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patterdale terrier dog breed pictures 8 - Patterdale Terrier

Patterdale Terrier

The spunky and energetic Patterdale Terrier is a very popular dog in the United States but originated in the United Kingdom. Compact, confident, and independent, this beloved dog was originally bred to hunt foxes and rabbits.

Although these are purebred dogs, you may still find them in shelters and rescues. Remember to adopt! Don’t shop if this is the breed for you.

Patience is much needed when it comes to training as these dogs have a reputation for being stubborn. However, they’re charming and affectionate and will form strong bonds with their main caregiver.

These adorable pups love big and small families alike as long as they get plenty of attention — because they will demand it! That said, large families might work best for them because there are more people to interact with, and Patterdale Terriers don’t like being left alone for any length of time. This is a high energy dog and would not be happy in a low energy family.

Breed Characteristics:


Contrary to popular belief, small size doesn’t necessarily an apartment dog make. Plenty of small dogs are too high-energy and yappy for life in a high-rise. Being quiet, low energy, fairly calm indoors, and polite with the other residents are all good qualities in an apartment dog.

Some dogs are simply easier than others; they take to training better and are fairly easygoing. They’re also resilient enough to bounce back from your mistakes or inconsistencies.

Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time dog parent to manage. You’ll get your best match if you take your dog-owning experience into account as you choose your new pooch.

If you’re new to dog parenting, take a look at 101 Dog Tricks and read up on how to train your dog!

Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called “easygoing,” “tolerant,” “resilient,” and even “thick-skinned,” can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. Do you have young kids, throw lots of dinner parties, play in a garage band, or lead a hectic life? Go with a low-sensitivity dog.

Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to worry or even panic when left alone by their owner. An anxious dog can be very destructive–barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise causing mayhem. These breeds do best when a family member is home during the day or if you can take the dog to work.

Breeds with very short coats and little or no undercoat or body fat, such as Greyhounds, are vulnerable to the cold. Dogs with a low cold tolerance need to live inside in cool climates and should have a jacket or sweater for chilly walks.

Dogs with thick, double coats are more vulnerable to overheating. So are breeds with short noses, like Bulldogs or Pugs, since they can’t pant as well to cool themselves off. If you want a heat-sensitive breed, your dog will need to stay indoors with you on warm or humid days, and you’ll need to be extra cautious about exercising your dog in the heat.

All Around Friendliness

Some breeds are independent and aloof, even if they’ve been raised by the same person since puppyhood; others bond closely to one person and are indifferent to everyone else; and some shower the whole family with affection. Breed isn’t the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily.

See Dogs Less Affectionate with Family

Being gentle with children, sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pets and hugs they can dish out, and having a blasé attitude toward running, screaming children are all traits that make a kid-friendly dog. You may be surprised by who’s on that list: Fierce-looking Boxers are considered good with children, as are American Staffordshire Terriers (which are considered Pit Bulls). Small, delicate, and potentially snappy dogs such as Chihuahuas aren’t always so family-friendly.

**All dogs are individuals. Our ratings are generalizations, and they’re not a guarantee of how any breed or individual dog will behave. Dogs from any breed can be good with children based on their past experiences, training on how to get along with kids, and personality. No matter what the breed or breed type, all dogs have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances. Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period.

Friendliness toward dogs and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Some dogs may attack or try to dominate other dogs, even if they’re love-bugs with people; others would rather play than fight; and some will turn tail and run. Breed isn’t the only factor. Dogs who lived with their littermates and mother until at least six to eight weeks of age and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood, are more likely to have good canine social skills.

Stranger-friendly dogs will greet guests with wagging tails and nuzzles; others are shy, indifferent, or even aggressive. However, no matter what the breed, a dog who was socialized and exposed to lots of different types, ages, sizes, and shapes of people as a puppy will respond better to strangers as an adult. Remember that even friendly dogs should stay on a good, strong leash  in public!

Health And Grooming Needs

If you’re going to share your home with a dog, you’ll need to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothes and in your house. However, shedding does vary greatly among the breeds. Some dogs shed year-round, some “blow” seasonally, some do both, and some shed hardly at all. If you’re a neatnik, you’ll need to either pick a low-shedding breed or relax your standards. To help keep your home a little cleaner, you can find a great de-shedding tool

Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you’ve got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine; but if you’re a neatnik, you may want to choose a dog who rates low in the drool department.

Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy. Consider whether you have the time and patience for a dog who needs a lot of grooming, or the money to pay someone else to do it.

Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia. This doesn’t mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they’re at an increased risk.

If you’re adopting a puppy, it’s a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you’re interested in. You may also want to ask if your shelter or rescue has information about the physical health of your potential pup’s parents and other relatives.

