Border Terrier Breed Magazine - Showsight

Border Terrier Breed Magazine features information, expert articles, and stunning photos from AKC judges, breeders, and owners.


Let’s Talk Breed Education!

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Official Standard of the Border Terrier General Appearance: He is an active terrier of medium bone, strongly put together, suggesting endurance and agility, but rather narrow in shoulder, body and quarter. The body is covered with a somewhat broken though close-fitting and intensely wiry jacket. The characteristic "otter" head with its keen eye, combined with a body poise which is "at the alert," gives a look of fearless and implacable determination characteristic of the breed. Since the Border Terrier is a working terrier of a size to go to ground and able, within reason, to follow a horse, his conformation should be such that he be ideally built to do his job. No deviations from this ideal conformation should be permitted, which would impair his usefulness in running his quarry to earth and in bolting it therefrom. For this work he must be alert, active and agile, and capable of squeezing through narrow apertures and rapidly traversing any kind of terrain. His head, "like that of an otter," is distinctive, and his temperament ideally exemplifies that of a terrier. By nature he is good- tempered, affectionate, obedient, and easily trained. In the field he is hard as nails "game as they come" and driving in attack. It should be the aim of Border Terrier breeders to avoid such over emphasis of any point in the Standard as might lead to unbalanced exaggeration. Size, Proportion, Substance: Weight - Dogs, 13 to 15½ pounds, bitches, 11½ to 14 pounds, are appropriate weights for Border Terriers in hardworking condition. The proportions should be that the height at the withers is slightly greater than the distance from the withers to the tail, i.e. by possibly 1 to 1½ inches in a 14-pound dog. Of medium bone, strongly put together, suggesting endurance and agility, but rather narrow in shoulder, body and quarter. Head: Similar to that of an otter. Eyes dark hazel and full of fire and intelligence. Moderate in size, neither prominent nor small and beady. Ears small, V-shaped and of moderate thickness, dark preferred. Not set high on the head but somewhat on the side, and dropping forward close to the cheeks. They should not break above the level of the skull. Moderately broad and flat in skull with plenty of width between the eyes and between the ears. A slight, moderately broad curve at the stop rather than a pronounced indentation. Cheeks slightly full. Muzzle short and "well filled." A dark muzzle is characteristic and desirable. A few short whiskers are natural to the breed. Nose black, and of a good size. Teeth strong, with a scissors bite , large in proportion to size of dog. Neck, Topline, Body: Neck clean, muscular and only long enough to give a well-balanced appearance. It should gradually widen into the shoulder. Back strong but laterally supple, with no suspicion of a dip behind the shoulder. Loin strong. Body deep, fairly narrow and of sufficient length to avoid any suggestions of lack of range and agility. The body should be capable of being spanned by a man's hands behind the shoulders. Brisket not excessively deep or narrow. Deep ribs carried well back and not oversprung in view of the desired depth and narrowness of the body. The underline fairly straight. Tail moderately short, thick at the base, then tapering. Not set on too high. Carried gaily when at the alert, but not over the back. When at ease, a Border may drop his stern.

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Forequarters: Shoulders well laid back and of good length, the blades converging to the withers gradually from a brisket not excessively deep or narrow. Forelegs straight and not too heavy in bone and placed slightly wider than in a Fox Terrier. Feet small and compact. Toes should point forward and be moderately arched with thick pads. Hindquarters: Muscular and racy, with thighs long and nicely molded. Stifles well bent and hocks well let down. Feet as in front . Coat: A short and dense undercoat covered with a very wiry and somewhat broken topcoat which should lie closely, but it must not show any tendency to curl or wave. With such a coat a Border should be able to be exhibited almost in his natural state, nothing more in the way of trimming being needed than a tidying up of the head, neck and feet. Hide very thick and loose fitting. Color: Red, grizzle and tan, blue and tan, or wheaten. A small amount of white may be allowed on the chest but white on the feet should be penalized. A dark muzzle is characteristic and desirable. Gait: Straight and rhythmical before and behind, with good length of stride and flexing of stifle and hock. The dog should respond to his handler with a gait which is free, agile and quick. Temperament: His temperament ideally exemplifies that of a terrier. By nature he is good- tempered, affectionate, obedient, and easily trained. In the field he is hard as nails, "game as they come" and driving in attack. Scale of Points Head, ears, neck and teeth

20 15 10 10 10 10 10 5 10 100

Legs and feet Coat and skin

Shoulders and chest Eyes and expression Back and loin Hindquarters Tail General Appearance Total

Approved March 14, 1950 Reformatted July 13, 1990

JUDGING THE BORDER TERRIER By Robert & Ruth Ann Naun From Ruth Ann A judge of the Bor- der Terrier will stay on breed standard if they hold to the rule that form fol- lows function. Bred standard point by point, in what fol- lows here. He gives a prospective that has been previously published in this magazine. He has clearly outlined the evaluating that takes in the whole dog using this approach. Border Terriers can still do the work they were bred to do. The Border Terrier community and the breed’s parent club hold a desire to see a functioning working Border Terrier in the show ring. When those traits put a Border Terrier in the ribbons in your ring, you can safely feel a good job was done of judging this breed.

