Welcome to the website of the Scottish Border Terrier Club; we hope you find it both interesting and informative. The club exists to promote and protect our fabulous breed - please see our Code of Ethics and Constitution.
We hold three shows a year, a Limited, an Open and a Championship Show, and a Members Rally event. Details of these can be found on our Events page.
If you are interested in applying for membership please download an application form.
• CLUB NEWS •
After carefull consideration the committee have regretfully decided that the Scottish Border Terrier Club Championship Show due to be held in Selkirk on 14th November is cancelled. Taking account of the present and expected COVID restrictions it would not be possible to run the show in a way that would ensure the safety of everyone, social distancing etc. would not be possible .
Eddie Houston, Breed Health Coordinator, has written the following article on hereditary cataract:-
For many years our breed was on Schedule B of the BVA/KC/ISDS eye testing scheme as there was concern that it could be affected by late onset hereditary cataract. Last year the Border Terrier was removed from the list due to the low number of affected dogs which had been found.
This might sound like a positive move but in reality so few dogs were actually screened that it probably did not give a true representation of the possible incidence of this condition within the breed.
Hereditary cataracts are known to be present in many breedsand although there is some difference in the appearance of the cataract and the means of inheritance between breeds they can be broadly divided into two categories; juvenile where the changes can be seen within the first few months of life and late onset where changes aren't usually present until between 3 and 7 years of age. Juvenile cataracts will usually be present and of similar size in both eyes and will often lead to significant sight loss or total blindness by 2 to 3 years of age if left untreated. Late onset hereditary cataracts may be unilateral or bilateral, vary in shape and in the speed at which they progress often taking quite a few years before they significantly interfere with vision. By the time they become apparent affected animals may well already have been bred from.
The concept of a condition which develops from possibly as young as 3 years of age being referred to as late onset may seem a little odd but it helps to distinguish these hereditary cataracts from the "senile" ones which are age related and likely to occur in animals older than 10.
In a number of breeds eye screening is regularly performed on all potential breeding stock. Routine eye screening has notbeen carried out by the vast majority of Border breeders in the UK as we have been working on the assumption that we do not have a significant problem .
However, in some areas of the world such as North America and Scandinavia eye exams are more commonly undertaken and cataracts are the commonest defect being recorded, albeit at fairly low levels. Both juvenile and late onset cataracts have been recorded and it would seem naive to think that the condition isn't present in dogs in the UK.
Previous requests for reports of confirmed cases have had a disappointing response but a couple of related dogs have recently been diagnosed with late onset cataract and their breeder has kindly put that information in the public domain. This does not mean that we currently have a major problembut it does raise the question as to whether we should perhaps be more proactive with regards to having routine eye screening carried out.
As it can be difficult to differentiate between cataracts which are hereditary and those which have other origins e.g eye injury or systemic diseases such as diabetes, eye testing is normally carried out by ophthalmic specialists, a list of whom can be found on the BVA (British Veterinary Association) website at:
The Breed Health Group is keen to monitor this condition and we would appreciate our standard questionnaires being completed for any dogs diagnosed with cataracts particularythose confirmed by an ophthalmic specialist. Whether the diagnosis has been made by a specialist or a first opinion vet.please include the dog's age at the time of diagnosis along with details of the person carrying out the diagnosis. .Anyadditional information would also be welcome. (To complete the survey please go to: XXXXXX)
A good response will help us to formulate future plans for dealing with the condition which may include organising testing sessions at Breed Club Shows when this becomes possible and trying to explore the genetic factors involved.
Remember, the only way breed health can progress is by the sharing of information. Anyone can be unlucky enough to breed a dog affected by a hereditary problem but being open about it may help to prevent issues becoming more widespread.
SLEM TESTING ; LATEST NEWS:- The demise of the Animal Health
Trust along with various Covid-19 restrictions has caused a serious pause in the testing of Border Terriers for SLEM.
We are pleased to confirm that Dr Cathryn Mellersh is hoping that the Genetics Centre Team will be able to restart testing in the Autumn and that she hopes by then to be based at Cambridge University.
In the meantime the Border Terrier Breed Health Group recommends that anyone breeding Border Terriers should take care that if they have a bitch that is not known to be clear either hereditarily or by testing, they should only use a stud dog that is confirmed as ‘clear’. In such circumstances the progeny should be registered at the Kennel Club with an endorsement ‘Progeny not Eligible for Registration’. This endorsement will be able to be removed when either the mother or the puppy itself tests clear.
Failure to use a ‘clear’ stud dog in these circumstances risks the litter being affected by SLEM.
We will announce as soon as we become aware that testing in the UK has restarted.
Please see the Breed Health Group Website, https:/borderterrierhealth.org.uk , for details.