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Is a Border Terrier the right breed for you?

Here are some points for you to consider:

Tarn BT Photo

They are Terriers first and foremost. This means that you cannot have any other small pets such as hamsters, rabbits or guinea pigs as the Terrier will kill them. That is what they were originally bred for!

They are fine with cats - if brought up with them. Cats who are not part of their family coming into their territory will be considered fair game and will be chased and, if caught, possibly even killed.

They are escapologists and can escape through the smallest hole in fences, hedges etc. This means they will wander off and may even get into neighbours' gardens and kill any pet rabbits or hamsters they find. Your garden therefore needs to be absolutely 100% secure.

The Border Terrier has a thick double coat. A soft undercoat for warmth and a thick, harsh outer coat to protect it from the elements. The Border Terrier does not cast the harsh outer coat and this means that the outer coat has to be hand stripped at least twice a year.

Although the Border Terrier is an intelligent breed, they are not always the most obedient dogs. They can be trained to a certain level but will turn a deaf ear if out and about and come across anything they consider to be of interest.

They will chase, and kill foxes, rabbits, squirrels, mice and anything else they consider prey. This does not mean that they have to be kept on the lead at all times but does mean that you have to be aware of the countryside code when out walking with them.

Because they were bred to work, to follow hounds and be capable of keeping up with horses all day, the Border Terrier has lots of energy. This means that, although they are happy sitting on your knee and relaxing, they do need plenty of exercise to keep mind and body fit and healthy.

If not socialised at an early age, some Terriers may become aggressive towards other dogs. This means that puppies should be socialised at an early age, perhaps by taking them to socialisation classes.

Babies and children should never be allowed to torment a dog but should be taught to respect it. Dogs and especially small puppies should have their own place of safety where they can rest undisturbed. Babies and young children should never be left unsupervised with any dog.

Back to the Breed Information Page

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