in the American standard in the early 1940s, this emphasis was in the Bor- der Terrier standard. Dr. Merritt Pope, the prime mover in working towards recognition of the breed in the US and his friend Mr. William McBain, were disturbed by changes made to the Scot- tish Terrier standard for the purpose of improving its chances for winning in the show ring. For Dr. Pope, a well-designed and functional machine was a beauti- ful thing to observe, and they wanted to apply this concept to the functional purposefulness of a terrier. He and his committee were attempting to design the perfect working terrier in a breed stan- dard. Th ey abhorred the fancy terriers they were seeing in the show ring. Th e descriptive terms they used to describe the Border Terrier are few in num- ber. Th ey wanted a head that resembled that of an otter, in particular a river otter head. Th ey wanted a dog who would be spannable by a man’s hands, a method used by old time hunters to evaluate the ability of a dog to go to ground. Th ey consistently talked about the Borders’ ability to run with horses and to get along with hounds. Given this, the Border should not spar. For working terriers, the ribs should not be over sprung. Th ey should have ribs well back with a flexible loin which would allow the terrier to turn around more easily when down the hole after the fox, this also helps to give more stamina to a dog doing a days’ work. Finally, they wanted a double-coated dog who could work under the hard condi- tions of the English/Scottish border coun- try, and not a fancy smooth coated terrier. When beginning to judge the Border Terrier in the show ring, the judge should observer the Border outline. It is on the table that the judge can begin to evalu- ate the functioning ability of the Border to work. Approaching from the front the

by working farmers in the Cheviot Hills of Northumberland in England, and the southern Scottish border country, this breed went out with hounds in this wild hilly countryside. Th erefore, the Border Terrier should be built to cover long dis- tances over an extended period on the day of hunting, in all sorts of weather. Once the fox they chase goes to ground, the Border Terrier goes in and finishes its work of the day, or flushes the fox for oth- ers to dispatch. Every breed trait judged in confirmation, still should reference this function. Exhibitors will respect the judge who attempts to evaluate entries base on this approach. Bob Naun explores the

From Robert Many judges have di ffi culty in judging the Border Terrier because of the empha- sis on function as a working terrier. Most terrier standards put more emphasis upon appearances, with the exception of the Parson Russell Terrier. In Britain in the earliest written stan- dard of the breed we have (1920), and

The general appearance of the Border Terrier.

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“THE BORDER IS THE ONLY TERRIER THAT has a loose and thick fitting skin...”

judge should be looking for shoulders that are smooth and relatively narrow. Th e space between the legs should not be narrower than that of the Fox Terrier— “approximately 3" or 3 fingers” and no larger than 4" (approximately four fingers). Th e Border’s legs should be straight and not turned in or out. He should not be loaded in shoulders which would interferes with is going to ground. Looking at the head itself, there should be very little stop with proportions of 2 to 1 from the occiput to stop with the muz- zle one-third to tip. It is moderately broad and flat with plenty of width between the eyes and the ears. A slight, moder- ately broad slope at the stop rather than a pronounce indentation. Th e muzzle is short and well filled. Th e ears should be in proportion to the head, v-shaped and moderately thick with dark ears preferred. (Some judges cover the ears when exam- ining the head to get a better view of an otter like head.) Th e ear breaks below the level of skull and should be in proportion to the head. Th e Border’s eyes are dark and mod- erate in size with fill under the eyes. Its strong masseter muscles gave the Border a cheeky appearance. Too short a muzzle will produce bulging eye, á la the Brussels Gri ff on. Th e Border’s nose is black and of a good size. Th e Border’s teeth have a scis- sors bite with no deviation allowed, large for the size of the dog. Th e Border Terrier neck is well set on and long enough to allow the freedom of head movement. Th e Border Terrier shoulder blades are long and well laid back with the length of the shoulder blade and upper arm being approximately equal and converging at the withers. Th e space between the forelegs is equal at the elbows and at the feet. Th e length and angulation of the shoulder and upper arm results in the legs being set further back and under the withers rather than as in the Fox Terrier—giving the Border a somewhat chesty look when viewed from

the side. Unlike the Fox Terrier and other fancy terrier breeds, the Border has a somewhat strait underline. To properly evaluate terrier’ ability to go to ground, it must be spannable. To span a terrier a judge must place his hands behind the elbows, raising only the front from the table, compressing the chest gently. Ideally, his thumbs should meet at the spine and his fingers should meet under the terrier. Dr. Pope called the Border the “the smallest tall, long-legged terrier”. Th is was necessary for his working in the border between England and Scotland in order to be able to keep up with the horse and the hounds over rough ground. A short- legged, over-sprung, wide, deep chested Border would not be able to do the work he was bred to do. Border dogs should weigh 13-15 ½ pounds, bitches, 11 ½ -14 pounds in hardworking condition. It is rare now, in the era of couch potatoes and expensive dog foods, to find a Border in the hard working condition previously seen in the working terriers in the Border country. Proportions should be the height at the withers is slightly greater than the distance from the withers to the base of the tail, by about 1"-1 ½ ". Th e same rough terrain and climate requires a double coat for protection on the job. Th e tweedy broken coat is preferred. A lack of undercoat must be faulted. Th e coat should be hard and wiry. Th ere must be evidence of a double coat. If there is no evi- dence, it must be assumed it does not exist. Borders should never be overly trimmed to resemble other breeds. Excessive grooming should be penalized. A useful tool for the working Border is his tail, shaped like a carrot, thick at base and tapering to a point. It is often used by the huntsman to pull the Border out of the fox- hole. Ideally it comes o ff the back at a forty- five degree angle, but upright, or level carriage, is also acceptable, but never over the back. Th e topline of the Border is not men- tioned in the standard. Th e original drafts of the standard spoke about a slight rise

over the loin. Th e drafters, fearing that judges would exaggerate this phrase. Th e prohibition of a dip behind the withers was the only comment put in the standard about the topline. Th e Border is the only terrier that has a loose and thick fitting skin (hide or pelt). Th is is crucial because it protects the dog from injury inflicted by his quarry, other dogs or underbrush. Th e judge should not hesitate to grasp a handful of skin in back of the shoulders and lift it. Th e Border’s rear is muscular, thighs long, stifles well bent and hocks well let down. Rear angulation should be compli- mentary to that of the front. Th e Border Terrier coat can come in red, grizzle and tan, blue and tan and wheaten. None are preferred as function is not a ff ected, however altering coat color and trimming with scissors are not appro- priate for a working terrier. BIOS Ruth Ann Naun is a specialist judge of Border Terriers since 1992. She has judged the national specialty twice and the breed at CC level in Britain twice as well. She is the long time delegate of the Border Terrier Club of America to the AKC. Bob Naun, her husband, died in late 2011, was a Terrier Group judge, and had held posts in the parent club includ- ing president for fifteen years, and club historian. He had also judged the breed national twice and was the first American to award CCs in their breed in Britain. Th eir Oldstone prefix has been a presence in the breed since the early 1970s.

