Breed Health

Breed Health Report 2020

This year has been an unforgettable one for all of us. The spectre of coronavirus has impacted on many aspects of our lives including health research into animal disease.

Sadly, this year has seen the Animal Health Trust forced into liquidation. Founded in 1942 the AHT was an independent animal charity which received no Government funding and employed in excess of 200 vets, scientists and support staff. The Trust provided clinical referral services for both small animal and equine cases and was highly regarded for its work in the fields of infectious and genetic diseases, oncology and stem cell research.

Research into Cushing's Syndrome at Nottingham University

Researchers at the University of Nottingham's School of Veterinary Medicine and Science are interested in investigating the characteristics of Cushing's Syndrome within the Border Terrier breed and would be interested in hearing from owners of dogs affected by the disease, and also in details of dogs which have previously died from it.

This is one of the conditions being monitored by the Breed Health Group and we would encourage as many owners as possible to respond. We would also be grateful if these owners could also fill in our own health survey form.

The link to the Nottingham survey is:

The link to the Border Terrier Breed Health Group survey is:

Eddie Houston

Breed Health Co-ordinator


The Border Terrier Character

But what are Border Terriers actually like though?
Border Terriers are, as the standard says, essentially working terriers. They were originally bred to assist in the control of foxes in the border country between Northumberland and Scotland. Even though you may want a Border Terrier purely as a pet; you cannot deny their heritage and instinct....especially when out for a walk and they despatch a passing mouse!
Sometimes this instinct can cause them to 'turn a deaf ear' to your calls when out; but if you work on a good, consistent, reliable recall as a pup this should help in this type of situation.


Breed Standard

A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which could be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.