Border Terriers are medium-sized terriers with characteristic otter-like heads. They are primarily working dogs and look it. They have a harsh, dense coat that comes in a variety of colours including red, wheaten, grizzle and tan, or blue and tan. On average adult males measure 30.5cm and weigh 6-7kg. Adult females measure around 28cm and weigh between 5-6.5kg.

No, this will be my first dog and I am ready to learn!
I'm happy with breeds that may need some training
I'd like to go on active walks with my dog
For an hour a day
A smaller dog would suit me best
Dog drool? I can tolerate some.
I've got time for grooming every other day
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
Yes - Barks and alerts
Border Terrier


The Border Terrier dog breed first appeared in the 18th century and has changed little since. They were used as working terriers in the Scottish Borders, hunting foxes which preyed on livestock. During their history they were known as Reedwater Terriers and Coquetdale Terriers but nowadays are referred to as Border Terriers. They are still working terriers in the countryside but in urban areas are mainly family companions.


The Border Terrier breed is an affectionate, fun-loving one. He is brave, adaptable and good with people, especially with children. Generally easygoing, he has an independent nature and likes to make his own decisions. The Border loves to chase rabbits and squirrels but will live in harmony with other household pets, if socialised and introduced carefully. This dog is equally at home in town or country.


The Border Terrier is generally a very healthy dog. Although there are some breed-associated problems known to exist (e.g. eye disorders, epilepsy), these are relatively rare.


The Border Terrier dog breed is very active, bred to follow the hunt and with keen hunting instincts. They need a minimum of an hour's exercise on a daily basis, but will enjoy more. They may chase any small creature that take their fancy regardless of the situation. This can lead them into trouble but an owner who is aware of this and starts appropriate training at an early age will find they can be trained to a high standard.


Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.


The short, dense coat of the Border Terrier means that grooming requirements are undemanding. Brushing will clean debris gathered during forays into the undergrowth from the coat and they may benefit from stripping occasionally.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Border Terriers, originally bred as working dogs, are fun-loving, tenacious, and love a good game of 'chase'. Learn more about the breed with Purina today.

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Is this the right dog breed for you?

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What to Consider next


It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.

Finding a good breeder

If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.

Welcoming your dog home

Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information