The Patterdale Terrier Dog Breed: Characteristics, Pictures, and Facts

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Are you on the hunt for a loyal, energetic, and intelligent canine companion? Look no further than the Patterdale Terrier! With their unique combination of good looks, boundless energy, and charming personality, Patterdale Terriers make an excellent addition to the right household. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the world of Patterdale Terriers, exploring their origin, characteristics, care requirements, and much more.

Whether you’re a seasoned dog owner or a first-time pet parent, this comprehensive guide to Patterdale Terriers is packed with valuable information that will help you better understand and care for these remarkable dogs. So, let’s embark on this journey to discover the wonderful world of Patterdale Terriers.

Short Summary

  • Patterdale Terriers are an iconic breed from Northern England with working roots, recognized in 1995.
  • They have a distinct appearance and spirited personalities, perfect for active pet companions who bring joy to life.
  • Training and socialization is key for a confident pup. They make great family pets when given the right environment!

Patterdale Terrier Origins and Recognition

Hailing from Northern England, Patterdale Terriers are part of the Fell Terrier group and were originally bred for hunting vermin, such as rats, foxes, and rabbits. They are especially skilled at their ability to hunt foxes, thanks to their strong prey drive and agile bodies. These tenacious little dogs are also known as Northumberland Pit Terriers, a nod to their working roots.

It wasn’t until 1995 that Patterdale Terriers received recognition from the United Kennel Club, showcasing their unique traits and capabilities. Nowadays, the Patterdale Terrier’s popularity has spread beyond the borders of Northern England, and their hardworking nature has won the hearts of dog enthusiasts around the globe, including those affiliated with the Continental Kennel Club Dra.

Coat Types and Colors

Patterdale Terriers come in three distinct coat types: smooth, broken, and rough. The smooth coat is the most common, but all three types serve to protect these dogs from the elements. Each coat type has its own unique charm, making Patterdale Terriers a diverse and visually appealing breed, including the broken-coated dog variety.

In terms of color, Patterdale Terriers can be found in:

  • black
  • red
  • chocolate
  • grizzle
  • black and tan
  • bronze

Sometimes referred to as Tan Fell Terriers, these little dogs boast a variety of beautiful shades that only add to their undeniable allure. Regardless of coat type or color, their charming appearance is sure to make heads turn among other dogs, especially during terrier racing events.

Notable Physical Features

Distinctive physical traits set Patterdale Terriers apart from other breeds. These small and sturdy dogs have:

  • Square bodies
  • Strong necks
  • Powerful jaws
  • Wedge-shaped heads
  • Triangular ears
  • Wide-set eyes
  • Strong legs
  • High tails

All of these traits are hallmarks of the English Terrier lineage, giving Patterdale Terriers a unique and captivating appearance.

Despite their small size, Patterdale Terriers are incredibly agile and energetic, making them perfect for active households. Their notable physical features include:

  • Compact build
  • Strong and muscular body
  • Broad head with a strong jaw
  • Dark, expressive eyes
  • Medium-sized, folded ears
  • Short, dense coat

These physical traits, including white markings, provide a glimpse into their working origins as a working dog and showcase the traits that have made them such a beloved breed.

Personality and Temperament

Bold, independent, and high-energy, Patterdale Terriers are known for their spirited personalities. These dogs are perfect for active and experienced pet owners who can keep up with their boundless enthusiasm and zest for life. Their intelligence, coupled with their often stubborn nature, requires consistent and patient training efforts. A Patterdale Terrier personality is truly one to be admired and appreciated.

Though they may be small in size, Patterdale Terriers possess a big heart and a strong work ethic. They are happiest when given a job to do, whether it’s participating in dog sports, accompanying their owners on outdoor adventures, or simply playing in the backyard. With their outgoing nature and love for life, Patterdale Terriers make for an unforgettable canine companion.

Exercise and Activity Requirements

As an active breed, Patterdale Terriers require plenty of mental and physical exercise to keep them happy and healthy. Some activities that are well-suited for them include:

  • Brisk walks
  • Hikes
  • Runs
  • Agility training
  • Competitive obedience
  • Rally

Engaging in these activities will help them stretch their legs and engage their minds, ensuring they thrive.

In addition to physical exercise, mental stimulation is crucial for Patterdale Terriers to prevent boredom and the development of destructive behaviors. Obedience training, interactive dog toys, and engaging activities like search and rescue can help keep their minds sharp and satisfied.

Training and Socialization

Though intelligent, Patterdale Terriers can be stubborn at times, requiring a gentle, firm approach to training, along with plenty of positive reinforcement. Consistency and patience are key when working with this breed, as is starting training and socialization early in life.

Socializing your Patterdale Terrier from a young age is essential to ensure they grow up to be a confident and well-rounded dog. Introducing them to a variety of people, environments, and other animals will help them adapt to new situations and curb any potential issues related to their strong prey drive.

Nutritional Needs and Feeding Tips

To maintain optimal health, Patterdale Terriers need:

  • A high-quality diet with portion control to prevent weight gain
  • The appropriate amount of food for their size and activity level
  • Limiting treats
  • Ensuring they get enough exercise

These measures are crucial for maintaining a healthy weight and keeping them in shape.

