Patterdale Terrier – A Complete Breed Guide

patterdale terrier in grass

Terriers are very common dogs and there are so many different breeds within this canine group. Whilst some of them are very common, like the Yorkshire Terrier, Border Terrier, and Boston Terrier, some are a little less well-known. One of these is the Patterdale Terrier.

Patterdale Terriers are energic, active, and spunky little dogs full of personality. They’re affectionate and love to be part of large families. Originally bred in England, these pups have classic charm and an endearing temperament that makes them the perfect dog for many owners.

But is the Patterdale Terrier perfect for you? Let’s find out!

Kid/Other Pet Friendly
General Health
Exercise Needs
Easy To Train
Vital Stats

Breed Group



10 to 15 Inches


13 Pounds

Life Span

10 to 12 Years

History of The Patterdale Terrier

Patterdales were originally bred in a small town in the Lake District in Northern England. The town is called Patterdale. It’s thought that a couple of dog breeds were used in their breeding, including the Fell Terrier.

Some believe that Patterdale Terries are the result of breeding dark-colored Border Terriers with tan Fell Terriers.

Whatever their heritage, Patterdale Terriers were born to be working dogs. They’re hard workers that could spend hours on the farm, hunting vermin and foxes. Patterdale Terriers love having a job, but they were also bred to be good companions – just like many other Terrier breeds.

Because these pups were bred for temperament and work ethic, their appearance can vary a lot. One thing is for sure though, they’ll be very cute and ready to be your best friend!

What Do The Kennel Clubs Say?

The Patterdale Terrier is not yet recognized by the American Kennel Club.

On January 1st, 1995, however, the breed was registered with the United Kennel Club in the UK.

brown patterdale terrier

Patterdale Terrier Temperament

The Patterdale Terrier is a determined, charismatic, and energetic little dog that is full of personality. They’re confident and don’t mind making their own decisions when it comes to entertaining themselves.

Patterdale Terriers were bred for hard work. They need to spend their days working – but don’t worry if you don’t live on a farm full of vermin. Work for these pups can be chasing their favorite squeaky toy too!

As well as being hard-working, Patterdales are also loyal companions that can even be cuddly. Just so long as they’re getting enough physical stimulation too.

Training and Socializing a Patterdale Terrier

Like all pups, Patterdale Terries need to be socialized and trained well. A Patterdale Terrier puppy will respond best to positive reinforcement, so give them lots of healthy treats such as shrimp, cucumber, or avocado to keep them motivated.

As working dogs, they’re usually eager to please their owners. They can, however, be strong-willed so it’s important they know you’re the boss.

Socialization should start at a young age too. It’s important to expose a Patterdale Terrier to different people, sights, sounds, and experiences so that they grow up to be confident and good-natured.

Can a Patterdale Terrier Be Left Alone?

No pups should be left alone for really long lengths of time. After all, they are man’s best friend and like the company of humans. There are, however, some breeds that are a little more independent and don’t mind passing the odd hour entertaining themselves.

But a Patterdale Terrier is not one.

These pups can easily develop separation anxiety if they don’t have their favorite humans around them. If you do need to leave them for a short time, try getting them a fun puzzle toy. This should keep them busy until you get back and they’ll hardly know you’ve been gone.

Do Patterdale Terriers Get On With Children?

Patterdales are very sociable dogs that love spending time with both small and big family members. In fact, they get on really well with kids because they tend to match their energy levels.

As with any dog, it’s important that you socialize them well to get along with kids. Likewise, make sure you teach children how to properly play and interact with dogs. Even the softest pup needs respect.

Make sure you monitor any play sessions between Patterdale Terriers and kids.

black patterdale dog

Do Patterdale Terriers Get On With Other Pets?

A well-socialized Patterdale Terrier usually gets on well with other dogs. These pups like being part of a big crowd and love having other canines to play with. Of course, it’s important to introduce two dogs properly to make sure they get along properly.

Even though many people think that cats and dogs naturally hate each other, this isn’t always true. If a Patterdale Terrier grows up from puppyhood with a cat, it’s possible that they will get along.

Patterdale Terriers do, however, have a high prey drive. It’s not recommended that you get a Patterdale Terrier if you have small pets in the house such as hamsters, rabbits, or gerbils.

Appearance of a Patterdale Terrier

Patterdale Terriers are compact little dogs weighing no more than 13 pounds and standing at 10-15 inches tall.

These pups were bred to be strong and with lots of stamina. So, you can expect their bodies to be muscular and athletic to help them spend all day on the farm chasing after smaller, squeakier animals.

Patterdales have long legs, adorable triangular ears that fold down around their faces, and large eyes.

Whilst their body shape may be fairly regular, their coat texture and length can vary a lot.

Patterdale Terriers can have three different types of coats.

Smooth Coat- These dogs have a short and glossy coat

Rough Coat- A longer coat that’s thick all over their bodies

Broken Coat– These dogs have a coarser coat with longer hair around their faces and chins

Because these hardy dogs were first bred in the north of England, they have double coats to protect them from the cold and wet weather.

