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Border Terrier - Appearance & Grooming

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015
Border Terrier


Border Terriers are small dogs with a classically terrier-like appearance. They have short, wiry hair that comes in red, blue, tan or grizzle and tan. The head of the Border Terrier is described as otter shaped. They have small, sparkling eyes that are always looking for mischief. They have short, dark colored muzzles, black noses and small, folded ears that are “V' in shape. Border Terriers' tails are short and tapered, and are carried level with the back, unless the dog gets excited, in which case he carries it high and proud.

Size and Weight

Border Terriers stand around 10 or 11 inches at the shoulder. The AKC standard calls for weights of 13-15.5 pounds for males and 11.5-14 pounds for females, however most dogs of this breed weigh more than that, show dogs included. The tapering proportions of the body is of higher importance in the show ring than the weight of the dog.

Coat and Color

Border Terriers sport weather resistant, wiry double coats. The undercoat is dense and the topcoat is wiry. They have thick, loose fitting skin that developed over the years to protect the dog from bites in the foxhunting field. The Border Terrier can be red, blue and tan, grizzle and tan, or wheaten – just a fancy name for pale yellow or fawn shades. Some will have a small patch of white on the chest. White anywhere else on the body is not accepted.

Grooming Needs

Border Terriers' coats require some brushing and stripping. Weekly brushing will keep the coat neat and free of tangles and stripping (pulling dead hair out by the root) is required two times a year. Stripping can be done by hand or with a stripping tool, and a groomer or breeder can teach the technique. Full stripping takes only about 30 minutes. Some owners clip the coats of their companion dogs, but this makes the coat soft and less weather resistant. Show dogs should never be clipped. Baths should be given on an as-needed basis. Over bathing a Border Terrier can change the texture and weather resistance of the coat.

Nails should be clipped monthly and teeth and ears should be cleaned weekly to promote good health.

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