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T he look and shape of the head distin- guishes the Border from other Ter- riers and is a hallmark of the breed. Specifically, the breed standard twice references the otter head and devotes considerable detail to the fea- tures of the head as they embody the look of an otter. In fact, while the Border is most decidedly a working Terrier, the scale of points in the official breed standard allots a full twenty (20) out of a pos- sible one hundred (100) points to the “head, ears, neck and teeth.” “Eyes and expression” are valued at another ten (10) points. Collec- tively, this ascribes a full thirty (30) points to the head of a Border out of one hundred (100) points. This equates to a 30% empha- sis on the distinctive otter-like head and expression in the breed

standard’s judging scale. The Border Terrier is, in all things, a moderate breed. While definitely not considered a “head” breed by breeders, the distinguishing features of the head are critical to maintaining breed type. The characteristic otter head, with its keen eye (combined with a body poise that is “at the alert”), gives a look of fearless and implacable determination that is characteristic of the breed and is highly valued by breeders.



pictured left: Lutra lutra , the River Otter. Photo courtesy of Graham William Hughes. (Special thank you to Dawn Bladen.) pictured below: GCHP Meadowlake Dark Side of The Moon, winner of 2015, 2016, 2017, & 2018 National Specialty Best Otter Head awards and numerous regional club specialty show Best Otter Head awards. Photo courtesy of Christina Freitag. (Special thank you to Karen Fitzpatrick &

SCALE OF POINTS The Border Terrier Club of America (BTCA) offers a Best Otter Head class at each national specialty, and many regional clubs at hosted specialties follow suit. Although a non-regular class, it is a fiercely competitive one for breeders and owners. To win Best Otter Head is, indeed, cause for celebration. At the national specialty, the award initially known as the Dandy- how Quaich Best Otter Head Trophy was first offered in 1993. Upon completion of regular conformation judging, an always large entry of dogs graces the ring where breeders proudly hold their dogs up as the judge walks round, examining each head, looking for the flat planes, well-set eyes, moderate stop, and keen expression that is most like that of an otter. The ring is always full and, as the judge makes cut after cut, finally, the dog with the head most “like that of an otter” is chosen. You can hear a pin drop. When a winner is named, the rousing cheers and congratulations often inspire Terriers throughout the venue to give voice to the occasion. It is a unique class that highlights the value that breeders place on that characteristic otter-like head. When judging a Border head in profile or from the front, you should be able to see that it is not excessively broad or coarse. The breed standard states that the skull is “moderately broad and flat in skull with plenty of width between the eyes and ears.” In terms of proportion, the Border head should be 2/3 from the occiput to the stop, and 1/3 from the stop to the nose. These proportions allow all of the features of the head, from eyes to teeth, to be properly placed to ensure that “ottery” look. If the proportions go off, then the head starts to look less like an otter and more gener- ic. The head of a Border isn’t to be cute, round, houndy or even doggy. It must, instead, invoke the image of an otter. To attain a head that is more similar to the head of another species than it is to the head of any other dog, the width and breadth of the skull should carry through below the eyes, making room for large, punishing, and effective teeth that meet in a scissors bite. The cheeks should be slight- ly full and flow smoothly into a short, well- filled muzzle. The muzzle itself should be strong and in proportion to the overall head. The mouth of a Border is a formida- ble weapon and the teeth are large in pro- portion to the size of the dog. The stop on a Border should always be moderate, with little drop-off. There should not be a pro- nounced stop or room for a “thumbprint,” nor should there be zero stop or the flat

Simon Simaan.) pictured bottom:

Dandyhow Quaich Best Otter Head Trophy. CH Kevrah Star Gazer. Best Otter Head 2010 National Specialty. Photographer Kenneth Reed. (Special thank you to Deborah Lawton.)

plane seen in some other Terriers. The overall look of a Border is always that of moderation, and each feature flows smoothly and without sharp angles into the next. Ears are V-shaped and drop close to the cheeks to protect the inner ear when the dog is working. They should not be set-on too high or break above the line of the skull. Thin-leathered, fly-away ears or round and heavy, hound-like ears are incorrect. The entire picture should project the look of an otter with no exaggeration of proportions. The eyes should be dark hazel, full of fire and intelligence, and not bulging or prominent, or small and beady. The black nose is of good size in proportion to the dog.



pictured top left: CH Kevrah Star Gazer. Best Otter Head 2010 National Specialty. Photographer Kenneth Reed. (Special thank you to Deborah Lawton.) pictured top right: The Border Terrier Illustrated Standard, The Border Terrier Club of America, Inc., 2002, with author emphasis added to show the 1/3 to 2/3 ratio of skull to muzzle. pictured right: Esteemed UK Breeder-Judge Ronnie Irving awarding Best Otter Head at the 2011 National Specialty to CH. Foxbolt Blue Bayou and Lyn Stahl Bolt.

