Hailing from the varied terrain of England's Lake District, the Patterdale Terrier derives its name from Patterdale in Cumbria. One of the native Terrier breeds that isn't officially recognized by kennel clubs, the Patterdale is rarely observed outside Great Britain where it has enjoyed considerable popularity in farming circles. Primarily bred as a fox, rabbit and vermin hunter - bolting and killing its quarry for the poacher - the modern Patterdale is often seen in guarding, helping to protect flocks from foxes and other predators, as well as being a versatile working dog about the farm. First developed by Brian Nuttall in the early 1960s, the Patterdale Terrier descends from various Northern Terrier breeds seen in the early 20th century.
A rustic-looking dog with short, straight legs, a defined muzzle, triangular 'drop' ears, and a tail that is traditionally docked. The coat is either smooth or rough, and commonly coloured black with white markings on the chest and feet. Other colours observed in the breed include grizzle, chocolate, black and tan, bronze, liver and red and tan. Retaining its strong drive to hunt, the Patterdale is inclined to chase smaller animals, usually killing them in the process, so early training against this is essential. The breed's small and athletic build means it's capable of maneuvering into tight spaces to delve out den quarry.
Highly energetic and intelligent, the breed needs physical and mental stimulation in order to prevent destructive behaviours around the home. The Patterdale Terrier is characteristically less yappy than some other terriers, making for a peaceful companion dog. It is not uncommon for a Patterdale Terrier to display stubbornness or aggression so early socialisation and firm leadership is important. Otherwise, a Patterdale Terrier is typically cool, calm and collected, making a great addition to active family life. A healthy Patterdale Terrier will weigh 5-6 kg, with a life expectancy of 10-12 years.
Eye disorders are prevalent in the breed, ranging from mild to more serious. These include conjunctivitis, cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy and glaucoma, although the Patterdale is otherwise healthy and long-lived.