Border Terrier

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Border Terrier

Border Terrier Overview

The small, wiry Border Terrier has a grumpy-looking face but is actually a friendly, happy and eager-to-please breed who are just as happy getting cuddles as they are roaming around the countryside eyeing up birds. As one of the oldest British terriers, the Border Terrier (referring to the border between England and Scotland, where they hail) was bred to hunt sheep-stealing hill foxes. They needed to have legs long enough to keep up with hunters on horseback, but be small enough to fit into fox lairs.

The Border Terrier’s agile and adventurous nature means that they also make for champion escape artists, so a fenced-in area that they can’t dig under is necessary for these wanderers. As lovers of the outdoors, Border Terriers need mentally stimulating physical activities, so are best as companions to humans and little humans who like running around outside in nature—as long as they’re on a leash!

While they are popular as country dogs, Border Terriers can adapt well to the city if given adequate exercise and training. As they were bred to be extremely independent dogs, they don’t do well with inconsistency so they do best lavishly being with a single family, and feeling a part of it, to boot! 

Did you know?

Border Terriers appear in a lot of films and TV shows, including Puffy from the movie There's Something About Mary, Baxter in the movie Anchorman : The Legend of Ron Burgandy, Eccles on the popular British soap opera Coronation Street, and Poppins in It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.

Border Terrier Stats

  • Kid-Friendly Kid-Friendly

  • Good with other animals Good with other animals

  • Easy to train Easy to train

  • Working dog Working dog

Popularity ranking**
12-15 in / 11.5-15.5 lbs (S)
Average lifespan
12-15 years
Activity level
When necessary
Barking level
When necessary
Coat length

Caring for your breed

Daily serving

Daily kibble serving

2-3 cups

Daily exercise

Daily exercise

2 hours


Grooming frequency

Brushed Occasionally

Dog Food

Feeding your Border Terrier

Border Terriers need food with high-quality protein to keep up with their active lifestyle. Try to avoid food with artificial sweeteners, flavours or colouring. If your dog has thyroid issues, you’ll also want to find soy-free options. Adults eat two to three cups of food every day, depending on how many calories they burn. Airedale Terriers can be prone to gaining weight so watch how much you’re feeding yours. Dogs should always have fresh drinking water available to them. 


*Contrary to popular belief, there are no 100% hypoallergenic dogs. There are breeds, however, that have non-shedding coats and are suited well to allergy sufferers.
**The breed popularity ranking is based on the most current ranking of the American Kennel Club (AKC)

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