How Much Does a Border Terrier Cost?




Planning to buy or adopt a Border Terrier is a big decision – one that you mustn’t get into lightly. Owning a Border Terrier is a huge responsibility and potential dog owners often forget that fact. They usually see a cute little puppy that demands cuddles but they forget that this energetic bundle of joy needs care, attention, healthy food, and exercise.

The unflappable Border Terrier is a child-friendly family dog. As it grows, it only gets calmer and more balanced in its personality. This makes them great family pets for people with kids. However, they need to be socialized to children from an early age.

Before they came to be known as Border Terriers, they were known by several names including Coquetdale Terrier and Redesdale Terrie – both being areas where they were developed. Since they were extensively used on Border hunts in Northumberland, they came to be known as Border Terriers.

This is a small breed dog. The adult male grows to around 15 lb. measuring about 16 inches at withers. Female Borders are slightly shorter and lighter than the males. They have a short dense undercoat and wiry topcoat. Borders come in various colors like wheaten, pale yellow, fawn, red, bluish grey, tan, and grizzle tan.

Border terriers have a propensity to bark a lot. They were also bred for hunting which means they could chase smaller animals. Due to these reasons, it is important that you teach them some self-control. You can achieve this through early training, plenty of socialization, and regular activity and exercise.

If you’re looking to buy a Border Terrier, it is important to know the costs involved.  To summarize these costs-

The price of a purebred Border Terrier is between $700 and $1300. Some puppies are even priced higher – up to $1500. The price entirely depends on the breeder, the dog’s age, as well as its bloodlines. The first-year cost of owning a Border Terrier could be up to $2500. These costs come down slightly to around $1500 per year after the first year. Since the Border terrier lives for 12-15 years, the lifetime cost of owning one can be between $18,500 to $25,000.

Let us check out this math!

How Much Does a Border Terrier Puppy Cost?

After you have made the decision and researched the Border Terrier thoroughly, it is time to contact some reputed breeders of the breed. You also have the option of buying your dog from a pet shop, through private sellers on sites like Craig’s List or adopting a rescued dog from an animal shelter. The price of your puppy/adult Border Terrier will depend upon where you buy or adopt it from.


Adoption fees

While finding a rescued Border Terrier may be difficult, you might get lucky if you research well. Contact several shelters near you and check if they have one. 

The cost of dog adoption is around $300 to $500 which covers deworming costs, flea and tick medicines, and also spaying/neutering. There are several benefits to adopting instead of buying: you’d save a life and also the dog might be potty trained. However, some dogs also have behavioral issues like aggression as well as a host of health problems.


Buying from a Breeder

This is the best option for finding a purebred, healthy Border Terrier puppy in the age group between 2 to 4 months. It is best to buy a puppy of this age as it is in a better position to form a strong bond with you and also would be easier to train than an older one.

Reputed breeders are likely to charge between $700 and $1250 for each puppy. However, some could price their pets even higher – up to $2000 – especially if they come from show-winning dogs.

To find reputed and AKC registered breeders, check out the Club’s official website.


Buying from a Pet Store

Pet stores often sell Border Terriers for around $500. However, it is best to steer clear of these dogs as they could have health issues as they are a product of backyard breeding or puppy mills.

Here is a table showing the price range of buying a Border Terrier:

The minimum cost of a Border Terrier About $500 from a pet store
Price range of a Border Terrier from a reputed breeder $700 to $1250. Some breeders charge up to $2000 for purebred dogs of show-winners
The maximum price of a Border Terrier$2000
Adoption fees for Border Terriers$200-$500 – This may or may not cover vaccinations, deworming, flea/tick prevention, and spaying/neutering


Cost of the Basic Equipment for a Border Terrier

Whether you are adopting a mature Border Terrier or buying a young puppy, it is important to keep some supplies on hand. This will make it feel more comfortable while adjusting to your home. Here are some basic supplies and equipment to keep at home:



A wire or a plastic crate with a washable liner will keep your Border Terrier puppy safe and comfortable. Good crates come for $50. Add in some chew toys and Kong toys (costing around $10-$30 to keep your pet engaged.)



Non-tip or non-skid food and water bowls are just what your pet needs to eat and drink from. Add a mat under the bowls to contain messes and spills. These cost around $20.


