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Patterdale Terrier

portrait of brown Patterdale Terrier dog
Height: 10 – 15 inches
Weight: 12 – 15 pounds
Lifespan: 11 – 14 years
Colors: Black, red, brown
Suitable for: Active families, house with a yard
Temperament: Active, energetic, loyal, independent, stubborn affectionate, intelligent

Patterdale Terriers are small, working dogs that originated in Northern England. More specifically, they were named after the small village of Patterdale, Cumbria, which is nestled in the eastern part of the beautiful Lake District. Joe Bowman (a breeder born in Patterdale) crossed a black and tan Fell Terrier with a blue/black Border Terrier, which resulted in the first Patterdale Terrier sometime in the 1920s.

Patterdales are small and stocky dogs with triangular ears that fold over and a long, strong tail. Their coats are short but can be smooth or rough, and they might have a bit of facial hair to give them a beard, mustache, and eyebrows. Patterdale Terriers are usually black but can be brown or red and can come in pied or bicolor.

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Patterdale Terrier Puppies — Before You Buy


Patterdale Terriers have a ton of energy! They are overall quite healthy dogs and have the usual long lifespan of most terriers. They are social with people, but training might be a bit of a challenge due to their typical terrier stubbornness.

What’s the Price of Patterdale Terrier Puppies?

Patterdales are not common terriers in North America, and you’re more likely to find them in the U.K. Prices in the U.K. can range from £550 to £1,300, and in North America, they might vary in price from $1,500 to $2,500.

Be sure to only look at reputable breeders, and don’t support any kind of puppy mill or backyard breeder businesses.

The following are tips to follow when you find a Patterdale Terrier breeder:
  • Go see the breeder: Your best bet is to visit the breeder at their location so you can see their dogs and puppies in person. This also gives you the opportunity to check on how well they maintain their dog’s living spaces and how healthy and happy the dogs are. Is everything clean and hygienic? Does the breeder have a strong bond with their dogs? If you can’t go to the breeder, ask for a virtual chat and tour.
  • Ask for the medical history: Good dog breeders are open and up front about their dog’s medical background. You can ask to see the medical certificates, and the breeder will willingly show you their dog’s medical history.
  • Meet the parents: This can occur when you’re visiting the breeder, but if your visit is virtual, you can request to meet the puppy’s parents through video. This will enable you to see how the parents look and what kind of temperament they have. This in turn, can give you a bit of a sneak preview of how your puppy might turn out.
  • Ask loads of questions: You should feel comfortable asking as many questions as you need to. Reputable breeders will not hesitate to answer all your questions and ask you some too. Any breeder unwilling to answer your queries regarding their puppies should be avoided.

There are a few extra expenses that you should expect with a new puppy.

The following includes items that new puppy owners need:
  • Leash, collar, and harness
  • Treats for training
  • Food and water bowls
  • Puppy food
  • Toys for playing, cuddling, and chewing
  • Bedding and crate
  • Puppy training pads
Other costs to expect throughout your dog’s life might include:
  • Obedience classes
  • Grooming (or the tools to do it yourself)
  • Having your dog spayed or neutered
  • Annual veterinarian appointments
  • Microchipping
  • Vaccinations

You can also take into consideration adopting a dog or puppy. This can give you a challenging but amazing experience, and you’ll give a dog a second chance at a much happier life. Adoption fees can range from $300 to $800, but if you bring a special needs or senior dog home, most adoption centers will lower or waive the fee.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Patterdale Terrier

1. The Patterdale Terrier is not an American Kennel Club-recognized breed

They are purebred but are currently only recognized by the United Kennel Club. Still, there are a few clubs devoted to them, like the Patterdale Terrier Club of America.

2. The Patterdale Terrier is often called a Fell Terrier

However, Fell Terrier refers to a branch of working terriers that hail from Northern England and are not really a specific breed. Both the Patterdale and the Lakeland Terriers are considered Fell Terriers.

3. The Patterdale Terrier was bred for fox hunting

These dogs were bred to be tough and energetic for the chase and small enough to enter the burrows of foxes.

