The Border Terrier is a spirited, plucky little dog that is usually well behaved when raised well from puppyhood. However, bad breeding, instinctual urges and a lack of knowledge in the owner can result in these little dogs developing certain behavioural problems. Here are the most common ones to expect.
Digging and escaping
The Border Terrier is an excellent little digger and like most Terriers he was bred to be able to follow small game like foxes and rabbits into their underground burrows in order to drive them out. When this wasn’t possible, he simply dug out his prey instead. As a result, the instinct to dig is quite strong in these little hunting dogs, and you will need to be aware of this if you are in any way proud of your flower beds! If it helps, you can provide your Border Terrier with a designated digging area in your garden so that he learns to avoid the most important areas. It’s important to be aware that a good digger makes for an excellent escape artist, and your Terrier will easily be able to dig his way under a fence if he wants to. In order to combat this, you might want to invest in some chicken wire to go into the soil at the bottom of the fence which will help to prevent any escapes.
These little dogs just love to go sniffing after interesting scents, which is another product of their hunting ancestry. If you are going to let your Terrier off the lead in the countryside, you must be careful to keep him within your sight and to call him back if he is about to wander out of earshot Once these dogs catch wind of a scent they sometimes develop selective hearing and this can lead them to wander away from you if you don’t keep a close eye on them.
The reason that the Border terrier gets so fixated on trailing scents is that he has a high drive to hunt small game. So, you will need to be extra careful if you are near small animals, other pets and wildlife. Even with cats, you will need to be careful that the urge to chase and hunt doesn’t come over your Terrier.
Destruction in the home
If the Border Terrier is left home alone for too long he will probably get so bored that he will resort to chewing your furniture and creating a mess wherever he can. These intelligent little dogs crave mental stimulation and companionship and they simply aren’t designed to be left alone for several hours at a time.
Aggression with other dogs
Very occasionally the Border Terrier will become aggressive around other dogs. This is usually the result of having had bad experiences with dogs as a youngster. It’s absolutely essential that you give your border Terrier pup plenty of positive, rewarding experiences with other dogs while he is still at an impressionable age.