Dec 19 2007
“Essentially a working Terrier”, the first line of the breed standard, The Border Terrier, bred in the north of England, a hardy Terrier with endless energy, lets look at what they are all about.
Origins and history.
Border Terriers were bred on the borders of England and Scotland, they were bred to hunt and control Fox (mainly) in the harsh climate and terrain of the Cheviot hills and the beautiful Lake District. The breeds reputaion for getting the job done quickly spread and the breed became a more popular working Terrier all around. Their job was to follow the hunt, be part of the team and “go to ground” when necessary, preferably to bolt the Fox, but sometimes would dispatch its quarry if bolting was not possible. They are very tenacious and resilient, and will stay with their quarry for hours on end, the hallmark of a good Terrier. Some people say Terriers “Yap” well, considering thats what most of them were bred for, its hardly surprising, “Baying” as its known is what keeps the Fox at “bay” and before locator collars and suchlike it was an essential part of a Terrier in order to be found underground.
The Border Terrier has of late become a very popular breed, not least because of its sunny nature and great character, but don’t let this fool you. They are VERY strong willed and their hunting instincts will take over in a flash, a Rabbit, Squirrel, anything that moves quickly will spark their instincts and you will be lucky to stop them. They are generally a friendly sociable dog, they like children and get on well with other pets in “their” family, however if it isn’t theirs, beware, its fair game! They need a lot of socialising as puppies, basic obedience is imperative, as with all dogs, the more you do the better in the long run.
The Border has a harsh, tweedy jacket, a real country gent, it requires hand stripping at least twice a year, never clip a Border, the undercoat will be exposed and he will not be weatherproof. Borders come in a few colours, grizzle and tan being the most popular, in varying shades as you see in this profile. Other colours are red, red grizzle and blue and tan, the once common colour “wheaten” has not been seen for many years, a real shame. They should be racy in appearance, narrow in body and their head should be like “that of an Otter” their head is the part that sets them apart from other Terriers, without this, the Border Terrier is just another brown Terrier. In general the Border is a healthy breed although there are problems that crop up as with any breed. Buy from a reputable breeder, respect the history and the people that designed this little dog, buy him for the RIGHT reasons, and I guarantee you, you will be as dedicated to them as I am.