AKC Meet the Breeds: Border Terrier

American Kennel Club, Inc. (c) 2011

Alert, active, and agile, the Border Terrier is willing to squeeze through narrow holes and sprint across any terrain to capture his quarry: the fox. This persistence made him an excellent working terrier back in England, and allows him to succeed in earth dog, obedience and agility trials today. Known for his "otter" head and game attitude, the Border is medium-sized with a wiry coat that may be red, grizzle and tan, blue and tan, or wheaten with a dark muzzle.

A Look Back
The Border originated in the border country between England and Scotland, and may be one of the oldest kinds of terriers in Great Britain. Purely a working terrier, the Border was bred to protect the stock of their owners. They had sufficient length of leg to follow a horse, but were small enough to follow a fox to ground. Borders on the farm in the 18th century also had to find their own food, so they had to be good hunters to survive.

Right Breed for You?
While he is as hard as nails in the field, the Border Terrier is good tempered and affectionate in the home. He learns quickly and responds well to obedience training, but must be kept engaged and well-exercised, as he's an active dog. The Border's weather-resistant coat requires occasional brushing and hand stripping approximately twice per year.

  • Terrier Group; AKC recognized in 1930.
  • Ranging in size from 11 1/2 to 15 1/2 pounds.
  • Fox hunter.



AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of the American Kennel Club, Inc.


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