Leash and collar

An appropriately-sized leash and collar set will help you take your pet on walks once its immunizations are completed. Select a sturdy nylon or leather leash and a comfortable collar with ID tags. These cost around $15 to $20.


Grooming tools

A basic dog grooming kit should have a brush, shampoo, flea/tick spray, nail clippers, and a toothbrush and toothpaste. These are important to help you groom your wire-coated Border Terrier at home.


Here is a table showing these costs

Toys Up to $50
Bed $50 to $200
Leash and collar set$15 to $45
Grooming kit$50 to $100
Training tools, potty pads, poop bags, no-pee sprays$50
Crate and crate padUp to $100


Dog Training Costs for Border Terrier

You can enroll your Border Terrier in an obedience school or train it at home. Most pet parents enroll their dogs in some form of training in the first year. However, all dogs need some training all throughout their lives.

Here are some training options for your terrier:


Books and online resources

This is the cheapest form of training for your pet. Watch videos and read training books to get some tips. Be consistent with your pet’s training if you want to see results.


Private dog training

Experienced dog trainers can come over to train your dog. You have to be present for the training so that you can extend the same learning at other times too. The cost of this form of training can vary greatly based on your city as well as the trainer. Most experts charge between $40 and $120 per session. Some trainers can charge almost $2000 for overcoming specific behavioral issues like aggression or fear.


Board and train

In this option, your puppy will board with the trainer for up to a week. During this time, it will learn many things like potty training, crate training, and basic commands like come, go, heel, etc. The last two days of board-and-train involve the dog owners as well. This form of training can cost $500 to $1250 per week.


Group classes

Group classes for dogs include basic obedience training and some special commands. This is a great way for puppies to interact and socialize with other dogs. You can find group dog training classes at places like PetSmart for $30 per class or $120 for weekly packages.

Type of trainingCost
Online resources and books$10 or free
Private classesBetween $40 and $120 per session
Training for specific issues$2000 to $5000
Group classes$30 to $80 per class
Board and train$500 to $1250 per week


Food Costs for Border Terriers

The best food for your Border Terrier puppy is the one your breeder (or the previous owner or the dog shelter) was feeding it. That way there will be fewer digestive upsets whilst it adjusts to the new surroundings.

Border Terriers have voracious appetites and puppies need to eat at least 4 meals a day. Once your dog is around 9-12 months of age, you can feed it 3 to 2 meals a day.

A 10-lb. Border Terrier will need around 350 calories per day. This translates to 1 1/8 to 1 3/8 cups of high-quality dry dog food daily. You can divide this into 2 or 3 meals.

If you choose to feed wet food, then feed 10-ounce containers of canned food per 10 lb. of body weight of the dog. These days, you can also feed a mix of dry and wet food. The quantity will depend on your pet’s age, activity level, and the calorie content of the two meals.

Here is a table showing the different food types, monthly quantity, and costs.

ItemMonthly quantity of food for a 10-15 lb. Border TerrierCost per month
Premium dry food10 lb.$30
Premium wet food15 lb.$122
Freeze-dried food10 lb.$200
Frozen food18 lb.$175
Raw food10 lb.$120
Dog treats $30


Best Dog Food for Border Terriers – Comparison

Border terriers need protein and the best protein sources are fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, and lamb. Some Border Terriers are allergic to beef, eggs, chicken, and fish. So, change the protein sources accordingly.

Commercial dog foods are convenient to feed but many contain ingredients that provide no value to your pet. Instead, they are just fillers added to increase the dog food’s weight. They might not harm your buddy but they could lead to digestive upsets and even minor nutritional deficiencies.

Avoid foods containing high levels of corn, wheat, soy, or other grains. Also, avoid meat by-products. Look for foods that contain salmon/chicken/turkey/duck as the first ingredient. Ensure that the food has a small kibble size that is easy on your pet’s jaws.

Each type and brand of food will list down the ingredients as well as the right quantity to feed. The number one ingredient should be meat. Look for foods that meet the AAFCO guidelines for feeding dogs.

Never feed your dog less than the recommended portion. If your pet needs to lose weight, speak to a vet and make dietary changes. Most Border Terriers gain weight rapidly thanks to too much food and treats and not enough exercise.

