Patterdale Terrier

Patterdale Terrier
Patterdale Terrier pictures
Patterdale Terrier suitability

In my own words


“I love being here in the park. Gosh I just don’t know what to do next. There are so many possibilities! Digging, running, playi- I reckon I’ll chase that squirrel first…

Hi! I’m back. I am an excellent hunter, and once I see prey I just go for it. My breed was initially used to hunt foxes and other farm annoyances you see, and I still enjoy a good chase to this day. Any kind of exercise is fine by me. I have endless energy, and enjoy spending time performing tasks and working hard. I like to win your affections by showing what I can do. I’m an excellent digger and can jump high, this is why a fenced garden is needed for me to play in as I can get a bit carried away and may end up in the next garden, or even the next street! I am partial to games as well; I have been known to get involved with a game of football now and then. Not quite David Beckham yet, but I’m getting there. Learning tricks is fine by me as long as you have patience and a pocket full of treats; I have a short attention span but am also eager to please so I suggest varied short spurts or training in order to keep my attention. I also love a good swim, so I love trips to the seaside. I’m not too fussed about the weather, my coat is suited for anything and I’m tough as old boots.  My intuitiveness and intelligence also make me a good watch dog. I can be very protective of you and the family and will alert you to anything unfamiliar by barking. Although I may seem super cool and tough (intimidating, right?) I really enjoy family time. Anything you guys may be doing whether it’s watching the TV, sitting in the garden or snuggling on the sofa, I just have to get involved. I can get a teensy bit jealous if you don’t pay me enough attention and may go into a sulk, but that’s nothing a few treats can’t handle. Bribery will get you everywhere! ”

My ideal owner(s)


Active Singles

Outdoorsy types

Experienced dog handlers

What they say about me







Fabulous right? Read on to see if we can be the ultimate duo!

Is this Patterdale Terrier for you?

Test your knowledge about the Patterdale Terrier

Information essential about the Patterdale Terrier


Kennel Club Group:  Not recognised by AKC or UKC.


Size: generally small – can vary due to this breeds variety of looks.


Weight Male 5-6.5kg Female 5-6.5kg

Height Male 12-15” Female 12 – 15”



The Patterdale Terrier has not been recognised by the AKC or the UKC but is recognised by the American rare breed association.

Breed History:


The Patterdale Terrier was initially bred in the North West of England over 100 years ago, mainly in the Lake District and Yorkshire where the weather conditions and farming is difficult. They were used to catch rats, foxes and rabbits. They had an advantage over other hunters as due to their small chests they could squeeze into small spaces and could retrieve prey from their underground dens. Farmers praised them for their boundless energy.

Initially working dogs, The Patterdale Terrier is cherished today for their hunting skills alongside companionship and is bred carefully by devoted fans of the breed.



Headstrong and very clever, owning a Patterdale Terrier can be a challenge so they are not recommended for the novice owner. They are still hunters at heart and will continue to chase smaller animals and absolutely love to dig. They should be kept on a lead or in a fenced area when out as once they are in sight of prey, they can be difficult to get back! Despite being thoroughly independent, the Patterdale Terrier can be very loving and make good honest companions. They get on well with children and enjoy family time playing games such as football and settling down in a comfy lap or in front of the fire in the evening time.



The Patterdale Terrier is a hunter at heart and will still show signs of his roots. He can be cat/small animals aggressive and has a very strong prey- hunt drive. As he is also prone to jealousy, it is important to socialise him early in order to help reduce this in later life. The Patterdale displays some of the normal terrier traits such as high energy and a surprisingly loud bark. They also possess their own unique belly crawl which was initially used to stalk quarry. This originates from their ability to compress their lungs to fit into small spaces in search of their prey.

Patterdales can be trained, and respond to firm handling. If not exercised enough, they can become irritable and display undesirable behaviours including excessive digging and loud barking. They may get over confident and need you to show them their limits.

Very playful and friendly with loads of energy, the Patterdale Terrier is a cherished dog that can relate to all members of the family, though care should be taken with very small children as the Patterdale will compete for your affections against them.  They are known to work steadily in order to win over their owners.



Patterdale Terriers come in varied looks. As they are not formally recognised as a pedigree breed in the UK, the breeding lines, weights and appearances can vary. Generally, this dog is sturdy and strong with very straight legs and back. The skull shape is generally square with dark, intelligent eyes and flopped ears of a moderate size. The coat can either be smooth or wiry but either way it is thick to withstand a day’s work in the field.

