Border Terriers are lovely friendly little dogs with very cute faces, small enough to fit into a flat or tiny house and garden. This is most people’s opinion of a Border Terrier. All the above is true but it must be remembered that Border Terriers have been bred for many years as a WORKING dog who will run with hounds, go to ground when necessary, attack and defend itself as required and is a TERRIER, not a lapdog. This means that Borders need a lot of exercise, not just a potter down the road and back twice a day, maximum ten minutes. They need mental stimulation, human company (which they love), not too much food or they get fat, and they have to be watched with other, strange, dogs as they can be defensive. Having said that, they are wonderful companions, will walk all day without tiring and curl up quietly by the fire in the evening.
Important things to remember before buying a new puppy
- ALWAYS see the puppy with its mother.
- NEVER MAKE A RASH DECISION ABOUT BUYING A PUPPY – go to visit the breeder, take a list of questions, be prepared to answer their questions and then GO HOME AND THINK ABOUT IT BEFORE YOU DECIDE. If they try hard sell and say the pup might have gone to someone else while you are thinking about it, run for the hills!
- IF A BREEDER ASKS FOR A DEPOSIT BEFORE HAVING MET YOU AND ASKING YOU ANY QUESTIONS, run for the hills and don’t go there!!!!
- ASK HOW MANY TIMES THE PUPS HAVE BEEN WORMED AND WHEN, WHAT WITH AND AMOUNTS. They should be wormed at least 3 times before they leave home, which should be no sooner than 8 weeks old.
- CHECK THAT THE PUPPY HAS BEEN WELL SOCIALISED. Was it raised in the house? If raised outside, did the breeder spend time socialising it; check how it reacts to being handled and picked up (while you sit on the floor).
- IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN, make sure you take them with you. A decent breeder will be concerned to know that your children are not going to maul the puppy about. If a breeder tells you not to bring the children, run for the hills and don’t go there!!
- MAKE SURE THE PUPPY HAS NO FLEAS. One lady rang me who had collected her puppy and when she got it home, it was literally covered in fleas and had a distended worm ridden tummy. These things are so easily avoidable. It aint rocket science. A decent breeder would not be selling a puppy with worms and fleas. These can be life threatening for the puppy and once fleas invade your house, you need to talk to your vet about getting rid of them, so best not to have a puppy with them in the first place!
- CHECK THE DATE OF BIRTH: pups should not leave home earlier than 8 weeks. A breeder parting with puppies at 6 weeks is just tired of looking after them and wants your money!
- IF YOU WANT A KENNEL CLUB REGISTERED DOG, make sure you are given the KC Registration papers when you collect your puppy and a 3, 4 or 5 generation pedigree. If it is ‘to follow’, ask to see a copy of the application made to the Kennel Club, or ask for the KC Registration numbers of the sire and dam and then ring the KC before you buy your puppy, to ensure an application has been made. These days, KC Registration can be done on line and does not take long, so do not be fobbed off with excuses.
- ASK FOR A HEALTH CHECK BY THE BREEDER’S VET. The breeder can get this for you and it is better if you know the puppy is healthy before you buy it than to find out it has a serious heart murmur and may not live long, after you get it home and have fallen in love with it.
- TAKE THE PUPPY TO YOUR OWN VET SHORTLY AFTER PURCHASE.
- IF YOU SEE ANYTHING WHICH YOU ARE NOT HAPPY ABOUT AT THE BREEDER’S PREMISES, WALK AWAY! Do not buy a puppy out of pity for that dog, as you are only encouraging the breeder to breed more unhealthy dogs. If you were seriously worried, you could report the breeder to the local authorities.
- DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE YOU BUY, TO MAKE SURE THIS BREED IS THE RIGHT ONE FOR YOU.
Finally, there are a lot of decent, caring breeders out there; they will be the ones asking you a lot of questions before they consider letting you have one of their puppies. They will take a keen interest in how the puppy will be looked after and will give you lots of advice about the breed and about the puppies care. They will say they want to take the puppy back themselves if anything happens at any time and you cannot keep the puppy. They will worm the pups, feed them 3 or 4 times a day, socialise and play with the puppies so they are used to being handled, keep them clean, warm and dry and much more besides and be happy to answer any of your questions.
If a breeder asks you so many questions about your ability to look after their precious puppy that you start to feel insulted, then they are the better breeders!
Good luck in your search, make sure this is the breed for you, that you know all about their pros and cons and accept them for the great little, naughty, cheeky terriers they are and that the breeder is a caring person, BEFORE you take one home.
They are not perfect, but they are great little hooligans!
DON’T let your new puppy be another statistic for Border Terrier Welfare!
For the welfare of Border Terriers
DON’T BUY A BORDER AS A CHRISTMAS PRESENT!
Hopefully you will have this puppy for 15 years or so; it is worth the wait of a couple of weeks, until the New Year when you have more time to spend introducing the puppy to a calm, quiet household and helping it with house training, making sure it has the right things to eat and is fed 3 or 4 times a day at regular intervals. You will both benefit in the long run. The puppy will be healthier and happier, he will settle in more easily and you will reap the rewards of time spent house training.
There are of course exceptions to every rule. Some couples expect a quiet time at Christmas, with no visitors and know they will have time to devote to settling puppy in and house training it. If you are like that, there may be a case for allowing yourself the joy of a puppy in your house at this time of year, but hopefully you will select a breeder who needs an awful lot of convincing before they allow you to take their precious puppy home with you.
The puppy would not be in this world if it was not for your breeder, so they have a big responsibility and should ensure the health and welfare of their puppy is paramount at all times.