Here are some top-rated dog foods for Border Terriers

Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Small Adult Dry Dog FoodContains EPA and DHA for skin and coat health, palatable kibble for small jaws$3.36/lb.
Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Small Paws for Small Breed DogsHighly digestible food for small dogs, packed with omega and vitamin E, made with natural ingredients, vet recommended food made in the USA$3.78/lb.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food


Small-breed dog food with real meat, antioxidant-rich natural food$2.4/lb.
Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain Free Small Breed Wet Dog FoodGrain-free food with real meat, contains pre and probiotics for optimum nutrition$7.73/lb.


Medical Costs for Border Terriers

Routine costs

Nose to tail routine medical exams are the best way to keep your Border terrier healthy. These examinations can help identify problems that may not be visible to the eye. Your Terrier will need at least 2-3 routine exams per year to ensure its well-being. Most veterinarian practices charge between $40 and $75 for routine exams. Blood tests and fecal tests may cost up to $25 each.


Vaccination costs

In its first year and later, up to the time your pet is 3 years old, it will need several immunizations and booster shots. These can help prevent canine diseases like parvovirus, parainfluenza, distemper, and hepatitis. Your pet may also need non-core shots like Lyme disease and rabies. Most compulsory shots cost up to $120. Boosters may cost up to $15 each but the price depends on the exact vaccine. Here is a table for your ready reference:

Age of puppyCore vaccination/ preventive treatmentNon-core vaccinationCost**
6-8 weeksParvo, distemper, adenovirus (hepatitis) Distemper vaccine alone costs (first year) $20-$30. The total cost of vaccination is between $75 and $100
10-12 weeksParvo, distemper, adenovirus (hepatitis) rabies and leptospirosisDistemper + measles combo and GiardiaRabies vaccine in first year $15 to $25

Distemper – $20 to $30- total between $75 and $100

12-16 weeksParvo, distemper, adenovirus (hepatitis), leptospirosis total between $75 and $100
26-52 weeksBoosters for the above, rabiesLyme if present in your regiontotal between $75 and $100. Lyme disease vaccine costs between $20-$40
Every 6 months Bordetella, parainfluenza$20-$50
Every 3 yearsRabiesInfluenza$20-$50


Spaying/neutering costs

Other major medical expense of dog owners in their puppy’s first year with them is neutering/spaying surgery. If you have adopted your pet, then these procedures may be covered by the shelter. However, you will need to de-sex your pet if you have purchased it from a breeder. The cost of these surgeries lies between $100 and $400 with spaying costing more than neutering.


Parasite prevention 

Your Border Terrier will also need constant protection from parasites. These include both the external and internal parasites. External parasites include mice, lice, fleas, and ticks. The cost to protect your pet against these is around $200 a year depending on the brand of medicine you choose. 

You’d also need to invest in flea/tick shampoo, sprays, tick collars, spot treatment, etc. Internal parasites in dogs are tapeworm, heartworm, roundworm, pinworm, etc. These can lead to serious anemia and other health issues. The cost of deworming medicine is between $10 and $50 for 3-4 month protection.

TypeAge of puppyAnnual cost
DewormingEvery 2 weeks until 12 weeks, then monthly until 6 months$80-$200
Flea/tick/lice/mange/mitesMonthly after 12 weeksBetween $40 and $200


Other Medical Costs

The first-year medical costs for small dogs like Border Terriers comes to $1300. Dog dental cleaning cost is between $100 and $500. The test for heartworm is around $55. The cost of treating an ear infection is around $40-$150. Diarrhea or stomach upsets can cost $200-$400 to treat.


Health Issues in Border Terriers

This is mostly a healthy dog having a lifespan of around 15 years. However, some health issues seen in these pets are:

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that can cause painful movements in the affected dogs – limping, lethargy, reluctance to move, hopping gait, etc.

If you buy your dog from a reputed breeder, they would have screened the parent dogs for this genetic condition. Doing so can prevent this painful disease in pups. The cost of treating HD is very high – almost $2000 per hip. 

Perthes disease

In this painful disease, the femur or the ball in the ball-and-socket joint begins to degenerate. The exact cause of Perthes disease in dogs isn’t known. The cost of treating it is almost $200 per month on anti-inflammatory medicines and other therapy.

Eye issues

Eye disorders like juvenile cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy are common in Border terriers. The cost of surgical treatment for cataracts is between $2000 and $4000.


