What To Do To Groom A Border Terrier

Border Terriers feature a wiry coating. They are small dogs standing anywhere from 11 to 16 inches tall at the shoulder. They originate from the United Kingdom and have historically been bred in order to hunt foxes in the countryside. These are the things that Border Terriers have in common with Scottish Terriers and Cairn Terriers.

But there are two things that make Border Terriers stand out from these two terrier breeds. Firstly, Border Terriers have a unique head shape that has been described as an otter head. Secondly, they have longer legs than the other two terrier breeds. If you are looking to groom a Border Terrier, here is the process that you can follow in order to do that.

Groom A Border Terrier With This Process

1. Brush Your Border Terrier’s Hair

(Photo courtesy of Biffo4tanks via Wikimedia)

Border Terriers don’t shed their hair. So, you don’t need to worry about your Border Terrier’s hair falling down all over your floor. However, your Border Terrier’s hair will stop growing and then die. That happens about twice per year.

So, dead hair isn’t much of a concern during most times of the year. But, still, you will want to be ready to clean out the dead hair from your Border Terrier’s coating when the time comes so that you can make way for new hair to grow.

That can be done by brushing your Border Terrier’s coating using the right kind of brush.

A more pressing concern for you is matting which can cause skin pain for your Border Terrier if it isn’t addressed. Your Border Terrier has a double coating. The top coat is the hard and wiry one that is visible to your eyes when you look at your Border Terrier.

What lies underneath that is the short, soft, and dense undercoat that you don’t typically see, but still needs to be brushed. You will want to use a slicker brush as it is effective at working its way through both layers of your Border Terrier’s coating in order to remove the mats and dead hair.

The Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush is a popular option that feature fine bent wire bristles that are designed to allow you to penetrate your Border Terrier’s coating without scratching his/her skin with the brush.

The slicker brush also features a self-cleaning mechanism designed to make it easy for you to clean your brush with the press of a button.

Once you have the slicker brush, work on brushing your Border Terrier’s coating in the direction that the hair grows. At a minimum, you will want to brush your Border Terrier’s hair twice per week.

2. Brush Your Border Terrier’s Teeth

As is the case with any other dogs, brushing your Border Terrier’s teeth is an important part of grooming. Brushing your Border Terrier’s teeth will stop tartar from gathering on the dog’s teeth which can lead to tooth decay if it is left in place.

Veterinarians often recommend that dog owners get the Virbac toothpaste for brushing their dog’s teeth. So, you will want to go along with that toothpaste for your dog’s teeth.

You can use it with the toothbrush to brush your Border Terrier’s teeth. Make sure that you are brushing your Border Terrier’s teeth regularly – doing it on a daily basis would be ideal.

3. Clean Your Border Terrier’s Ears

(Photo courtesy of Chadwest via Wikimedia)

You will want to make sure and clean your Border Terrier’s ears whenever they get dirty. That is because your Border Terrier’s ears can have wax buildup inside of them which can lead to ear infection if left unaddressed.

That is why it is important that you keep your Border Terrier’s ears clean. Veterinarians often recommend the Virbac ear cleaner for use with cleaning a dog’s ears. So, it would be best for you to go along with it. You can use the ear cleaner with cotton balls to clean the ears.

4. Clip Your Border Terrier’s Nails

Your Border Terrier’s nails need to be clipped short. You don’t want your Border Terrier’s nails to be too long as that can lead to pain for the dog’s paws, resulting in walking discomfort for him/her.

So, be sure to check your Border Terrier’s nails periodically to make sure that they are short. Also, if you hear a clicking sound while your Border Terrier is walking, that indicates that his/her nails are too long and needs to be clipped short right away.

You can use a nail clipper like Millers Forge Dog Nail Clip to clip your Border Terrier’s nails. Make sure and watch out for the quick part of your Border Terrier’s nails. That is the part that you want to avoid clipping as it can easily lead to bleeding.

Groom A Border Terrier – Conclusion

So, that concludes the steps that you can take to groom a Border Terrier. If you are in need of help with getting your Border Terrier to cooperate while you are grooming him/her, I encourage you to read this post to learn about some of the things that you can do to prepare the dog for the grooming.

Before I wrap things up with this post, there are two things that I want to address about grooming your Border Terrier. I will talk about bathing your Border Terrier first.

The coating that your Border Terrier has comes equipped with an ability to repel dirt from his/her coating. So, your Border Terrier doesn’t really need any baths at all. Bathing your Border Terrier can strip him/her of that dirt repelling ability.

Not only that, but bathing your Border Terrier can lead to his/her coating being soft by removing the oil from it. That isn’t ideal for your Border Terrier’s hard, wiry coating. So, you will want to save yourself the trouble of bathing your Border Terrier.

If your Border Terrier gets really dirty and needs your help with it, you can use a bathing towel to wipe his/her coating and then brush it. The second thing I want to talk about is clipping your Border Terrier’s hair.

Clipping your Border Terrier’s hair can ruin the texture and color of his/her hard and wiry coating. It can also cause your Border Terrier to lost his/her ability to repel dirt and water from his/her coating.

So, trimming your Border Terrier’s hair isn’t something that I can recommend here. Even so, you still may want to trim the hair found among the pads of your Border Terrier which you can do with a pair of scissors provided you’re careful not to cut the pads.

What are your thoughts? Have you had any experience grooming a Border Terrier before? Feel free to leave a comment down below.

4 thoughts on “What To Do To Groom A Border Terrier”

  1. Can I just ask, how many breeds of dogs out there in the world, and do different breed of dogs need to be groomed differently? I had always thought that all dogs should be groomed the same way until I came across your website. It had taught me a lot when it comes to dogs 

    • As for how many dog breeds there are in the world in total, this is a tricky question to answer as it really depends on each country and what they recognize as dog breeds.

      Concerning dog grooming, not all dogs are created equal in their appearances and how they are groomed. That is why I have separate grooming posts for different dog breeds on this website – including this post which is aimed at grooming a Border Terrier specifically.

      I am glad that you are learning a lot about dogs from this website.

  2. I really enjoyed reading all your tips for grooming a Border Terrier. I used to have an in-home dog sitting service and got the pleasure of caring for one once. They’re so feisty and personable! I also had 2 West Highland Terriers for many years, so I was most familiar with your suggestions for Virbac toothpaste and ear cleaner. They’re really good products that are gentle, but effective. Terriers do tend to have sensitive skin so I would agree with your bathing comments, but I didn’t realize that Borders don’t require hair trimming. Great article and helpful to learn all these things.

    • Thank you! I am glad that you really enjoyed reading my tips for grooming a Border Terrier. Having read about your personal experience with dog-sitting a Border Terrier and owning two West Highland Terriers, I can see that you are already familiar with some of the things that I talked about in this post on grooming a Border Terrier, but even so, you still managed to learn some new things here too.


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