Meet the Breed: The Border Terrier
The Border Terrier is a small, brown, understated terrier in appearance. Some would say this dog looks like a mongrel, but that is the charm of the breed - it is simply a good, all-around dog that is not flashy, and does his job without fanfare. The head is flat and broad with an otter-like appearance. The coat wiry and is usually hand stripped twice a year to get rid of dead hair and maintain their fuss-free appearance. Coat color can be red, grizzle and tan, blue and tan, or wheaten with a dark muzzle. The hide of the Border Terrier is to be thick yet loose, ensuring protection and maneuverability when underground.
The Border Terrier was developed in the border areas of Scotland and was bred to be small enough to get into burrows to flush out foxes yet large enough to keep up with the horses and foxhounds. The Border Terriers were invaluable in this service as the foxhounds were too large to pursue foxes underground. Border Terriers were also used to hunt otters, badgers, and vermin.
The Border Terrier is a thinking, self starter, so can be somewhat stubborn, but he is simultaneously eager to please. He is more moderate an affable than most terrier breeds, and responds well to positive reinforcement training methods rather than harsh discipline. Because the Border Terrier was bred to work alongside other hunting dogs, they do not exibit the tendency towards dog aggression that other terrier breeds may be prone to. They are active, cheerful dogs that make wonderful companions. Has a strong digging and chewing instinct so reinforce fence lines underground and provide sturdy chew toys. This dog is not to be trusted off leash as they will chase animals and cars.
Breed Club Links: The Border Terrier Club of America. This site is very well done, and worth a visit.
BaxterBoo.com Perfect Pairings: Tough chew toys (preferably ones with chew guards in them!)
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Photo courtesy of jlhopgood.