Dog Health & More
This alert, good-natured dog was originally bred to assist in foxhunts, driving foxes out of their hiding places and out into the open for the hounds to chase. He still has a powerful drive to hunt and dig, as well as the energy level that enabled him to keep up with hunters on horseback. These traits can make him an aggravating pet for some owners; for others, Border Terriers are wonderful companions who play hard and love harder.
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The Border Terrier is a small dog with an alert gaze, a powerful drive to hunt and dig, the typical high terrier energy level, and a good-natured personality. He's intelligent, loyal, fearless, loving, and determined, and about as aggravating as any dog can be.
After that intro, you may be quickly hitting the back button to hunt for a different breed — and that may be exactly what you should do. The Border Terrier is not for everyone, and before taking one home, you should be fully committed to taking his antics in stride with an amused shake of your head.
But for the right people, Border Terriers are wonderful dogs who play hard and love harder. They're ideally suited to active families who can give them plenty of exercise and prevent them from practicing their escape-artist skills.
Border Terriers need a securely fenced yard to keep them safe. Given a lack of supervision and enough time alone, they'll dig under or climb over fences to go exploring. They'll escape through holes in fences, through open gates and doors, or by any other means they can find. In fact, they're bred to be able to cross any wall or scramble through any wire entanglement.
The drive to chase prey is another inherent part of a Border Terrier's personality. He'll run right in front of a car in pursuit of a cat or rabbit. A Border Terrier's more likely to die in an accident than of old age, so be prepared to protect him from himself.
It's also important to prevent boredom. A bored Border — one who's left alone for long periods — becomes noisy and destructive. This is not a dog that does well left out in the yard all day. You'll likely come home to find your neighbors lined up to complain about the barking (which is meant to be heard from 10 feet underground) and your yard filled with holes indicating that your Border is well on his way to China.
To keep your Border and the neighbors happy and your yard free of holes, give your Border at least half an hour per day of vigorous exercise. Besides keeping him entertained, exercise will help keep your Border trim — this small breed is prone to obesity.
With their needs for companionship and activity met, Borders are happy dogs who generally get along well with everyone from children to strangers. They'll bark at noises, making them excellent watchdogs, but don't expect them to be fierce guard dogs if an intruder enters your home.
The Border Terrier can make you laugh and cry and laugh some more. He approaches training with an independent spirit, but he wants to please. If you praise him for a job done well, he'll quickly learn anything you can teach. He can be a handful, but he's always the apple of his owner's eye.