The Border Terrier is a small, narrow-bodied dog belonging to the terrier group. The breed was originally bred to hunt fox and other vermin. The Border Terrier takes its name from the area near the Scottish-English border, where the breed originated.
The Border Terrier is very well proportioned; it stands from 11 to 16 inches tall and weighs 11 to 16 pounds. It is most often identified by its otter-shaped head. It skull is broad and its muzzle is short and strong. It has v-shaped ears that fall forward. Its coat is wiry and harsh with a short, dense undercoat. It can be one of several color combinations: grizzle and tan, blue and tan, red grizzle and wheaten. For removal of dead hair, this coat usually requires hand stripping two times a year. The tail of the Border Terrier is fairly short and tapers toward the tip.
The Border Terrier is an affectionate, obedient breed. It can easily adapt to the activity level of its owner. Though it is a hunting dog it does not require as much activity as some breeds, but it enjoys exercising when possible. The Border Terrier loves company and is bred to work cooperatively with people. It excels in task-oriented activities. This makes them fairly easy to train, and some can be excellent therapy dogs. Because of its instinct to kill smaller animals, the Border Terrier will generally destroy any toy it is given that is not sufficiently tough.
The Border Terrier has several genetic health problems associated with the breed. These include but are not limited to: hip dysplasia, Perthes disease, heart defects, juvenile cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, seizures, and Canine Eptiloid Cramping Syndrome.