How to Train a Border Terrier Puppy

Updated April 17, 2017

Border Terriers are spunky dogs who love to play and chase things. It is the latter that can get them into trouble as sometimes, these objects can be cars. Used as farm dogs in the 17th century, Border Terriers excel at being in charge and love to use their mouths on anything they can. Because of all the strong character traits that this breed displays, it is very important to train your Border Terrier puppy to obey and have good manners from an early start.

Grab your Border Terrier puppy's mouth as a training mechanism to eliminate his desire to nip. All puppies like to chew on objects, but Border Terriers will tend to nip at people when passing, playing or even during times of affection. When your puppy starts to nip, carefully grab his bottom jaw while holding down his tongue and firmly say "no," then pet him and follow up with "good dog" or "be gentle." You can also try clapping and saying "no bite," or squirt the puppy with a water bottle. Not nipping this action in the bud can lead to potential problems when the Border Terrier is an adult.

Take your puppy outside to play. Border Terrier puppies love to race around and hide under furniture. This can be dangerous to everyone in the household, as people could trip over the dogs and cause injury to themselves and the puppy. When your Border Terrier puppy starts to initiate this behaviour, take him outside. He will eventually associate outdoors as his play area.

Raise your Border Terrier puppy to eye level and say "no" in a firm voice, if he growls at you. Border Terriers have a desire to be in control, and this is evident in their tendency to growl. Allowing this behaviour will make your puppy think that he is the boss and can lead to aggressive behaviour as an adult. After you give your Border Terrier the command to stop growling, lay him on his back. This is a submissive position for dogs and by doing this, you show your puppy that you are dominant.

Place your Border Terrier puppy in a crate when you are away or sleeping, to keep him from going to the bathroom in your home. The crate will teach him that if he eliminates indoors, there are consequences, such as having to lie in your waste. Take your puppy outside immediately upon releasing him from the crate and after he eats and wakes up. Give your dog treats or affection to reward him after he goes potty in the appropriate areas.


Be careful if you or others hold your Border Terrier puppy. They tend to jump out of arms when they are held and this can be very dangerous. In addition, keep your puppy off of your furniture because they will tend to dive off, which can lead to broken bones. Border Terrier puppies love to dig, so consider designating a spot in your yard where he is allowed to do so. Hide toys and treats in this area so that he will only want to dig there. When outside, keep your Border Terrier puppy on a leash for control. Otherwise, he will chase cars, bicycles and other objects that move.


Refrain from playing tug-of-war or other contact games, such as wrestling, with your Border Terrier puppy as this type of play can cause aggression. Border Terriers love to hunt. Therefore, supervise your puppy when he is around other animals in your household. In addition, Border Terriers may also attack animals they see outdoors as well.

Things You'll Need

  • Squirt bottle
  • Toys
  • Treats
  • Crate
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