Some breeds have hearty appetites and tend to put on weight easily. As in humans, being overweight can cause health problems in dogs. If you pick a breed that’s prone to packing on pounds, you’ll need to limit treats, make sure they get enough exercise, and measure out their daily food servings into regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time.

Ask your vet about your dog’s diet and what they recommend for feeding your pooch to keep them at a healthy weight. Weight gain can lead to other health issues or worsen problems like arthritis.

Dogs come in all sizes, from the world’s smallest pooch, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if they’re compatible with you and your living space. Large dog breeds might seem overpowering and intimidating, but some of them are incredibly sweet! Take a look and find the right sized dog for you!


Easy-to-train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt (such as the word “sit”), an action (sitting), and a consequence (getting a treat) very quickly. Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training.

Many breeds are intelligent but approach training with a “What’s in it for me?” attitude, in which case you’ll need to use rewards and games to teach them to want to comply with your requests.

Dogs who were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as herding livestock, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don’t get the mental stimulation they need, they’ll make their own work–usually with projects you won’t like, such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue.

Common in most breeds during puppyhood and in Retriever breeds at all ages, mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn’t puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or “herd” their human family members, and they need training to learn that it’s fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy a game of fetch, as well as a good chew on a toy that’s been stuffed with kibble and treats.

Dogs who were bred to hunt, such as Terriers, have an inborn desire to chase–and sometimes kill–other animals. Anything whizzing by, such as cats, squirrels, and perhaps even cars, can trigger that instinct. Dogs who like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you’ll need a high, secure fence in your yard. These breeds generally aren’t a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small dogs. Breeds that were originally used for bird hunting, on the other hand, generally won’t chase, but you’ll probably have a hard time getting their attention when there are birds flying by.

Some breeds sound off more often than others. When choosing a breed, think about how often the dog vocalizes with barks or howls. If you’re considering a hound, would you find their trademark howls musical or maddening? If you’re considering a watchdog, will a city full of suspicious “strangers” put your pup on permanent alert? Will the local wildlife literally drive your dog wild? Do you live in housing with noise restrictions? Do you have neighbors nearby? Then you may wish to choose a quieter dog.

Some breeds are more free-spirited than others. Nordic dogs such as Siberian Huskies were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they’ll take off after anything that catches their interest. And many hounds simply must follow their noses–or that bunny that just ran across the path–even if it means leaving you behind.

Physical Needs

High-energy dogs are always ready and waiting for action. Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they’re more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells.

Low-energy dogs are the canine equivalent of a couch potato, content to doze the day away. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you’ll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying.

A vigorous dog may or may not have high energy, but everything they do, they do with vigor: they strain on the leash (until you train them not to), try to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps. These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who’s elderly or frail. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life.

Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise, especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, like herding or hunting.

Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don’t like, such as barking, chewing, and digging. Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility.

Some dogs are perpetual puppies — always begging for a game — while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog.

Vital Stats:

Dog Breed Group:Terrier DogsHeight:12 to 15 inchesWeight:11 to 13 pounds Life Span:11 to 14 years

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More About This Breed


  • Patterdale Terriers coats come in a variety of colors that include pied, black, red, and brown, and they can also be smooth, broken, or rough. While this breed is not an ideal choice for allergy sufferers, their coat is very easy to care for. A good brush per week should keep them in tip top shape.
  • Patterdale Terriers are prone to weight gain, and they have high energy levels. Make sure your dog gets at least one good half-hour- to hour-long walk per day with a few good, active play sessions and shorter walks mixed in.
  • They should not be left alone for long periods of time as they are prone destructive behavior when they feel isolated. Large families are great for combating this.
  • Patterdale Terriers bond with everyone in the family. They can be rambunctious when playing, however, so they need to be properly socialized and supervised with very small children.
  • Patterdale Terriers usually get along well with other dogs but have a strong prey drive and should not be trusted around small animals, like birds or hamsters.


The Patterdale Terrier was named after a village in England where they are originally from, and they’re closely related to the Fell Terrier. The Fell was developed in Northern England so they would be able to withstand harsher climates. Patterdale Terriers are also pretty versatile when it comes to tolerating extreme weather.

Originally bred to hunt rats, foxes, and other vermin, their small bodies are able to squeeze into tunnels and burrows to flush out game. Nowadays, these dogs are mostly desired for their fearless and lively personalities.

Not exactly an ancient breed, they were recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1995.

