Patterdale Terrier

Patterdale Terrier

The Patterdale Terrier originates from...

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.

The Patterdale Terrier is characterised by...

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.

The average Patterdale...

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.

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Our Patterdale Terrier owners have uploaded 152 photos

Our Patterdale Terrier owners' thoughts

Added on 21/03/2015

Tess is my 2nd Patterdale terrier,she is very loving and formed a quick bond with me, she was one year when I got her from someone who could no longer give her the time she needed. When we brought her home she seemed to get on with our Welshboy but once he realised he wasnt going to be top dog the fights broke out,the welsh had 3 visits to the vet, after a while of constant watchfulness and feeding in separate rooms we seemed to have some harmony, but the Patterdale rules they still have fisticuffs over stupid things, like when someone comes to the door and both start barking then they have a little battle, anyone watching would think they were both vicious but its just their way now its not as intense and soon over and done with then they are best pals lying by the fire and grooming each other, Patterdales are loving but are very feisty and need a firm hand but they are also very intelligent and I found Tess to be very obedient although my old Patterdale boy knew what you wanted but would do things in his own time.Tess never bothers much with dogs outside a quick sniff and if the other dogs ok so is Tess but if they charge her and get in her face or growl then its pull her in quick and cross the road.

Added on 26/11/2016
Joined 10/08/2015
From West Midlands, United Kingdom

Jasper is my first Patti, I'd never heard of the breed until I got him. He was a stray that I took on 3 years ago. He was found in the middle of a busy dual carriageway but because it was Easter bank holiday the dogwarden wouldn't come out. I left him my details & agreed I'd have him over the weekend. No one claimed him so 3 years on he's still with me & definitely a big part of our family. Like all terriers he's feisty, wilful and full of energy. He's also incredibly loyal & very vocal. He likes to talk, a lot! He's not good with other dogs, if they get boisterous he'll snap & put them in their place, hence I usually cross the road when I see an approaching dog. He does however get on with my sister's dog, who being a beagle is daft as a brush & very laid back & is happy with Jasp being top dog. Patterdales are hunting dogs, they will chase (& probably kill) anything small & furry so beware!

Added on 08/12/2017

I have a 6 year old Patterdale Jess who I've had for almost 2 years - she was used for breeding and didn't have a good quality of life before, being kept in a shed. She is an absolutely wonderful dog - so loving and affectionate - she's great with other dogs and people, she is obedient - she is a real bobby dazzler of a dog! I have a 10 year old Jack Russell I've had as a pup and he has not been great with dogs but since I got her he has grown so much in confidence, it's all down to Jess. She's a dedicated hunter though and is independent on walks unlike my JRT - she would happily 'meet you back at the car' after hours of hunting if she had her way, so it's long leads except at the beach. She could not be trusted around any small animals, including cats. A very tough dog with a loving and sweet personality - you can see how they became the farmer's favourite!

Added on 19/02/2018

10 year old bitch coco love of my life but a handful very loving and affection but needs a good run a day and can be aggressive .

Added on 28/02/2018

I have an 8 month old patterdale cross with a border collie, his name is buzz. He loves snow, carrots, blueberries and especially chicken. He has snowy, our 10 year old jack Russell for company and also tibby our cat. He can sometimes be a real pest but snowy isn't shy to tell him off. If you are thinking of getting a dog the I 100% recommend a patter dale- but not for a first time owner as they can be quite a handful at times

Added on 28/03/2018

I own a 5 yr old female patterdale I got her as a rescue at 1 yr old and she is a fabulous dog! Loves our 12 yr old fell terrier and defers to him. You do need time and energy for long walks and playtime in garden. NOT a lap dog!

Added on 30/03/2018

I am seriously considering adopting a Patterdale Terrier which is waiting to be re-holmed, after a rough time from another owner, I am just concerned as I keep hearing good and bad traits about this breed of dog, the dog in question I have already been informed would not be ideally housed with another animal or children and yet I am told that he has an excellent nature and would treat me as a his best friend. Might have to go with my instinct visit the dog a few times before I make a decision.

Added on 23/04/2018

Willow our 6 months old pat shes my son best friend Alfie 3

Added on 21/07/2019
Joined 13/09/2017
From Essex, United Kingdom

Molly was rescued from RSPCA in September 2009. She was about 18 months, black over tan looked like a miniature doberman, wire-haired. Beautiful temperament, obedient and cool as a cucumber on the lead. Loves to swim - have to entice her out with treats. Digs rabbit holes, pulls roots out with her teeth. Tan now fading to white. Extremely focussed 24/7. Best £180 spent!

Added on 09/11/2019
Joined 02/06/2017
From Antrim , United Kingdom

Susie was not house train when I got her at eighteen months and still not there yet and she is a nipper she is a work in progress but she can be very loving I don't know any of her back ground but she has a home here for life

Added on 22/05/2020
Joined 22/05/2020
From Sir Benfro, United Kingdom

Flora is my second Patterdale Terrier. Fantastic little dogs, but not a breed for the faint hearted! Strong willed, high prey drive, feisty, very active, and she also does not approve of other dogs invading her space... but she has a heart of gold, intelligent, loyal, protective and loving... personally wouldnt have another breed, they suit my lifestyle and I love their character!

Added on 04/08/2020
Joined 18/03/2019
From Norfolk, United Kingdom

We have two Meg is 15 and still going strong she is very loving but fiercly independent and spends lots of time on our farm hunting in hedges. Wren in 5yrs and is megs sisters puppy she on the other hand is ultra obedient and loving she also likes to hunt and chase but unlike Meg she comes straight back! They are fantastic dogs but they do love an out door life if you can offer them lots of time running about then a patterdale is the best dog you could ask for.

Added on 01/11/2020
Joined 15/06/2020
From West Midlands, United Kingdom

I sadly lost my Patterdale to pancreatic cancer 12 months ago. She was a rescue, around 2 years old when we got her and she gave us 11 wonderful and sometimes eventful years! A proper character, wilful and independent, luckily Dixie was very food driven, which saved me a few hours of waiting for her when she was off on a woodland foray. Definitely not a lap dog, but liked to be close to us, always on the alert and quite protective. I think a seasoned dog owner would enjoy the breed, but a firm hand is needed as these dogs can be wilful devils!

Added on 16/09/2021
Joined 22/04/2012
From Lancashire, United Kingdom

We sadly lost our Patterdale Terrier Rip 5 weeks ago. It was devastating. He was 14 and an absolutely fabulous little dog. We’d had him since he was 11 weeks old and he went everywhere with us. He was great with the children, other dogs and even my sons chickens and ducks. He was extremely intelligent and knew everything we said. He loved to have snuggles too! He was one very special little dog and we miss him dreadfully. Patterdales are the best and we wouldn’t have any other breed.

Added on 09/05/2022
Joined 14/02/2019
From Staffordshire, United Kingdom

We have had jade since she was 5 weeks old in 2009 so she will be 13 in October, she is bright bubbly and very active ,font think she realises her age had to have one of her ear canals removed when she was 1 ,but this never effected her at all in fact I think her hearing got better ,she been on monthly immuntherapy ever since she's a very caring individual and us my shadow ,luvs being around kids and has seemed to protect them in a sense as she has grown up with them all luv her to bits but I hate the time we will have to say our goodbyes so making the best while she still gere to do so .