Patterdale Terrier – Full Dog Breed Information

patterdale terrier

The following information is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not constitute pet medical advice. Clever Fur is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Reading Time: 6 minutes

The Patterdale Terrier is a very popular dog in the United States, it originated from the United Kingdom. This dog is energetic, spunky, confident, lovable, independent and compact. This dog was originally bred for hunting.

History of the Patterdale Terrier

This breed originates from a varied terrain village of England’s Lake District and it is named Patterdale village in Cumbria. The Patterdale is one of the terrier breeds that wasn’t offic recognized by the kennel clubs, this breed is rarely seen outside Great Britain where it gained popularity among the farming circles. They are closely related to the Fell Terrier.

The Fell was created in Northern England, they were developed to be able to withstand harsh climates. Like the Fell Terrier, the Patterdale Terrier is very adaptable and can tolerate extreme weather. The Patterdale was originally bred to protect flocks and hunt foxes, rats, foxes, rats and other vermin, their small body makes it easy for them to squeeze into tunnels and burrow to locate game.

They are first developed by Brian Nuttall in 1960 and have now descended from various Northern Terrier breeds seen in the 20th century. Now, the Patterdale is desired for their fearlessness and lively personality.

The Patterdale Terrier became recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1995. This breed is also recognized by:

ACA – American Canine Association
ACR – American Canine Registry
APRI – American Pets Registry, Inc
CKC – Continental Kennel Club
DRA – Dog Registry of America, inc
NKC – National Kennel Club

Appearance and size

Their coat comes in a variety of colors like red, grizzle, Black and Tan, bronze, chocolate, tan, live, red and tan, black, brown, and pied. Their coats can be smooth, broken, or rough. They are commonly black with white markings on their chest and feet. Patterdales weigh between 11 and 13 pounds and stand 12 to 15 inches at the shoulders.

Many dogs of this breed may be smaller or larger than the average for their breed. When their coats are smooth, it is short and shiny. When their coats are broken, it is coarse with longer hair around the face and chin. When their coats are rough, they have long hair all over with a thick double coat.

Patterdales have short straight legs with a defined muzzle, they also have triangular drop ears and a traditionally docked tail


The Patterdale Terrier is not ideal for people who suffer from allergies, they are light shedders but in stressful situations, they can shed excessively. Their coats are easy to groom and care for, brush their coats at least once in a week to eliminate dead hairs. Shampoo their coats only when necessary, their skin have oils that help them adapt to warm and cold weather. Short, smooth coat breeds tend to get dry skin easily.

Their ears are prone to ear infections, check their ears and clean the ears regularly to prevent infections. If you notice your dog has developed a foul odor and scratches or runs their ears often, they may have an ear infection, a trip to the vet can help put an end to this.

Trim their nails once or twice a month. Patterdales are prone to dental issues especially when they are still puppies, brush their teeth daily.

Your vet can help you find a care routine to keep your dog healthy.


Patterdale Terrier are adorable pups that love big and small families, they thrive on attention and if they don’t get it, they will demand it. Large families are better for this breed because there will be more people for them to interact with. They are charming and affectionate, they form strong bonds with their primary caregiver.

Patterdales dislike being left alone for long periods of time they tend to be destructive if left alone for too long especially if they feel isolated, but if they are in large households they won’t feel bored or isolated. They are high energy dogs who keep you on your toes, they help you stay exercised and rack up your steps if you use a Fitbit. They would be unhappy in a low energy household.

They love countryside homes or homes with a backyard, they bond with everyone in the family. Terriers can be loud when playing, they enjoy playing with children but they shouldn’t be left unsupervised with children. Patterdales get along well with other animals, however, they have a very strong prey drive and shouldn’t be left with small animals like hamsters or birds. Patterdales are big dogs in small bodies, they are fun-spirited, lively, and outgoing.

They are a good match for people who are lively and can give them lots of attention, they love children because children are able to keep up with them. They are very content in being busy.


Patterdales are usually healthy, but they can also be prone to a couple of health issues which is why it is essential to maintain a good diet, good care and regular visits to the vets. Ensure you take your pets to the Veterinary clinic for regular checkups to aid in the detection of any health concern early. Some of the conditions a Patterdale may have include:

Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism is a disorder of the thyroid gland, hypothyroidism is believed to be responsible for conditions such as alopecia (hair loss), pyoderma, epilepsy, lethargy, hyperpigmentation and other skin conditions. It can be treated with a diet and medication.

