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Border Terrier Tips(18 Posts)
We are on a waiting list for a Border Terrier, and have recently been informed by the breeder that we should expect the pup around 4-5months old at the end of summer.
With three boys (6,4 & under 1), we still have the option to opt out of this brood as we were on the list from last year. Back then there we were too far down on the list and the batch was fewer than they expected. We breathed a sigh of relief as we had only found out that we were expecting.
Could you give me the highs and lows of having a border Terrier as reality is finally dawning on me.
Please be gentle.
They are amazing dogs. Full of personality and great with children. Being terriers they can be a bit stubborn & sometimes suffer with selective hearing but they are easy to train and this shouldn’t be too much of a problem if you teach your pup good recall.
Mine never did, but some borders like to dig so you’d need to make sure your garden is secure.
There’s a lovely group on Facebook called Border Terrier Adventures with lots of experienced owners & breeders who I’m sure would answer any questions you have
Oh thank you for the advice @welshsoph . I adore them too. Yes, the breeder has been very helpful and patient too.
I am hoping that we adjust to the pup's needs as he adjusts to our life. But I don't want to be too rosy, as there will be difficult moments.
I will look out for the group on FB.
It would be a good idea to meet the parents to get an idea of the likely temperament of the puppies. Borders can be lovely, but I've met a few with slightly 'off' temperaments - a bit dog aggressive or OTT at unremarkable stimuli.
The 2 I know (different households) can be a bit nippy and absolutely hate other dogs but it may be how they’ve been raised rather than the breed
It must be how those BTs have been raised. I was in a walking group of about 30 Borders when I had mine and they all got on fine. The odd growl here or there but overall no issues.
I agree with seeing the parents, that’s really important
Border Terriers are great little dogs - small but tons of personality. I have two and a one year old. They do need careful training and there is lots of advice about them never being allowed off the lead as they don’t do recall but I’ve found this very variable with both mine & friends BTs. One of mine is reasonably reliable the other is never off her lead.
One thing to do is get a very good insurance policy that includes things like allergies - some BTs (including one of mine) have allergy issues & if they are not covered from when you get them it can be very very expensive. One of mine costs about a £1000 a year in treatment that would have been covered if we had insured her for allergies from birth but we didn’t have a policy that covered that....
In addition to the FB groups mentioned above there is also a very active #BTPosse on both IG and Twitter with local meet ups and a range of advice from experienced owners.
Also remember they are a breed that live for a long time - 15/16 and potentially even 17 years😁
Good luck! I wouldn’t be without mine and am planning on getting a 3rd when the baby is old enough to have her own (about 5/6 years).
Oh wow! Thank you for the additional advice. It is all so very welcome. We are meant to be meeting the parents at the end of June to get to know them and then prepare for pick up towards the end of summer. But yes, personality is very important, even if they are known for being an accommodating and friendly breed.
Good advice @suziedoozy about the insurance. I'll look into specific insurance for any BT specific / allergy related issues.
Glad it was useful!
I know this is random but based on my knowledge of a lot of BTs in general the boys are easier to train & less challenging than the girls. I say that as someone with one of each. In the future I will go for a boy!
I have a BT - really good with kids, but Lordy he was nippy with ankles when he was a pup.
He is so stubborn though - we used to do agility and then one day during class, he sat down and refused to move and that was that!
Provided he’s doing what he wants to do then he follows commands. 😂
We have three other dogs and he is generally fine with others.
Lots of personality!
We have a bitch who is going on 7. We got her when she was 7 months. I love her. I am a SAHM. I had to toilet train her by just sitting out with her every time she went out and not letting her out of the designated area until she did something useful. It was the middle of winter and I have treated it as childbirth- the memory has blurred.
She thrives on routine. She is fed at the same point in the morning and evening routine and she is happy. She is walked every morning and she is happy. She knows much of my routine in the car re dd/school runs/ clubs etc. However, take her out of the routine and Sheldon arrives and explodes. It's hugely funny and solved by letting her out to smell.
She came from a home that had had a bloodthirsty event. So she knows how to hunt. She isn't walked off the lead. Where I walk has a bush block attached and she started taking herself in there and I haven't the time to call her off whatever her nose tells her.
She has also been known to take against other dogs for (as far as I can see) no reason. She needs to be controlled (cannot be trusted 100%). She is walked with other dogs regularly and I just introduce new dogs very carefully. She cannot be guaranteed to take the backward step.
She is quite food motivated which is useful. We have a decent sized back yard so I can scatter treats or leftovers chopped finely and she will spend a happy little while hunting them out.
We are able to leave her in the house for some hours with no problems. Her bladder works very well! She isn't a fan of hot weather (a problem in a Perth summer) so thankfully she lives with aircon.
I have her trained with manners well enough that kennels always compliment me when I collect her but I don't think I have gone overboard in expecting obedience. I have never asked her to heel as I prefer her to do the terrier searching thing as we walk. But crossing roads, being served meals, sharing doorways nicely etc are enforced with standard commands through the family. She is eager to please, mostly.
She barks at everything new. However, it means that the neighbours do check the street if she doesn't shut up. The street had NBN installed which took months of blokes driving into our driveway, walking the street etc. Early on, I took her out on the lead a couple of times for an introduction and a sniff and she became happy and quiet. I did repeat it a couple of times as the months wore on and it worked a treat.
I remember the first time I met a BT. It was a baby and dumped into my lap and I remember just picking it up and saying "Oh, boss, I'm in love". So gorgeous. I remember the first time that pup went where it shouldn't have (aka I lost it) and the way it came running back and it's face just said it had stories to tell!. I remember then saying to the boss "don't let it kiss you - I don't know what it has had it's mouth".
**Provided he’s doing what he wants to do then he follows commands.
I couldn’t agree more with this statement!
We're on our second BT. Lovely lovely dogs. Our two have been very very different, so it just depends on their lineage. Even though ours were distantly related they couldn't be more different.
1st one was tan, shaggy, timid, and v eager to please. Never ran off and was walked off lead with 100% confidence. She passed away aged 13.5.
2nd one is black, with a sleek coat which doesn't need professionally stripping out. He is assertive, stubborn, and barky. Always walked on lead as he has form to just go off and chase something until he feels like coming back! He is very cuddly though and a lazy old git at times! (he is 3!!)
Can't go wrong with a BT! Enjoy!
We have an 8 month old boy. He's a lovely little dog, incredibly affectionate. I'm not an experienced dog owner so I am getting some help with training. His recall is really good though and he'll do anything for a treat. He toilet trained really quickly.
He was very bitey when he was younger and still nips if he doesn't like what you're doing (hence the trainer). He adores other dogs which is another problem - he won't leave them alone and tries to play constantly.
He is very inquisitive. He spends his days sat on the back of our sofa looking out of the window.
I have little experience with dogs though so I'm not sure what is breed and what is just dogs!
Oh yes, I'd forgotten about the bitey puppy stage. He used to hang off my pyjama trousers in the mornings!
Ours also sits on the back of the sofa to watch the world go by. He goes bonkers when he sees a cat though. Also very over friendly with other dogs and people too.
I've had borders most of my life. Very loving, intelligent, funny. They are great with kids and babies and very, very rarely are they aggressive with people. They can be snappy with other dogs though. They can have good recall as long as you start with recall training early. They are a great choice. Best of luck!
I've never had a border terrier that is aggressive with people. I've spoken to many others who have borders and they have never experienced aggression towards people either.
Small dogs with big personalities, I love them! Ours is happy to go on a massive walk or snooze all day on the sofa, he thrives on routine and can be out of sorts if it's broken.
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