Border terriers are high-energy good-natured dogs that love to play. They were originally bred to help on foxhunts and are dogs that need fairly minimal grooming thanks to their practicality as a working pooch.
Border terriers have a scruffy, thick and wiry coat that requires weekly grooming. Their coats are a combination of a short, soft undercoat and a longer wiry, dense outer coat, which has a tendency to mat and tangle if it’s not looked after.
Using a slicker brush all over will help to remove tangles and matting. You can always use a detangling product or even baby oil on stubborn tangles – just massage it in. Make sure you brush and comb the tail as well. This process will help to control the amount of loose or shedding hair this breed gives off.
Because of its soft and dense undercoat, many owners prefer to hand strip their border terriers twice a year to prevent it from shedding all over furniture or the home.
Stripping, also known as thinning, take a couple of hours to complete. The top wiry and waterproof coat does die off, but it doesn’t actually shed, which is where stripping comes in. You can use a hand stripping tool but many owners prefer to do it themselves. You can use one hand to grasp your dog’s skin at his shoulder firmly. With the other hand, place a few hairs between the thumb and index finger, pulling them out swiftly in the direction that the coat grows in. Do this all over the coat and make sure the skin doesn’t move as you strip the area.
Border terriers don’t need frequent baths. Water also tends to soften the wiry coat on top which is naturally dirt repellent. A damp towel can be used if dust or dirt does get onto your pup – border’s don’t tend to have a strong odor so bathing regularly isn’t necessary.
If your border has managed to get itself totally covered in dirt, you can bath it with a special shampoo designed for terriers to help maintain the oil in its coat.
Trimming and clipping is not generally recommended for a border terrier. Scissors can be used around the paw pads and the belly to thin out the coat if necessary to make your pooch more comfortable, but the coat is there to protect the dog and it usually looks after itself.
Routinely clean your dog’s eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Wire coated dogs have sensitive ears that benefit from being checked weekly for any infection, redness or sore spots. They can be cleaned gently with a cotton ball soaked in ear solution or certain oils.
Nails should be clipped so that they don’t make a noise on the ground when they walk. Be careful not to cut the quick, which is the softer fleshy part of the nail.