Learn About the Patterdale Terrier, Its Personality, Diet, and More…

Patterdale Terrier

The Patterdale Terrier is a small dog breed that weighs less than 13 pounds. This dog originated in England and was finally brought over to the United States in the late 1970s.

This dog breed belongs to the working group, and they focus on hunting! The smallness of the Patterdale Terrier allows them to fit inside fox barrows.

This is an excellent family companion. You can learn more about this dog breed here from temperament, exercise, and diet requirements.

Patterdale Terrier History

Some unrecognized terrier breeds flourished in isolated English villages. One of these breeds was the Patterdale Terrier. Some people believe the breed was created by the combination of the Old English Terrier and the Northumberland Pit Terrier.

The breed thrived and remained unknown outside of Britain. It was located in the Lake District and Yorkshire regions. The name was taken from a Cumbria village where they were commonly found. The Patterdale Terrier was introduced to the United States in 1978.

This dog breed was a working-class dog used to protect the livestock and hunt foxes that would stalk the sheep. Not only did the Patterdale Terrier do well at its job it was also a very good family companion.

This breed still isn’t as popular as it is in the United Kingdom, but it can still be used as a family companion or guard dog on a farm.

Patterdale Terrier Dog Breed

Patterdale Terrier Appearance

The Patterdale Terrier is a well-balanced canine with a strong head wedge-shaped profile. The skull and muzzle length can be equal, or the muzzle can be slightly shorter.

The dog’s bite should be level with no broken teeth, which can occur in working animals. The eyes are fairly wide and should never bulge or protrude. Eye color should match the dog’s coat but never appear blue.

Non-liver color dogs will have a black nose, while liver colorations will have a reddish nose. The tail is high set but should not be carried over the back. Those who have their Patterdale Terrier’s tail docked should only have about 1/4 removed. The canine’s fur is stiff and dense and will fall back into place when ruffled.


Patterdale Terrier’s temperament is more laid back than other terrier breeds. This dog loves to feel cozy and is inclined to curl up next to a heater while at home.

They are smaller and could qualify for a toy breed if it wasn’t for their determination, toughness, and ability. Along with excellent hunting skills, the Patterdale Terrier is also a good watchdog and will alert its owner of anything they deem out of the ordinary.

They were bred specifically to serve a purpose as a hunting companion or ratter. This breed is also more likely to bite and kill than simply bay and corner. It is not ideal for all types of hunting.

Although the Patterdale Terrier can get along with other dogs when well-socialized, it is not a breed that does well in homes with non-canine pets. It’s also not an easy dog to train and is definitely not a good choice for anyone who doesn’t like the personality of a true terrier.

The Patterdale Terrier is a very sweet loving dog breed. They love to play and socialize with other people and other dogs. This dog breed is also known to be very confident and strong-willed because of the hunting skills passed down from their ancestors.

Patterdale Terrier Coat

The Patterdale Terrier has a very interesting coat, and this coat can truly vary from dog to dog. Your dog can either have a smooth coat or a more rough/broken one. In addition, this breed will have an undercoat that will be short.

If your dog has a smooth coat, it will be exactly that. The one that is rough and broken will have some longer hairs that will feel coarse. This breeds coat is naturally water-resistant to help the breed when hunting and guarding sheep. Below you will see the coat come in a few different colors.

Young Patterdale Terrier

What Colors Do They Come In?

Here are some of the colors that your Patterdale Terrier might possibly come in:

  • Black
  • Brown
  • Red
  • Liver
  • Chocolate

Most likely, your dog will sport a black nose to accompany its coat.

Height & Weight

Patterdale Terrier size comes to a height of about 12 inches (30 cm) and a weight between 11 and 13 pounds (5 to 6 kg).

This is the full-grown weight of this dog. If your dog is way heavier than this, then you may not have a full purebred Patterdale Terrier, or you’re overfeeding your dog.

Patterdale Terrier Health Problems

No notable genetic condition is associated with the Patterdale Terrier, although the breed is susceptible to the typical injury risk that comes with hunting when used as a working dog.

Patterdale Terrier

One condition that may arise is a knee issue called patellar luxation; this will occur when the dog’s knee cap slides out of place.

It isn’t very painful for your dog, and the knee cap will slide back into place after a while, but if this is something you see happening all the time, it would be best to call your veterinarian and get knee cap surgery done.

Another thing you could keep an eye out for is glaucoma in your dog’s eye. If your dog has any of the following symptoms, it would be a good idea to get your veterinarian to check it out:

  • Watery eyes
  • Redness
  • Squinting
  • Blue or white cornea

Life Expectancy of a Patterdale Terrier

If your dog doesn’t have any major health issues, it can live on average for 11 to 13 years. You can keep up with your dog’s health with yearly visits to the veterinarian to ensure that everything stays the same.

Living Conditions

Anyone looking for Patterdale Terrier puppies for sale to bring home to an apartment should think twice. This breed is not well-suited to small living quarters. It will remain inactive while inside as long as it gets plenty of exercise each day.

A dog that is not used to hunt and not given an outlet for energy can become a serious problem. In addition, boredom can lead to picking fights with other canines in the household, especially when kenneled together.

Although these things above may sound like the breed is difficult, but in reality, it is still a very good dog that will make a great family companion. This dog will be ideal for someone who has a home in the country. The dog can guard the property and animals that you have.

Patterdale Terrier Training

The Patterdale Terrier is a very strong-willed dog breed and can be very tough to train because of that characteristic. If this is your first time training a dog, then this may oppose as a challenge for you.

