Patterdale Terrier

Owning A Patterdale Terrier

Patterdale Terrier – Introduction to breed

Patterdale terriers are highly energetic dogs that were initially bred in the Lake District (England) for hunting badgers and foxes. Even though fox hunting is illegal they are now used for protecting game birds on a hunt and quite often also used as ratters. Due to the Patterdale’s cute appearance and loyalty to their owner, Patterdale terriers make great pets. This blog is all about owning a Patterdale terrier as a pet.

Patterdale Terrier – Exercise needs

Due to the high amount of energy that they have, Patterdales are better suited to countryside homes rather than urban ones. If you want a Patterdale terrier you will need to be prepared to go on at least two walks a day and extended hikes in the early mornings at least on weekends. A pet Patterdale will be sure to keep you fit!

The best owners for Patterdale terriers are those who can work at home and can be with him or her all day. If this is not possible, the ideal situation would be a large family with people whose work patterns cross over so that there is usually someone with him or her. Avoid leaving a Patterdale alone for more than 3-4 hours at a time. Their boredom can turn into destruction!

When you own a Patterdale terrier, you need to understand that they are an intelligent breed and need a great deal of intellectual stimulation as well as physical exercise. A training minded household will therefore be beneficial. Start with obedience training and socialisation (with other dogs and people). Then you can entertain your dog with scent trails, puzzles and games.

Patterdales are also a great breed for small dog agility. They are fast and very food motivated which makes them good at agility training.

However, because of their built in prey drive, they can be easily distracted. Therefore it might be a good idea to keep your Patterdale on a lead in unfamiliar surroundings. The last thing that you want is for your Patterdale to bolt across a road because he sees a cat or get stuck down a rabbit hole.

Patterdale Terrier – Summary

All problems aside, a Patterdale terrier is one of the most loving pets that you can have. While you’re relaxing in the evening, your dog won’t be in his own bed, he will be as close to you as possible, and preferably snuggled up on your lap!

Enjoy your Patterdale Terrier!

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  1. My son has a patterdale terrier I look after him frequently, the biggest problem I have he barks a the least little sound, he stresses out the cats and my wee staffie husband had enough…

    1. Hi Angela, thanks for your comment. Does your son report that he’s always been a barker or if he doing it more when he stays with you? If other Patterdale Terrier owners want to comment feel free, are they known for their barking and do they generally get on well in households that have cats?


  2. I own a (very lively) Patterdale. She is not a barker, in fact she hardly barked for the first few years of having her. Now she barks a bit when there is a knock at the door (which I like) but bar that rarely barks. If other dogs do she will join in but I can go weeks without hearing her bark. I believe for terriers they are some of the most quiet so perhaps he’s a bit unsettled at yours.

    I would however say they are prey orientated dogs and the cats could be blowing his mind! My dog would be chasing (and possibly catching) cats if I let her. I have been able to train her to not chase them but her mind is still blown by them. I would not recommend Patterdale’s to be left alone with any small animal as they really are hunters and chasers.

    1. Hi Tracey,

      Yes terriers generally do seem to have a high prey drive. Their breeding really does form a large part of their personality and it’s for us owners to make sure we pick a breed that fits our lifestyle rather than a breed we like the look of.


  3. I have a 2 yr old patterdale called freddo and he is like a Tasmanian devil 😈 he’s torn up my garden and there is holes everywhere and a couple of sofas!! He’s flooded my house by pulling out the washing machine plumbing😣 he also has taught himself to climbs trees!!! He used to escape all the time and I have no idea how with a six foot fence around the garden but he has been on my local spotted page atleast 15 times. He has came in twice weather feathers all over his face(pidgeons)……..But let me tell you he knows every trick in the book if I’ve got a treat in my hand and is the most clever dog I’ve ever met in my life and he’s very loving and great around other dogs and love him too bits but I don’t trust the little buggar one bit 🤣🤣

    1. Oh Tom, That is the best description of the dog and relationship with one ever!! Had I not raised 2 kids and run a small animal medical rescue for the last 8 years, I do not know if I could handle this little fella! He is a maniac! I am his 4th parent and he isn’t even quite 2 yet. The first thing he did upon entering my penthouse apartment and yes obviously I should know better… Carrying on, he saw a 4.3 pound and a 6.5 pound Chihuahua and immediately went to chasing them under the bed which ia when I learned about his crawling ability! Fortunately they have much sharper teeth than he has, they are a couple of old spoiled bitches, literally, and the two of them ganged up on him and soon he came running back out from under the bed, thank you God! He then figured he could just jump right up on the bed which is a full 3 feet off of the ground and he takes one big leap, jumps up on the bed then jumps off the other side of the bed, jumps back up on the bed. I thought to myself immediately we’re going to have to get a ramp because that’s just a numbers game that at some point he’s going to hurt himself jumping up and down off of such a high surface. The ramp has subsequently been installed. He then discovered the two cats in the living room. This is a great thing because those poor little cats have been bored for so long. They have their own iPad which they use to play music. They have their own flatscreen television where they primarily like to watch sporting events and certain other shows. Charlotte‘s Web is their favorite. They’re quite keen cats and I like them a lot. One of them was feral so she’s pretty hysterical with her hackles and her hissing and her clawing. They immediately took down the little boy as soon as he came after them they curled him in a ball between the two of them, 84 teeth and 40 claws, and they rolled him to the door where they then pinned him against the door and I went and rescued him. Now they come and knock on my bedroom door probably 15 times a day for me to let him out so that they can play chase together. Being agile as he is he can go up and down all over the place like they do and they have a great time. Obviously yes they tear everything up. My penthouse now reminds me of that show with one of the Gabor sisters as the city lover and her husband who loved the country life. Everyone wants to be here to see the animals. My Mom says I have gone to the dogs! It is pretty idealic to have the lifestyle I enjoy and the animals too! The little guy goes pretty much everywhere with me. He has all of his service dog passes and behaves impeccably, especially in first class. I giggle. It must be the well mannered Brit in him! He is a very handsome redheaded boy too! You are sure right about him laying on me all the time! That is my biggest complaint! But oh well. He is such a little sweetie pie and brings everyone so much joy! He is a family member.