The Patterdale Terrier is also recognized by these following clubs as well;

  • ACA – American Canine Association
  • ACR – American Canine Registry
  • APRI – American Pet Registry, Inc.
  • CKC – Continental Kennel Club
  • DRA – Dog Registry of America, Inc.
  • NKC – National Kennel Club


The Patterdale Terrier should weigh between eleven and 13 pounds and stand between twelve and 15 inches at the shoulders.

That said, many dogs may be smaller or larger than average for their breed.


Like most terriers, the Patterdale is a big dog in a small package. They are outgoing, lively, and fun spirited. This dog will keep you on your toes. Slap on your Fitbit, and you’ll rack up lots of steps keeping up with them.

They’re a working dog and love to have a job to do, no matter how big or small. They can be very willful, so positive re-enforcement is the recommended route to take when it comes to training. Short training sessions are recommended to keep them from losing interest.

The Patterdale Terrier needs early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they’re young. Socialization helps ensure that your Patterdale Terrier puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.

The outgoing nature of the Patterdale makes them a good match for an active person who can give them plenty of attention. They love kids and make excellent family pets because they’re able to keep up with kids of all ages.

They’ll enjoy a game of fetch just as much as an interactive, stimulating toy or a long walk. So long as they feel busy, they will be very content. They should not be left alone for long periods of time as they are prone destructive behavior when they feel isolated. Large families are great for combating this.


While most Patterdale Terriers are generally pretty sturdy and healthy, some may be prone to a few health issues, which is why it’s important to maintain good care and regular veterinary checkups.

Some of the more common health problems Patterdale Terriers suffer from include:

  • Dry Skin
  • Lens Luxation
  • Inverterbral Disc Disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hip Dysplasia


As with all dogs, you should keep up with your Patterdale Terrier’s regular veterinary checkups to detect any health concerns early. Your vet can help you develop a care routine that will keep your dog healthy.

Patterdale Terriers are prone to weight gain, and they have high energy levels. Make sure your dog gets at least one good half-hour- to hour-long walk per day with a few good, active play sessions and shorter walks mixed in. Luckily, their high energy levels make it easier for them to keep off extra weight with appropriate exercise.

Patterdale’s have floppy ears and are prone to ear infections, so it is important to check and clean the ears regularly to prevent this from happening. If your dog develops a pungent aroma or you find them scratching or rubbing their ears, chances are they may have an ear infection and could require a trip to the vet.

Trim your dog’s nails before they get too long — usually once or twice per month. They should not be clicking against the floor. Your groomer can help with this if it’s too difficult to do by yourself.

One of the toughest jobs when caring for any animal is maintaining their oral health. Small breeds are prone to dental issues, and it’s best to start brushing your pup’s teeth early to help get them used to it.


An ideal Patterdale Terrier diet should be formulated for a small, active breed. Terriers are notorious for being very food driven and tend to become overweight quite easily, so you should stick to a regular feeding schedule and limit treats. Look for a high quality food or learn how to make your own pet food for optimum nutrition.

As with all dogs, the Patterdale Terrier’s dietary needs will change from puppyhood to adulthood and will continue to change into their senior years. You should ask your veterinarian for recommendations about your Patterdale Terrier’s diet, as there is far too much variation among individual dogs — including weight, energy, and health — to make a specific recommendation.

Coat Color And Grooming

Patterdale Terriers coats come in a variety of colors that include pied, black, red, and brown, and they can also be smooth, broken, or rough.

  • Smooth Coat – short and shiny
  • Broken Coat – coarse with longer hair around the face and chin
  • Rough Coat – longer hair all over with a thick double coat

While this breed is not an ideal choice for allergy sufferers, their coat is very easy to care for. A good brush per week should keep them in tip top shape. Shampoo only as needed. They have oils that are important for helping them tolerate warm and cold weather.

One very common issue with short, smooth-coated breeds is that they tend to get dry skin rather easily. Patterdale Terriers are considered light shedders but excessive shedding may occur in stressful situations.

Patterdale Terriers are closely related to the Fell Terrier who was bred in Northern England to withstand harsh weather conditions. The Patterdale Terrier is also able to withstand heat and cold weather alike but should live indoors with their family.

Children And Other Pets

Patterdale Terriers bond with everyone in the family. They can be rambunctious when playing, however, so they need to be properly socialized and supervised with very small children.

Patterdale Terriers usually get along well with other dogs but have a strong prey drive and should not be trusted around small animals, like birds or hamsters.

As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and supervise any interactions. Teach your child never to approach any dog while they’re eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog’s food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.

Rescue Groups

Rescues specifically for Patterdale Terriers might be hard to come by, as this is an uncommon breed. However, you can always check with your local shelter, and you may want to try a rescue that caters to all kinds of dogs. You can take a look at the following:

  • Wright-Way Rescue
  • Angels Among Us Pet Rescue

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