Each of these components are grounded in a functional purpose. The smooth planes and eye set are protective and useful underground in the pursuit of quarry. The muzzle and skull, which accommodate those large teeth, have the sub- stance to get the job done. Too much of any one component and the functionality of the head at work is compromised. A too short muzzle with pronounced stop will not afford space for proper dentition, nor will it provide the leverage to per- form against formidable quarry or permit optimal subterra- nean breathing. A too long muzzle can result in less cheek and jaw power, weaker backskull and, potentially, a higher ear set, which results in less efficiency and protection for the dog. Both examples, or any extreme for that matter, lessen the function- ality of a Border. Despite the emphasis on the otter-like look, it is far more than appearance for the sake of aesthetics. Each individual attribute has a purpose and use underground or in the field, and when those individual parts come together in the right proportions and in moderation, the head truly does resemble that of an otter.

While breeders the world over engage in animated discussions about the historical connection to the river otter, Lutra lutra , found in the rivers and streams in the region of origin, the variety of otter is not specified in the standard. Fortunately, this oversight does not require one to possess a license in otter judging in order to properly evaluate a Border head. Although there are, undoubtedly, differences between the varieties of otters, all otters have a moderately broad, flat skull with good width between the eyes. They look “varminty” and, when swim- ming with their head breaking the surface of the water, the heads of all otters bear a striking resemblance to one another. Thus too, the head of a correct Border possesses the proportions, planes, angles, fill, ears, moderate stop, and keen eyes that make one immediately think of an otter. A dog show judge must be able to recognize these unique features when evaluating the Border Terrier. With the head of a different species as a reference point versus that of another breed of dog, it is important to reward the qualities that define an otter-like head when evaluating the Border Terrier. In doing so, you will earn the respect of Border Ter- rier breeders and show a true understanding of the standard.







the ribcage, and the actual physical capacity for going- to-ground. Just as the wicket or scales require proper procedure and use, so does this all-important evalua- tion of the Border Terrier. Spanning is less specific or finite than a strict height or weight assessment, but it affords the opportunity to determine overall size in combination with the flexibility of rib needed to work underground quarry. The official Parson Russell Terrier breed standard provides an excellent description of how to span a working Terrier: “To measure a terrier’s chest, span from behind, raising only the front feet from the ground, and compress gently. Directly behind the elbows is the smaller, firm part of the chest. The central part is usually larger but should feel rather elastic. Span with hands tightly behind the elbows on the forward portion of the chest. The chest must be easily spanned by average size hands. Thumbs should meet at the spine and fingers should meet under the chest. This is a significant factor and a critical part of the judging process. The dog cannot be correctly judged without this procedure.” The Border Terrier Club of America strongly endorses this method of spanning as it is both well- described and correct. Not only is it effective, it avoids many of the glaring errors seen when spanning is done improperly; leaning over the dog, approaching the dog from the front, not lifting the dog at all (but merely placing the hands around the general area), lifting the whole dog with all four feet off the table, and the worst possible scenario, which is not bother- ing to make any effort to span the dog at all. Each of these examples will make true Terrier-men, Terrier- women, and breeders cringe. TIPS FOR SPANNING When judging at an event, the dog must be stand- ing on the table. Breeders will often span their dogs on the ground, but at an AKC event you should conduct your exam on the table and in the same manner with each and every dog.

T he Border Terrier is a working Terrier. One of the primary means of evaluat- ing whether the individual is capable of working as intended is by span- ning. Spanning is the traditional method used by huntsman to see if the Terrier is capable of going- to-ground, and it is how you evaluate the shape, size, and elasticity of the ribcage. In truth, the dog cannot be judged without benefit of having been spanned. If there is one thing that we could convey to judges about spanning, it would be that it must be done as part of your exam. Please don’t leave it out because, when you initially look at the dogs, you “think” they look like they could fit in a fox den. Spanning is a tactile exam that will provide you with a range of information about each dog in your ring. Every dog must be spanned for you to properly evaluate the shape, size, and elasticity of



Step 1. Placing Hands on Dog for Spanning

Step 2. Hands in Position for Spanning.

Step 3. Spanning the dog

feel that lovely ribcage, and the size needed to maneuver in small apertures, dens, and between rocks and tree roots. If your hands do not meet and you feel too much spring and roundness to the chest, or the ribcage is rigid or unfor- giving, you will know that the dog will have a much harder time navigating in small spaces. If your hands clearly can- not span the dog, it will be much more difficult or even impossible for the dog to do the job for which it is bred. Please remember, the “average man’s hands” is an average and, in general, women have smaller hands. This is understood and it is at your discretion as to where your hands fall on the scale in terms of being average in size. You will develop a feel for spanning. Although, initially, it can be an awk- ward exam to fully master, once you do (and you will with enough exposure and practice) you will appreciate this prac- tical, common sense way to evaluate whether the Border Terrier can go-to- ground. If you would like more practice, reach out to a BTCA member breeder or, better yet, attend a specialty. You will be met with great enthusiasm, as Border Terrier breeders keenly appreciate the importance of spanning and want all judges to be familiar and comfortable with it. Spanning is not a hard and fast, “black letter” measurement, but it is one borne of generations of Terrier breeders and huntsmen as they evaluated their stock. The Border Terrier does not have a height or weight requirement and this, in part, is due to the fact that spanning can better determine the capacity of a dog to comfortably pursue underground quarry. Thus, the ability to span the dog must be part of your consideration.

Be gentle and don’t belabor the pro- cess, but be thorough enough to get the information you need for your evaluation. Most Border Terriers are well-accustomed to being spanned but, again, your dog sense will do wonders as you convey and signal to the dog that you are going to do the exam. It is customary to span the dog at the end of your exam, though you may do it as you go over the dog. By doing it at the end, you have gone over the dog and the handler won’t need to reset the dog, which can help to keep your ring efficient. Try to incorporate spanning into your exam so that it naturally flows and becomes almost automatic to you and doesn’t surprise the dog. This will make your exam more consistent and thorough. IN CONCLUSION Spanning, performed correctly, yields a wealth of information. The elastic- ity and “give” of the ribcage of a prop- erly structured and sized Border Terrier is evident upon spanning. The “average man’s hands” should meet, and you will

Placing hands on the dog in preparation for spanning. Photo courtesy of Star Ott.

Standing on the side of the dog or from behind the dog and to the side, you would reach your hands around the dog from the side and place your hands around the chest. Placing your thumbs over the withers, slide your hands around the chest so that your fingers meet under the chest. You should not lean over the head of the dog or approach the dog from the front. Gently lift the front legs of the dog off the table as you are holding his chest, again, with thumbs over the withers and fingers supporting his chest under the elbows.

Spanning the dog as viewed from the side; fingertips in proper position under the chest of the dog while spanning, thumbs in proper position while spanning. Photo courtesy of Dawn Bladen.



H alley (Fanfare Jetset- ter Can RN AGN AGNJ ME CGN HIC Am RN ME CGC TDI) is a Bor- der Terrier owned by myself, and we live in Richmond, Brit- ish Columbia, Canada. Halley is a very ambitious and clever dog, as you can see she has more letters after her name than in it. A Snow Goose Hazer Halley has a job with the City of Rich- mond (in British Columbia, Canada) as a Snow Goose Hazer. Each fall, an estimated 100,000 of the white birds fly 4,000 kilo- meters (about 2,500 miles) to the Frazer River delta to escape their frigid winter home in Wrangel Island, Russia. By year’s end, the birds head farther south to the Skagit delta before retun- ing to Richmond in the spring, en route to their Russian home. In Richmond, the geese traditionally feed on intertidal march plants, but in recent years they moved inland, feeding on farmers’ fields,

By Lia Bijsterveld

parks, sports fields and even residential backyard—leaving muddy, goose-poop land behind. City o ffi cials have tried fire- works, air pistols, lasers, military-grade lights and professional dog handlers in a bid to scare the birds away. Th e City has also o ff ered farmers in southwest Rich- mond cash to grow winter cover crops to that attract geese and keep them away from unwanted sites. Halley was trained and screened by a “professional snow goose dog hazer” before receiving her o ffi cial City vest. Th e dogs are allowed to run o ff leash when hazing geese. Th e dogs should “encourage” the geese to leave the fields for farmers’ growing winter crops for them or for their winter grounds by the Skagit. Th e photo above shows her- ring gulls that also take advantage of the mudd fields. The Reading Program Th e Richmond Public Library has a program where children read to the dogs. Th e children select books that they think the dogs will like. Th ey practice with a teen mentor and then read the books to

the dogs. Many of the children and their parents are nervous about dogs; however, Halley is the dog they are more comfort- able with because of her small size. Hal- ley is very outgoing with people and was thrilled that the children came to visit her. Th ere are children who are shy about read- ing out loud, but know that the dogs don’t judge their performance. Halley has been taking part in the Reading to Dogs program in the Rich- mond Public Library since June of 2012. Th e Th erapy Dogs International website describes the program in the following way, “ Th is program encourages children to read by providing a non-judgmental lis- tener and furry friend to read to that won’t laugh at them if they make a mistake or stumble over a word, but rather lie next to them and enjoy being read to them. “ Th e children learn to associate reading with being with the dog, and begin to view reading in a positive way. Over time, the child’s reading ability and confidence can improve because they are practicing their skills, which will make them enjoy reading even more.”

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LIFE WITH BORDER TERRIERS By Annette Neff Wildwood Border Terriers T he Border Terrier is a hardy, determined little dog that originated in the Cheviot Hills of the Border country between England and prolonged exposure to drenching rains, mists and other environmental challeng- es, including the occasional storm drain. Th ere are many stories about Border Terri- ers that have survived prolonged periods of time underground or in drains when their quarry retreated there.

Scotland. Th e farmers and shepherds in this area had to contend with foxes so they depended on small, long-legged terriers to drive them out of the brush and thicket too dense for large hounds. Forced into the open, the game could be pursued by the hounds. Often quarry took refuge under- ground. But the Border Terriers’ talents in the undergrowth are equally matched by its skills under the earth. Vermin caught in the Border’s sights learned quickly that a den is not a refuge when a Border Terrier is at the door. Th e development and preservation of the working qualities of the modern-day Border Terrier is credited to two families whose history with hunt terriers dates to the 16th century—the Robsons and the Dodds. In the US, JoAnn Frier-Murza ded- icates much of her life to making certain that owners appreciate the working talents of the Border Terrier. She began hunting with hers in 1971 and attended her first American Working Terrier Association tri- al in 1972—she fell in love with the sport. JoAnn pioneered the Earthdog movement in the United States. In 1993 and again in 2003, she worked with the AKC advisory panel to develop and update the earthdog testing program. JoAnn’s Village Green Farm Earthdog Center is the site of many events, and her training, practice and nationwide seminars are very popular. A hunt terrier by definition, the Bor- der had to possess su ffi cient leg to follow a horse, yet be small enough to pursue a fox underground. Today’s Border Terrier is structurally well suited for these tasks. Moreover, they have a weather-resistant coat that requires stripping to withstand

