Pet Owner's Guide to the Border Terrier


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Border Terriers are tough little dogs, which were bred to keep up with hunters on horseback. They are tireless, with a strong drive to work. Early socialization is important, since they can become dog-aggressive, and despite efforts to socialize them, they will tend to want to pick and choose their own canine friends. Much of their 'aggression' is simply noise and posturing, however, and many other dogs don't take Borders seriously, still making friends with them despite the barking. Border Terriers bond well with their owners, but don't seek attention as much as some other terriers, and don't always want to greet strangers effusively, the way that more outgoing terriers tend to do. Barking can be a problem with this breed, and they can be good watchdogs, though Border Terriers will often make friends with strangers after barking at them, if the strangers respond by greeting the dog. Are they good with children? Generally, yes, they can be very good companions for sensible, older children, though they can also be a trial for children who take them for walks, because Border Terriers often make rude noises at passing dogs. Border Terriers will chase small prey, and dig, as is true of most terriers. They have waterproof, wiry coats, and don't need a lot of grooming, though they benefit from a trim. Common health problems include back trouble, hypothyroidism, seizures and allergies, including skin complaints, though they are generally very healthy dogs. Betty Judge has written a concise guide to Border Terriers, and she is someone who clearly has a passion for the breed. This is a short book, but it's packed with tips and humour, and is excellent value. It's the best choice for first-time Border Terrier owners, and gives a clear idea of what to expect from this feisty and engaging little breed, as well as providing advice on how to prevent and tackle problems that Border Terrier owners are likely to face.