The Patterdale Terrier is an excellent hunting dog, and if you use some hunting training in your dog training, they will pick it up quickly. In addition, this dog breed loves to run, jump, and play fetch. This will help your dog get out excess energy built up throughout the day.

Remember always to use positive reinforcement when training any dog breed. You don’t want your dog to have a negative experience. You should definitely start your training routine when your dog is young, preferably puppy age.

Full Grown Patterdale Terrier


The Patterdale Terrier is a working dog; that means it needs an outlet for its energy and talents. This breed should be given regular exercise sessions, which can include walks. In addition, owners should try to provide exercises and play sessions that allow the dog to utilize their hunting abilities.

Typically this type of dog breed needs around 45 minutes of exercise a day. They seem very lazy when they are inside the house, but they still definitely need to get outside and get exercise.

This is a small dog breed and can easily get obese. However, if you are providing your dog with adequate exercise each day, this shouldn’t be an issue. Mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise.

Patterdale Terrier Diet

Working breed dogs need a higher amount of protein in their food than a toy group dog would need. You can also purchase specific small-breed working dog food that would work great for this type of breed.

This breed would benefit from high-quality dry food to eat with a good source of protein listed as the first few ingredients. Some examples of good protein sources for dogs would be:

  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Beef

Your Patterdale Terrier needs around 600 calories a day broken up into two separate meals. One for the morning and one for the evening. It is also very important to not overfeed your dog because this breed is small and can be prone to obesity.

When your Patterdale Terrier is a puppy, make sure you are feeding your dog a small breed puppy food. You will typically feed this type to your dog in the first year of its life. Your vet will give you more guidance on that.


Patterdale Terrier Dog

The Patterdale Terrier’s short, stiff coat generally takes care of itself. The dog’s grooming needs are minimal, although baths may be necessary after hunting.

Just like all dogs, it would be ideal to brush your dog once a week to help remove any dirt and loose hair. This will help prevent your dog from shedding all over the house too.

Clip your dog’s nails when they become visibly too long. You can choose to do this or pay a groomer to do it. Also, check your dog’s ear often for moisture because you don’t want it to be too wet inside of there as it can cause an ear infection.

Cool Traits / Characteristics

The Patterdale Terrier is an intense hunting dog and ratter. They are very small dogs and will only weigh around 13 pounds when fully grown.

They love to be loved, and they have a very lovable nature. Your dog will be great with children as long as they are introduced when they are a puppy.

The Patterdale Terrier is not a good choice for first-time dog owners. This breed can be intense and is difficult to obedience train. Potential owners should have experience with terrier breeds before adopting a Patterdale Terrier. They are also very strong-willed and will take over as alpha if you do not do so.

Paws & Bones 2

Patterdale Terrier Puppies

A Patterdale puppy can typically cost between $700 and $1000 based upon the breeder you choose. Before buying a puppy always check over the mom and dad dogs to make sure they look healthy. The puppies will be fully grown after ten months of age. A full-grown Patterdale Terrier will weigh around 13 pounds.

Keep in mind that even though this is quite a small dog breed, apartment living would not be ideal for this dog. You will really want to have a single-family home with a yard that your puppy can play in.

Remember too that various rescues are around that may possibly have a Patterdale Terrier available, but it will be rare to find a puppy in one.

When you get your puppy, you will want to start your training and socialization techniques to get your dog used to the new routine. This is a smart dog breed, and it likes to be mentally stimulated, so puzzles and training are very beneficial for the breed.

Patterdale Terrier Litter Size

The average litter size that a Patterdale Terrier will have is between two and five puppies. The puppies can leave the mother after eight weeks old. Your puppy will be small when you receive it.


Here are some common questions people have about the breed.

Are Patterdales Aggressive?

No, the Patterdale Terrier is not a naturally aggressive dog breed. However, owners are one of the reasons why dogs become aggressive. If you are not treating your dog right or showing it how to behave, then it could develop aggressive tendencies, which is a very serious issue.

Why Does my Patterdale Terrier Shake?

Dogs can shake for a variety of reasons. If your Patterdale Terrier is shaking, it could be because of exercise, your dog is very excited, or your dog is experiencing severe stress. It is important that you find a technique that will be useful in calming down your dog.

What’s Another Name for a Patterdale Terrier?

Another common name that you might hear the Patterdale Terrier being called is the Black Fell Terrier.

Can Patterdale Terriers Be Left Alone?

There are many dog breeds out there that do not do well being left alone for many hours. The Patterdale Terrier is one of those dog breeds. If you are gone for long periods of time, it could be hard on your dog and cause stress.
Patterdale Terrier Black Dog

Key Takeaways

In this section, I like to provide you will a quick summary of things we learned about the Patterdale Terrier.

  • This is a highly active dog breed that needs adequate exercise, or it can exhibit destructive behavior.
  • Feed your Patterdale Terrier a high-quality food that will give your dog a good blend of protein, carbs, and vegetables to sustain itself throughout the day.
  • This is a great dog breed for a family that lives on a farm or out in the country.
  • The Patterdale Terrier is a natural guard and hunting dog breed of small vermin.
  • This is a very common dog breed in the United Kingdom and is starting to gain more popularity in the United States.
  • To get this dog breed as a puppy, will actually be quite affordable.

Common Mixes of Patterdale Terriers

Here you will find some dog breeds that are similar to the Patterdale Terrier, they are:

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