Th e Border Terrier’s combination of courage and good sense has always been its best asset. Th is terrier is lively but wise, brave but not foolhardy, and quick to learn though inclined to think for itself. Its equable tem- perament, which is unusual amongst terri- ers, stems from its original work. Th e Bor- der Terrier was expected to run peacefully with Foxhounds. Th erefore, they should not exhibit the dog-aggressive attitude of some terriers that hunt primarily alone. Th e Robson-Dodds terriers were agile, lean and fast, and their stamina is the hallmark of the breed. Today’s Border is exceedingly versatile. If there is any chal- lenge a Border is not up to meeting, it cer- tainly isn’t for lack of persistence of trying. Th e Border is a hunter, Earthdog, show dog and obedience and rally dog, out- standing at agility trials and therapy work, a master ratter and has an excellent nose for tracking. Th ere’s not much little this terrier can’t do! Th ere are many qualities of the Bor- der Terrier—courage, boldness and a fun-loving spirit—that may make them somewhat di ffi cult to live with. Hunt ter- riers were bred to work independently of people, roaming their owners’ property on their own, seeking out and killing rats and assorted vermin. Th ey were expected to work without human intervention and to make their own decisions. Th e Border Terrier may, in fact, see their people as nui- sances that are interfere with their work! It’s impossible to make any terrier do something it doesn’t want to do. Com- mands are easily taught to Border Terriers, but, to show independence, they are not

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always instantly obeyed. Because of their keen hunting instincts, hunt terriers have a remarkable ability to key in on some- thing and tune out everything else around them. Th at includes their owners’ com- mands. Training must be fast-paced, fun and designed to take advantage of the Bor- der’s natural intelligence and curiosity. Th ey catch on quickly and become bored with repetition. Keep training sessions short and vary the exercises. Terriers enjoy not know- ing what’s coming next, the excitement and mental challenge of problem solving. If you make training too easy, terriers will find something more interesting to do. Border Terriers are highly food-moti- vated. Use food treats liberally rather than correcting mistakes. Correction will sim- ply make them more stubborn. Use posi- tive motivation and reward them gener- ously when they’ve done right. For terriers, training must be fun or they will simply refuse to learn. Indeed, the pursuit of fun is the Border’s main goal in life. Anything that prevents them from having a good time becomes an obstacle to overcome. Being very smart and curious, they are able to figure things out quickly and are easily bored by standard obedience classes. With skill and patience, Border Terriers can be trained to meet the high standards for advanced obedience competition. Socialize your Border during pup- pyhood and adolescence. Some may go through bashful periods. Let him see, hear, investigate and get used to new sights and sounds. Take him places and expose him to the activities he will participate in as an adult dog. Continuing socialization is important at this time and through- out young adulthood so your dog does not become introverted, fearful or defen- sive towards other dogs. Take care not to allow circumstances to occur which might cause your Border to become defensive or get into a fight. Th ough not aggressive by nature, if challenged, they will fight and likely hold grudges against aggressors. As rugged and hard as the Border sounds, its heart is soft. Borders like to stay out of trouble! Th ey are usually good with children—tolerant and patient; but, chil- dren must not torment them, hurt them, interfere when they are eating or become

frantic. Border Terriers are known to leap up and give a quick, gentle nip on the arm or wrist when they are excited or when chil- dren dash by. Teach children to appropri- ately play and give attention and a ff ection to your dog. Overall, Border Terriers are a healthy, long-lived breed. Th ey need su ffi cient exercise to keep them fit and happy. Long walks on a leash are best in the country or the city. Excursions can be interspersed with yard time. Be careful that yard time is limited and does not become boring. Th e Border Terrier has an active, working heri- tage and likes to have something to do. Anyone who likes terriers should enjoy a Border. Th ey have pleasant personalities, are easy to care for and have an irresist- ible impish appearance. Th ey are a rare and ‘unspoiled’ breed that makes a splen- did companion. Th ey are definitely a dog lover’s dog. BIO Annette Ne ff has been breeding Border Terriers under the Wildwood prefix since 1993 and is an AKC breeder of Merit. Many of her Wildwood dogs have received AKC Championships, Perfor- mance and Companion titles. She is very active with her Border Terriers in AKC dog sports including conformation, obedience, rally, agility and Earthdog. Annette is also an AKC Earthdog judge. She operates Pet Behavior Associates, a dog training and behavioral consulting business—having been a dog behaviorist and trainer for over thirty years. Annette belongs to Obedience and Agility Train- ing Clubs and instructs in obedience, rally and agility. Annette has served on the BOD of the Border Terrier Club of America for nearly 9 years and produced the club newslet- ter, the “Borderline” for over 7 years. She is also the Treasurer for a regional club, the Border Terrier Club of Central Ohio (BTCCO) and direct rescue operations as Vice President of the North American Bor- der Terrier Welfare. Annette lives with eleven Border terri- ers that make her smile every day! She can be reached via with questions or comments.


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PHIL FREILICH I worked for 35 years in the horti- cultural industry. I have been actively retired for the past 8 years. I am a mem- ber of the Contra Costa County Kennel Club have been the Show Chairman for Woofstock Cluster since the Clus- ters’ beginning in 2008. I currently judge the Terrier group, completing the Working Group and a few Herding breeds. I live in Martinez, CA, which is located in the East Bay about 45 minutes from downtown San Francisco. Outside of dogs my wife Sharon and I breed and show full blood Dorper Sheep (100% of gene pool originates from African stock). As with our dogs our aim is to raise the best quality of Dorper Sheep possible. Our sheep are sold at auction to ranchers and farmers to use as breeding stock to improve their flocks. Under our flock name, Freilance Dorpers we have 20 Dor- per ewes on 65 acres we lease near our home. I also main- tain a year-round vegetable garden with many spring and fall crops. My wife and I enjoy traveling and we like to take an international trip once a year. Growing up, we had Miniature Schnauzers as our family dog. I became involved with Border Terriers in 1988 when my wife and I decided we needed a dog that would follow our horse when we went trail riding. We started showing in 1989 shortly after joining the Border Terrier Club of the Redwoods. Our first show was the bench show at Golden Gate KC. I applied to judge Border Terriers in 1999 and have been judging for 17 years.

