If you are considering adopting a Border Terrier, you may be concerned about how easily he will integrate with your family, whether you have children or already have other pets. Generally speaking, Border Terriers get along well with other dogs and with children, but this is mostly when the dog has been well trained. In this article, we'll take a closer look at Border Terriers that live with other pets and children, and what you can do to ensure that your Border Terrier will integrate well in these situations.
Generally speaking, Border Terriers get along well with other dogs, and can even form close attachments to those they see frequently, such as a fellow housemate. However, there are some instances where you should take care in choosing the dog you bring home, and there are other instances when Border Terriers are not suitable at all. If you're considering making a Border Terrier a second dog in your home, it may be a good idea to adopt a Border Terrier of the opposite sex of the dog you already have. This could help prevent some fighting as the dogs mature, particularly between male dogs. Un-neutered males are the most susceptible to fighting, and like any other terrier, it can be hard to stop them.
With cats, Border Terriers often do very well and they can live together harmoniously, as long as they have been introduced at a young age. They shouldn't be trusted with cats they don't know, such as those in the neighborhood. Also, smaller pets such as birds, rats, rabbits, gerbils or hamsters may be in danger in a house with a Border Terrier. Border Terriers can't help it; they have centuries of hunting instincts they can't just turn off, not matter the best of intentions.
There are strong feelings on both sides of the fence with this issue. There are those that insist that Border Terriers are excellent companions for children, while others say that they are not a good choice for very young children. The Border Terrier Club of America recommends that families with children younger than seven or eight should wait a few years before adopting a Border Terrier. This is not for the child's protection, but rather for the dog's, for several reasons. First, very young children often don't know their own strength and may hurt the dog by playing a little too roughly. Also, through no fault of their own, the noise and quick movements associated with young children may cause stress to the dog, leading to shyness or defensive biting.
Another fear of Border Terriers with children is that these dogs cannot suppress their hunting instincts, even for a minute! Therefore, they cannot be trusted without a leash or in a backyard that is not fenced. The sight of a squirrel could send them on the chase, which could lead to the dog getting lost or worse. It must be made very clear to children that doors and gates must be kept closed at all times, for the safety of the Border Terrier.
The best way to help your dog learn proper behavior is through obedience classes and socialization. Socialization is simply the process of getting your dog used to being around other animals and people. This can be as simple as taking your Border Terrier with you as you run errands, walking in the park or even walking around a shopping center. Signing your Border Terrier up for "puppy kindergarten" classes with also help the dog learn the proper behavior required for being around other people and other dogs as well.