Border Terriers are well loved for their energy, intelligence and even their touch of a clownish streak. But, like many terriers, Border Terriers are independent and have a tendency to run towards dominant personalities. Without the proper training, they can be stubborn, quick to chase, and not afraid to initiate a fight with any other creature that rubs him the wrong way. In order to ensure that our Border Terrier doesn't become the head of your household, proper training and plenty of exercise will be key to showing him who is in charge.
Training a Border Terrier should start the instant he arrives home, through routine housebreaking and crate training. Border Terriers naturally wish to please and housebreaking shouldn't be too difficult, but for the best results, a steady routine should be put in place. Taking the dog out after he eats, drinks, plays or sleeps will help him understand the concept. It is best if he is accompanied outdoors, especially in the beginning, because they may become distressed if they are alone and not completely empty their bladders, setting them up for an accident later on. Crate training is also a good idea to start right at the beginning. If crate training is not used as punishment, the crate can become a safe haven for the Border Terrier, making not just a place for him to get away from it all, but giving his handlers a way to take a break away from the dog! Crate training can also go a long way in making the dog comfortable for traveling, giving him a safe haven in the car, when you're a guest in someone's home, or in a hotel.
It is highly recommended that you enroll your Border Terrier in "puppy kindergarten" or obedience classes as early as possible, especially if you've never adopted a Border Terrier before. Taking an obedience class has two benefits - not only will you learn the best way to train your Border Terrier, but it also provides important socialization skills in interacting with other people and dogs. In general, Border Terriers require a firm hand in training and respond best to positive reinforcement, particularly with food treats. Border Terriers are well known for their love of food so you can use this to your advantage. In order to get the most out of your training, it is very important to be disciplined enough to use what you learn in obedience classes at home so the dog doesn't become confused.
Finally, in order to keep both your family and your Border Terrier happy, it is important to remember that these small energetic dogs need plenty of exercise. He will need a minimum of thirty minutes a day of outdoor play, whether it's a vigorous walk or playing in the backyard. Border Terriers also excel in a number of dog sporting events including Earthdog trials, Flyball, agility and obedience competitions. The most important thing to remember is that above all, your Border Terrier needs to spend time with you to be happy.