Border Terrier Breed Information and Buying advice

Border Terrier

Are You Looking to Buy or Adopt a Border Terrier?

Quick Border Terrier Facts

Average Size of Adult
Small (2/5)
Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy
Grooming Requirement
Low (1/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Average Life Span
12-14 years (5/8)
Exercise Requirements
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Low (1/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Child friendly
Yes (1/2)
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Breed Group
Terrier (4/8)
Yes (1/2)

Why Border Terriers are great

Some highlights:

  1. Border Terriers can be very friendly and sociable to strangers and other dogs. They enjoy the human interaction, which means that they have a good temperament, are obedient and easy to train.

  2. As Border Terriers have lots of energy so they are not considered lap dogs. They do, however, make great family members and can keep up when playing with children.

  3. Border Terriers are also not like your typical terrier breed as they are not considered to be a ‘yappy’ dog. They will bark to alert you though if anything is unusual or if they are bored.


Things to consider when looking at Border Terriers for Sale

Some downsides to the Border Terriers:

  1. Although Border Terriers are considered to have good health, but they can be more susceptible to certain health condition. When talking to breeders, it is always good to check your puppy has had a health clearance from the vet and that all worming and flea treatments are up to date. Some breeders will also have started their vaccinations and will offer a puppy pack with all the relevant health document.

  2. You should check that your Border Terrier puppy has been socialised from an early age and that do not show signs of fear like flattened ears, cowering or their tail tucked between their legs. They should be alert, friendly and engaging but also do not mistake initial shyness for fear. This is to be expected as you are new to them and therefore most breeders will allow you to visit a few times to get acquainted with your new puppy.

  3. Before taking your new Border Terrier puppy home, you should also do a quick health check of your own and ensure the puppy’s eyes and ears are clear, there are no signs of digestive distress(Diarrhoea etc) and that they are not lethargic or showing signs of distress.

  4. Another thing to look at when selecting a breeder is asking them if they are a member of any breed clubs/associations and also asking them about the parents and if they have any health issues, what their temperament is like and if you can meet them as well. This is an effective way to get an idea of the health and temperament of your Border Terrier puppy for the future.


History of Border Terriers.

Border Terriers were bred in the 18th century in Northern England as working dogs to hunt and help farmers protect their land from foxes. They were bred to have qualities like a flexible body, long legs to run and good stamina. In addition to this, they needed to have a weather-resistant coat to deal with the harsh English weather. They were also prized for their fearless and faultless nature. The first Border Terrier to be registered with the Kennel Club was in 1913 and in the 1920’s they were officially recognised by the English Kennel Club and a breed club was formed.  


How big is the Border Terrier?

They are a small breed and stand around 27cm tall.  

How heavy is a Border Terrier?

Males will weigh from 5-7 kg and Females around 4.5-6 kg.  

What Colour is the Border Terrier?

There are four coat colours recognised for Border Terriers and they are as follows:

  • Red

  • Wheaten

  • Grizzle & Tan

  • Blue & Tan


Do Border Terriers make good guard dogs?

Border Terriers are good watchdogs and will alert you to any threats however, they are not classed as guard dogs.  

Do Border Terriers bark a lot?

Border Terriers are not ‘yappy’, but they will bark if they hear anything unusual and can be a nuisance if they become bored.

Are Border Terriers easy to train?

As Border Terriers are considered easy to train as they are highly intelligent and can quickly learn commands. They do have natural tendencies to nip and bite, but with proper training this should not be an issue.  

Are Border Terriers playful?

As Border Terriers have lots of energy, they can be extremely playful and require lots of exercise as they are prone to becoming obese.  

Are Border Terriers good with children?

Border Terriers can make great companions for children as they have high energy level, however children under 6 years of age especially should be supervised as due to their nature Border Terriers can nip and bite playfully.  

Are Border Terriers good with other pets?

Border Terriers are normally fine with other dogs and even cats. They will need to be supervised when around small animals though as they have a natural instinct to chase and hunt.  

Can I leave a Border Terrier alone?

Border Terriers do not like to be left alone and can become distressed if they are left alone by their owner. This can cause them to bark, chew, whine and destroy things like furniture while their owner is away.  

Do Border Terriers like water?

Most Border Terriers like the water, but it is best if they are introduced at an early age.  


How long do Border Terriers live?

Border Terriers can live for 12-15 years.  

How much exercise does a Border Terrier need?

Border Terriers need exercise every day as they are prone to obesity and have high energy levels. Ideally, the minimum is 45-60 minutes a day and can be split into a morning and evening walk or whenever is preferable.  

What are common Border Terrier health issues?

Border Terriers, like all breeds, can be susceptible to certain health issues that can be congenital. These include Hip dysplasia, Patella Luxation, Heart issues, Malocclusion, Seizures, Hypothyroidism and retained testicles (Cryptorchidism). It is always advisable to discuss the breed and any potential health issues with your vet and look at getting pet insurance to cover vet cost if needed. As a general idea of costs, Patella Luxation and Hip dysplasia can cost on average £1500-£3000. Ongoing conditions that require daily medication can also cost on average £30-£150 per month, plus the costs for the initial testing which can reach costs of £1000. Always check the type of insurance you are buying and what this will cover as there are several types and they will only cover up to a certain monetary or time limit.  


How much space do I need for a Border Terrier?

Border Terriers are happy in smaller homes and apartments and do not require a lot of outdoor space so long as they are taken for walks daily.  

What should I feed my Border Terrier?

Border Terriers should have a high-protein or a breed specific diet as these are formulated to best fit their high energy levels.  

How much grooming do Border Terriers need?

Border Terriers, as all dogs need the essentials like their claws clipped, teeth checked and cleaned but due to their coat they do not need bathing as often. However, when it comes to their coats, it is recommended to brush as needed and they will need to be hand stripped twice a year as they do not shed completely on their own.  

Do Border Terriers shed?

As with most dogs, Border Terriers will shed but regular brushing can help to minimise this.

Average costs

How much does it cost to keep a Border Terrier?

As a rough guide in pricing: Cost to buy: roughly £700- £1500 for a well-bred Border Terrier puppy Other costs (Vet fees, Insurance, Food etc): £100-£150 per month  

Specific Buying Guide

You can read our general buying guide here (/advice-on-buying-a-puppy/), with the most important thing being going to view your Border Terrier Puppy, seeing it with its mother, and checking the quality of the breeder.  

Other reading, Adopting Border Terrier Puppies and Rescue Organisations

A big thank you to the following sources who helped to shape this article: