Hailing from the Lake District, the Lakeland Terrier is thought to be one of the oldest breeds of Terrier, with records dating it to the 1700s. Originally known as the Patterdale, Westmoreland, Cumberland or Fell Terrier, the Lakeland became recognised as an independent breed in 1934. Believed to be the result of crossing between the Bedlington Terrier and the Old English Wire-Haired Terrier, the Lakeland was primarily bred for the working purposes of flushing vermin from food stores and deterring fox and badger from crops and herds. Additionally, the Lakeland Terrier was used to hunt den animals and was capable of working over difficult terrain, making it a versatile and able-bodied breed choice.
Distinctive in appearance, yet bearing a striking resemblance to the Airedale Terrier, the Lakeland is characterised by a medium build, a high-set tail, triangular 'drop' ears and a wiry outer coat in common colour variations of black, blue, liver, tan and grizzle. Despite being an illegal practice in most countries across Europe, the process of tail 'docking' is often undertaken with this breed, although such is not a breed standard. Traditionally employed in hunting fox, otter, badger, weasel and rats, the Lakeland Terrier retains its natural instincts, inclined to chase smaller animals unless trained not to. Puppies are usually born solid black and change colour as they mature.
Compatible with children and other domestic animals, the Lakeland is a great breed choice for families or a dedicated sole owner. Inherently energetic and fun-loving, the Lakeland requires regular exercise and mental enrichment. Highly intelligent and responsive, the Lakeland can be trained to a good degree. On average a healthy Lakeland will weigh 6-8 kg depending on its gender, with a life expectancy of 10-12 years when shown the appropriate care. It is not uncommon for a Lakeland to outlive this expectancy.
Selectively bred for its hardy capabilities, the Lakeland is typically healthy and long-lived. As with most other breeds, the Lakeland is prone to certain afflictions, including optical disorders, dermatitis and hip dysplasia. No serious breed-specific or genetic diseases are documented for the breed.