Trollkjelen - Border Terriers

Bosse, Abra and Troll at Gaustatoppen in Norway, August 2002, photo by Bob Hand

A little about the breed:

Borders are truly big dogs in a small packet! Even though they are sweet as pets, don't forget that they still are working terriers, and if allowed to work underground that would be (and should be) their favourite thing to do.

The Border Terrier is in my eyes, first and foremost a working terrier. The breed is very old and was bred originally to work fox underground. Some were also used on otters and badgers and of course to help killing mice and rats on the farm.

When I think of a Border Terrier I think of a dog that has an impeccable temperament and is so self-confident that it will turn it's back on trouble with other dogs. At the same time a Border should have plenty of working instincts (courage and gameness) towards predators.

It is important that the dogs do not get too big, as that is one fault that would make the Border unfit for use underground. All faults in the standard should to be regarded in exact proportion to their degree and effect on the dog's ability to work. A very easy way to find out if the dog is the correct size is to check if it is spannable or not. In general, a spannable dog will not have any problems entering a fox den.

Dogs should weigh less than 7,1 kgs, and bitches less than 6,4 kgs. The breed is also supposed be tall enough on its legs to follow a horse all day, and still have enough stamina to bolt a fox after the run. Another important thing for the breed is that the head is like that of an otter, with a strong muzzle, huge teeth, a relatively flat skull and very little stop. Compared to other terrier breeds, the BT is supposed to have a longer back, whilst still retaining a 'moderate' look all over.

A little about me:

I got my first dog in 1985, and it was by coincidence a Dobermann. Not the best dog to get for a "newbie", but somehow it turned out well. Later I got another Dobe and a Giant Schnauzer. My first Dobe was highly trained in obedience and to 'search for people' in the woods. He loved working and was never so happy as when he could do just that! In 1993 my first Border came into my life, and I became very soon 'addicted' to the breed! All my dogs have been trained in obedience, but the Borders mostly for fun, and together we enjoy it. In my opinion breeds like Dobes are far easier to train in obedience (for competition) than Borders, but then that's not why I've got these lovely and independent dogs! My Borders enjoy earthdog training (on fox), and running in the woods chasing whatever then can find more than anything. They are definitely working terriers, and are therefore not often let off leash, but at the 'right time and in the right place' they are allowed to have a good run. In general I can say that I'm astonished by the working capacity of the breed and their charm:)

Database with pedigrees and working results:

I early got interested in working results and pedigrees, so I made a database a some years ago. Today there are more than 30000 Borders in the database and a lot of Scandiavian working results (we work our dogs on foxes or badgers here in Scandinavia). If you are looking for working results or the pedigree of a BT, please don't hesitate to ask, as I might be able to help you out! E-MAIL

(c) Siri Grøtterød 2005