Claire had wanted a border terrier ever since reading the James Herriot books as a child in which he sometimes told tales of his own border terrier “Bodie” and explained what fabulous little dogs they are. Therefore it was only natural that our first border should come from Yorkshire!
Origins of the Breed
The breed originated in the early 18th century and as the name suggests, it was on the borders of Northern England and Scotland. These were bred as dogs that could “go to ground” in the pursuit of it’s quarry.
Border terriers should be fun loving, alert, responsive and game for anything! They are more easygoing and less yappy than other terrier breeds but it is still important that they are well socialised as puppies. These are dogs that the breed standard states are capable of following a horse. They have tremendous stamina! They are, however, just as happy sitting on your lap.
We would recommend that a border wanted as a family pet should be purchased from a breeder who rears the litter indoors – you want a puppy that is used to hearing the sounds of everyday life as one that is scared of it’s own shadow can be prone to fear aggression. Borders can be excellent companions for children (we have 3 ourselves!). They are fairly easy to train but can take longer than other breeds when it comes to housetraining.
In comparison to other breeds, the border terrier is extremely healthy. The Border Terrier Club does not deem it necessary to insist that members do health screening for hips or eye problems as these problems are simply not prevalent in the breed. We went along to a breed health seminar to learn the results of a survey among Club members and discovered that like other breeds, borders can suffer from heart problems later in life, dental defects, undesirable temperament and retained testicles. We would never knowingly breed from a defective dog and keep our ears to the ground and take the time to investigate health issues in other lines in order to ensure that problems are not incorporated into our breeding at a later stage.
No matter how good a coat your border terrier has, it will need stripping from time to time. You can either use your finger and thumb to pluck the dead hair or you can use a stripping tool which saves a lot of time. We welcome any of our puppy owners to bring their puppy back for a grooming lesson. If you don’t have the confidence to tidy your dog yourself, I am happy to do it for a nominal fee. Alternatively, contact us and we will give you details of a border terrier groomer in your area.
A border terrier has the ability to run all day long. We would recommend at least an hours exercise per day for an adult dog. However, if you do need a day off, they are just as happy to pootle about in the garden!
We have heard horror stories about people who consider border terrier’s un-trainable. Frankly, this is poppycock. People who believe this and who subsequently keep their dogs on a lead all their lives are, in our opinion, unfit to own the breed. We find border terriers to be intelligent, quick to learn and indeed, all ours are trained to respond to whistle commands. However, like other small breeds, borders seem to struggle with the concept of housetraining. If you are 100% consistent with your housetraining methods, a border will pick it up without problem. If you try and take a more laid back approach, you will have tiddles (and worse!) on the carpet for months.