Like all terriers, Border Terriers were bred for hunting. The desire to seek out and chase prey is strong even in terriers that come from generations of non-hunters. Border Terriers were originally used on fox hunts. Their keen noses helped them locate the fox in thick brush and their speed and fearlessness made it possible for them to chase them out of their hiding spots and back into the open. This breed has earned the highest number of Earthdog title from the American Kennel Society than any other breed of terrier.
Border Terriers make good family pets because they enjoy socializing with people. This is a terrier that is too welcoming to strangers to ever be a reliable watchdog. They are playful and inquisitive and their high energy level is perfect for homes with children that want an active playmate. They will not usually do well in homes with cats because of their instinct to chase and hunt. It is also important that all Border Terrier owners have a fenced yard or only allow the pet out on a leash. They will run after anything that gets their attention even with their owner next to them. Border terriers are known as one of the easiest of the terrier breeds to groom and do not shed as profusely as many others. Their biggest downfall may be their appetite. Border terriers love to eat and weight issues are common in even active pets if their diet is not closely monitored.
Responsible pet owners with a strong commitment to keeping terrier lines healthy should learn about terrier breeding. Too many inexperienced backyard breeders have not paid attention to pet temperament or health before allowing them to breed. This affects future generations and can give once popular breeds a bad reputation. Good breeders know the potential for health defects in some Border Terriers. This includes occasional issues with hip dysplasia, heart disease and heart defects and some seizure disorders. Thorough examinations prior to breeding help to prevent these issues from becoming widespread and keeps the breed healthy for the countless families and individuals that enjoy the spirit and strength of this wiry little dog.