Are Border Terriers Hypoallergenic?
Yes! The Border Terrier is a small hypoallergenic dog breed that hardly sheds or drools.
This alert and medium-energy dog was originally bred in England and Scotland. Mainly they were used for hunting foxes, otter, and other vermin by driving them out of their hiding places and into open areas. These dogs have gone by a variety of names including the Russian Bear Schnauzer and the Redesdale Terrier. In the late 1800’s, they were referred to as the Border Terrier, mainly because of their association with the Border Hunt in Northumberland.
Border Terriers have a wiry, hypoallergenic coat that hardly sheds. They don’t drool or slobber much, and produce little dandruff, which makes them excellent candidates for families with dog allergies!
Although they were originally bred for hunting purposes, they make wonderful pets and therapy dogs. They are quite popular in the USA but originate in England, Scotland and the UK. Chomp from 102 Dalmatians was a Border Terrier.
For a quick summary of the Border Terrier skip to our Border Terrier dog breed summary further down the page.
Border Terrier Quick Facts
About the Breed
The Border Terrier Physical Characteristics and Coat
Recognizable by their otter shaped head and short, few whiskers this breed is truly smart and engaging to behold. The tail is naturally moderately short, thick at the base and tapers towards the tip. These dogs have a high amount of energy and stamina in order to keep up with hunters on horseback.
They are plain looking, yet have a natural appearance with a wiry coat that does not shed much with proper grooming. A Border Terrier’s double coat is extremely hypoallergenic and doesn’t produce much dander as long as they are maintained properly. While the color of their coat may vary, the normal colors are blue and tan, grizzle and tan, red or wheaten.
Breeds that look similar to the Border Terrier
Border Terrier Temperament
Border Terriers are very athletic animals and prefer vigorous forms of exercise rather than to be just small lap dogs. They are tough, stubborn and highly intelligent. Unfortunately, that means that they can let their curious nature get the best of them. They play rough and love hard, which can irritate some pet owners. While they are extremely smart and can be trained, the more you work with them, the better, as they are very bull-headed.
These dogs should not be let off of the leash because they will chase anything that moves. They have strong instincts to hunt. They are highly inquisitive and curious creatures that crave to be in thick of things. A secure kennel or yard is essential for this breed as they will do their best to escape if bored.
Are you considering adopting a Border Terrier?
- Great escape artists and can get out of most yards if not secure enough by digging holes or climbing.
- They get bored easily and their curious nature can lead to them barking frequently if they are not entertained enough.
- Good with kids, but their high level of energy can lead to them accidentally harming a baby or child under 6 in their excitement.
- Do not shed much and do not require extensive grooming. However, regular grooming and stripping will mean much less shedding.
Breeds that have a temperament similar to the Border Terrier
Exercise & Training
Encouraging Good Behavior In Your Border Terrier
While they do tend to bark at anything that catches their interest, they are a highly loveable, good-natured and charismatic breed. They love people and are oftentimes used to aid the blind or deaf as therapy dogs. They also make wonderful pets for both the elderly and young alike. Though they are independent thinkers, they are also even-tempered. While they love to be involved and just see what everyone is doing, they can get rather territorial if they smell or sense danger near their home.
Borders get along with most animals they grow up with, including cats, but will run after other cats or small animals if they are not familiar with them. They can growl or snap if they feel that they are being unfairly or overly chastised.
This breed of dog needs a lot of vigorous exercise to keep them satisfied and prevent weight gain, but they tend to be clever and enjoy learning new tricks. Stubborn and hardworking, they love the chase – literally! They will chase squirrels, rabbits, foxes and just about any other small creature they deem hunt worthy. While they can be kept in an apartment, they need a lot of walking or other athletic exercises to keep them from getting too bored.
How to Terrier-Proof your House :
- Keep clothes and shoes off the floor.
- Put baby gates up to prevent them from bolting out of the door.
- Install a long leash in your backyard to prevent them from escaping.
- Pick up toys and other small objects.
- Put a layer of rocks over house plant soil to discourage digging in house plants.
Grooming and Care
Maintaining Your Border Terrier’s Coat
Some owners choose to trim or clip this dog’s wiry coat every few months. Although, it is recommended with this breed to hand strip to maintain the coat’s appearance and hypoallergenic qualities. Most groomers will no longer do this as it is too time-consuming and uncomfortable for the dog. They need weekly brushing as their double coat is prone to matting if not correctly cared for. However, they do not need baths very often as their coat naturally repels dirt. Be sure to use a shampoo meant for a rough coat to keep their hair in fine condition.
When it comes to dog allergies, it’s important to keep your Border Terrier clean to minimize symptoms. A clean border terrier typically won’t have enough loose hair or dander to aggravate a person’s allergies. However, when their coat is not cared for, these dogs may instigate more allergic symptoms than expected.
