Thinking of getting a border terrier...

(24 Posts)
Tumbleweed101 Thu 25-Oct-18 08:27:30

Does anyone here own one? What are the good and bad sides to owning them?

I already have a 9yo lurcher. She’s pretty low maintaince these days so I know getting a young dog will make life a bit lively again lol. My older dog will hopefully teach a young dog some house manners too.

Anyway I’m used to living with a low shedding dog which doesn’t have much a ‘doggy’ smell. Are Borders similar? Are they busy house dogs or do they chill out and save being busy for outside? Do they tend to be distructive or noisy? (I know any dog will be if bored/lonely - I mean in general).

Are they loving dogs who enjoy cuddles or are they more independent?

Just trying to get a feel for the breed, I’ve done some reading and I like the size and look of the breed, but that doesn’t tell you the day to day reality of living with that breed.

OP’s posts: |
GrumpySausage Thu 25-Oct-18 08:48:37

I have a border boy, he's 7. He is a brilliant house dog, loves lazing in a sunny spot or next to us on the sofa and is great with my two dc (both under 4). Puts up with a lot from them and never raises an eyebrow.

He is besotted with my DH and will happily sit for hours on his lap staring at him.

He doesn't moult and I get him stripped every three months which keeps his coat healthy. Others trim their dogs with clippers , it's personal preference.

Health wise we've never had any major vets trips but he does suffer from itchy skin maybe once a year (often when high pollen) which I understand can be a thing for borders.

He can be very happy and excitable if someone knocks on the door but then when settled will snooze for hours . Good guard dogs and nothing gets by him.

Outside is a different matter though. As a puppy he was attacked by two of the neighbours dogs whilst walking (I had to lift him over my head and shout for help) and unfortunately this has made him very wary of other dogs now. We cannot let him off his lead whilst out as he is too scared/snappy at other dogs. Luckily we have a large back yard he can roam.

He is better with dogs he knows and will happily play/relax with other family dogs but introducing new dogs is a problem. However I know others with borders that are very friendly and social or with other dogs. Ours is just down to circumstance.

In short, he's a lovely dog but does require some hard work when out and about.

Picture just because.

GrumpySausage Thu 25-Oct-18 08:50:19

Happy should read Yappy. There is nothing like a border bark right in your ear!

Amazing both my kids sleep through it now!

usedtobeboss Thu 25-Oct-18 08:59:43

Go for it! We have an eight year old, and he's brilliant. A real character - very easy going, hardly ever barks, very friendly (people and dogs) and affectionate. We don't ever let him off the lead, as i'm not sure he'd come back - but walks on a long lead and plenty of time in the garden are fine.
The only possible downside ( and it isn't a problem) is that he's on a restricted diet, and the vet tells me it's not unusual for borders to have intolerances etc.

TropicPlunder Thu 25-Oct-18 09:11:15

Great! I'm following because I'm mulling over the idea of a Jack Russell, Border or similar smile

Tumbleweed101 Thu 25-Oct-18 09:38:47

Thanks for your replies smile. My lurcher is wheat intolerant so I’m used to having to be careful with foods. They do sound lovely dogs with nothing too concerning to deal with smile.

OP’s posts: |
PavlovaFaith Thu 25-Oct-18 13:56:55

Borders are fab. Had them for years. They're friendly and have the sweetest expressions. Yet they are feisty and defensive when they need to be! Great at playing and learning, love to lounge around, have fits and burst of mad energy all over the house 😁 best dogs ever!


GrimDamnFanjo Thu 25-Oct-18 23:48:01

A new Border owner here! We chose the breed as we needed a smaller dog this time but wanted a smart one with a working instinct.
Health wise they are really robust, make sure you check for the Slem test in the patents though.
Personality wise they are said to be less of a terrier type than others but you need to beware of furry creatures near them and they can be a bit intolerant of other dogs.
Grooming is low key apart from the handstripping required if you want to keep their double coat in good condition.
They are lively but no more than other working breeds.
We think we made a good choice!

Toothfairee Fri 26-Oct-18 11:57:13

place marking as thinking of adding to the family with a pair of BT's !

userxx Fri 26-Oct-18 13:41:20

I'm a big dog person, didn't really like small dogs to be honest as they seemed so yappy, however I have got to know a BT quite recently and she is just lovely. She's changed my mind about smaller dogs and I would definitely have one if I could.

crumpet Fri 26-Oct-18 13:45:56

Recall recall recall training! Otherwise our was fabulous - although like Grumpysausage, after ours was attacked whilst on the lead it became very defensive if approached by other dogs if on a lead. It was superb with the dc as toddlers and babies, and a great character.

whatatod0 Sat 27-Oct-18 21:40:06

Borders are just the best dogs ever! So cute, and up for anything. Running around on a walk, or lazing on the sofa. Full of expressions.
We've had two, a boy and a girl, and they've both been fairly easy to train and very loyal.
Not too much shedding, and as a breed pretty healthy. Great with kids too.
Go for it!

TwigTheWonderKid Sat 27-Oct-18 21:45:03

Does anyone have a BT and a cat? Or is that a total no-no?

