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Tell me what you know about border terriers please.

(18 Posts)
Schlock Sun 13-Jan-13 10:07:45

We're thinking of getting one. Dd2 (13) is especially keen on BTs.

This will be our second dog. The first one was a huge (possibly great dane/GS X but more likely a Heinz 57) rescue with some difficult behavioural and digestive issues. Unfortunately he had to go back to Dog's Trust after he went for my youngest without warning one day and we could no longer trust him around children sad

Are BTs yappy? do they need huge amounts of exercise?

I work 4hours a day, is that sustainable with a puppy or should we consider getting an older dog/bitch?

fanoftheinvisibleman Sun 13-Jan-13 11:36:24

I have a 5 month old Border who we got at 8 and 1/2 weeks.

I think he is fantastic but then I am a little biased. I can't say that mine is yappy but he is still young. There are a pair about 10 houses down and I have never heard them.

We had the land shark stage between 8 and 12 weeks where if it moved he tried to kill it, feet being a favourite! He had ds and nearly me in tears then! That all stopped and I have to say I don't really recognise the tales of puppies bringing people to their knees and the 'never again' thing as in general he has been really easy.

He is a fab sleeper and has only ever created once at night and as it turned out he needed a wee. He was fully toilet trained by 12 weeks. He is chilled and relaxed in the house and has never chewed toys despite them being all over the floor amongst his toys. He knows what is his and is very good.

Exercise wise, he had to be dragged into car after a good hour in the woods yesterday and has done more. Bear in mind he is still very young. The lady down the street tells me hers are ever ready even if woken and can do 15 -20 mile hikes without flagging! I suspect he will need a lot as he grows.

Now the negatives! He is extremely friendly. Unfortunately this manifests itself as hurling himself muddy paws and all at anyone, whether they want him or not. Same with dogs, he is very bouncy and in their face. He pays little attention to their warnings sometimes which is scary and means I have to be very selective about where i let him off lead. His recall is fab until someone more interesting is around then I may as well go home.

Training class was a nightmare for the above reason. He didn'y want to listen to me when other dogs around. He is quick to learn at home when no dogs around and responds tp the clicker.He is not food motivated really either which can be tricky. Feeding has been a nightmare as he is picky and has an extremely sensitive tummy. We are still struggling to sort this.

He can be left for 4 hours but I consider this the max and it isn't regular either. I didn't consider it when he was really little.

Overall I think he is great. He has a typical confident gung ho personality and is great fun and he and ds (7) are now firm friends.

Schlock Sun 13-Jan-13 12:08:57

Thank you Fan smile all very useful info. Although I work I have (for complicated reasons I won't go into here) have a teenager who is home all day, however she is rarely out of bed before lunchtime.

DoItToJulia Sun 13-Jan-13 12:20:19

Ah, we had a border terrier from 1990 to 2006. (Yep, she lived to be 16!). She was adorable, not yappy at all.

We had her for my sister who was ten at the time. She was a huge part of our family and is still missed today. My DH and I talk about getting a dog but we have an 8 wo ds2 and need to wait till he is older, but we know it would be a border.

Wrt excercise our dog wasn't keen as she got older, but when she was younger she did like regular, but not OTT excercise. Having said that we knew a BorderTerrier than ran alongside its owners bike everyday often doing 6 mile round trips, so I think it depends.

Our border coped with us working up to a point. She certainly didn't wet or mess inside but if we were gone a bit too long she would rip up a tissue! One time she got her head stuck inside a cream cake box, desperate to lick the last of the cream off it!

I would thoroughly recommend one!

Schlock Sun 13-Jan-13 12:26:08

Ripped up a tissue grin that I can cope with. With the last dog I used to come home to the contents of the kitchen bin all over the floor & a nice big turd too if I was very lucky hmm

LadyTurmoil Sun 13-Jan-13 13:39:32

Schlock Sun 13-Jan-13 13:44:06

Aw, sweet but rather a long way from us. Not sure dh would be happy with the cross with yorkie. He has pathological dislike of yorkies having plagued by yapping from next door as a child.

fanoftheinvisibleman Sun 13-Jan-13 13:49:42

It is a shame it is too far, they also have a full border and a really cute border/lakeland in if you look at the site. It's my local rescue, I'll do you make you a cup of Yorkshire tea if you drop in. grin

MothershipG Sun 13-Jan-13 13:56:37

I think 4 hours is too long to leave a puppy, especially in the house training stage.

I think that Border Terriers have become very popular of late and although we have met some lovely ones we have also met a few with issues. A friend of mine had to go to hospital as one had attacked his dog and was absolutely refusing to back off so my friend intervened and got bit. But once the BT had hold of his hand he wasn't letting go so it can't be excused as an accidental bite in the midst of a dog fight.

So pick your breeder very carefully and find out what you can about the temperament of their lines.

ijustwant8hours Sun 13-Jan-13 14:41:26

I have a six month old BT

He is very very bright and mine is food orientated which makes training easy...but, he is very very easily distracted all training goes out the window if he sees another dog / person / cyclist / bird/ funny leaf.... I am hoping that as he gets older this will improve..

