"Border Terriers are lovely, friendly little dogs with very cute faces and small enough to fit into a flat or tiny house or garden." This is most people's perception 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 may become overweight, and they have to be watched with other, strange, dogs as they can be defensive. Having said that, owning a Border Terrier is very rewarding; they are wonderful companions, will walk all day without tiring and curl up quietly by the fire in the evening.
First, there are a lot of decent, caring breeders out there; they will be the ones asking you lots of questions before they consider letting you have one of their puppies. 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!
They will take a keen interest in how the puppy will be looked after and will have lots of advice about the breed and the puppy's care.
They will worm the pups, feed them 3 - 4 times a day, start the socialisation process and play with them so they are used to being handled, keep them clean, warm and dry and much more besides.
The breeder should be happy to answer all your questions about owning a Border Terrier and even to take the puppy back themselves if anything happens at any time that means you cannot keep it. The puppy would not be in this world if not for your breeder, so they have a big responsibility to ensure the health and welfare of the puppy.
Good luck in your search; make sure this is the breed for you and that you know all about their pros and cons. Accept them
for the great but naughty, cheeky little terriers they are; ensuring they come from a reputable source, before you take one home. Read our Do's & Don'ts checklist below for things to consider before you take one on.
They're not perfect, but they are great little hooligans with a character larger than life!
Don't let your pup become a Border Terrier Welfare statistic!
Read our handy list of Do's and Don'ts for our top tips on choosing your puppy to make sure you are prepared for the arrival of your new member of the family.
WALK AWAY if you see anything that you are not happy with at the breeder's premises. Do not buy a puppy out of pity as you are only encouraging the breeder to breed more unhealthy dogs. For serious concerns, you could report the breeder to the appropriate authorities.
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. 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 - 4 times a day at regular intervals will benefit both the puppy and you in the long run.
The puppy will be healthier, happier and will settle in more easily so you can reap the rewards of time spent house training, socialising and obedience training to enjoy years owning a Border Terrier.
There are of course exceptions to every rule. Some households expect a quiet time at Christmas, with no visitors and know they will have the necessary time to devote to settling puppy in, along with training and socialising it.
If that fits your circumstances, 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 at this time of year (if you find a litter ready at this time).
There are seven Breed Clubs in the UK for the Border Terrier. Click on the logos below to be taken to their website for further helpful information.
Border Terriers 2020
An event celebrating 100 years of the breed's official recognition by the UK Kennel Club, the first official breed standard, the first show for Kennel Club Challenge Certificates and the founding of The Border Terrier Club.
1 - 4 May 2020 at Kelso
We have gathered a list of reference texts on the Border Terrier, from pet owner guides to breed history. Where possible we have included an amazon link, or you can check your local bookshop, although a couple may require a little more searching as they are no longer in print.