Border Terriers make wonderful pets, are great with kids for the most part, and love nothing more than spending time with their favorite person or playing with their families. However, Border Terriers should never be considered as "sometimes pets" that owners can play with only when the mood strikes them or if they don't have a lot of time to commit to them. There are several factors that make Border Terriers time consuming pets. In this article, we'll take a look at the responsibilities one will have to take on if they adopt a Border Terrier.
First and foremost is obedience training. Like many terrier breeds, Border Terriers are often feisty, stubborn, independent dogs. They can have dominant personalities, despite their small stature, and good training from the very beginning will help your Border Terrier understand who's boss. Border Terriers also require a lot of exercise. They will need at least thirty minutes a day of exercise, from taking a vigorous walk to playing with the family in the park or backyard. Border Terriers that do not get enough exercise run the risk of getting overweight or worse, getting so bored that they turn to acting out in the home. Those that cannot devote a part of their day to spending time with their Border Terrier might do better to choose another breed.
Secondly, it is very important to note that Border Terriers simply cannot be trusted off their leash, unless they are in a very secure, fenced in area. Border Terriers were developed as hunting dogs, giving chase to small animals right into their dens underground. Not even the best trained Border Terriers can resist the urge to chase a squirrel or chipmunk, and these dogs will have a difficult time stopping mid-chase unless forced to do so. Not only can a chase lead a dog far from their backyard, but, in the worst case, they might find themselves in the path of oncoming vehicles. More than one enthusiastic Border Terrier has lost his life like this. To keep your Border Terrier safe, always keep him on a leash and make sure your backyard is very securely fenced if you plan to let him explore the area on his own. Also remember that Border Terriers are diggers, so fences should always be reinforced.
Finally, despite their scrappy looks, Border Terriers do require a significant amount of regular grooming. Thanks to their double coats, which helps to keep them waterproof, these dogs need to be combed at least once a week. Their overcoat will actually become "blown", or the hairs will become overgrown and die, twice or more times a year, requiring stripping the coat. Of course, you can take your Border Terrier to a professional groomer, but this can become expensive. It is also important to note that the coat should never be clipped, either by you or your professional groomer. This is because clipping does not remove the dead hair from the roots, and if this hair is left on the body, it can impede the new coat from growing in.
If any of these issues sound like something that is beyond your abilities, perhaps another breed would better suit your lifestyle. Caring for your Border Terrier can be a time consuming process, but you will be rewarded with a loving, devoted companion.