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Border Terrier

Country/Date of Origin: The border country between England and Scotland/19th Century

The Border Terrier, which had no particular name until the 1860s, was bred by farmers in the hill country that makes up the border between Scotland and England. Strangely enough, the terrier did not get its name from the border country but from a pack of foxhounds called the Border Hunt. The little "go to ground" terriers, which followed the hunters, were used to roust the fox from its lair. Working ability was favored above all, and to this day the rough-and-ready Borders retain the pluck and spirit necessary to go after a fox, badger or otter. Fearful that acceptance into the show world would diminish the supremely important working abilities, Border breeders did not join the English Kennel Club until 1920. Membership in the American Kennel Club came even later with the first dog registered in the 1927 Stud Book.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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Coquetdale Terrier, Reedwater Terrier

AKC Group: Terrier

Breed Club: Border Terrier Club of America

Rescue Club: Border Terrier Club of America Rescue

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Body Type:

  • This "no frills" working terrier has a compact body and a head that is similar to that of an otter
  • Height: 12-13 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 12-15 pounds
  • Drop ears are not altered
  • Tail is not altered


  • Unspoiled in looks and personality
  • Gets along well with children and other pets
  • Plucky and courageous although not as argumentative as some other terriers
  • Very upbeat and willing to please
  • Can be strong willed


  • Harsh, wiry double coat is very weather resistant
  • Needs little grooming. Even shown in natural state
  • Red, wheaten, grizzle and tan, and blue and tan are allowed colors

Health Concerns:

  • Generally healthy
  • Glaucoma
  • Congenital heart problems
  • Border Terriers are prone to dry skin conditions if they are house dogs
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • Unspoiled in looks and personality, the Border Terrier has never been a faddish breed and consequently has kept its true working ability
  • Thick skinned (literally) to protect from the bites of fox, badger and otter
  • Needs plenty of exercise

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