Patterdale terriers have a small, compact, sturdy frame covered in smooth or rough coats that come in red, black, brown and black/tan. Their strong heads have tapered muzzles, keen dark eyes and V shaped ears that fold forward. Their tails are carried high without curling over the back. Overall, Patterdale Terriers have a tough but friendly look



Usually black, however other colours include red, liver (with a red nose), grizzle, black/tan and bronze. White markings may occasionally be found.




The Patterdale Terrier can be very difficult to train due to their independent nature. They also have a very short attention span, and can bolt at the first sign of movement. A firm and experienced handler are imperative if this breed is to become properly trained. Set boundaries early on in his life.



Apartment living is probably not best for the Patterdale Terrier as they need fresh air, long walks and room to run.  Any gardens must be firmly fenced, as these dogs are extremely curious. They may also try and dig underneath the fence so it is important the fence is secure in the ground and high enough that they cannot jump over it! Walks must be incorporated into the Patterdale Terriers daily routine at least twice a day, and don’t forget the leash. They will also enjoy games such as fetch and football. They are also keen swimmers.



Patterdale Terriers require minimal grooming as they have short coats. Brushing with a firm bristle or rubber brush will remove excess hair. Be sure to check his feet before he comes inside as they do love to dig. Maintenance once a week should be enough to keep a Patterdale looking his best. They may also benefit from a trip to the groomers now and then for a stripping to minimize shedding.


Patterdales are generally healthy and robust due to their outdoor nature. There are very few hereditary problems the owner needs to worry about. The Patterdale Terriers lifespan is around 15 years

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The following grid gives a fast track review which covers all breeds. You can apply it to help you decide if a Patterdale is suitable for you, the environment where you live, your personality and your lifestyle. On the grid, 1= strongly disagree, and 5= strongly agree. For example, if you are looking for a dog that is good as a watchdog, scroll down and you will see in red the Patterdale score is 5, this means he is very good as a watchdog. You might like to save or print off this section and keep it for reference while you check some other breeds before making your final choice.

Be the first to rate this breed »

Noahs Breed Rating | Community Breed Rating

Good jogging companion5/5
Good walking companion5/5
Likes water/swimming5/5
Likes learning new tricks5/5
Likes to hunt5/5
Likes to fetch5/5
Good gundog/retriever5/5
Barks a lot3/5
Gets easily jealous5/5
Friendly with strangers4/5
Expensive to insure1/5
Expensive to feed1/5
Happy to sleep outside5/5
Prefers countryside5/5
Suits urban environment2/5
Prefers temperate climate3/5
Prefers hot climate3/5
Prefers cold climate3/5
Moults a lot3/5
Requires lots of grooming2/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly2/5
Ideal for singles5/5
Ideal for couples with no children5/5
Ideal for family with children5/5
Good watch dog5/5
Good guard dog5/5
Good with other pets3/5
Good with other dogs3/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs1/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs1/5
Requires lots of exercise3/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners1/5
Good for experienced owners5/5
Good recall2/5
Easy to train3/5
Good jogging companion0/5
Good walking companion0/5
Likes water/swimming0/5
Likes learning new tricks0/5
Likes to hunt0/5
Likes to fetch0/5
Good gundog/retriever0/5
Barks a lot0/5
Gets easily jealous0/5
Friendly with strangers0/5
Expensive to insure0/5
Expensive to feed0/5
Happy to sleep outside0/5
Prefers countryside0/5
Suits urban environment0/5
Prefers temperate climate0/5
Prefers hot climate0/5
Prefers cold climate0/5
Moults a lot0/5
Requires lots of grooming0/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly0/5
Ideal for singles0/5
Ideal for couples with no children0/5
Ideal for family with children0/5
Good watch dog0/5
Good guard dog0/5
Good with other pets0/5
Good with other dogs0/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs0/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs0/5
Requires lots of exercise0/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners0/5
Good for experienced owners0/5
Good recall0/5
Easy to train0/5

*PLEASE NOTE: All our breed profiles are general, and all dogs are individuals. Always talk to the breeders and meet the owners you are buying from. Try to meet the dog and its parents if it is a puppy in their home environment.

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