Gabriel Woods Border Terriers

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About Border Terriers

Above:  The Cheviot Hills looking from the English side of the Border to the Scottish side. 

The Border Terrier

Border Terriers originated from the Border country--the Cheviot Hills that form the boundary between Scotland and England (photograph above).  The people living in this area wanted a dog that could follow a horse yet be small enough to "go to earth".  The strong hill foxes were formidable and it took a compactly built and sensible dog, as well as a good hunter, to stay with them until they could be brought to bay.  The Borders ran along side the hunters and the hounds so this little dog is built with a lot of stamina.  Borders were also bred to work in packs so they typically get along well with other dogs.

Borders are rough-coated and are most commonly in various shades of red grizzle, grizzle and tan, or blue and tan (looks black with some light-colored ticking).  The Border has a double coat with the outer coat wiry and water-repellent while beneath is a soft, velvet-like undercoat.  The wiry outer coat acts as a water repellent and the soft undercoat keeps them warm.  It is not necessary to bathe Borders as this will soften their coats.  Brushing weekly and periodic stripping of the wiry outer coat are the main components of the grooming for a Border.  Nails should be done regularly along trimming around the feet.

Borders are terriers bred for utility and purpose.  A natural dog, they do not have cropped ears or tails. The average weight for an adult Border Terrier is approximately 12-18 pounds and 12-14Ē at the shoulders.  These dogs are easy going, well adjusted, and a good all-around family pet.   They are at home both in the country and in a city and good with children.  They are great companions!  

If you are thinking about getting your first Border, we highly recommend that you do some research by reading,  talking to breeders/owners, and most importantly meet the breed before making a firm decision.  A fenced in yard is a must and these are dogs that must be on lead when outside of a fenced yard.  While obedience training is great (and we highly recommend it), these arenít the kind of dogs that will stay in an unfenced yard just because you are there.  Borders are very people oriented and will want to be where you are.

This is a relatively rare breed of dog so it isnít unusual to wait up to 6 months to get one.  We strongly advise that you find a reputable breeder that you like and trust and work with them on obtaining a pup. 

For more information, visit the Border Terrier Club of America website at or go to and search for books on Borders.  For video's on grooming, visit the Border Terrier Club of America's website or use an internet search engine.  There are a couple of good ones available.

Some books we recommend are:

Pet Owners Guide to the Border Terrier by Betty Judge (Best book for strictly pet owners)

Border Terriers Today, by Anne Roslin-Williams

About the Border Terrier--a view of its history and breeding, by Walter J. F. Gardner (good book for breeders)

About the Border Terrier, by Verite Reily Collins

We are happy to answer questions!  Take a look at our website for more information about the breed, our dogs and us.  If you are interested in obtaining our application for adoption please email us.