Border Terrier/other breed recommendations

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Emkins83, Apr 20, 2017.


  1. Emkins83

    Emkins83 PetForums Newbie

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    I'm new here so not sure this is the right boars for this...

    We're considering getting a dog in the near future and wanted a smaller dog that (on my husbands request) is a "proper" dog rather than a "fluffy handbag dog"! It needs to be child friendly as we have a 2 and 5 year old who are both used to dogs due to grandparents having two labs. After a lot of research we think a border would be ideal but I have read some contradictory advice so I wanted some 'real people' opinions!

    First up, how does this breed manage when left alone? Does it suffer separation anxiety? Because of work commitments we would have to leave a dog for up to 5 hours every week day. Is a border the kind of dog that would be fine with that or would they create all kinds of havoc?

    Also, obviously they need walking etc but I've read mixed info on what exercise they need. Most advice suggests up to an hour a day but is this an hour across a couple of walks (e.g. 30mins morning and 30mins evening) or an hour at a time? We would struggle to do an hour long walk first thing every morning but could easily do a couple of walks across the day, plus we'd get out for longer walks at the weekend. Husband also goes running so would possibly take the dog on the occasional run, would this be good for the dog or not as I've again read mixed views on borders and jogging?

    Thanks in advance for any help, we are keen to make sure we know exactly what we are signing up for and don't want to make the mistake of getting the wrong breed for our family!
     
  2. Mirandashell

    Mirandashell PetForums VIP

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    All dogs are proper dogs if they are treated as dogs!

    Other than that I can't really help as I've never had a BT.
     
  3. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

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    Hi, any dog can be acclimatised to be being left alone. However with a puppy this needs to be done gradually, starting with short periods and building up the length of time to the desired amount. So yes a Border Terrier or any dog could be left for 5 hours provided it's been conditioned to accept it, but with a pup you'd need a period of time off to acclimatise them. We all work in my house but with my last pup, a combination of annual leave and Christmas time off meant I had around 6 weeks to play with to get pup used to being alone, start training, doing all the foundations etc. This is worked perfectly, and meant by the time the pup needed to spend a period of time in the crate alone she was very happy to do so. I don't think you'd need quite that amount of time (6 weeks), but taking as much annual leave as possible is wise :)

    Exercise is also something you'd build up gradually, 5 minutes per month of age is a popular rule of thumb. An hour a day for a Border would be a fine, however they could certainly do more when required. Jogging is fine for an adult dog, not a puppy. For most dogs a human running actually means them trotting at their natural pace! most dogs will adapt to your routine regarding walk times and length, I find my dogs settle down regardless of whether they've been for a quick 20 minute walk or a 1.5+ hour jaunt, luckily they can't tell the time ;)
     
  4. PawsOnMe

    PawsOnMe PetForums VIP

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    Border terriers are lovely dogs although I've met quite a lot that are very grumpy and quick to snap without warning. Best choosing a good breeder who is breeding for temperament.

    If you go the rescue route they will be able to recommend a dog that will suit your requirements. Have a look at lurchers too, although bigger they're just so gentle and loving.
     
  5. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    Lurchers and Greyhounds are lovely pets for families.

    As a terrier owner, they are busy little dogs as a general rule, in the home and out the home. Its a sweeping statement and they do have an off switch, usually can be left when acclimatised to it. However with young children, and busy they can make their own fun with children's favourite toys if not stimulated enough.

    Don't get me wrong, my two children grew up with terriers their whole life, and found a great match but I know how 'higher' energy terriers can be for some families and it doesn't always work out.
     
  6. Emkins83

    Emkins83 PetForums Newbie

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    That's really helpful, thank you. I only work in term time so the ideal would be to get a pup early in the Summer hols so we'd have 4-5 weeks with it at least. We're very mindful of not just rushing into getting a dog but making sure we can adapt with it as easily as possible so it settles well
     
  7. Emkins83

    Emkins83 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you, my mum had a greyhound who m, temperament wise, would be the perfect dog for us. However, it is just too big of a breed for our house. Even my mums, which was on the smaller side, would be a struggle and our garden wouldn't give it any room at all.
     
  8. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    In terms of gardens...no garden should be too small, exercise is for outside the home as a general rule.
     
  9. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

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    Ahh that would be perfect.

    You may have to get a pet sitter/dog walker to come in and let the puppy out to break up the 5 hours for the first couple of months at least.
     
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  10. Emkins83

    Emkins83 PetForums Newbie

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    Oh absolutely, I completely agree. But mum's greyhound would go out and race around the garden no matter how many times you took it out properly. If you let it out for a quick wee it would do laps for 2mins then bound straight in!
     
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  11. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    Am new to sighthounds, and have a tiddly yard...Maisie doesn't really attempt to run just wanders aimlessly!...but she's in season so sulking. Oh and nosey over next door!

    Just be very aware of prey drive in terriers...the majority of mine have gone from high to through the roof. It can be really frustrating if you don't know what you are dealing with, the most well trained dog can fixate and disappear in seconds if they spot, smell something you cannot.

    So just be aware, many terriers are brilliant off lead, but many for safety just are not, and a terrier with a high prey drive will stop at nothing to escape what looks the most secure garden. Which is why, am preying Maisie my new edition does not realise she can jump currently because she is huge, well bigger than what I am used to.
     
  12. foxiesummer

    foxiesummer PetForums VIP

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    If a greyhound is too big what about a whippet?
     
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  13. Moobli

    Moobli PetForums VIP

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    My sister has a border terrier and they are fab wee dogs. With young children in the house finding a breeder who places emphasis on temperament is paramount. The BT is essentially a working terrier who was originally bred to go to ground after a fox so will likely to be tenacious and have a certain amount of prey drive. Therefore early recall training is really important. Another thing to bear in mind is that the breed have a coat that requires hand-stripping so, unless you fancy doing it yourself, will require twice yearly trips to the groomers.

    It should be possible to get your pup used to spending time alone if you get him (or her) used to it from when you bring them home. Build up slowly, just a few minutes at a time initially and increasing the length of time over a number of weeks. It would be ideal if you could plan to have time off work when the pup first comes home in order to allow you to feed age appropriately, house train and get pup used to being alone for short periods of time.

    If my sister's dog is anything to go by, border terriers are equally happy romping in the hills all day or having a snooze on the couch after half an hour off lead running around twice a day.
     
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  14. rona

    rona Missing my boy

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    Border terrier sounds the perfect dog for you as long as you make doubly sure that you do all you can to get one with good temperament.
    There's a few that are bred with the temperament that goes with ratting and fox control
     
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  15. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

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    A border sounds like it would suit, as would any terrier to be honest. The borders I've met have all been very loving dogs, but can be very driven, and oh jeez that scream they do when they spot a cat!