Teeth, Ears and Nails
Border Terrier’s teeth are short, yet strong and need to be brushed at least 2-3 times per week (daily is best) to prevent bacteria from forming and to remove the buildup of tartar. Their nails need to be trimmed once or twice per month as necessary – especially if you can hear their nails clicking on the floor! That is a sure sign that they are too long. Handle their paws quite often when they’re young as they are very touchy about their feet. Their ears are V-shaped and should be looked at often to make sure they are healthy.
Overall, maintaining Border Terriers is much easier than caring for most dogs.
Border Terrier Health Issues and Care
The Border Terrier can live anywhere from 12-15 years on average but can be susceptible to canine hip dysplasia (CHD) and even some heart defects. Routine veterinary check-ups are a must! They are also prone to gaining weight if they do not get in their exercise.
One potential health risk is hip dysplasia, but that doesn’t mean that every dog in this breed will have it. They just have an increased risk, especially if they are genetically predetermined to get it. Hip dysplasia in dogs is an oddly formed hip socket that, at its worst, can cause lameness and/or painful joint arthritis. This strange genetic trait is affected by some environmental factors. Be sure not to let your Border Terrier become obese. With proper diet and exercise, these dogs are a very healthy breed.
Here are the tests Border Terrier breeders should perform :
- Hip evaluation
- Patella evaluation
- Ophthalmologist evaluation
- Cardiac exam
- SLEM DNA test
Border Terriers are alert and energetic, which is great for someone who is always outdoors or living a very active lifestyle. They are fairly quick learners, however, it is important to establish yourself firmly as the pack leader early on so they don’t suffer from Small Dog Syndrome. They have little to no shedding so long as they are well groomed. This breed is extremely clever and gifted at escaping the yard by climbing or digging a hole underneath the fence. As long as they are not bored and left to their own devices, they can be a great pet for the whole family.
Border Terrier FAQ
Is the Border Terrier aggressive?
It depends. Normally they are not aggressive, but if scared or attacked by another dog, they become aggressive very quickly. They are tough and generally don’t look the other way if threatened.
Are Border Terriers friendly?
Usually. They don’t do as well with small kids or if they feel threatened.
Is the Border Terrier a pedigree?
Yes. They are purebred as long as they come from a valid breeder.
Are Border Terriers good with cats?
Yes. They are best when raised with them though.
Do Border Terriers shed?
It depends. If they are properly groomed, there is minimal shedding, but without grooming, they shed more.
Where does the Border Terrier come from?
United Kingdom, England and Scotland originally.
Are Border Terriers hyper?
It depends. They are easily excited, love children and love to chase squirrels and other small animals.
Are Border Terriers good with babies?
No. They are rambunctious and can unintentionally harm a small child, especially if they are under 6 years old.
Are Border Terriers good with kids?
No. Only older kids, but they need to be well socialized.
Do Border Terriers like water?
No. If they are introduced to swimming at a young age, they may love water, but some Border Terriers prefer to stay dry.
Can Border Terriers be left alone?
Yes. As long as they have a safe and secure space that they cannot escape from. They are crafty and clever, often being able to break out or more likely to get stuck in small spaces because of their curiosity. They are independent though, so they are better at being left alone than most dogs
Do Border Terriers bark a lot?
Yes. They are not yappy, but bark when bored or to alert you of anything unusual.
Do Border Terriers howl?
No. They do not have a tendency to howl very often.
Border Terrier Facts Summary
|Other Names?||Russian Bear Schnauzer, Munich Schnauzer, Munchener, Riesenschnauzer, Coquetdale Terrier or Redesdale Terrier|
|Height||Male: 13-16 inches (33-41 cm)
Female: 11-14 inches (28-36 cm)
|Weight||Males: 13-16 pounds (6-7 kg)
Females: 11-14 pounds (5-6 kg)
|Temperament||Affectionate, Alert, Even Tempered, Fearless, Intelligent|
|Colours||Blue and tan
Grizzle and tan
|Coat – describe the coat||Dense undercoat and wiry topcoat|
|How much grooming?||Moderate Maintenance – stripping 1-2 times per year to remove dead hair, weekly brushing, baths when necessary|
|How much shedding||Low Shedding|
|Saliva – Do they Drool or Lick much?||Low|
|How much exercise do they need?||Daily, vigorous exercise including a long walk|
|Health problems||Prone to Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome (CECS), heart defects and hip dysplasia|
|Good for apartment?||Yes, if exercised sufficiently|
|Suitable for kids?||Only Older Kids|
|How much do they bark?||Frequently|
|Can they be left alone?||No|
|How popular as a pet?||Number 92 most popular dog in the US.|
|Any other important facts?||The Border Terrier was bred to hunt and has great vitality and stamina. They are also quickly learners and excel in agility, but the more you teach them, the more difficult teaching them new tricks can become.|