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15 Facts About Border Terriers

Written by ADAPTIL Expert, published on July 05, 2024

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If you are lucky enough to have known a Border Terrier in your life, you will know that they are huge characters! Often referred to as having an independent spirit, these headstrong characters will have you wrapped around their paws in no time. For those who haven’t met this breed before, read on to find out some fun facts about these dogs.

A Little History

1. The Border Terrier breed originated on both sides of the Cheviot Hills, along the border of England and Scotland. Within the hills, foxes were a huge threat to livestock and farmers needed dogs that were brave enough to flush out the foxes and work with the farmers in harmony. They needed a breed that was able to keep up with horses but also able to go underground to scare the foxes, badgers, and even rats! Border Terriers soon enough became the go-to breed to accompany farmers on their journeys.

2. Along the way, they have been known as several different names. Once they were known as Redesdale Terriers, then Coquetdale Terriers and now more commonly known as Border Terriers. They are said to have shared ancestry with the Bedlington Terrier which also originated from a similar area, however they look extremely different!

3. A painting dated back to 1754 by Arthur Wentworth features 2 Border Terriers, proving that they are one of the oldest breeds of terriers.


    4. Border Terriers are very recognisable, and are often described as having an ‘otter-shaped’ head, with a darker coloured muzzle.

    5. Their coat is of a wiry nature and is also weatherproof! This was very important in the rainier areas of the UK.

    6. The Border Terrier breed comes with two coats. One wiry top, with a shorter undercoat. To groom this coat, you need to have them ‘Hand Stripped’ which requires pulling out the dead hair. This is to ensure your pup’s coat remains the same texture and colour. If you are concerned about hand stripping your dog, we would recommend consulting a professional to help.

    7. Border Terriers can come in a variety of colours; red, wheaten, grizzle and tan, or blue and tan.


      Border Terrier lying down on the sofa looking into the camera.


      8. Border Terriers are well known for being affectionate, good-natured and very adaptable dogs who often form strong bonds with their families.

      9. They are very active dogs who enjoy exercise and being entertained. You will often find Border Terriers at agility courses or on hiking trails – they love to be kept busy!

      10. The Terrier breeds are well-known for being easy to train. They have an independent spirit but are usually interested in pleasing you and can pick up new things quickly.


        Border Terrier running through long grass.

        Famous Border Terriers

        11. Border Terriers have appeared on our screens many times in the past! Due to them being easy to train, this makes them the perfect on-screen pup. They have been seen in; There’s Something About Mary, Anchorman, Return to Oz, Lassie, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia to name a few!

        12. A lot of celebrities have owned Border Terriers in the past too, from Andy Murray and David Walliams to Eva Green!


          Anyone who has lived with this breed before will know that much like any other breed, Border Terriers have some quirks that are special to them.   

          Woman reaching out to her Border Terrier who has their paw up.


          13. Border Terriers are notoriously good at escaping! They are able to escape over or under things, so we advise if you are looking to become a Border Terrier parent, make sure your outdoor space is secure.

          14. They also enjoy digging. After all, they were bred to dig underground – it’s only natural. With this in mind, make sure you are okay with parts of your garden being dug as it is bound to happen!

          15. Like many other breeds, they are prone to some medical conditions. These can be anything from patellar luxation (kneecap dislocation) to gallbladder problems. In any case, make sure the relevant health screening has been done before getting your puppy. Also, be sure to get regular health checks for your pooch with your trusted vet.

            If you would like to learn more about the Border Terrier breed or fun facts about dogs, get in touch! We love to help where we can. If you’d like to stay up to date on our guides, tips, and tricks, sign up to our newsletter.

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