RONNIE IRVING Although my family originally came from the Scottish side of the border district between England and Scotland, we now live in England in Oxfordshire. Now retired, I was origi- nally a CPA but worked most of my life in the refrigerated warehousing busi- ness, partly in the US. I have been in the dog world all my life as I am a third generation Border Terrier person my grandfather having first had the breed three years after it was recognized by the UK Kennel Club in 1920. Showing? Over fifty years. Judging? Since 1967. RUTH ANN NAUN I am a long-time resident of metropolitan New York City, and “outside” of dogs I am a retired educator. With my hus- band, Bob, we got our first Border Terrier in 1972. I began judging the breed in the early 1990s. MARG POUGH

I live in Ithaca, NY. I spend my time mostly with various dog activities— conformation, obedience, Earthdog, tracking, teaching 4-H Grooming and Handling and Pet Therapy at Hospicare, our Exception Education school and the library. I come from a large family and family is important. I grew up with fam- ily dogs, a Springer, a GSD, a mix and an


I live in Great Pond, Maine; my wife Jill and I run a small sheep farm. I have worked with dogs professionally since my late teens, working in several ken- nels, managing a Massachusetts SPCA shelter for several years and becom- ing a Kennel-Huntsman, maintaining a kennel of 25 to 30 couple of Fox- hounds for several years. My first Bor- der came in the late 70s; I started to show at about that time and have been judging for about 10 years.

“amateur Boxer”. I was the dog nut in the family and did the home training of our GSD. I made my mother drive me to local shows (Bryn Mawr KC, then held in Devon.) And one year I took the train to spend a day at Westminster when it was on a school holiday. I got my first Border Terrier in 1963, and bred my first litter in 1965. (I was working in NYC and showed my first home- bred Border at Westminster in 1967 and still have her WB rosette.) I started judging in 1995. I judge Border Terriers, Otterhounds, Junior Showmanship and Earthdog.



1. What makes the Border an outstanding show dog? What makes him a great pet? PF: Most Border Terriers are not natural show dogs. Exhibi- tors and handlers have to work at training a Border Terrier to be a good to outstanding show dog. The Border Terrier is a friendly, active dog with an excellent tempera- ment that fits most families life styles. Borders love to be part of any family activity. They are a medium to small size dog with relatively few major health problems. PG: I do not think the Border is an outstanding show dog. A Border is an extremely attractive, functional animal. An outgoing, friendly demeanor completes the picture. When I think of an outstanding show dog, I think of a very stylish, flashy breed—of which a Border is neither. A Border’s beauty stems from all the ingredients that make it “essentially a working terrier” and its calm, pleasant nature—when not at work—complete the picture. What makes him a great pet is that very same nature, his ability to get along well with other dogs. The fact that he can keep up with you, no matter what your pursuits, then curl up with you and read a book if that’s what you are doing next, is what is attractive to me. This is not a Terrier that needs to go all the time. RI: I’m not sure that Borders are outstanding show dogs. There are many breeds such as Wire Fox Terriers etc., that are far more flashy and spectacular and are rather easier to persuade to show with enthusiasm. What makes him a great pet? Easy to look after and groom, steady in temperament and not generally subject to many health problems. The pet dogs that you meet in the street often look like the ones you see in the show ring. There are not many Terrier breeds that could claim that! RN: Both questions can be answered by directing focus back to the breed standard. Bred to live within farm families in the Border country between Scotland and England, to run out with hound packs after fox and then to go to ground after the fox when the fox does to earth, the form of the Border Terrier follows its function. They are intel- ligent, agreeable, hearty, sound and sensible. MP: Borders are the Terrier that can do it all—anything from showing to obedience, Earthdog, agility, hunting, or just hanging out. It is primarily an owner-handled breed and those dogs go home to family after the shows. 2. What is the most prevalent fault you see today? PF: Poor shoulders seem to be a universal problem for most breeds. There are the exceptions, but very few breeds have adequate to good shoulders. PG: It would have to be fronts, and incorrect shoulder assembly. Your hopes are dashed so many times when you are looking at a very attractive Border, but it moves improperly due to some issue in the front. RI: Poor fronts both for construction and movement, and not enough Border Terriers with enough harsh double coat. RN: In my view, the most prevalent fault today is poor fronts, shoulders and movement. MP: Showing in too short a coat, so that you cannot evaluate if it is a working coat with both correct under

coat and harsh topcoat. Lack of thick hide. Lack of cor- rect length of rib. Inadequate shoulder layback leading to restricted movement.

