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Border Terrier or Border Terrier cross(39 Posts)
Hi, after losing our beloved cocker spaniel 6 months ago me and my husband have now decided we can’t live without a dog in our lives and would love another puppy.
We were 100% decided on a border terrier but I’ve recently read a few articles that say border crosses are a better choice, particularly jack Russell cross.
If anyone has any experience or advice I’d be very grateful. I’d be at home with the dog for 95% of the day and it would only be left for a maximum of 2 hours 3 or 4 times a week. I’ve got a 6 year old niece who I see very regularly so would want a dog that’s good with kids but we don’t have any of our own. Long walks every day and a love of camping optional lol!
Thanks in advance x
Don't know about BT crosses but I love BT's, brilliant little dogs. I say little, they are big dogs in little bodies!!
I can't imagine why anyone would want a border cross. They are lovely as they are.
Had an amazing BT for 15 years, would totally recommend them.
So placid, lovely temperament. Great with kids, they don't bat an eyelid.
Only negative for me was dog hair, but if you stick to hand stripping a few times a year and brush regular then you should be able to keep on top of it.
Thanks for your replies. I have my heart set on a BT but have only had experience of a spaniel so just thought I’d check with people who know far more than I do, I’m pleased to hear borders are great just as they are so thank you for setting my mind at ease.
the thing with a cross is you don't know which parent they will take after. You won't get a 50/50 split, either in terms of looks or behaviour, and you won't necessarily ge the "best bits" of each.
Very true, I was sceptical about the articles but never having owned a terrier I just had a little doubt. You know what it’s like tho, you read so many different things that’s why I knew I could rely on MN to give the most impartial advice.
Why do some think Border crosses - or Jack Russell crosses - are a better choice?
My mum had three Borders and I have one and he's great! Gentle with children, loves everyone, doesn't mind being alone for short periods of time. Loves his walks whatever the length and loves lazing around too.
Yes he has his terrier instincts for following his nose, not always listening, and chasing cats when off the lead, but they respond well to training (with treats!) and are eager to please.
They are brilliant!
I’m not sure tbh, it seemed from the limited info I read was that you get the best of both 🤔, but as pp pointed out you just can’t guarantee this. I’ve got my heart set on a border terrier so was 99% sure, just wanted advice from people who’ve actually owned one. Thanks
I have an 11yo border. He's gorgeous and wonderful with my 2 young children who regularly put hats on him, brush him with dolly brushes etc! He is great in the house, wouldn't know he was here most of the time. He always comes for a cuddle once the kids are in bed! We adore him.
Drawbacks - he's hit and miss when it comes to his interactions with other dogs. He's got much better as he's got older but still about 1 out of every 5 dogs we meet he will chase/ bark at and will not be recalled. We have worked with trainers when he was younger and never managed to solve it. I believe it is 'complete' males he does this with. He is also unable to meet dogs on the lead, he always reacts if he sees another dog while on lead. I only mention this because I know several other bt owners who struggle with the same behaviour so have assumed it is a breed thing. I know they have a strong prey drive.
We have a border/ patterdale cross. She’s lovely
Borders are lovely . My dsis has a 16 yr old border x JRT , she also had the littermate brother until last week , they are also lovely but the girl is dreadful with other dogs despite going to puppy socialising and training and can be snappy with strangers , the brother was always lovely with everyone . I cannot see what you gain by going for a cross .
My only experience of a Jack Russell was utter madness, even half that dogs genes would have driven you mad.
Mine has a strong chase drive which can be a pain but apart from that he's lovely. Sits on my lap like a cat on the evening, lets my younger children hassle him without reacting, isn't greedy. Funny little thing. I'll always have borders.
I have a border x Lakeland. She is very very sweet natured and great with people and dogs. She is great (terrified and in awe) with our cat but we had the cat before her - she chases any other cats who come into the garden.
She needs a lot of walking otherwise she gets twitchy and bored! She will run for miles when being walked (we are very rural) - I don’t think she would do well as a town dog walking around a park! She is true to her border roots - she fully understands all commands and will obey them if she feels like it and if it fits in with her plans She is a great size and doesn’t moult!
I have a few friends with borders or border crosses and they are fantastic feisty little dogs!
I have a border terrier crossed with jack russell. I absolutely adore him, I’ve had him for 17 years and he’s still able to walk 40 mins every day. He’s happy to sit on the sofa all day as long as he gets one walk. If he doesn’t get a walk he can be a bit yappy. He was raised with a cat but will chase any other cats. Plus anything fluffy that moves fast. He’s great around livestock, our hens & my old lizard. He’s only really interested in his family, he’s not bothered about being fussed by anybody else. When he was younger he was happy with a 30 minute walk or a 7 mile walk and anywhere in between (he prefers a good sniff round rather than playing with toys). The only health problems he’s had have started when he turned 12 years old but they were just fatty lumps and warts which is normal for old dogs. He’s been fantastic with my DS who is 10 months old now but I always ask other children to leave him alone to be honest. He doesn’t like it if they’re rough with him (it might be an age thing though). He’s always been great with other dogs on a walk but can be grumpy with them in his own home. I would get a border terrier again and again I think they’re wonderful!
I’ve always walked him off lead though because he loved getting under hedgerows but I can imagine you had that with your spaniel too!
My dm has a boarder terrier. She's absolutely loopy (dog not my mum) has virtually been brought up with ds2.
Find someone who hand strips them though. Alot of places clipper them instead.
Although I prefer the unkempt look personally.
Why not stick with another cocker spaniel? I might be a bit
we'll massively biased but you'll only regret not sticking with a spaniel ...
Hand stripping gave my boy an awful skin reaction and he hated it. I clip mine myself. He's very handsome and happy that way.
I have a BT x JRT, she was a rescue and chosen because her (mad) upbringing and temperament fitted our family. She is very affectionate with everyone but has the feisty terrier character when she's out. She is very active on a walk but actually pretty chilled out and easy going at home. My previous dog was also a JRT x but more of a Heinz variety. I think if you want to have more idea what you are getting and the BT is what you love go for the pure breed, but actually the other factors that determine how the dog turns out are more important - temperament of the parents, how the puppies are raised, how well socialised they are. Training is always a bit of an issue with terriers - my friend who is a dog trainer says if you want an unquestioning obedient dog don't get a terrier - they have been bred to think for themselves. You either like that in a dog or you don't! If I was to buy a pure breed (have never owned a pedigree dog or cat or bought rather than rehomed) I would go for a BT because they are ace! Good luck.
upthewolves that's so interesting you say that - we also have a BT who is calm and patient, but put him on a lead and he's suddenly very unpredictable towards some dogs, mainly male/black labs. We've had sessions with several trainers over the years but never completely cracked it either, so we keep trying with the training tips and walk him carefully! I'd always assumed it had something to do with an early experience on a lead (he's a rescue) but maybe it's a BT thing?
BTs are brilliant little dogs just as they are - my concern about getting a cross would be the risk of it coming from a puppy farm, or from a backyard breeder who hasn't bothered with health checks or welfare.
Thanks for all your help 🙂. keepaddingpets, We considered another cocker but I just can’t face the constant comparisons I know I’d make with my amazing boy. They are such lovely dogs but think borders are v. Beautiful too.
Border terriers are gorgeous little dogs. It's all we have ever had. Such big personalities for a little dog.
You won't be disappointed.
This is my Ruby.