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Border Terrier

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The border terrier is a very popular dog breed for the small category agility classes.  They are very fast and willing workers and you will always see one or more of them in the queue at a show.

Their height is 25 to 28cm and the weight is about 5.1 to 7.1kg depending on the size of the dog and whether you have a dog or bitch. 

Border terriers have wiry coat which is easy to groom and they are generally sturdy and active little dogs.  Like most terriers they are courageous and dare I say it, a little bit wilful.  I once spent six weeks exercising a little border for someone who was getting over an operation. I never had any problems with him, but George was inclined to wander in spite of all the exercise.  He could have done with something to keep his active little mind occupied. 

Originally bred for hunting, the breed should be capable of following a horse all day and still have some energy left over.  They are intelligent and quick to learn and respondents to the survey mostly put them in the "fairly easy" category for training.  The people who had done some agility with them recommended them as agility dogs and said that they would choose this breed again for agility.   Comments from border terrier owners and handlers are given below.  Several people have said that their dogs are easily distracted but the ones I've seen in competition do very well and they are very keen.  Maybe it's the hunting instinct!


Comments on the Border Terrier and its crosses.

Jo (Border terrier cross Jack Russell)

I have a jack chi bitch [a jack chi is a Jack Russell Chihuahua cross (Pat)] and a border terrier dog. They mated and produced four pups, each very different! We have just had another litter, this time five. Three looked like jack chis. They have the wonderful temperament of the border but the small, fiery will of the jack chi. The other two are like their dad, the bitch is a fair bit smaller, the dog is the double of his dad. This cross is a fantastic one. They are gentle, eager to learn and please, and very clean. Sadly, I think two litters is enough for any bitch, so we won't be breeding any more, even though we have eager homes waiting from those who met previous pups.

Claire Smith:

Tash was 4 months old when we got her. We sadly lost our Cocker Spaniel a few months before and I had noticed my son's asthma getting worse around dogs since then. A search for a suitable low allergy dog that had a bit of life to it brought us to Border Terriers. They are the perfect dog for an active family. Tash is now 2 1/2 and full of fun. People still think she is a puppy as she is small for the breed, but saying that she is very fast. We recently entered her for terrier racing at a local show and she came 3rd out of about 30 dogs, and had a ball at the same time. She is very good at recall and I can let her off the lead most of the time. She does seem a bit too interested in sheep so has to be put on the lead in fields full of them, but she has come back when called in a field she got into. I would recommend this breed to anyone with a family who likes walk. Tash is never happier than when she is out with the family either on a beach or in the hills. Never had any trouble with her going down holes but have heard of a few that like to chase rabbits down them. We love Tash so much we are thinking of getting another border for her to play with as we can't borrow the neighbours Westie enough.


I have a 14-week-old Border Terrier named Bodie and I hope to do agility with him when he is older. He is already using behind our settee as a tunnel and he's bouncy, so the jumps should certainly be no problem. He's full of energy and I know he'll love it.

Gill Gallagher:

It has been a hard slog as we were both new to agility but we love it and we have our first competition on 28th June


Merlin is our first border terrier, and he is such good fun to have. I have found him easy to train and he really loves his walks and agility class. He's excellent with children, other people, other dogs, other animals.  He just wants to be cuddled and loved by all.  I find the more time and energy I can give to Merlin, the more I gain back from him.  I'm smitten and would definitely consider getting another in the future.


Mutley is my border x jack!! he is 3...very lovely, protective and friendly...on the down side....he runs away and chases sheep.. and attacks them!!


I have two border terriers....Louy, he's male and 3 years old and there's Penny, female and almost 3 years old. Both dogs are a pleasure to have and learn very quickly but don't always take notice of you as they are quite easily distracted.....generally by food!


Hello, the Border Terrier is a lovely dog to have it can easily be trained after you have sorted the distracting stage and bond well in most cases anyway. I would say to anyone if you want a dog then you should either get this or a Patterdale as they are both brilliant breeds of terrier although this one is a lot more pretty.

Border terrier handler:
She's great fun to train, but is quite easily sidetracked by other dogs and interesting smells.

Emma (Border terrier/collie cross):

Absolutely cracking agility dog but was difficult to keep his concentration to train at first due to him being totally mental!


Molly is a Border terrier x jack russell, and loves agility! But beware of the 'border terrier sulks' - you know about it when they aren't pleased with you!

Stella (Border Terrier Jack Russell Cross)

Milly needs to concentrate a little more but she is only 9 months old at present.

Mike Holroyd

Get the silly stage over and done with, and you can have a fine agility dog with a Border Terrier

Paula (Patterdale terrier X border terrier)

Jack is a rescue dog from the Dogs Trust. I decided that agility would focus that terrier energy!



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