Border Terriers are a small, rough-coated breed. They have a double coat with a soft, short and very dense undercoat along with a long, harsh, weather and dirt resistant top coat that has no curl. This coat is easily maintained with weekly brushing and a twice-yearly hand stripping of the top coat.
Border Terriers have a broad skull and a short, strong muzzle. The V-shaped ears are on the sides of the head and fall towards the cheeks. Common coat colors are Grizzle (black or dark brown with grey and white) and tan, Blue and tan and red or wheaten.
Contents at a Glance
- The Border Terrier is Extremely Intelligent
- Breed All About It – Border Terrier
- The Border Terrier Excels at Agility
- How to Groom a Border Terrier
- Don’t Brush Your Border Terrier Too Often
- Keeping your Border Terrier Healthy and Happy
- Low Maintenance
The Border Terrier is Extremely Intelligent
They stand about 13 to 16 inches (33 – 41 cm) at the shoulder and weigh about 13 to 15 pounds (5.9 – 7.0 kg). Females are slightly smaller than males.
The Border Terriers are extremely intelligent and even-tempered but is sometimes stubborn and can become confrontational as well as occasionally aggressive.
Border Terriers generally get along with other dogs but if they decide that they do not like another, they won’t hesitate to start a fight and (like with most terriers) they can be difficult to stop.
Breed All About It – Border Terrier
The Border Terrier Excels at Agility
Border Terriers do well-learning task-oriented activities and have a great ability to jump high and run fast, even with their short legs. They don’t seem to take well to learning mere tricks but excel at agility training and are especially adept at the jumps and see-saws.
The Border is eager to please, but they keep the capacity to think independently and taking the initiative that was bred into them for working rats and fox underground. It is surprising to note that these small dogs have also hunted animals as large as otters and badgers. Some Border Terriers have an even enough temperament to work as therapy dogs for children and the elderly and they are occasionally used to help the blind and/or deaf. Because of their ability to adapt to different situations and environments, many have become actors and have starred in movies such as ‘There’s Something About Mary’ and ‘The Legend of Ron Burgundy’.
How to Groom a Border Terrier
Border Terriers have wiry, tough coats that are easy to care for as they look best when they haven’t been primped up. However, like any dog, they benefit from grooming and so knowing how to groom your Border Terrier will let you keep your dog looking and feeling its best without a lot of effort on your part.
Don’t Brush Your Border Terrier Too Often
Unlike many other dogs, brushing a Border Terrier too often will ruin the thick overcoat. You’re better off combing weekly and spending more time trimming the longer hairs that develop in the coat. When grooming your Border Terrier for a show, you’ll have to hand strip the coat in order to keep it looking top notch. Otherwise, you’ll want to use a slicker comb on the undercoat to unknot it and a greyhound and fine comb on the overcoat to straighten it out and get rid of any dead hairs and skin.
Brushing your dog’s coat will wreck its thick, plushy appearance and feel, so avoid the use of brushes. You also should not clip your dog’s fur as this is uncomfortable to your pet and results in a cottony, bumpy looking coat. Instead, hand pluck fur and comb out the dead ones. Grooming a Border Terrier is more labor-intensive and time-consuming in this way, but it makes up for it by needing only minimal work elsewhere.
Keeping your Border Terrier Healthy and Happy
Like any other dog, Border Terriers need to have their teeth brushed regularly and starting from as early an age as possible. Brushing your Border Terrier’s teeth will reduce plaque build-up and keep the mouth of your Border Terrier healthy. By starting as young as possible, you ensure that your dog will get used to it and not put up as much of a fight every time you try to cut its nails. Border Terriers also need to have their nails clipped regularly so that they don’t grow inward or cause a limp. You also need to clean the corners of your dog’s eyes daily to rid it of the dirt and debris which the eyes naturally push away.
Border Terriers do not need to be bathed in any sort of set schedule; they only need to be bathed if they’ve rolled in something noxious. The dog’s wiry coat means that it’s fairly impervious to water and dirt can easily be brushed out with a weekly combing. However, if you have to bathe your dog, make sure to do any hand stripping or plucking before the dog gets wet as a wet coat is much harder to pluck properly.
In a true bath, make sure to lather shampoo all the way into the undercoat and rinse very thoroughly. Then you have squeezed out the water and dry your dog with a towel. When you aren’t doing a full bath, simply rubbing your border terrier with a damp cloth on the face, feathers, and legs should suffice for keeping the fur clean.
Border Terriers are relatively low maintenance, but learning how to groom your Border Terrier will save you money and let you enjoy spending time with your dog every week. It’s well worth learning for the sake of your pet.