It’s important to monitor your Patterdale Terrier’s eating habits, as they may become food possessive. If you notice any issues related to food guarding or aggression, consult a veterinarian or professional trainer for guidance on how to manage this behavior.

Grooming and Maintenance

Grooming a Patterdale Terrier involves very little grooming tasks, such as:

  • Regular brushing
  • Nail trims
  • Ear cleanings
  • Occasional baths
  • Dental hygiene

These tasks are important aspects of their care routine, including maintaining their guard hairs.

Depending on their coat type, Patterdale Terriers may need more frequent brushing during shedding season to remove loose hair and keep their coat healthy. By establishing a consistent grooming routine, you’ll not only keep your Patterdale Terrier looking their best, but also help prevent potential health issues and strengthen the bond between you and your canine companion.

Common Health Issues

Like any breed, Patterdale Terriers are prone to certain health issues. Common problems include obesity, as well as eye and joint issues such as glaucoma, lens luxation, hip dysplasia, and intervertebral disc disease. Regular veterinary checkups and preventative measures can help catch and manage these conditions early on.

Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for Patterdale Terriers, as excess weight can exacerbate existing health problems or contribute to the development of new ones. Providing proper nutrition, exercise, and weight management can go a long way in ensuring your Patterdale Terrier leads a long, happy, and healthy life.

Patterdale Terriers and Family Life

Patterdale Terriers can make excellent family pets, bonding well with their human pack members. However, it is important to supervise them around small children and other pets due to their strong prey drive. Proper training and socialization can help ensure your Patterdale Terrier puppy is a well-behaved and loving member of the family.

When it comes to living arrangements, Patterdale Terriers need a secure yard to safely explore and play. Their high energy levels and natural hunting instincts make them unsuitable for apartment living, so a house with plenty of space and opportunities for exercise is ideal for this active breed.

Adoption and Rescue Options

While Patterdale Terrier-specific rescue groups may be rare, local shelters and general rescues can be a good option for those looking to adopt this breed. By adopting a Patterdale Terrier, you’ll be giving a deserving pup a loving forever home, and you’ll gain a loyal and affectionate companion in return.

To find a Patterdale Terrier in need of a home, start by contacting your local animal shelter or searching online adoption websites and forums. When considering adoption, be prepared to provide a stable, loving environment and commit to providing the necessary care and training for your new furry friend.

Patterdale Terrier in Popular Culture

Though not as well-known as some other breeds, Patterdale Terriers have made their mark in popular culture, showcasing their unique characteristics and charming personalities. They have appeared in British TV show “One Man and His Dog” and the American series “The Dog Whisperer,” giving audiences a glimpse into the world of these captivating dogs.

In literature, John F. Gordon’s “The Patterdale Terrier: A Guide for Owners” delves into the breed’s history, characteristics, and care requirements, offering readers an in-depth look at these exceptional dogs. These appearances in popular culture serve to highlight the Patterdale Terrier’s versatility, intelligence, and undeniable charm.


In conclusion, Patterdale Terriers are a fascinating breed with a rich history, unique characteristics, and a spirited personality. They make excellent companions for active and experienced pet owners who can provide the proper training, socialization, and care required to keep them happy and healthy. With their boundless energy, intelligence, and loyalty, Patterdale Terriers are truly one-of-a-kind dogs that can bring joy and adventure to the right household.

As you embark on your journey with a Patterdale Terrier, remember that every dog is an individual, and your experience may differ from what’s outlined here. However, one thing is certain: with love, patience, and understanding, you and your Patterdale Terrier can create a lifelong bond that is truly remarkable.

Frequently Asked Questions

What two dogs make a Patterdale Terrier?

The Patterdale terrier is a relatively new breed, believed to be a combination of the Old English terrier and Northumberland Pit terrier (both now extinct), and the blue-black border terrier and black and tan Fell terriers.

Whatever its exact origin may be, these two dogs have combined to create this unique and spirited breed.

Are Patterdale Terriers good pets?

Patterdale Terriers are generally good pets as they get along well with families and children, especially when introduced to other pets from a young age. They may have trouble distinguishing small animals from their prey, but with proper care and training, they can be great companion dogs.

Do Patterdale Terriers bark a lot?

Yes, Patterdale Terriers have a tendency to bark excessively if they are not given enough activity and mental stimulation.

Therefore, it’s important to make sure they are provided with enough physical and mental stimulation to prevent excessive barking.

Is a Patterdale Terrier a purebred?

No, a Patterdale Terrier is not a purebred dog. Though it has been around since the late 1800s as a hard-working terrier, it is more of a “type” rather than a “breed”, being the result of a culmination of working terrier breeds indigenous to the United Kingdom.

These breeds include the Fell Terrier, the Border Terrier, the Lakeland Terrier, and the Welsh Terrier. The Patterdale Terrier is a Terrier.

What were Patterdale Terriers originally bred for?

Patterdale Terriers were originally bred by British hunters to control and hunt vermin, like foxes, rabbits, and rats.

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Tony K.

Tony K.

I got our Border 3 years ago "for my daughter" and this bundle of joy became a beloved member of our family, so I thought why not share the love!

About Me

I got our Border 3 years ago “for my daughter” and this bundle of joy became a beloved member of our family, so I thought why not share the love!

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