Patterdale Terrier


A small brown Patterdale Terrier
Patterdale Terrier Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)10-12in (25-30cm)
Weight10-13lbs (4.5-6kg)
Hair Colour(s)Black, bronze
Lifespan11-14 years
Energy LevelHigh
Litter size2-10
Barking TendencyHigh
Exercise requirementsHigh
Ease of trainingLow
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityLow
Aggression levelsMedium
Distress if leftMedium

The Patterdale Terrier is a dog whose breeding was focused on working rather than on looks, and so their appearance can vary quite a bit. Descended from Northern terrier breeds, generally they have a compact body with a level topline, strong straight legs and a docked high-set tail. The attractive head has a strong muzzle, black nose, dark round eyes and forward-folding ears. Their waterproof coats can be smooth, rough or broken, and the colouring tends to be mostly black or some bronze.


Patterdale Terriers are friendly and inquisitive dogs. With high energy levels, they make fine companions and pets, especially for the more active but owners should be aware that while they may enjoy sitting on laps occasionally, they are in no way typical lap dogs. They require training and regular and consistent exercise to ensure they retain even temperaments, otherwise they can bark excessively, be destructive and may even try to escape. Even regular dog chew toys may not be enough to satisfy these dogs. Although they are intelligent, they can be independant and difficult to train, and so are best suited to more experienced dog owners rather than novices. Patterdale Terriers will get along with older, more considerate children they have been raised with, and can be okay with other dogs. However, they tend to be aggressive with cats, and due to their high-prey drives, are not suitable to have around smaller pets such as rabbits and hamsters. They tend to make decent watchdogs.

History & Skills

Patterdale Terriers originate from the Lake District in England, and are named after the small village of Patterdale. They were developed in harsh environments that were too hilly for cattle and unsuitable for arable farming, and where sheep farming was predominent. The main threat to the sheep came from foxes, and with the fells being steep and rugged, organised fox-hunting relied on these fell terriers to extricate foxes from deep crevices in the rock. With fox-hunting being banned in this country, these days they make fine companions and family pets.

Breed Specific Ailments

Patterdale Terriers tend to live between 11-14 years and are a very hardy and healthy breed with very few ailments. They can be prone to gaining weight if not exercised adequately, and older dogs can develop cataracts.


Patterdale Terriers are low shedders and so are suitable for those unlucky enough to suffer from allergies. Their grooming requirements are low too, and their coat will simply need an occasionaly brushing and wipe down with a damp cloth to keep it in good condition.

Exercise & Environment

Patterdale Terriers are high energy dogs that require plenty of outdoor exercise, preferably in large open areas off the leash and with the chance to chase something. They can become unmanageable if not exercised adequately, which can result in digging, excessive barking and the tendency to escape They will require a good daily walk plus a secure outside area in which to play.


KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

Breed Clubs

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Owners Gallery

Pretty empy right now. If you would like to see you dog here please email a photo to BFD Photos along with your name, your dog's name & age, breed and rough location (please keep image file sizes reasonable!).

This is Boomer, a 9 month old chocolate Patterdale Terrier from Castle Pines, Colorado.

Boomer the Patterdale Terrier Boomer Chocolate Patterdale