Border Terrier Breed Information

Border Terriers are a member of the ‘Terrier’ breed group. Dogs in the Terrier group were originally bred for hunting vermin. They are hardy, brave dogs bred to pursue the likes of foxes, badgers and rats (to name a few) above and below ground.

Border Terriers are affectionate, fun-loving dogs that get on well with everyone given the right socialisation as a puppy, and are especially good with children. They respond well to training and enjoy the extra mental stimulation. For tips on how to socialise your Border Terrier and training using reward-based techniques, take a look at our dog behaviour page.

Grooming will be needed once or twice a week to keep the coat in tip-top condition, and will require stripping throughout the year – this is often done by a professional groomer.

Breed-related health problems:

Owners are, understandably, upset when their dog develops a health problem linked to its breed. Often they wish they’d known what problems the breed was prone to have. The potential health problems that Border Terriers are prone to include:

  • Luxating Patellas – the kneecaps slipping temporarily out of place.
  • Epilepsy – a brain disorder which can lead to seizures.
  • Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome – tremors, muscle spasms, seizures, affecting whole or part of body.

For some conditions, there are screening programmes available through the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club. The Canine Health Schemes allow breeders to screen for a range of inherited diseases, so it’s a good idea to check the parents of any puppy you’re looking to rehome have been screened under these schemes. We’d also recommend discussing the medical history of your potential puppy’s parents and grandparents, and think very carefully before taking on a dog with any of the health conditions listed above evident in the family line.

You can find out more about the Canine Health Schemes on the BVA's website.

Exercise requirements:

Border Terriers have high energy levels and need 1-2 hours exercise per day. They enjoy playing games and will join in with plenty of enthusiasm, making them perfect family pets.

Estimated lifetime cost:

The likely lifetime costs for a Border Terrier are based on estimates calculated using current market prices and include:

The list above does not include veterinary costs if your pet becomes sick or injured, so these average lifetime costs could be even higher.

Insure your Border Terrier with PDSA:

1 in 3 pets need vet treatment each year and vet bills can come to hundreds of pounds. PDSA Pet Insurance can give you peace of mind when your pet is poorly, especially for breeds like Border Terriers that are prone to certain conditions. PDSA Pet Insurance offers:

  • 5 Star Pet Insurance* - from the vet experts
  • 4 levels of cover to suit you
  • Monthly payment at no extra cost

*Defaqto 5 Star rating applies to our Plus and Premier policies only. Defaqto’s Star Ratings provide an independent assessment of the quality of financial products.

By insuring your Border Terrier with PDSA you’ll also be helping to provide vet care to some of the UK’s neediest pets.

Energy levels
Easy to train
Exercise needed
Barking/likely to be vocal
Size Small
Average height 28-40 cm
Average weight 5-7 kg
Average lifespan Over 12 years
Minimum exercise (per day) 1 hour
Coat length Short
Minimum cost (per month) £70

Not sure if the Border Terrier is the right pet for you?