Patterdale Terrier Coat Color

Just like the English Terrier and the Northumberland Pit Terrier, Patterdales can have a number of different coat colors. Some of them are very similar to the Yorkshire Terrier colors too.

These include red, black, brown, tan, and pied. They can also have white markings.

Grooming a Patterdale Terrier

These pups can’t be considered hypoallergenic dogs as they do shed, but not compared to some other breeds.

A good weekly brush should be enough to distribute important oils and remove dead hair and skin.

One thing that can be a problem with Patterdale Terriers is dry skin. Only clean their coats when necessary and try to use a dog shampoo for sensitive skin. If you notice your dog scratching itself more regularly, sore-looking skin, or excessive hair loss, contact your vet.

It’s also important to clean your Patterdale Terrier’s ears regularly to stop dirt and debris from becoming infected.

Also, trim their nails when you think they’re getting too long (when you hear them clicking on the floor). They should wear down naturally, but ask a vet or groomer if you’re unsure about how to correctly clip them.

patterdale terrier

Patterdale Terrier Health

Patterdale Terriers are generally healthy and sturdy dogs. Like all breeds, however, they can be prone to a couple of health concerns. Take your dog to the vet for regular check-ups to catch anything early on.

Some common issues can be:

  • Skin sensitivity (dry skin)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease
  • Obesity

Lifespan of a Patterdale Terrier

With enough exercise, a healthy diet, and regular trips to the vet, a Patterdale Terrier can live to be 10-12 years old.

Living Needs for a Patterdale Terrier

Even though Patterdales are little dogs, they’re a very active breed and are not suited to apartment living. This working dog ideally needs a yard to play in or (ideally) a farm to work on!

Because they have so much energy, they can be prone to barking if they’re left to get frustrated or bored – which is another reason why they shouldn’t really live in apartments.

These working Terriers need to be part of an active family that can give them all the exercise they need. They’ll enjoy outdoor activities such as long walks, playing in dog parks, and chasing after anything (especially if it squeaks).


A Patterdale Terrier’s diet should consist of good quality dog food, that’s specifically for small, active dog breeds. A good option could be fresh dog food. These nutritious meals are made with your dog’s breed, weight, and activity levels in mind. Terriers can easily become overweight and many fresh food brands also pre-portion meals which helps!

Like all breeds, Patterdale Terrier puppies will have different dietary requirements compared to full-grown dogs. Be sure to check with your vet as to when is best to change over your dog’s diet.

patterdale dog breed

Exercise Needs of Patterdale Terrier

Patterdale Terriers are active dogs and they need lots of regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally healthy. Long walks and lots of play sessions will keep them entertained, but if possible, try to provide them with toys and scenarios where they can hone their hunting instincts.

Snuffle mats can be a great way for them to practice ragging/shaking behavior and sniff out their prey (in this case, a healthy snack rather than a rat).

It’s important to keep them mentally stimulated if you ever want these wonderful dogs to relax and cuddle up with you at the end of the day.

Cost of a Patterdale Terrier

The cost of a Patterdale Terrier really depends on demand and breeders in your area. You can expect to pay anywhere between $400-$800 for a Patterdale Terrier puppy.

Of course, if you’re lucky enough to find one in a local shelter, it will cost you much less. You’d also be giving a gorgeous dog a home!

Adopting a Patterdale Terrier

It’s always really important to research ethical breeders in your area. Although not one of the most popular dogs in America, they can be unethically bred. Always avoid puppy farms or breeders offering puppies for a much lower price.

Breeders should be able to provide you with all required health certificates so that you know both parents and puppies are healthy.

patterdale terrier


Do Patterdale Terriers Bark a Lot?

Yes, Patterdale Terriers are known for being quite talkative dogs. Bear this in mind if you have neighbors living close by!

Are Patterdale Terriers Affectionate Dogs?

Patterdales can be very cuddly and loving pups – but only if they get enough exercise during the day. If they’ve spent the day working or playing in a fenced yard, they’ll be happy to cuddle up on the couch too.

What’s The Patterdale Terrier Size?

A full-grown Patterdale Terrier will grow to be 11 to 15 inches tall and weigh 13 pounds.

Do Patterdale Terriers Shed?

These pups require very little grooming because they don’t shed much. Whilst not hypoallergenic, they only require weekly brushing.

Sum Up – Is a Patterdale Terrier The Dog For You?

If you’re an active dog owner who wants the challenge of owning a dog full of energy and personality then the answer is YES. A Patterdale Terrier could be perfect. These wonderful dogs are loyal and excellent hunters that need lots of daily exercise.

They get on well with kids and enjoy being part of a large family that can keep them entertained. They also have minimal grooming needs which is good news! Training is essential, as is socialization if you want a happy dog that fits in well with other pets and family members.