Bonkersblond Sat 27-Oct-18 21:54:57

Love my Border, she's 3, we downsized when we lost our beloved lab and not disappointed, she's fun, playful, lazy, loving, independent, Pro's low shed coat, I handstrip myself. Great with our kids, ours is great with other dogs. She's never been destructive. Con's horrible bark so don't like the kids over exciting her, recall is hit and miss, if she is on the scent of a squirrel, no chance of her coming back until she's ready, so we can only let her off certain places. She does have a doggy smell but it's not offensive. We love her!!

Bonkersblond Sat 27-Oct-18 21:56:24

TWIG maybe if they are introduced when BT is a puppy otherwise cats are on my Borders hit list!

Mumteedum Sat 27-Oct-18 22:02:23

I am jealous of you other border owners with doggos who like lounging around.

My bt is gorgeous but extremely high maintenance. Has never been one to chill much. Still wants a good walk every day at 14 years old! He was never yappy until old age but is very vocal now and omg stubborn. Awful with the other dogs that are busy, energetic types. Likes other terriers though.

I probably just got a loopy one (although I've still a few mad borders). They're great but not lazy laid back dogs at all. They're big dogs in small bodies!

Dacresmallwilly Sat 27-Oct-18 22:06:57

Do it do it do it! Best dogs ever, affectionate, loyal, big dog trapped in small dog's body. Mine is 12 and only just slowing down. Any negatives are offset by his general aceness

Sforsh49 Sat 27-Oct-18 22:33:47

Mine has just turned 9, he's mad as a box of frogs but actually very, very obedient with a bladder of steel! Doesn't come upstairs, won't jump on the furniture unless invited, not destructive and as he's getting older is getting to be a bit more of a cuddly dog. He's my best pal and he's awesome with kids despite us not having any he seems to just "know" what they're about. Will walk up a mountain if you want him too or will have a nap on the sofa, he's just ace!

exexpat Sat 27-Oct-18 22:45:00

My 10-year-old border is brilliant - loves walks but can cope with just 30 mins a day if necessary, and spends a lot of the day snoring on the sofa, just waking up to bark at passing cats or foxes and demand food or a game of tug. He walks off-lead and comes back just fine, possibly with a slight delay if there are squirrels around. Loves people, less interested in most other dogs now he's older but plays happily with dogs he knows well. A bit touchy with big unneutered male dogs.

One word of warning - I was led to believe that borders don't shed but mine does, all the time, everywhere. He's still lovely, though.

LittlePearl Sun 28-Oct-18 00:16:14

We had one for 13 years and now have a 3 year old.

They're great dogs - little grooming required, shed a bit but not loads, not as terrier-ish as a lot of other terrier breeds, but still loads of character.

Our current BT is a barker, but our last one hardly barked at all. Lots of BTs love agility, ours has done really well with obedience training (very food orientated so easy to train).

They have a reputation for not being good with other dogs but I think it's down to how well they've been socialised as puppies.

I thoroughly recommend them.

MrsBertBibby Sun 28-Oct-18 00:28:45

I worked in an office where a bt lived. I am not at all keen on dogs, but he was really quite tolerable and non hassly. Terrible food watcher though.

Tumbleweed101 Sun 11-Nov-18 08:42:53

Thank you - this has been really helpful 🙂

OP’s posts: |
Hoppinggreen Sun 11-Nov-18 08:48:36

My friend has one and we often walk our dogs together
She’s a lovely little dog but can be a bit grumpy and hates other dogs, she yaps at them and pulls aggressively towards them.
She knows my dog well but even with him she is a bit stroppy when they first meet and can occasionally snap at him. He’s much bigger and quite chilled so he just looks a bit bemused when she does it. She settles down after the first 10 minutes or so.

User467 Tue 13-Nov-18 00:44:16

We have two borders. Our boy is a very laid back old soul (although he's actually only 2). His main priority is company so he is happy to follow you room to room (and I mean all the time) and is happy with a quick 20 min school run or a much longer trek. He LOVES cuddles on the sofa and is friendly with every living thing he meets. He is great with our kids and loves our cat. He is close to being the perfect dog.

Our other dog....the a very different creature! She is switched on all the time. She is so very sweet, amazing with the kids (follows them and joins in whatever they are playing, she even mastered the slide this summer!) and as clever as they come. She really needs more occupying and can be restless at night if she's not had enough to stimulate her (I've found that mental stimulation tires her more than physical)but isn't particularly destructive. It is her mission in life to chase the cat. She seems to only want to play and has never made contact but border play doesn't really work with our cat so we have a couple of stair gates installed now to allow the cat to retreat. She is quick to pick things up and her recall is instant. She'll turn on a knife edge at a single call.......when she wants. I can't trust her off lead. All the recall training in the world won't make me trust her off lead.

Neither are high maintenance in terms of grooming and really don't shed to any noticeable degree. As a breed they generally don't cope terribly well being in their own for long periods of time.

I'd say as long as you are fairly active and able to commit to regular exercise albeit not necessarily always very lengthy, can properly terrier proof your garden and don't plan on very long periods when the dog will be by itself then they are a great choice of breed

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