CHEERFUL, LOVING, SPUNKY
History & Origin
The Border Terrier comes from an area in the northern United Kingdom. As its name suggests, the dog breed has its origins in the border country between England and Scotland.
Some believe it is one of the oldest kinds of terriers in the UK. It has the blood of several kinds of terriers, including the Dandie Dinmont Terrier and the Bedlington Terrier. As you may tell, breeders wanted strong terrier instincts for this dog.
Centuries ago, people believed that foxes killed sheep, especially the young lambs. Not a lot was known about foxes or why so many young sheep died. Many foxes got blamed for the high death rate of lambs.
As a result, Border Terriers were bred to sniff out foxes and hunt them.
In addition, the dogs ensured that farmers had no problem with other vermin like rats, mice, otters and badgers.
Moreover, the Border Terriers often ran with horses and other foxhounds on the foxhunt. They were the ones to crawl into holes and chase out the foxes.
Nowadays, fox hunting has been banned and many fox species are in danger of being completely wiped out. In recent years, the Border Terrier has become more popular as companions.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the Border Terrier in 1930.
PERSONALITY AND CHARACTER
The Border Terrier is a typical terrier. This means that it is alert with lots of energy. Your Border Terrier likes to play and run around. So it is not for an owner who has little interest in being active.
The Border Terrier has a history as a working dog and so it likes to be involved and engaged with…stuff. Get them balls and toys to chew and your shoes should be safe. They can start digging up your garden if they don’t get out enough.
It is a great family pet, however. Border Terriers do well with children and enjoy the lively atmosphere of a family home. They can share a space with other pets, but some socialization is recommended, especially for cats.
The Border Terrier is a guard dog too. It is watchful and vigilant and will let you know if anyone comes to the front door. They have sensitive natures and don’t like overly harsh or aggressive treatment.
Moreover, this puppy will want to be near you most of the time. Not wanting to be alone, the Border Terrier will want to be by your side. Lying next to you while you watch TV is his idea of heaven.
If you exercise your Border Terrier every day, religiously, you will be very happy with this breed.
NUTRITION AND FEEDING
Your Border Terrier puppy’s lifespan is between twelve to fifteen years. The Border Terrier is not hard to take care of.
There are many different opinions on the topic of dog food. Everyone believes his or her way is the best way. This can be very confusing. As you bring home your Border Terrier puppy, you may have no clue what to feed him.
The most important thing to know is that it really does matter what your puppy eats. Everything that goes into his mouth is converted into building blocks for the adult dog. If his diet at this stage is poor, your big pup could have problems.
Many pet food companies have put in years of research into developing quality products. Most veterinarians agree that the higher end pet foods are best. Always check what is inside the product. The more information you can see at this point, the better the food.
Puppies need special food while they are growing. To be more specific, they need lots of protein. This is essential for bone, organ, skin and tissue development. So be sure that your puppy is getting enough protein.
Cooking the food for your puppy is another option. Many dog owners and experts feel that commercial dog food is not enough. By giving real food, you can control exactly what they eat.
If you do decide to go this route, you can either give them raw or cooked food. While some say raw meat is best, others feel too much protein should be avoided. Do some research and find out what would be the best for you – and your puppy.
Some dogs prefer certain foods. It can be a matter of trial and error. See what works best for you and your puppy.
It may look like your puppy is hungry all of the time! This is a sign of a healthy, young animal so don’t be alarmed. But don’t take this as an indication of when you should feed them. Having a feeding schedule for your puppy is highly recommended.
The point is to give your puppy small amounts of food at a time, at certain times of the day. So in the early morning, there will be some food. Then just before lunch, another meal. In the afternoon, give him some food again and then comes dinner.
Many people keep their dog’s bowl filled all the time. There are many reasons why this is problematic. It could cause your puppy to eat too much, for instance. Obesity is one of the biggest issues for canines.
You may not realize this, but a fat dog will get sick more easily. They do less exercise and can get heart disease. They may get breathing problems and could become diabetic.
But if you start to get your puppy used to a pattern, you will do him and yourself a favor. Your Border Terrier will quickly learn to expect food at a given hour. If you stick to that plan, they will learn that they can depend on you. This helps to build the relationship with your puppy as well.
COAT AND GROOMING
Size and Coat
The Border Terrier is a small dog. The male can weigh between 6 and 7kg when fully grown and the female usually weighs a bit less at 5 to 6kg.
The Border Terrier has a hardy, wiry coat that is usually brownish gray, but may be reddish or golden. The hair of the coat is double layered. So while the hair of the undercoat is soft, there is another layer of hair on top of this.