He had recently started barking quite a bit, it isn't really yappy though. He seems to be guarding and I am trying to distract him.

He is a brilliant sleeper at night! He goes to bed at 9pm and gets up when we do. He has never fussed at night and doesn't need to go out for a wee (touch wood!)

He will happily sleep in the day if put in his crate, but he wont settle by himself. I leave him for 3.5 hours twice a week and he has been left for four hours. He appears to just sleep when he is by himself.

He will walk and walk but doesn't demand it and on the couple of days i couldn't take him or he has only got a short walk he hasn't seemed bothered (he is still young though!).

Like Fan's he is very enthusiastic about people and dogs, i think (hope) this is a puppy thing!

He was really really nippy, I got to the end of my tether! But he has stopped now and is loads better, he is bouncy but very gentle with my 4 year old and hasn't shown any sign of aggression with her. Just need to stop him jumping up now!

He doesn't chew furnitue but will chew / play with toys or anything left in his reach. On entering a room he scours for things...he also digs and has dug a hole in my carpet!

In summary, he is a terrier! He is lovely, quite hard work to be honest but it is worth it as he does pick things up so quickly.

ditavonteesed Sun 13-Jan-13 17:33:54

I have a three yo BT who I love with all my heart, she is not and has never been yappy or chewy, she was an absolute bugger to train but is fine now she is settled down. She needs at least an hour walk a day and most of that is bombing about with her brother, she is very intelligent and she absoloutly hates other dogs, I have had to get her recall perfect as she can not be trusted around other dogs ever, after discovering this i also from other BT owners found out that this is not uncommon. Very food minded and will do most things for a treat, which also means that she jumps up at passers by if i am not careful as she assumes everyone wants to feed her. She is very pretty and a real people pleaser.

DoItToJulia Sun 13-Jan-13 18:30:54

You have all reminded me about the two features I had clearly forgotten about....the food (blimey she loved food!) and the other dogs thing.

Ours would try it on with ANY other dog no matter their size or stature, which at times was more embarrassing than problematic!

digerd Sun 13-Jan-13 18:41:41

As with all breed of dogs, they are an individual as far as personality and character are concerned.
When choosing a puppy, the one that will be comfortable and relaxed on its back in your arms shows a relaxed character. Not all do that.
Border terriers are terriers, very active, with cute otter faces and coat easy care.
I have only known one, and he was laid back and obedient.

exexpat Sun 13-Jan-13 18:48:27

I have a 4-year-old border (had him since puppyhood) and he is a lovely, easy-going dog. Most days he only gets an hour's walk (mostly off-lead, running around the woods or chasing a ball in the park), though he would happily do lots more than that, and he spends a large amount of the rest of the day sleeping on the sofa or on my feet at the computer, or guarding the house from marauding cats.

He loves people, gets on well with most other dogs (only gives warning growls when yet another big black Labrador tries to hump him) though will chase cats/squirrels/crows etc, but has never caught anything.

Only yaps when he's excited about going on a walk or seeing a cat. Worst habit is jumping up to say hello to people - he loves people.

Very easily and reliably housetrained, seems to have great bladder control so is fine for up to 12 hours without going outside overnight. He's not often left for more than 4-6 hours by himself in the daytime, but once or twice due to train delays etc has been alone for 8 hours and was fine - no mess, no destruction, no howling (at least not that the neighbours mentioned). He went through a few weeks of chewing stuff as a puppy, but is now completely safe with all the DCs' junk left lying around.

Gymbob Sun 13-Jan-13 19:14:13

my border is truly wonderful, and I adore him. he is four and a half and is no bother at all. doesn't chew yap dig or chase and loves squirrels and rabbits and cats. just sits and watches them.

we started socialising him before we could put him down and did every situation possible. borders need to be thoroughly socialised or they can be difficult. he started training classes early and we were trained alongside him.

he comes eeverywhere with us and will sit happily under a pub table while we eat. lots of the local shops let him in he is so good.

socialise and train him well and you will have a wonderful dog smile smile

SixtyFootDoll Wed 16-Jan-13 14:21:01

I have a 13 week old female BT, she is lovely.
Sleeps in kitchen overnight with no fuss and the last few nights no mess.
Toilet training ok, any accidents due to us not getting her out in time.
Very sociable, makes walks difficult as she expects everyone to fuss her and wants to follow everyone.
Just started puppy classes and its fair to say she was the mot enthusiastic pup there.
We got her due to my allergy to most dogs, but if I didn't have the allergy would choose her again.

LadyTurmoil Sun 27-Jan-13 14:30:55 A 3yr old BT at Ravenswood Rescue

izzysmydog Tue 29-Jan-13 22:25:25

We have a 3 yr old BT. Fabulous dogs, very loyal, loving, funny, good with kids, intelligent. I also work and have tween kids, we arranged to get her at start of 6 week school hols so she would not be alone too long for first two months. Had no problems with her, my advice would be to look for good breeder and get a puppy cos they grow up with your routines and habits. She has given us a lot of love and happiness.

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