Hip Dysplasia: This is a condition in touch the femur doesn’t fit properly into the pelvic socket of the hip joint. Hip dysplasia can exist in a dog with or without clinical symptoms, some dogs however have pain or lameness in one or both rear legs. As the dog matures, he or she can develop arthritis. Screening for this condition can be done by the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHIP) or by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). Dogs suffering from hip dysplasia should not be bred. If you think your dog suffers from this condition, take your dog to your vet. Medication or surgery can be of help to your dog.

Lens Luxation: Lens Luxation is an inherited disorder. This condition causes the lens to be improperly positioned in the eye, the displacement may be partial or complete. In some cases, this condition can be treated with medication or surgery but in severe cases, the eye may need to be surgically removed.

Dry Skin: Dry skin may not exactly be a big deal but it can be a sign of a bigger health problem for your dog. This condition is associated with a wider range of conditions such as parasites, allergies, Cushing’s disease and hypothyroidism.

Cushing’s Disease: This disease is common is small and older dogs, it is as a result of tumors on the adrenal gland. Once this disease has been diagnosed, the pup may need lifelong medication and surgery to get rid of the tumor or tumors and may require radiation therapy.
Inverterbral Disc Disease: IVD is a common disorder, symptoms of IVD include pain, a partial loss of limb function, paralysis and a loss of feeling in the hind limbs. IVD can occur in the neck (cervical) area, the middle if the back (thoraco-lumbar region) or in the lower region of the back (lumbosacral)

They also suffer eye disorders like cataracts, conjunctivitis, glaucoma and progressive retinal atrophy

Your vet can help you come up with a diet schedule that keeps your dog healthy, stick to a regular feeding schedule and reduce dog treats to prevent your dog from becoming overweight. Like all dogs, the dietary needs of your terrier will change from puppyhood to adulthood you will need to get a recommendation from your veterinarian as there are so many variations to take into consideration such as health, weight and energy. They have a lifespan of 11 to 14 years

Training and exercise

Patterdale Terriers have a reputation for being stubborn, they require extreme patience during training. Ensure you have a secure yard as they can tracking and can easily wander off. Dogs of this breed are prone to weight gain and have high energy levels, they require at least a 30 minutes to 1 hour long walk daily mixed in with a game of fetch, playing with toys, short walks and active play sessions.

Dogs of this breed dislike being left alone for long periods. Positive reinforcement is the way to go when it comes to training this breed. Like all dogs, the Patterdale Terrier needs to learn socialization from an early age, they need to be exposed to different people,  dogs, animals, sounds, sights and experiences.

Early socialization is key in ensuring that your Patterdale Terrier matures into a well-rounded dog. They have a short attention span so be sure to keep training sessions shorts else they will lose interest.

They are prone to weight gain, however, their high energy levels make it easy for them to shed off extra weight with the appropriate exercise to guide them. If left alone for too long, they become destructive. Mental and physical stimulation helps them curb all destructive behaviors around the home.

They retained their instincts to hunt and will chase smaller animals, sometimes they tend to kill smaller animals in this process, however, early training is essential and is perfect for controlling this drive.

Why you should get a Patterdale Terrier

Patterdales are hardworking dogs that love having a job to do no matter how big or small the task may be. They are very outgoing, they love kids and are excellent family pets, they thrive in large households.

Their personalities make them a good match for lively and active people who can shower them with love and attention. They are known to love ever member of the family and to form strong bonds with the main caregiver.

Where to get a Patterdale Terrier and price

Despite being purebred dogs, the Patterdale Terriers may be found in the care of shelter or rescue groups. To ensure you’re getting a healthy dog, don’t buy a puppy from a pet store, a puppy mill, or a breed that can’t provide you with guarantees and health clearances.

Ensure your breeder is reputable and he or she tests her dogs to be sure they are free of genetic disease and health conditions with may be passed on to the puppies. Reputable breeders have their dog’s eyes checked annually by a veterinary ophthalmologist for eye conditions.

A good breeder will effortlessly match you with the right puppy as the breeder’s primary concern will be to find the best home for the pup and not making a quick buck. 

Patterdale Terrier Rescues are hard to come by because this is an uncommon breed, try checking your local shelters or rescues that care for all breeds of dogs, you can also check
Angels Among Us Pet Rescue
Wright-Way Rescue
You can expect to purchase this dog for $600- $800

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top