Patterdale Terrier Dog Breed Information Guide


Named for the village where they first originated, the Patterdale Terrier seems to be one of the ultimate scrappy dogs. Don’t let his small stature fool you – this small and scruffy terrier is as tough and hard-working as they come!

Patterdale Terrier History

The Patterdale Terrier is a small breed of dog that originated in the village of Patterdale, in Northwest England. Also known as a type of Fell Terrier, or Black and Tan Terrier, he is a robust little dog that is known more for his ancestry rather than a particular body type. Bred to possess the toughness required to follow the hounds and horses for miles, and yet still be able to go down into a foxhole and flush the quarry out, these are aggressive, energetic, and courageous small dogs.

While they have been bred as far back as the 1700s, the Patterdale Terrier wasn’t recognized or selectively bred, as a registered breed of dog, until the 1950s. This would be when two breeders, Cyril Breay and Frank Buck would begin to work on establishing a standard of perfection and ideal type for these dogs. This would be picked up upon and furthered by one Brian Nuttall during the 1960’s and the Nuttall lines continue to be one of the most highly sought of all the Patterdale breeding stock.

In 1993, the Patterdale Terrier would be recognized as a breed by the AKC, and United Kennel Club would follow suit in 1995. Oddly enough, the Patterdale Terrier remains a working dog in his native country and is seldom seen in dog shows.

Patterdale Terrier Appearance

Whether you prefer the sleek smooth-coated Patterdale Terrier, the wirey rough-coated Patterdale Terrier, or enjoy the mingling of the two as seen in the broken-coated Patterdale Terrier, chances are you appreciate a dog more for his working ability then for asthetics. Bred to be tough and anything but cowardly, the Patterdale is often appreciated for his ability rather than his beauty. Because of this, breed standards tend to lean more towards workability rather than a set ideal for how this dog should look. She ranges in size from 10 to 15 inches of the shoulder, and is generally respected as having an athletic, yet muscular body.

The Patterdale Terrier can be found in four colors: the black and tan, chocolate (liver in the UK), red, and black. Grizzled dogs are common, but an abundance of stray white hairs can be faulted. While not always practiced, if his tail is docked, it should be docked to no more than 1/4 of the length. This same practice is seen in Jack Russell Terriers, where the tail is often used much like a handle to pull these scrappy dogs out of the foxholes.

Patterdale Terrier Temperament

It cannot be said enough that the Patterdale Terrier is a tough little individual; bred to possess the athletic form required to follow horseback riding hunters for miles, and yet still have the stamina to go down and flush fox out of their holes, the Patterdale Terrier does not see himself as a small dog. Courageous to a flaw, they commonly take on rivals and tasks that are too big for themselves and tend to require a great deal of supervision. They do, however, make good family pets particularly in homes with active adults or children to play with. Care should be taken around other dogs, as the Patterdale Terrier does prefer to be the top dog in the neighborhood and can get hurt trying to take on larger adversaries. Cats and other animals should also be supervised in a company of the Patterdale Terrier, due to the dogs’ natural hunting instinct.

Patterdale Terrier Exercise Info

Bred as a working dog, the Patterdale Terrier is an active and athletic individual. He is not well suited to life of a couch potato and, left to his own devices, often tends to become easily bored which can lead to destructive behavior. This includes digging holes in the backyard or chewing up your favorite shoes. If you intend to get a Patterdale Terrier, it’s important to realize that you will be making a commitment to taking several trips to the dog park each week, going on at least one good walk per day, for spending countless hours playing tug of war with the favorite chew toy.

Patterdale Terrier Grooming Info

Grooming the Patterdale terrier is a minimal task, particularly for dogs with smooth or broken coats. A simple weekly brushing will help to remove any dead hair or dander from his skin and gave his coat a nice glossy sheen. Wire haired Patterdale terriers sometimes require a light stripping to keep their coats in good condition. This can be shown to you either by the breeder or you can take your dog in to a professional dog groomer to have this done for a minimal fee.

Patterdale Terrier Training Info

The Patterdale terrier is an extremely intelligent dog but, like many smart dogs, can often be difficult to train. This is due to the Patterdale’s level of alertness, keeping his mind constantly on the go, and often making him seem unfocused. Because of this, the Patterdale dog seems to do exceptionally well with clicker training; since she spends a great deal for time listening for interesting sounds, the clicking sound can break through the dog’s normal intensity and capture her attention.

Patterdale Terrier Health Info

Patterdale terriers tend to be a very hale and hearty breed of dog, not prone to any known health issues. As with many small dogs, obesity can be an issue if the dog does not get enough exercise and older individuals may develop cataracts.

Patterdale Terrier Right Breed Info

The Patterdale Terrier can be a wonderful pet for the active individual or for the family with children. However, careful consideration must be given prior to rushing out and picking up a Patterdale Terrier puppy. While it’s true that they are small dogs, the Patterdale puppy can be a handful for the inexperienced dog owner. High energy, and often quite vocal, they aren’t always the best dogs for apartments and they can have a high tendency to be aggressive towards other dogs, particularly of the same sex. Local cats and other furry pets can also be a risk, with the Patterdale’s natural hunting instinct, so careful consideration must also be given to this.

If you’re committed enough, to adopt one of these high energy individuals, you may find that the Patterdale Terrier is the perfect dog for you!

More Information about the Patterdale Terrier Dog Breed

Patterdale Terrier on Wikipedia