By Macy Gen Veterinary AssistantMacy Gen Last updated: 28th October 2022

Patterdale Terrier


Macy Gen Veterinary Assistant Macy Gen
Last updated: 28th October 2022

The Patterdale Terrier belongs to the category of a Fell Terrier, hailing from Ullswater area of the Lake District in the North Western part of England. Descending from several 20th century Northern Terrier breeds, this English breed has a small structure. It is characterized by a strong, square-shaped head, tapered muzzle, squarely set, wide black eyes and moderate sized, floppy, V-shaped ears folding towards the front.

Patterdale Terrier Pictures

Quick Information

Other NamesBlack Fell Terrier
CoatShort, rough or broken
ColorBlack (seen in most of them), red, tan, liver, bronze, brown, mixture of black and tan, chocolate and liver-and-tan
Breed TypeCrossbreed
Group (of Breed)Terrier
Lifespan11 to 13 years
Weight11 to 13 pounds
HeightAbout 12 inches
TemperamentEnergetic, robust, strong-willed, inquisitive, confident
Good with ChildrenYes
Litter size About 6 puppies
BarkingBarks loudly on seeing anything unfamiliar
Originated inUnited  Kingdom
Competitive RegistrationCKC, APRI, ACR, DRA, NKC

Patterdale Terrier Video


The credit of line breeding these dogs goes to Joe Bowman, a hunt master of the Ullswater region and a Border Terrier breeder. These dogs were developed in the harsh conditions of Northern England primarily for hunting down preys as well as driving away the red fox from the rocky belt surrounding the Lake District.

Popularized in Great Britain, in 1978 they were brought to the United States of America and used for hunting badgers, raccoons, and boars. In 1993, the Patterdale Club of America had been formed to preserve this unique breed.

Breed standards and recognition

The United Kennel Club of the United States of America recognized this breed on the 1st January, 1995, fixing the following standards for it.

  • They should have a height of 25 to 40 centimeters.
  • Their weight must be between 7 kg and 14 kg.
  • They should be in a healthy and active condition.
  • They should have broken, rough or smooth coats which must also be weather-proofed.
  • They should be flexible and able to squeeze through narrow passages to catch their prey.

The American Rare Breed Association is one of the few organizations to give it recognition. It however, remains unrecognized by the American Kennel Club and the United Kingdom Kennel Club.


These smart, bold, energetic dogs possessing immense hunting abilities are good watch dogs alerting their owner at the instant they spot any unfamiliar person or find anything unusual by giving a surprisingly loud bark. These small-sized dogs are tough, strong-willed and independent in nature. They are closely bonded to their family members and are laid-back when confined to the premises of their house. They even go to the extent of cuddling affectionately in your lap.

Though they are child-friendly, an adult’s supervision is required when the little ones are playing with the terriers. In fact, the Patterdale Terrier Club of America does not recommend any of the terrier breeds for children below seven years.

When socialized well they get along well with strangers as well as other dogs, who they may end up fighting with when bored. Their prey-catching instinct  does not make them a good option to be kept with cats or other smaller animals.

Care and Training

These headstrong dogs may at times be very difficult to train, needing a firm owner who may be able to control its dominance and handle it in an assertive way.



This working dog with its high energy levels is not well suited for apartments as it requires a lot of free, open space to move and run about freely. Taking them out for a walk at least two times in a day or letting them play in an open fenced area is a good way to channelize their energy. Keeping them energized will help in mending their behavioral issues like digging and barking loudly. Do not take it outside without a leash as it has a tendency of chasing anything that is moving. Playing a game of football or fetching, as well as some water sports will keep them entertained.


Their smooth coats need minimal grooming as it has stiff outer-hairs which get back to its place when lifted. Dogs having broken coats needs to just be tidied up by brushing occasionally. Bathe your dog only when required or clean its body using a wet sponge. Apart from their coats their nails are to be trimmed at two-week intervals. Clean your pet’s eyes with moist cloth or paper napkin to prevent bacteria build up. Massage its ears using cotton wool and an ear solution in order to loosen the wax.

Health Problems

Though very healthy and hearty in nature they may suffer from certain genetic problems as well as conjunctivitis, deafness, cataract, cuts from injuries while hunting, diabetes, diarrhea, allergies and so on.


The eight to twelve week old puppies should be given four bowls of food daily, whereas puppies ranging between three and six months of age are to be provided with three equal meals. Older dogs can be given one or two meals a day. Dry dog food can be mixed with its soup or water. Other foods like cheese, vegetables, eggs etc. can be given in limited amounts. Provision of fresh water regularly is an important criterion to keep your Patterdale healthy.

Interesting Facts

  • Of late this breed has been actively participating in sports like dog agility and fly ball.
  • “Chip”, a five-year-old Terrier has five British Flyball Association awards to its credit is the second Patterdale to obtain the award of Platinum Flyball Milestone.
  • The Patterjack is a result of crossing the Jack Russell and Patterdale Terrier, whereas the Pocket Pitbull is a crossbred between the American Pit Bull and the Patterdale Terrier.
  • Patterdales generally have a black nose excepting the liver-colored dogs that are red-nosed.

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