The Border Terrier is a small, rough-coated breed of the terrier group. Originally bred as fox and vermin hunters. The Border Terrier was bred to have long enough legs to keep up with the horses and other foxhounds, which traveled with them, and small enough bodies to crawl in the burrows of foxes and chase them out so the hunters had a clear shot. Identifiable by their otter-shaped heads, Border Terriers have a broad skull and short strong muzzle. Common coat colors are grizzle-and-tan, blue-and-tan, red, or wheaten. The tail is naturally moderately short, thick at the base and tapering.
Narrow-bodied and well-proportioned, males stand 13 to 15" at the shoulder, and weigh 13 to 16 lb; females 11 to 13" and 12 to 15 pounds. They are very versatile in families and as family pets.
The Border Terrier has a double coat consisting of a short, dense, soft undercoat and harsh, wiry weather and dirt resistant, close-lying outer coat with no curl or wave. This coat usually requires hand-stripping twice a year to remove dead hair. It then takes about eight weeks for the top coat to come back in. For some dogs, weekly brushing will suffice. Most Border Terriers are seen groomed with short hair but longer hair can sometimes be preferred. Though sometimes stubborn and strong willed, border terriers are, on the whole very even tempered, and are friendly and rarely aggressive. They are very good with children, but may chase unfamiliar cats and any other small pets.
Borders do well in task-oriented activities and have a surprising ability to jump high and run fast. They are intelligent and eager to please, but they retain the capacity for independent thinking and initiative that were bred into them for working rats and fox underground. Their love of people and even temperament make them fine therapy dogs, especially for children and the elderly, and they are occasionally used to aid the blind or deaf. Borders can adapt to different environments and situations well, and are able to deal with temporary change well.
All this being said, these social and loving dogs are still terriers at heart, and anyone considering bringing a Border Terrier into their life should respect their instincts and have patience for what comes naturally to a terrier.
Also, there is false information floating around the internet saying that Border Terriers do not shed and are Hypoallergenic. This is NOT TRUE. While a while coat does not shed the same way as regular fur, they do shed some undercoat of not brushed regularly, and they can cause allergic reactions in some people. My lovely vet adores my dogs but she breaks out into hives when she cuddles them. So if you are considering a Border Terrier solely on the belief they will not cause allergies in your home, you might want to meet some Border Terriers one on one first.