Border Terrier

Breed Characteristics

Sturdy and scruffy, very active. Not protective, a good watchdog nonetheless. Many are barky and tend to be diggers; it is a good idea to reinforce the bottom of fences. Some individuals can become timid if not exposed to loud noises when young.

Is the Border Terrier approved as a pet in a Singapore HDB flat?



Border region (Cheviot Hills) near the border of England and Scotland, 1700s. Possibly one of the oldest types of terriers in Great Britain.

Original Purpose

Border Terriers are bred to catch foxes, otters, marten, the fierce badger, mice and rats. These dogs were often not fed by the farmers in hopes it would make their prey drive stronger and they had to hunt to live.

Behaviour and Temperament

Loyal, alert and lively, affectionate, inquisitive, mild-mannered, assertive.

What are some Physical Features of the Border Terrier?

28 to 38 cm; 5 to 7.5 kg. Colours are red, tan, wheaten, grizzle-and-tan, blue-and-tan; dark muzzle.

Coat Type and Recommended Grooming

Wiry flat outer coat, short dense undercoat. Fairly high maintenance; weekly brushing, some trimming on the head, legs, neck, and tip of tail. Show dogs need to be hand stripped half yearly; clipping is acceptable for pets. A light shedder that is good for allergy sufferers. Estimated grooming charges in Singapore: Full, S$55 - S$60, Elementary, S$45 - S$50.

Life Expectancy of the Border Terrier

12 to 15 years.

Have a Border Terrier?

Health Concerns

Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome (Spike’s disease), Legg-Perthes, patellar luxation, eye problems (cataracts, PRA), hip dysplasia.

Exercise Needs

High. The Border Terrier was bred to hunt and possesses great stamina and vitality. Needs plenty of exercise, which includes a daily long walks.


Adaptable to apartment life provided it is sufficiently exercised. The are inactive indoors, and a small yard is desirable.


Very attached to his owner. Excellent with children if well socialised. Good all-around family dog; enjoys being around people. Usually good with other dogs of the opposite sex, also good with family cats if conditioned early. The Border Terrier retains strong hunting instincts and may chase small or unknown animals, not to be trusted with other non-canine pets.


High; obedience classes are very important for this breed. They are easy to housetrain.

Recommended Activities

Earthdog trials, hunting, tracking, agility.