful. Scissor bite (preferred) or straight.
  • Nose - proportional sizes, preferably black. Dark brown pigmentation is acceptable if the overall appearance is harmonious.
  • Eyes - widely spaced, almond-shaped, non-convex. The color of the irises is dark brown, the blacker the better. An insightful, lively, alert look. Eyebrows are actively involved in facial expressions.
  • Ears - small, triangular, hanging, tight-fitting. The ear cartilage is lowered forward.

It is interesting! In many descriptions, Border’s head shape is compared to the appearance of an otter.

  • Body - very strong, harmonious addition. The neck is proportionally long, dry, in a natural position a slight bend is noticeable, the withers and scruff are well visualized. The back is even and wide, the lower back and croup with pronounced dry muscles. The chest is not too wide and deep, the ribs are well elongated towards the tail. The abdomen line is moderately tightened and almost straight.
  • Limbs - visually seem elongated. Paws are flat, elbows parallel to the body. The hind legs are naturally straight, the joints are strong, but not striking. A step during walking and running is free, the ability to follow the horse should be visually apparent. Brushes are rounded, collected, pads are covered with thick skin, nails are short, dark.
  • Tail - set high, strong, medium length, thick, tapering to the tip. Carried in line with the spine or higher. Bends or rings are not allowed on the tail.

Type of coat and color

The Border Terrier can spend hours running around unsuitable terrain, and active hunting began in the fall, during heavy rains and high humidity. The skin of the dog is protected by a dense, felt-like undercoat. The outer hair is very hard, similar to a wire. When viewing a photo, a deceptive impression of the structure of the coat is created. Borders are not fluffy or curly, the remaining coat is straight and tightly pressed.

The visual effect is created due to unusual colors:

  • Pure red (usually called red).
  • Redhead with a black tan. Against the background of black wool, "gray hair" is allowed.
  • Wheat - the most common color of wool, ranging from saturated to pale and gray (pepper and salt). Preference is given to dogs with a rich color palette.
  • Blue with black tan.

Important! Dogs with a dark color of the muzzle have privileges over equivalent representatives with white hairs on their heads and faces. White coat on the paws is highly undesirable, but individually may not affect the overall score. A white spot on the chest is allowed, but not desirable.

Character and training

Before buying a puppy, you should clearly understand that the character of the Border Terrier depends on the degree of realization of his working skills. Whether you like it or not, the dog will look for any way to apply its instincts.

It is important to know:

  • A boarder is capable of chasing prey for hours. Catching a dog is only possible for athletes, runners. Conclusion - walks without a leash are possible only after the full development of the call in any situation.
  • The instinct to dig a hole is stronger than hunger, the authority of the owner and the apocalypse - this is the so-called hunting game. If you live in a private house - everything will be dug up, maybe you did not notice moles and rats, but the dog will definitely find them.
  • Remember, the Border Terrier is not characterized by a "death grip", usually the dog works with assertiveness and voice. However, if necessary, the dog can attack and kill the victim.
  • Border extremely important attention of the owner! Dogs are so sensitive to the emotions and attitude of the owner that elementary boredom and ignoring the four-legged can lead to unforeseen consequences.
  • Terriers are very fond of communicating with other breeds of dogs. Count on long walks in the company of four-legged friends in advance.

Otherwise, the breed is ideal as a companion and family dog. Training a border terrier is straightforward if an approach is found to the dog. The only caveat is the development of the "To me" team. You can be sure of obedience if the dog goes on a call despite the desire to chase the game (cat, bird, rodent).

Note! A boarder gets along well with children and can be a great first dog for a teenager. In Europe and the USA, the breed is used for pet therapy, dogs work in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and hospitals.

The dog may be kept in an apartment, a house or a warmed aviary. The breed is very active, the dog’s need for long walks and activities is not even discussed. If your ward moves freely in the territory adjacent to the house, you should be puzzled by the depth of the fence - the four-legged dig very well.

Hunting with a border terrier is relevant to this day. However, many clubs do not recommend the use of dogs in the pen, citing the exhausting loads and difficult conditions for the pursuit of game. The active temperament of terriers requires implementation, which prompted breeders to alternative options - sports trials, training in tracking and guide work, difficult tricks, resentment, agility. Do not be afraid to try all the dog disciplines you like, Borders are very smart and love teamwork.

Note! Border Terrier is an instinctively obedient and correct dog. These character traits should be actively used in training. Four-legged really do not like to do anything "forbidden".

Maintenance and care

The breed does not require specific hair care. Hard, wire-like hair needs to be cleaned once a week. Combing during molting is daily. Bathing - as needed, but not too often. Remember that frequent washing adversely affects the skin condition of the dog, and in combination with dense undercoat - this is a direct path to dermatitis. As an alternative, dogs are dressed in protective coveralls that keep their coat clean. Before the exhibition, the ward will need a haircut, at the request of the breed standard, the length of the coat on the body, neck and legs should be the same.

Caring for your ears and eyes also as needed. Inspect the dog’s ears, eyes, nostrils and jaws after each walk. Instinctively looking for prey, a terrier can easily stick its muzzle in a hole or fasten “ticks”. Eyes are wiped with a cotton sponge moistened with warm water, ears with baby oil or a special cleanser. Teeth are an important indicator of the exterior, and in Borders they should be perfectly white. The condition of the teeth depends on the method of nutrition and the diet. As an additional dental care, special treats from the pet store are used, and soft cartilage is fed. If you find tartar, we recommend that you contact your veterinarian and do not try to clean yourself. Tartar can affect the cervical area of ​​the teeth (under the gums)!

Important! Do not use decoctions of herbs to cleanse the dog’s eyes if you are not sure that the pet is not allergic!

Feeding a terrier boarder according to his needs is not so simple. The dog should not eat “from the table”; bones, sweets and other atypical foods are also contraindicated. Premium and super-premium industrial feeds are a worthy alternative for busy hosts. Natural food is porridge (33% meat, cereals and vegetables each). For a puppy, the percentage of meat should be greater, at least 50%.

Important! Border terriers are prone to a rapid increase in fat mass, which is detrimental to the heart and overall health. Naturally, your task is to make the right diet, not overfeed the pet and provide the dog with maximum physical activity.


Border Terriers differ not only in good health, but are also rightfully considered long-livers. Terrier puppies are not prone to common viral diseases, but must receive vaccination without fail. Dogs are very active, able to scour for hours in tall grass, climb into pits, fight rodents, so vaccination, treatment against fleas and worms are the basic principles for maintaining the health of Borders. Of the few pedigree diseases, it is worth noting:

  • Dysplasia - It is rare, most often in older animals.
  • Cataracts and Progressive Retinal Atrophy - rarely, most often due to lack of care.
  • An allergy - the reaction of the body to the environment, most often food, bites of parasites or flowering herbs.
  • Epilepsy - very rarely.


Watch the video: Patterdale Terrier (January 2020).