This is called the outer coat and is tougher and weatherproof. Similarly, the hair of the outer coat is straight and hard.
This contributes to the natural look of the Border Terrier. But this does come at a price. Some maintenance of the coat is necessary, unfortunately.
You will have to brush the coat of your Border Terrier frequently. Every couple of days and certainly once a week will be enough. If you brush him regularly, you will not have too much to complain about in terms of shedding. This is one of the drawbacks of the breed, however.
Apart from brushing, your Border Terrier puppy will have to be hand stripped. This involves a visit to the groomer. They have special tools for this and it is not painful for the dogs if done properly.
Hand stripping is a technique used by professional groomers. The dead, outer hair is pulled out, leaving the smooth under coat. The hair does grow back in about eight to ten weeks.
Some Border Terrier owners only brush the coat and don’t go for any stripping. The result is a dog that can look rather like any shaggy dog.
Together with the clipping of the nails, you should brush your puppy’s teeth once a week.
A damp cotton wool ball is great for cleaning ears. Any discharge or discoloration indicates an infection.
Remember to take your puppy for his shots at the veterinarian. These are for his protection against disease and to keep him healthy and in great shape.
EXERCISE AND TRAINING
Exercise, Energy, and Activities
There are many kinds of terriers and the Border Terrier is certainly one of the most active. This is not the dog for someone who can’t commit to daily walks. Ideally, you should walk your dog twice a day in the morning and in the afternoon.
But this can take a lot of time and most owners struggle to fit this into their lives. One long walk at the end of the day will be perfectly fine. You should be prepared to walk for an hour.
When it comes to exercise, many dog owners are at fault. They blame their pup’s naughty behavior on the puppy. But a badly behaved dog is often only a bored and under stimulated dog.
Exercise is key to many aspects of your pet’s psychology. It is what makes him happy, what gets him interested in the world, and what helps him bond with you.
This may be true of most dogs – but is especially true of the Border Terrier.
Training and Sleep/Rest
There are many things you can teach your Border Terrier. Training will not only help your dog understand the lay of the land in your house. It occupies his mind and stimulates him.
Training your dog will make life much better for you. Your puppy will learn what he is allowed to do and not do. Dogs are pack animals and want to know where they belong in your family.
One of the biggest lessons he has to learn is that he is not the pack leader. You are. You have to show him this in an affectionate, yet firm manner.
The Border Terrier may have a hardy coat, but this is not a dog that should be kept outdoors. Many dog owners prefer a dog that sleeps outside. But the Border Terrier is a companion dog and better kept inside.
The best way is to get your dog his own sleeping pillow. Show your puppy that this is his spot and you will be surprised to see how quickly he gets it.
Many people like to share their couches and beds with their pets. This is not recommended with Border Terriers, though. The dogs can be bossy and territorial and may end up thinking this is their pad. Don’t be surprised if he tries to snap at you if you get into “his” bed!
Ask yourself what is the best way for your dog? Your Border Terrier needs his own space where he can go flop down.
Many dogs are uneasy sleepers. They wake up in the night and snore loudly, or make all kinds of noises.
A clever solution is to get your pup and nice basket in a sunny place. The kitchen can be a warm and cozy sleeping spot for him.
Your Border Terrier could live up to 14 years.
The breed is quite hardy but there are a few health concerns. Some diseases and conditions to look out for include: hip dysplasia, Perthes Disease, heart defects, cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, seizures and Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome.
Some of these are genetic problems and could be inherited from your Border Terrier puppy’s parents. That is why you should always buy your puppy from reputable breeders. Take a look at your puppy’s parents too.
From the mother and the father of your dog, you will be able to learn a lot. If the breeder does not want to give you this info or show the parents – don’t buy the puppy.
Sadly, many dog breeders are in it for the money. They often sell dogs that are not of good stock. Get as much information about your puppy before you buy him. People who love the breed will be registered as breeders for Border Terriers.
Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to ensure your Border Terrier does not get sick often. You could, for instance, prevent your dog from getting bloat. When dogs suffer from bloating, their stomachs swell and they could even die from it.
Bloat occurs when the stomach twists. It is extremely painful and you will need to take your dog to the vet. You can avoid bloat by not taking your dog for exercise soon after a meal. Don’t exercise your dog too soon after feeding it. Wait at least two hours.
To Sum Up
The Border Terrier is a sweet, little dog that is deeply loved by dog owners around the world. Many people swear there is no better dog.
They are perfect for dog owners who like dogs and want to spend time with them. It is the ultimate buddy dog.
Still here? Go for it! There are puppies for all!
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