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.
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.