Border Terrier originally came from the border country between England and Scotland and was first spotted in the 18th century. It was bred as a farm dog to product livestock from predators. The breed is fast enough to follow a horse but small enough to chase a fox to the ground. The Border Terrier is a good hunter, too, since it was raised to be independent in the 18th century to get their own food. It went by several other names like Reedwater Terrier and Coquetdale Terrier long ago, but at present it is just referred as Border Terrier. A working breed, the dog still does its original function in the countryside but when kept in the city, it is a family dog.
The breed is easily characterized by its otter-like head. It has a small to medium-sized body with a double coat comprising of short and soft undercoat and harsh outer coat. This serves to keep the dog warmth to the body during bad weather. This was particularly useful when they were working in the field.
The colours of the coat may be red, wheaten, grizzle and tan or blue and tan. The Border’s eyes are dark hazel and display intelligence. The skull is broad and flat allowing much width between the eyes and ears. Its muzzle is short, and the darker the colour, the more desirable it is. The teeth are strong with a scissors bite and large in proportion.
The breed is easy to teach and responds well to obedience training. Although the dog enjoys being around the family and cuddled, it is a naturally active dog and needs a lot of exercise to keep him fit and content. As with other dogs, Border Terriers can get along well with other animals if socialized well at an early age.
The Border’s outer coat needs occasional brushing. It also requires being hand stripped, not clipped, twice a year to remove dead hair. It will take approximately 8 weeks for the top coat to grow back after this is performed.
The Terrier has a tendency to destroy or sometimes eat things that are not necessarily hygienic and is also prone to heart murmurs, although overall it is a hardy breed.