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Border Terriers’ Coat of Many Colours

Border Terrier ~ Four Recognised Colours

Kennel Club Breed Standard

For every Border Terrier you meet, you will notice the differences in colour of their coat. The Kennel Club has four recognised colours in the Breed Standard:

  • Red

Border Terrier Coat Colours {Border Terrier Colours} #BorderTerrier #BlueTan #Grizzle #CoatColour www.scruffylittleterrier.com

  • Grizzle and Tan

Border Terrier Coat Colours {Border Terrier Colours} #BorderTerrier #BlueTan #Grizzle #CoatColour www.scruffylittleterrier.com

  • Blue and Tan

Border Terrier Coat Colours {Border Terrier Colours} #BorderTerrier #BlueTan #Grizzle #CoatColour www.scruffylittleterrier.com

  • Wheaten – its very hard to find photos of a true wheaten border terrier, they are very rare, I think this is the nearest I would imagine a wheaten coat would look like.

Border Terrier Coat Colours {Border Terrier Colours} #BorderTerrier #BlueTan #Grizzle #CoatColour www.scruffylittleterrier.com

Accepted Variations

Border Terrier Coat Colours {Border Terrier Colours} #BorderTerrier #BlueTan #Grizzle #CoatColour www.scruffylittleterrier.com

Dog on the left = Grizzle Dog on the right = Blue & Tan

However, they list 10 colours which would be accepted when registering your Border Terrier, which shows the variations that are found:

  • Blue & Tan,
  • Dark Grizzle,
  • Dark Grizzle & Tan,
  • Dark Red Grizzle,
  • Grizzle,
  • Grizzle & Tan,
  • Light Grizzle,
  • Red,
  • Red Grizzle; and
  • Wheaten.

Border Terrier Coat Colours {Border Terrier Colours} #BorderTerrier #BlueTan #Grizzle #CoatColour www.scruffylittleterrier.com

Border Terrier Puppies

Seeing a litter of Border Terrier puppies doesn’t give you much clue as to what their colouring will be in adulthood, because to the human eye they look very dark, almost black on the body. Obviously being able to see the mother and/or father will give you some indication (and is always recommended that you see the litter with one or both parents). However, in our case, because Barney was a rescue pup, and he doesn’t have any Kennel Club registration details, we would guess he is grizzle & tan!

Border Terrier Coat Colours {Border Terrier Colours} #BorderTerrier #BlueTan #Grizzle #CoatColour www.scruffylittleterrier.comPuppies are either black & tan (the body coat is black with tan legs) or grizzle and tan (dark body coat and lighter coloured legs). Black & tan puppies will end up being blue & tan as adults, as they grow, white, silvery grey hairs develop in the black coat, giving it a bluish colour. The most common colour in puppies, grizzle and tan, will develop into varying shades of grizzle as grey, white, brown, red and sandy lighter coarse hair grows through their soft puppy hair. Wheaten and red are very rare and not often found in Border Terriers anymore.

Border Terrier Coat Colours {Border Terrier Colours} #BorderTerrier #BlueTan #Grizzle #CoatColour www.scruffylittleterrier.com

Other Border Terrier Markings

You may also notice a white ‘flash’ of fur on their chest, Barney has this and although it seemed large when he was a puppy, it has diminished as he has got older, but it is very cute almost a ‘kiss curl’ of white on his chest. I have also noticed in other Border Terriers, as well as Barney, a white/greyish ‘ring’ or ‘band’ around the tail, this was very noticeable when he was a pup but again as he has got older the white has mingled in with the other colours and it isn’t so noticeable now. When Borders are hand-stripped, which usually happens twice a year, they will look lighter as much of the darker, coarse hair it stripped out, this gradually grows back giving them their darker grizzle colour again.

Border Terrier Coat Colours {Border Terrier Colours} #BorderTerrier #BlueTan #Grizzle #CoatColour www.scruffylittleterrier.com

As Border Terriers Age

Border Terriers are known for their otter like shaped head and their fabulous beards! As they get older the beard starts to grey, along with their eyebrows and body fur. The beard however is very noticeable, Barney will be 5 this year and his beard and eyebrows are turning grey, it is adorable.

Border Terrier Coat Colours {Border Terrier Colours} #BorderTerrier #BlueTan #Grizzle #CoatColour www.scruffylittleterrier.com

I’ve met some wonderful senior Border Terriers, some at the grand old age of 16-17 year old, they many of them their beard and face have turned silvery white, they look so beautiful and as cute as ever but in a different way to when they were puppies.

Besotted By Border Terriers

But to be honest, if you are besotted with Borders like we are, then you won’t really care what colour they turn out to be, unless you want be in the show ring, in which case, make sure that your pup doesn’t any full white paws as this never would occur in a full pedigree Border.

Barney and I would love to see pictures of your Borders and their coats of many colours! Upload your photos to our Facebook page.

Border Terrier Coat Colours {Border Terrier Colours} #BorderTerrier #BlueTan #Grizzle #CoatColour www.scruffylittleterrier.com


10 Comments

  1. Ron

    I have a dog that is between 1 and 2 years old that is black and white in color with a mix of soft hair and wirery hair that I have been told is a border terrier. With his color is he a mix? I can send a picture if it will help. I’m just curious and don’t care because he is a great dog. Thanks

    Reply
  2. Chris Hindle

    May I suggest you show an example of the various colours of Border Terrier to help those that are not expert

    Reply
    • Michelle

      Hi Chris, thanks for the suggestion, I have added photos showing the main border terrier colours. I hope this helps and a great suggestion!

      Reply
  3. Roberta A Holland

    I think my mother may have a Wheaton Border Terrier . I originally adopted her at 1.5 years from a rescue place and kept her for 5 years before I gave her to my Mother. We thought for the longest time she might be a mix but with more research and even comments from Vets, I think she might be a purebred, but she is Wheaton colored. She is clipped regularly by a Groomer so I think her hair has softened but she still has the course black hairs that sprout across her shoulders. You can email me and I can send pictures. She is 11.5 yrs old now.

    Reply
    • Michelle

      Hi Roberta! Thank you for your message, I’d love to see pictures of your border terrier!

      Reply
  4. Neil Staniland

    Great article

    Reply
    • Michelle

      Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply
  5. Gail Chriswell

    I rescued a terrier. She is 4 months old. She has a white spot on top of shoulder. And an otter head. I think she is a border terrier and she has green eyes Can you tell me what you think ?

    Reply
    • Michelle

      Hi Gail, thanks for your message, how wonderful that you have rescued a terrier, she sounds beautiful, I’d love to see a photo of her. x

      Reply
  6. Anna Kench

    Hello,I have a 9 month old Border called Winnie, today we had her hand stripped and I was surprised at how light she was.Because of

    lockdown and the fact that she came in season her coat was well overdue for her first strip.I am unsure what colour she would be classed

    as,she looks like she could be wheaten but as this is her first strip could it take a while before her true colour comes through? Her coat is

    very soft, I wasn’t expecting this either.

    Reply

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