Many underlying issues can cause seizures in dogs including liver disease, tumors, or epilepsy. The cost of treating epileptic seizures is between $200 and $500 per year – mainly antiepileptic medicines to prevent the seizures.


Does Your Border Terrier Need Pet Insurance?

Your Border terrier will soon become central to your life. That is why you need to make sure you can afford the right medical treatment should it need any. 

Veterinary treatments are improving. Even diseases like canine cancer can be treated completely to extend your dog’s life. Stem cell therapy and bone marrow transplants in dogs can also treat deadly diseases like leukemia in dogs.

However, these advanced treatments come at a great cost. Some treatments can cost nearly $5000. Even a hospitalization at a veterinary hospital can cost up to $1000 per night.

No wonder, pet insurance companies are doing great business. The good ones offer plans and coverages that can cover vet exams, surgery, preventive and prescription medicines, etc.

As a dog owner, please do your research well before signing up for pet insurance. After all, there is no one-size-fits-all solution here. So, read all documents well before signing.

The following table can help you select the best pet insurance:

Name of insuranceCostProsCons
Farmer’s Pet InsuranceStart at $16/monthFounded in 1928. Received excellent rating by Better Business Bureau. Has 24 x 7 claims reporting.Some users reported higher premium rates.
Figo Pet InsurancePlans average at $1.50/daySometimes they give 100% reimbursement. The company offers 3 flexible plansYour pet needs to clear an enrollment exam.
Lemonade Pet InsuranceStart at $10/a monthHassle-free digital claims processing, lightning-fast claims payment powered by AI.Pricing increases nearly 5 times over your pet’s lifetime.
TruPanion$38/month for $1000 deductible.90% coverage, no payout limitsRequires a one-time fee for new members, does not cover pets over 13 years.


Additional Costs of Owning a Border Terrier

Here are some other responsibilities to consider if you plan on adopting or buying a Border Terrier:


Will you take your Border Terrier with you on your travels? Or will you board it? Perhaps you have someone to watch your little friend. In any case, you may want to set aside some money for these options. Traveling by air for a small dog can cost almost $125 to $250 per trip. If you board your dog, then be prepared to spend at least $50-$75 per night. Pet sitters charge an equal amount – nearly $40 to $100 per day depending on the services they cover.


This isn’t compulsory but it is a good-to-have solution that can help you keep your pet safe. A small microchip is inserted just beneath its skin and that is completely painless. Your vet can do it for you for $45.

Dog walking services

Border Terriers are very active dogs and they need help channeling that energy positively. You can choose to walk your dog at least 2 times a day for up to 15 minutes each. If your schedule won’t permit this, then hire a dog walker. This could cost almost $300 a month.

Professional grooming

Border Terriers have wiry coats which need to be hand-stripped about two times a year. You can do this at home in addition to daily brushing. Alternatively, have your pet visit a doggy salon for a bath, stripping, and nail trimming. Basic grooming services for small dogs start from $30 in most cities.

Key Takeaways – How Much Does a Border Terrier Cost?

As can be seen, there are several considerations to make when you take on the responsibility of keeping a Border terrier. Here is a summary of dog ownership costs:

Border Terrier cost summary

Purchase price

The purchase price of a purebred Border Terrier can come from $700 to $1250. Some breeders could even charge up to $2000 for their pups.

The first-year cost

A small dog like Border Terrier can cost almost $3000 in the first year alone. This includes its purchase price of around $1250 plus the basic supplies like bed, crate, 

leashes, etc. which come to nearly $400. You also need to spend around $500 on vaccines plus flea and tick meds plus spaying or neutering. Dog training costs can come to around $200. Food and treats can cost around $400 a year. Add in other miscellaneous costs like travel-boarding, pet insurance, etc. and you could easily spend up to $3000 to $3500.

Annual cost

The average cost of owning a small dog is around $1000 per year. However, if your pet needs some extra supplies, or you travel often, or hire a dog walker, then these costs can go up to $1500 or even more per year.

The lifetime cost

Small dogs like Border Terriers live up to 12- 15 years. Therefore, the average cost of owning one is between $15,001 to $22,500. 

Knowing these costs is important and can help you plan ahead for your pet. We hope this guide helps you take on this responsibility and understand exactly how much you can reasonably afford.

Dog Pricing Avatar

About the Author