Patterdale Terrier by the lake
Image Credit: SteUK, Shutterstock


Temperament & Intelligence of the Patterdale Terrier

Patterdale Terriers are typical terriers in that they are feisty, stubborn, tough, loyal, and dependable dogs. They are also an affectionate and loving breed that tends to be friendly with most people, and they are also full of energy!

Patterdales are highly intelligent and have large personalities. They can be protective, and they tend to be a little less yappy than some other terrier breeds and are generally hardworking dogs. They don’t make good apartment dogs because of how energetic they are and will do much better in a house with a fully fenced backyard or on a farm.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Patterdale Terriers are great dogs with children and make tremendously fun companions to play and run with. However, they can be relatively rambunctious dogs, so they will do better with older children. You should be sure to teach your children to treat their dog with respect (and of course, any other dog they interact with).

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

Patterdale Terriers tend to get along quite well with other dogs, but since they have a high prey drive (like most terriers), they are more likely to go after smaller animals. So, they would do best in homes without cats, birds, rabbits, or small rodents like hamsters.

Portrait of young Patterdale Terrier in a garden
Image Credit: Radomir Rezny, Shutterstock


Things to Know When Owning a Patterdale Terrier

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Patterdales should be fed with high-quality dog food that is meant for your dog’s current age, weight, and activity level. You can follow the guidelines on the food bag to help you determine the amount that your terrier needs every day, but you can also speak to your vet if you’re unsure. These dogs are prone to obesity, so be sure to stick with the right amount of daily food and avoid giving your pup too many treats and people food.

Exercise 🐕

Exercise for Patterdale Terriers is super important! These dogs are absolutely full of energy, so they need plenty of walks, exercise, playtime, and other activities to keep up with their needs. They will do best with two long walks a day, but be sure to keep them on a leash while you’re out and about because they will chase anything that crosses their paths. If they don’t get enough exercise and playtime, Patterdales will become bored and destructive.

Patterdale Terrier playing with a ball in meadow
Image Credit: Vanitytheone, Shutterstock

Training 🎾

Patterdales are both easy and difficult to train. They are highly intelligent and devoted. They enjoy being involved in activities, so it should go quite well if you make the training interesting. However, they are also stubborn like most terriers and easily distracted, so you’ll want to make the training sessions short and enjoyable. Early socialization and positive reinforcement are essential for the Patterdale.

Grooming ✂️

Grooming Patterdales is easy. They need brushing only once, maybe twice, a week, and while they aren’t huge shedders, they are not hypoallergenic. They rarely need a bath, but when they do, be sure to use a good dog shampoo.

The Patterdale’s nails should be clipped every 3–4 weeks, and you should brush their teeth maybe two or three times a week. Their ears need cleaning around once a week.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Patterdale Terriers are robust, strong dogs that tend to have few health conditions. Just be sure to take your dog to the vets yearly for checkups, and you’ll have your pup for many years.


Male vs. Female

There aren’t any discernable differences between male and female Patterdales. In some cases, the males might be slightly larger and heavier than the females, like most dog breeds, but typically, they are about the same size.

The only other actual differences are what you’ll find with every dog. Surgery for spaying the female is a more complex operation, so it requires a longer recovery time and will be more expensive than neutering the male.

As far as temperament, it is believed that males tend to be more affectionate but harder to train than females, but the real differences are dependent on the dog’s upbringing. How a dog is socialized, trained, and treated throughout their life will be the true determinant of their behavior and personality.


Final Thoughts

When you start looking for one of these dogs, you must find an excellent breeder. Check on social media, but if there isn’t one close to your location, you’ll need to think about having a puppy flown out to you.

You can also consider adoption. Finding a Patterdale in an animal shelter would be a lucky break given how rare they are, but you never know! You could also look for breed-specific rescues, such as the Patterdale Terrier Rescue based out of Surrey, England, that rehome this breed.

Patterdales are not for everyone. If you’re looking for an active and high-energy dog that will go with you on long hikes or runs and enjoy a good cuddle at the end of the day, perhaps the Patterdale is actually the right breed for you.

Featured Image Credit: Radomir Rezny, Shutterstock

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