Border Terrier Breed Info


Land of Borders

I hope you will find the below information useful, especially if you are in the process of considering purchasing or adopting a Border.  The information I provide is only basic – I do not claim to be a qualified trainer, or breeder, nor have I ever taken an interest in showing my Indy at competitions, but since we adopted him (or he adopted us, as I always say), I’ve always wanted to find out more about him, the whereabouts and his features, which may also explain a lot of whys.



Borders do originate from the Cheviot Hills on the borders between Scotland and England – hence the name of Borders.  The categorisation in the group of terriers comes from the fact that these dogs we bred to hunt foxes and vermin in farms – particularly easy task, given their strong scent and the typical otter-shaped face.  Borders are very good at poking their muzzle in earth holes or … to hunt their catch.  Earth in Latin is ‘terra’, which is where the group name derives its origins.


How big does a Border Terrier get?

Specific characteristics of this breed are an ideal weight of approximately 5.5-7.5kg, as set out by the Kennel Club in 1920 when Borders were recognised as a breed per se.  Taller than a Jack Russell, the body of a Border cannot be described as stocky, but rather muscular and lithe, designed as it should be to penetrate small crevices to catch vermin.

Border Terrier Features

The main feature of course, which makes any Border stand out from other similar terriers, is the otter-shaped face, dark eyes and small velvet ears dangling down.  The particular looks of Borders’ face is to me what makes me more so attractive and striking in personality, as they it can give them that distinctive looks of grumpiness.

Borders can vary in colour and in coat, as you find from darker and grizzlies coats to softer tan ones.  Indy belongs to this latter category, as you can see from the above picture.

Border Terriers life expectancy is between 12-16 years, but I have come across lovely Borders who have only gone to the greener pastures in their very late teens.



  1. // Reply

    I loved the info you have provided about the border Terrier. I want to get a smaller dog, and I think these little guys look perfect.
    Kind regards,

    1. // Reply

      I can’t deny that I am bias about Borders, but I really think you are right Jeff, they are ideal for me as small enough but not too small, independent but loyal, intelligently and even tempered, but mostly so affectionate and loving! Thank you ever so much for your interest in my pages 🙂

  2. // Reply

    omgosh we have a border terrier mutt!!! vet says he is about 80% border terrier; we adopted him from a shelter about 2 year ago and he is the best dog EVER!!! thank you for this information about border terriers–they are amazingly awesome little dogs. Can I ask–is licking a LOT typical of this breed? Our terrier licks us CONSTANTLY!

    1. // Reply

      Hi Hillary, and thanks for your lovely comment. Would you believe it, our Indy did not do any licking to start off with, and now he is the biggest ‘kisser’ ever! I’m not sure whether it is a trait of this particular breed, but I guess it goes with their innate loving and affectionate predisposition. And when it comes to our Indy the scavenger, it is also initiated partly by the smell of food on my face after I have had my meal! Sorry if it sounds gross, but that is the reality of canine behaviour ☺️☺️

  3. // Reply

    Hi Giulia,
    Very informative post. I always prefer the smaller breeds, I think they are cute. I am thinking of getting a dog for my sons and I will certainly consider this breed.

    Thanks again!

    1. // Reply

      I have to admit, Chris, that if you knock at my door for info on Border Terriers, you can’t find anyone more bias than me. But you are right, Borders are not too small and certainly not too big, hence can fit in a flap easily, they are grumpy looking hence more lovable, and easy to train and loyal but retaining their independent personality. All this to me makes them just about perfect ❤️❤️ Thanks for going through my site Chris, much appreciated. Giulia ??

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