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They’re one of the UK’s most popular breeds of dog, but how much do you know about the loving and playful Border Terrier?

By David Hepburn Monday, 27th September 2021, 11:19 am

The last 18 months have seen many of us welcome a new four-legged friend into our homes, as the Kennel Club saw dog ownership rise by nearly eight per cent over 2020.

But with 221 different breeds of pedigree dog to choose from, there’s plenty of thinking to do before you select your perfect pup.

Those with active lifestyles might want to consider a larger dog, while somebody with allergies will be looking for a hypoallergenic dog.

There’s even academic guidance to seek out, with Psychologist Stanley Coren’s book ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’ ranking breeds by instincts, obedience, and the ability to adapt.

One dog that often appears at the top of people’s canine wishlists is the Border Terrrier – they were one of the UK’s 12 most popular dog breeds in 2020 and have a range of positive attributes that make them a great family pet.

Here are 10 fun and interesting facts about the breed.

1. What’s in a name?

The Border Terrier is named after the area where is was first developed in the early 18th century – in the Cheviot Hills on the border between England and Scotland.

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The Border Terrier is named after the area where is was first developed in the early 18th century - in the Cheviot Hills on the border between England and Scotland.

2. Famous fans

Celebrities who have welcomed Border Terriers into their families include Sir Andy Murray, David Walliams, Dennis Quaid, Diane Keaton, Daniel Craig, James Herriot and Kate Lawler.

Photo: Canva/Getty Images Photo Sales

Celebrities who have welcomed Border Terriers into their families include Sir Andy Murray, David Walliams, Dennis Quaid, Diane Keaton, Daniel Craig, James Herriot and Kate Lawler.

3. A fearsome reputation

While Border Terriers are now mainly beloved family pets, they were originally bred to flush out and kill foxes, as well as hunting vermin, badgers and even otters.

Photo: Canva/Getty Images Photo Sales

While Border Terriers are now mainly beloved family pets, they were originally bred to flush out and kill foxes, as well as hunting vermin, badgers and even otters.

4. A change of name

The breed has only been known as the Border Terrier since the late 1800s – before then it was referred to as the Coquetdale Terrier or Redesdale Terrier.

Photo: Canva/Getty Images Photo Sales

The breed has only been known as the Border Terrier since the late 1800s - before then it was referred to as the Coquetdale Terrier or Redesdale Terrier.

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“Border Terriers are lovely, friendly little dogs with very cute faces and small enough to fit into a flat or tiny house or garden.”  This is most people’s perception of a Border Terrier.

All the above is true, but it must be remembered that Border Terriers have been bred for many years as a WORKING dog, who will run with hounds, go to ground when necessary, attack and defend itself as required and is a TERRIER.

This means that Borders need a lot of exercise, not just a potter down the road and back twice a day, maximum ten minutes.  

They need mental stimulation, human company (which they love), not too much food or they may become overweight, and they have to be watched with other, strange, dogs as they can be defensive.  Having said that, owning a Border Terrier is very rewarding; they are wonderful companions, will walk all day without tiring and curl up quietly by the fire in the evening.

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