Are Border Terriers Good Hunting Dogs?

Are Border Terriers good hunting dogs

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Border terriers are small, tenacious dogs that were originally bred to hunt foxes along the Scottish and English border. They are known for their fearless nature, strong work ethic, and ability to work independently.

For these reasons, border terriers make excellent hunting dogs. The high-energy dogs are particularly well suited for hunting small game such as rabbits and squirrels.

are border terriers good hunting dogs

Border terriers are also relatively easy to train and are quick learners.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you are considering using a border terrier for hunting purposes.

  • First, border terriers are bred to work independently, so they may not always be responsive to commands from their handler.
  • Second, border terriers have a strong prey drive and may not be able to resist the temptation to chase after any small animal they see.
  • Lastly, border terriers are known for their tenacity, which can sometimes make them difficult to control during a hunt. Obedience training is important.

Despite these potential challenges, border terriers are still excellent hunting dogs and can provide hours of enjoyment for both experienced hunters and novices alike.

The History Of The Border Terrier Breed

The Border Terrier is a small, compact, working terrier of the earth dog class. The earliest records of the breed date back to the late 18th century, when it was used by farmers and shepherds in the Scottish Borders region to control populations of foxes and vermin.

The breed was used for fox hunting in the past. Now, border terriers are popularized as wonderful companions in households.

American Kennel Club

The Border Terrier was officially recognized by The Kennel Club (UK) in 1920, and by the American Kennel Club in 1930. The breed has remained relatively unchanged since its development and is still used for its original purpose of hunting and vermin control.

More About This Breed

The Border Terrier is a versatile breed that is also well-suited to life as a companion animal. They are intelligent, independent family dogs that are loyal and affectionate with their family.

Border terriers are relatively rare compared to other breeds, but their popularity has been steadily increasing in recent years.

 border terriers hunters

They are small but tough, with a wiry double coat that protects them from thorns and brambles. Border Terriers are also known for their tenacity – they will pursue their quarry relentlessly, even if it means going to ground.

This determination makes them excellent finding dogs, as they are often able to locate small animals that have gone to the ground. 

Border Terrier Grooming

They are also one of the most low-maintenance breeds when it comes to grooming. Border Terriers only require occasional brushing, and they do not need to be bathed very often.

In fact, over-bathing can strip away the natural oils from their coat, leading to dry skin. Border Terriers also have minimal hair shedding, so they are a good choice for people who do not want to deal with a lot of dog hair around the house.

Despite their easy-care coat, Border Terriers still require some grooming to maintain their healthy appearance.  Here are a few tips for keeping your Border Terrier looking his best:

-Brush your Border Terrier’s coat once or twice a week with a soft bristle brush. This will help to remove any dead hair and keep the coat looking shiny and healthy.

-Check your Border Terrier’s ears regularly for signs of wax buildup or infection. If you notice any redness or irritation, take your dog to the vet to have his ears checked out.

-Trim your Border Terrier’s nails on a monthly basis, or as needed. Nail trimming is an important part of dog grooming, as overgrown nails can cause pain and health problems for your dog.

Border Terrier Temperament And Fearless Attitude

Border Terriers can hunt for hours, covering a lot of ground. They have a strong sense of smell and can follow a trail for miles. When they find their prey, border terriers bark loudly to let the hunter know where they are.

Border Terriers are fearless dogs and will go after anything they think is prey, no matter how big it is. This can be dangerous if the dog breed is not properly trained.

Border Terriers need to be socialized from an early age so that they learn to control their hunting instinct. With proper training, Border Terriers can be wonderful hunting buddies and loyal companions.

Border Terrier Puppy Training

Border Terrier training is not complicated. They are generally happy dogs.

Similar to all the other dog breeds and breed types, early socialization of dogs is essential in ensuring good behavior. Once the vaccinations have been completed the border terrier will need human interaction, environment, and smells.

border terriers hunting ability

The high-energy border terriers enjoy the outdoors. This is an incredibly small dog breed but requires two hours of daily exercise.