  4. I have a patterdale shes 14 and still thinks shes a puppy shes amazing loving dog great with kids and soft hearted she makes us laugh every day loves her routines, and she also tells me when my daughter gonna have a seizure, which I never taught her shes just amazing I think patterdales are so intelligent and loyal cudnt be without her.

      1. Am a truck driver and looking at getting a 2 year old patterdale from a rescue center,I live alone and will be able to take dog with me too work in the lorry and stop couple times a day for walks as well as a long walk in the evening, do u think this breed would be good to take to work

  5. I have a rescue patterdale and he’s cute as a button he knows how to play the game , he turns away in the huff making you feel awful 😂, he has days when he’s barks morning noon and night, he loves cuddling in too, I developed breast cancer last year and the little fella didn’t leave my side even still if I am out of his sight longer than 3 minutes (we have timed him) he’s the most loyal loving dog he’s just a joy and so funny 😆

  6. Hi all Just got a Norfolk Terrier cross with a patterdale now 5 months old . So loving and so energetic only chews his toys . But to be fair would not leave him in a room on his own . Sleeps well but up early goes to bed about ten and up at 6 sleeps in his crate and he loves it . Great family pet but needs a lot of exercise. We are both retired so can give him plenty of time . Would not leave him more than 4 hours in crate during the day . Stay safe all.

  7. Me & my partner are buying a Lakeland cross Patter-dale.we’re so excited but know it will be a lot of work.I only work for a couple of hrs in the won’t be in his cage for too long.

  8. Our little Patterdale, Maya, recently turned one and we’ve had her since a puppy. She shares our house with our much older Wiemaraner (best dog in the world, but don’t tell him that). All dogs have their own personality, but she’s certainly quite typical of the breed description. She’s very intelligent picking up tricks, words and obedience quickly. Definitely needs long walks and plenty of mental stimulation. She will bark at unknown sounds when at home, but not uncontrollably. She does have an incredibly high prey drive and we wouldn’t trust her around cats or other small animals. She is very confident and pretty dominate with other dogs, we have to work hard sometimes to keep her under control. Also we have to be careful and make sure she’s focused on us with young children running around in the park. She will get excited, chase and bark loudly, which can be scary for kids. We’ve been fortunate in that she doesn’t seem to suffer from separation anxiety and even as a puppy didn’t chew anything she wasn’t supposed to, but it’s rare for her to be left alone for long periods of time.
    When people ask about her when out, we say that she’s very high energy, more so than most breeds and not for a 1st time dog owner, or the most terrier of terriers.
    However she’s ridiculously cute, super smart and loving towards us.

  9. I have tried to identify for ages what breed of terrier we have. Most similar was border x lakeland in Google images but this one here looks 100% like our Trixie (other Patterdales in Google don’t look like her). She is a volcano even now at age of 11. She learnt to leave cats alone but only when she is on a lead. She got into numerous fights with cats and rats and also other dogs but only her size. She is extremely fit and such a good dog at home (you can take food out of her mouth). We both work so She stays for hours alone but the only thing she can mess up are the bins if we leave them on the floor because she is so much after food. She can be also very ignorant. When all her needs were fulfilled she ain’t gonna bother wth us calling her to come to bed. She sleeps all night in her bed and comes to the bed in the morning when she knows we are awake. She is just perfect with that. She never wakes us up. She can run all day, she never gets tired. We had a rat 🐀 at the house and of course she was a maniac about it. She stayed at night in front of the cupboard and she waited for it. After first meeting with Trixie, the rat never came back. She is very intelligent. She figures out all the puzzles and also knows how to play with emotions. If one of us tells her off she looks at the other one to confirm or deny. If the other one tells her off also she then goes to her bed but if not, she will stay totally ignoring the person who is telling her off. I am a foreigner and I met her when she was 5. She learned second language in no time and believe me, she knows it better than my partner. She is also very loving and caring and very healthy. 11 years and not a single health problem. We only cleaned her teeth and that is it. It is certainly not a breed for everyone. They need loads of attention and loads of walks.

  10. I have a paterdale he’s 10 now but he has always been ball orientated.He loves to go for long walks since he was 2 he has taken part in a yearly event of walk the wight.He has walked all 4 distances over the years 8 mile 12 mile 14 mile and the longest which he did with my son last year 26 miles I don’t where he gets his energy from.Our patterdale has been brought up with cats them being the boss we now have a year old cat wr had from a kitten they absolutely adore each other .

    1. Hi Amanda,

      Yes Patterdales seem to enjoy walks and some need more exercise than some people might expect for a small breed. They have very expressive faces and outgoing personality and it’s no wonder they are a popular breed.


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