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:
- Grizzle and Tan
- Blue and Tan
- 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.
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 & Tan,
- Light Grizzle,
- Red Grizzle; and
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!
Puppies 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.
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.
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.
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.