This time is useful in the form of fun training. It may be stubborn and it’s a good sign for a good dog breeder to train a border terrier which will prove worthwhile.

Border Terrier Exercise

Many people believe small dogs are couch potatoes. But border terriers are extremely active and have a great amount of exercise every day.

Perfect outdoor hours are usually between 1-2 hours, but a short walk of half an hour or even more enjoyable activity will suffice. You might consider hiring a dog walker if it takes too much time to go for an extended walk in the morning.

Border Terrier Hunting Instincts

Border Terriers were originally bred as hunting dogs, and they still excel in this area today. These lively and intelligent dogs are quick on their feet, which makes them perfect for chasing down prey.

They also have strong jaws and sharp teeth, which allows them to kill their prey quickly and efficiently. Border terriers are also known for their boldness and determination, which are often required but lacking in other dogs when hunting dangerous games.

hunting skills of a border terriers

In addition to being excellent hunters, border terriers make loyal and loving companions. They are relatively easy to train, and they are very affectionate with their owners. With their lively personalities and endless energy, border terriers are the perfect dogs for people who enjoy an active lifestyle.

How Do Border Terriers Hunt?

Unlike some hunting dogs that rely on sight or scent, Border Terriers use their hearing to locate prey. They have long, narrow heads that allow them to fit into the burrows, and their coats are dense and wiry, which protects them from scratches and bites.

When a Border Terrier apprehends its prey, it will hold it by the neck until the hunter arrives. Border Terriers are still used for hunting in some parts of the world, but they also make excellent companion animals.

Do Border Terriers have a high prey drive?

Border Terriers are known for having a strong prey drive and can be easily distracted by small moving animals. This breed was originally bred to hunt foxes and other small game, so they have an instinct to chase after smaller creatures. 

Border Terriers are highly intelligent dogs with an independent streak which can make them more difficult to train than other breeds. However, if you invest the time to properly socialize your pup and provide lots of physical exercises, you can help him learn how to control his prey drive and become a well-adjusted pet. 

It is important to remember that no matter what breed of dog you have, it is best not to leave him off leash in areas where there may be smaller critters like cats or squirrels as he may not respond to recalls and could get injured in the pursuit. 

With proper training, socialization, and plenty of physical activity, you can help your Border Terrier manage his prey drive while still having lots of fun.

How smart is a Border Terrier?

Border Terriers are highly intelligent dogs and have been known to excel in various canine sports such as agility, obedience, and rally. They respond well to both positive reinforcement training methods such as clicker training, as well as negative reinforcement if used properly. 

Border Terriers can also be trained to understand complex commands, making them ideal for search and rescue operations or any other type of task requiring a dog with high intelligence. Ultimately, Border Terriers can be quite smart when given the right guidance and motivation. 

With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, you should see your pup reach his highest potential in no time! Their intelligence also helps them excel in their natural hunting ability which allows them to easily adapt to different environments. 

This breed is highly active and needs plenty of exercises to stay physically and mentally stimulated. They may even take part in activities such as herding or nose work, which allow them to use their natural intelligence and enthusiasm while exhibiting their strong prey drive. 

With the proper training, a Border Terrier can make an excellent companion for any family willing to take on the challenge!

What do Border terriers hunt?

Border Terriers were originally bred to hunt foxes and other small game. Their strong prey drive allows them to excel in these tasks while being gentle enough not to harm the animals they are tasked with protecting. 

With proper training, they can be taught to control their hunting instincts when in areas where it is not safe or allowed for them to hunt. In addition to small games like squirrels and rabbits, Border Terriers can also be trained for bigger tasks such as tracking lost people or animals, working as guard dogs, or participating in search and rescue operations. 