3. Describe the breed in three words. PF: Friendly, active and intelligent.

PG: Narrow, rugged and stoic. RI: Active, friendly and stoical. RN: Hard to do, but I would say, “natural working Terrier”. MP: “Essentially a Working Terrier” 4. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? PF: Correct otter varmint headpiece and expression, a span- nable dog that can work in the field, and a dog with thick loose hide with a hard, thick jacket. PG: Proper head, with strong muzzle, underjaw and large punishing teeth. Correct build for a working Terrier, strongly made, narrow throughout, ribs well laid back, with enough length and range. A weather-resistant dou- ble coat, and truly sound enough to follow a horse all day. RI: The head of the Border Terrier—like that of an otter—is its most distinguishing feature. Good sound movement is also an essential as is a correct mouth. Also, for the Border Terrier, a person with average sized man’s hands ought to be able to span it behind the shoulder so as to ensure it would be able to follow a fox into its lair—the job for which the breed was originally bred. But it is the totality of the dog that counts and judges should not become obsessed with any one feature. RN: Must have traits include: otter-like head, strong proper scissors bite, soundness front and rear, spannable, heavy hide and double coat. MP: Enough length of leg to run free with the Terrier man and climb the steep fells. Correct shoulder and movement. Correct rib, in shape and length and flexibility. Correct double coat with thick hide. Pleasing head without exaggeration. 5. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? PF: Breeders today are doing a good job of maintaining the integrity of the Border Terrier. It is a breed without exag- gerations. When dogs start to become too big, breeders tend to put more emphasize on size. I see many exhibits that lack substance and need more bone. It is question- able if some of the smaller bitches you see in the ring today can work and go to ground. PG: Exaggeration is something to be avoided at all costs in the Border Terrier. The word “moderate” or “moderately” appears six times in our standard. A good Border is usu- ally quite moderate in all aspects. Excessive rear angula- tion is the only consistent exaggeration I have noticed. Putting a rear out behind the dog does it quite a disservice. RI: In the UK, excessive length of body. The UK breed standard asks for the body to be “fairly long”, but some people are construing this as “long” rather than “fairly long”. The AKC breed standard says,



“The height at the withers is slightly greater than the dis- tance from the withers to the tail.” In my view that’s cor- rect and gives the right balance. In the US on the other hand, there is at times a tendency to go for dogs that are over angulated behind, with too much bend of stifle. And these days, certainly in the UK, not enough people allow the dogs to show on a loose lead—too many are stacked. RN: Exaggerations in the US Borders, in my view include over grooming, foreign substances in coat and scissoring of coat. MP: Heads are in some cases become “cute” and too short in muzzle resulting in a rounder eye. Also some have too much back skull. Temperament, too much on their toes, as some are selecting for a showy dog, which may result in temperament issues. Borders are not a showy Terrier and being bored in the show ring is NOT atypical nor a fault. Borders may drop their tail when at rest. 6. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? PF: First and foremost, the Border Terrier is a working breed meant to go to ground and dispense small vermin. Your final decisions should be based on if a Border can get the job done and then consider showmanship. Many new judges are either uncomfortable or do not know how to properly span a Border Terrier. PG: When I see animals put up that are fine boned, shelly, not strongly put together, with weak fore face and jaw, I question whether a judge has an understanding of a working Terrier. Our Borders are first and foremost a working Terrier and should be judged accordingly. RI: Sometimes in the US where adjudicators are mostly multi breed judges, new people often think that the Border is so different from other Terrier breeds that they become obsessed about certain individual factors. They should instead judge the dog as a whole. In the UK, with many more specialist judges, not enough new adjudica- tors understand what makes a good front and correct front movement. RN: New judges can underestimate the commitment to form following function intended in the breed standard. Bor- der Terriers are still meant to be able to work as they did in the Cheviot Hills from which they originate. MP: Why spanning is important—understanding how to do it and what it can tell them. Spanning helps feel balance and rib flexibility. Smaller is not always better. 7. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? PF: Judges should know that when we talk about a Border having an otter-like expression, we are referring to an English river otter and not a sea otter. Moderate is used 7 times in the breed standard. PG: Borders are increasingly being shown in stripped down coats, often too short to accurately assess proper coat texture. There is a strong trend away from showing them in their workmanlike tweedy jackets as they have

in the past; this seems to be a march away from type. I sincerely miss seeing a class of Borders out there with proper jackets. RI: Anyone who has them should realize that many of them still have the hunting instinct for which they were origi- nally bred. They may, therefore, go off hunting if they get the chance. In the UK, the major single source of prema- ture death in the breed is as a result of them running off and being killed in a traffic accident. RN: Border Terrier exhibitors will value honest efforts to understand this breed which is a show dog that is also still a working dog. Remember we all could understand better, and have more to learn about judging. MP: The Border is “essentially a working Terrier.” I want to see enough length of leg to allow the Border to climb the steep fells, and maneuver through thick heather without tiring. I look for a body that is flexible to allow the dog to go to ground. And I reward the characteristics that make a Border a working Terrier! A Border should have a hide that is “very thick and loose fitting” and “a very wiry and somewhat broken top coat which should lie closely.” Teeth should be “strong, with a scissors bite, large in proportion to the size of the dog.” Eyes should be “moderate in size, neither prominent or small and beady.” We continue to need to strive for good shoulders and good extension on the side movement. I see dogs lacking in hide and in coat texture, and the desirable tooth size. In addition judges should not reward the cute expression with prominent or round eyes, undesirable in a working Terrier. As breeders, we need to be aware of the charac- teristics that define a Border Terrier. 8. What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? RN: I watched as an excellent American judge puzzle through a class which included an unfamiliar coat color on British Border Terrier dog being shown. He was being shown by an exhibitor unknown to the judge. The exhibitor is a third generation, prominent British breeder who had recently come to reside in this country with his family and this dog. The judge took the time to come to a good decision, as a natural coat color is fully acceptable. The judge and the exhibitor established a good working relationship out of that very interesting first meeting, and all present at ringside enjoyed the show. MP: Showing in obedience many years ago when going for a CD with Ch Bandersnatch Snark CD CG, obedience rings were solid hurdles. This was an outdoor show and across the show ground there was a fence line with brush and trees, and horses on the far side running and neighing in play. “Snark” kept leaping up to see what the sound was, while maintaining heel position; but 6 feet to my left as I went down the middle of the ring. At every halt he would zip into perfect heel position or sit parallel to me, but the 6 feet away. At the end of the heel free, both the judge and I were laughing, as he said he was afraid he could not qualify that exercise. Borders are very inventive in obedi- ence and the handler must have a sense of humor.


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