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Border Terrier

Tags: terrier, Small-sized, Adaptable to apartment life, Kid-friendly, Protective guardian, Requires firm, dedicated training

The "border" in our name is the same as the Border Collie's -- the hill country between Scotland and England. But terriers care not a wit about herding sheep. We were developed -- probably by crossing local terriers like the Lakeland, Dandie Dinmont, and Bedlington -- to hunt foxes. Our legs let us run with the hunt horses and our relatively small size (16 inches at the shoulder and no more than 16 pounds) gets us into the ground burrows when we catch up with our quarry. Back before modern dog foods, life on the farm was hard and we had to catch our next meal. We can still do that. The Border Terrier was recognized by the AKC in 1930 and placed in the Terrier Group.

Rave review

  • Adaptable to apartment life -- with ample exercise
  • Affectionate, devoted family friend
  • Agile and active
  • Always alert
  • Born to run, happy to walk
  • Busy is better than boredom
  • Coat needs regular care
  • Confident and self-assured
  • Courageous canine
  • Energizer doggie
  • Even-tempered, good-natured

Report card

  • Hardy hunter
  • Independent thinker
  • Intelligent and ready to learn
  • Lives to work
  • Can be aggressive when first meeting other dogs
  • Loves kids and vice-versa
  • Outdoors enthusiast
  • Perfect protector
  • Playful pal
  • Pleased to please
  • Caters to the country, tolerates town
  • Ready to romp
  • Training must be firm, patient, consistent

What to expect

I have a little secret to share: Border Terrier puppies -- even the ones who will grow up to be great chasers of foxes -- sometimes go through a shy phase in the early months. I need you ensure that I get socialized with people and other animals all through my difficult first year. Then keep the training coming -- I love to learn new skills -- and find canine sports and competitions to show me off. Oh, one more thing: Since I was bred to squeeze through narrow holes and sprint across the countryside -- I need secure enclosures, or I'll be gone... across the border.

Watch for

A generally healthy breed with some history of possible hip dysplasia, vision problems (PRA), and heart murmurs.

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