No matter what type of job you assign your pup, he must receive plenty of physical and mental stimulation through exercise, playtime, and training sessions. This breed has the potential to do all kinds of amazing things, so it is up to you to work with your pup and help him reach his fullest potential!

What are the common pitfall when training a Border terrier to hunt?how to train border terrier to hunt

how border terrier hunt

One of the most common pitfalls when training a Border Terrier to hunt is attempting to do too much too soon. It is important to remember that this breed can be naturally independent and will require guidance and patience for him to learn properly. 

Additionally, it is essential to socialize your pup early on so he learns how to interact with people and other animals without becoming overly aggressive or territorial. Finally, it is best not to introduce hunting techniques such as chasing or tracking until your border terrier has had a chance to mature both physically and mentally. 

This could include waiting until they are at least 12 months old before beginning any formal hunting lessons. By taking these steps and investing the time into properly training your pup, you can help him reach his full potential as a hunter and ensure a long, happy life together.

What are the safety tips for taking Border terriers for hunting?

When taking a Border Terrier for hunting, it is important to remember some safety tips. First, always make sure that your pup is properly trained and socialized before heading out. 

This will help him understand boundaries while in the field as well as what is expected of him when encountering other animals or people. Additionally, never leave your Border Terrier off leash unless he is in an enclosed area with no chance of escape. 

If you must take him off leash, be sure to have a long line attached so you can easily recall him if needed. Finally, ensure that you are familiar with any local rules and regulations regarding hunting before bringing your pup along on the hunt. 

By following these tips, you can help ensure that both you and your Border Terrier have a safe and enjoyable hunting experience.

Are all terriers hunting dogs?

border terrier as best hunting dog

No, not all terriers are hunting dogs. While many of the breeds in this group may have an instinct for chasing small animals, some do not possess this trait. Breeds such as the Yorkshire Terrier and the Toy Fox Terrier were bred to be companion pets and have a very little prey drive. 

Additionally, other smaller breeds such as the Maltese or Chinese Crested do not have a strong hunting instinct either. Therefore, if you are looking for a hunting dog within the terrier group, it is best to research each breed individually before making your selection to ensure you get one with an appropriate prey drives for your needs. 

In conclusion, while many terrier breeds can make excellent hunters with proper training and socialization, not all terriers are cut out to be hunting dogs. Ultimately, it is important to research any breed before deciding to make it a part of your family as they can have very different temperaments and needs. 

This will help ensure that you end up with the perfect pup for your situation!

Characteristic Border Terrier
Breed Size Small
Height 11-16 inches
Weight 11-15 pounds
Coat Type Rough
Coat Color Red, grizzle and tan
Life Expectancy 12-15 years
Temperament Energetic, loyal, and intelligent
Hunting Ability Excellent
Prey Drive High
Versatility Good
Trainability High
Good with Children Yes
Good with Other Pets Yes (with socialization)


Border Terriers are often lauded as being some of the best hunting dogs around. Their small size makes them perfect for going to ground, and their determination means that they never back down from a chase.

Border Terriers also have a strong work ethic and are always eager to please their handlers. Border Terriers are also intelligent and trainable, two more qualities that make them good hunting dogs. It is not your ordinary couch potato.

All of these attributes come together to make Border Terriers a versatile and effective hunting breed. Whether you are looking for a dog to flush game from cover or trail deer, a Border Terrier is a good choice.

border terriers as a hunting dog breed

Word Of Caution

However, potential owners should be aware that Border Terriers require a lot of exercise. If these small pets are not given enough exercise to burn off energy, they can become destructive.

Border Terriers are also known for being independent thinkers, which can make them stubborn at times. But for those who are willing to put in the time and effort, Border Terriers make wonderful hunting companions.

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Tony K.

Tony K.

I got our Border 3 years ago "for my daughter" and this bundle of joy became a beloved member of our family, so I thought why not share the love!

About Me

I got our Border 3 years ago “for my daughter” and this bundle of joy became a beloved member of our family, so I thought why not share the love!

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