Dog breeds: Border Terrier Dog temperament and personality

Dog breeds: Border Terrier Dog, Characteristics and Personality

Border Terrier Dog

The Border Terrier dog is small terrier with a particularly rough coat. He was bred to assist in fox hunting. They have long legs, necessary to keep up with horse-riding hunters, and a small body that enabled them to crawl into fox burrows and chase them out. He is still a powerful hunter but with proper training, he can also make a friendly pet.


It was 18th-century northeast England, near the border with Scotland. Farmers were having a neverending battle with foxes. They then started to build the Border Terrier dog to help control the fox pest. The idea was to build a dog that was agile, slender, and could crawl into fox burrows and chase them out to allow hunters a clean shot.

He became highly valued and appreciated in England, but he was unknown anywhere else. He was noticed by the rest of the world until the 20th century. The Kennel Club in Great Britain officially recognized him in 1920 while the ACK did so in 1930.

Physical characteristics

The first thing that you notice about the Border Terrier dog is his otter-shaped head. Their double coats can be blue-and-tan, grizzle-and-tan, wheat, and red. The outer coat is hard and wiry and is weather-resistant; the inner coat is soft and repels most dirt.

They are big enough to keep up with horseback hunters and small enough to fit into small spaces. Males are 13 to 16 inches tall and weigh 13 to 15.5 lb. The females stand at 11 to 14 inches and weight 11 to 14 pounds.


These happy dogs are affectionate, obedient, and with a good temper. They are highly intelligent and will quickly learn the signals of you leaving the house or meal times. They are not very fond of other animals. If they were to see a small animal, their nature will make them chase them.

They do have an eagerness to please but they also keep a sense of independence. They can easily adapt to any environment pretty easily and deal with temporary change pretty well.

Caring for a Border Terrier dog

The Border Terrier dog will enjoy at least an hour of exercise time, which might include walking and playtime. They are very likely to get bored if not provided with enough exercise. This leads to destructive behavior.

Border Terriers should be kept indoors as they are not outdoor pets. They do enjoy playing in the backyard, just make sure it has a safe fence as they are escapist artists.


As terriers they are, Borders are not difficult to train. They are very intelligent dogs. Now, you should be aware that this can still be deceiving. On one hand, they will easily obey basic commands. But when it comes to more advanced training,  they become more independent. They will listen and understand your command, but they will decide to follow it or not.

Fun facts

  • In the 18th century farms, these dogs had to hunt for their own food.
  • They can easily become overweight, so make sure you control the amount of food.
  • They have a high threshold pain.
  • Border Terrier dogs are bouncy and will jump on people to greet them.

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