Border Terrier

The Border Terrier is a small lively dog with a thick, harsh coat and distinctive facial hair covering the muzzle.

Border Terrier breed group


Size of the Border Terrier


Country of origin

Scotland and England

Time of original development

The Border Terrier can be traced back to the 18th century, making it one of the oldest breeds of dog in the UK. It was not recognised with the Kennel Club until 1920. The Border Terrier was originally used to hunt foxes and and vermin. Today, this popular breed of dog is kept simply as a companion pet.

Border Terrier temperament

The Border Terrier is an energetic, enthusiastic, friendly dog with a confident attitude. It is a dog that loves the company of people, and children too. It is generally sociable and friendly with other dogs, but socialisation and training should be introduced from an early age.

Care should be taken around cats, and contact with other smaller pets in the family should be avoided, due to the strong and instinctive hunting nature of this breed.

Colour varieties of the Border Terrier

The breed comes in many colours and markings which include:

  • Blue & Tan
  • Dark Grizzle
  • Dark Grizzle & Tan
  • Dark Red Grizzle
  • Grizzle
  • Grizzle & Tan
  • Light Grizzle
  • Red
  • Red Grizzle
  • Wheaten

Size and weight of the Border Terrier

Height bitch 28-36cms

Height dog 33-41cms

Weight (kilos) bitch 5-6.5kgs

Weight (kilos) dog 6-7kgs

Exercise requirements of the Border Terrier

The Border Terrier is a lively and energetic dog that requires an hour of exercise off the lead daily. It’s a small dog, making it practical and adaptable to most living spaces. The Border Terrier can happily live in a city or apartment as long as it receives an adequate amount of exercise and stimulation.

Is the Border Terrier a good dog for a first time dog owner?

Yes. The Border Terrier is fairly easy to train. It is a small dog, making it an ideal choice for families with limited living space.

New owners should also be aware of the grooming costs involved for this particular breed.

Border Terrier coat length

Medium.The Border Terrier has a harsh and wiry outer coat with a soft downy undercoat. The muzzle features longer furnishings and expressive eyebrows.

Grooming requirements of the Border Terrier

The Border Terrier requires daily brushing with a soft slicker brush to remove mud, twigs, tangles and matts. The longer hair on the muzzle needs special attention daily to avoid the build up of food deposits and tangles.

The coarse coat requires professional hand stripping by a professional dog groomer 2-3 times per year. Clipping and cutting the harsh outer coat will harm the coarse coat, and should be avoided. Expect to pay from £30 upwards for a full grooming session for your Border Terrier.

Ears need to be plucked, cleaned and checked regularly for any sign of infection.


No. This breed sheds so is an unsuitable choice for allergy sufferers.

Health Issues in the Border Terrier

The Border Terrier is a fairly healthy and hardy dog with no known inherited health issues in the breed at this time.

As with all pedigree dogs, it is very important to obtain a puppy from a reputable source where you can be guaranteed that it has been bred with a view to avoiding the inherent physical and psychological diseases of the breed.

Average lifespan of the Border Terrier

A healthy Border Terrier should expect to enjoy a life expectancy of between 12-15 years.

Approximate Border Terrier pedigree puppy price

Expect to pay around £400-£500 for a pedigree Border Terrier puppy. Litters are normally available. There are generally 2-8 puppies in an average litter. There were 5,426 Border Terrier pedigree puppies registered with the Kennel Club in 2015.

Estimating how much a Border Terrier would need to be fed each day

A bitch weighing 5kgs requires 123gms of complete dry food daily.

A dog weighing 7kgs requires 150gms of complete dry food daily.

The weekly cost of feeding a 5kgs bitch is around £3.00

The weekly cost of feeding a 7kgs dog is around £3.50

Our figures are based on feeding an above average quality and popular complete dry food bought from a leading supermarket. A good quality feed is suggested for the energetic dogs in the terrier group.

Other financial costs to consider when owning any dog breed

Remember to budget for essential pet treatments and procedures that are not covered by pet insurance policies including:

  • Worming and fleas preparations
  • Annual Vaccination boosters
  • Neutering or spaying
  • Microchipping
  • Dental treatment