• Patterdale Terrier Dog
  • Patterdale Terriers in the UK
  • Patterdale Terrier
  • Patterdale Terrier Dogs
  • Patterdale Terrier in Great Britain
  • Patterdale Terrier Dog Breed
  • Patterdale Terrier Breed
  • Patterdale Terriers
  • Patterdale Terriers in Great Britain
  • Patterdale Terrier in the UK
Exercise Level:
Barking Level:
Good with Children:
Good with other pets:
Height: 30 - 38cm M | 30 - 38cm F
Weight: 4 - 5kg M | 4 - 5kg F
Life Expectancy: 12 - 15 Years

Thinking of buying or adopting a Patterdale Terrier?


The Patterdale Terrier breed, also referred to as the Black Fell Terrier, is a laid-back, compact working Terrier that was originally bred to hunt foxes and vermin. He is from England like the Jack Russell Terrier.

This small Terrier dog is a favourite in Europe and is growing in popularity in the United States and other countries.

The Patterdale Terrier dog breed is now a beloved family pet rather than a hunting companion. He is great with children, but he must be handled with care during playtime due to his size.

Because the Patterdale Terrier dog has a high prey drive, supervision is needed when he is around small animals.

The Patterdale Terrier is a low-maintenance dog breed, but he requires yearly hand stripping. He may be easy to train, but he is not suitable for first-time dog owners.

This small Patterdale Terrier dog is packed with energy needs, so he will need lots of physical and mental exercise. This Terrier dog breed can live up to 12–15 years.

Are you looking to own a Patterdale Terrier puppy? Here is a brief background of this playful and fun-loving dog breed.

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The Patterdale Terrier dog breed originated in Lake District called Patterdale in Northern England. He is a relatively new breed that was developed by Brian Nuttall in the 1960s.

Patterdale dogs were bred to be tough and hardy. He is capable of working and protecting flocks against predators.

Instead of flushing rats, foxes, and badgers from their dens like most Terrier breeds do, Patterdale dogs were originally bred to exterminate the prey. They can effortlessly burrow into holes due to their small size.

This Terrier dog breed was first brought to the United States in 1978, where they were highly valued as hunting dogs for badgers, boars, and raccoons. The Patterdale Terrier Club was later established in America in 1993.

In 1995, the Patterdale Terrier dog breed was recognised by the United Kennel Club 1995, but until now, The Kennel Club in the United Kingdom has yet to accept him as a breed in his own right.

The Patterdale Terrier breed’s small size qualifies him as a Toy dog, but major kennel clubs (except The Kennel Club) value hunting instinct and tough and fearless demeanour as solid qualifications to belong to the Terrier Group.

Patterdale Terriers were mainly bred as working dogs, but they are more suitable as companion dogs and family pets for their loving and energetic nature.

What breeds make up a Patterdale Terrier?

The different dog breeds that make up the Patterdale Terrier are unclear. However, some speculate that Joe Bowman, who initiated the development of the breed, crossed the blue-black Border Terrier and a black and tan Lakeland Terrier to create the Patterdale Terrier.

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Appearance and Grooming

The Patterdale Terrier is an active working breed with a compact and balanced appearance. His small size and compressed chest can easily fit him into small holes underground to follow his prey.

The adult Patterdale Terrier’s weight is around 4–5 kilos (11–13 pounds). They grow up 30–38 centimetres (12–15 inches) tall.

The Patterdale Terrier dog breed has a robust and powerful wedge-shaped head. It is well-proportioned with the rest of the body. His eyes are set nicely apart, should match his coat colour, and show lively and alert expressions, which are typical of Terrier dogs.

Patterdale dogs have triangular ears that fold neatly above their head, and a black or brown nose. They boast of a well-muscled neck, shoulders, and chest.

The Patterdales sport a double coat that comes with a dense undercoat. The breed has 3 coat variations: smooth, broken, or rough.

Smooth-coated Patterdale dogs have an absence of waviness in their hair. Their fur is stiff and coarse. When lifted, it turns back to its place.

Rough-coated Patterdale dogs have longer hair that is coarse to the touch and can be slightly wavy. They also sport prominent eyebrows, a beard, and a moustache.

Broken-coated Patterdale dogs have medium-length hair. Compared to their smooth-coated counterparts, they have longer guard hair. Their guard hair can be wavy or wiry. The broken-coated variety may or may not possess face furnishings.

The Patterdale Terrier dog breed’s acceptable coat colours include black, red, grizzle, red/tan, chocolate, black and tan, and liver.

The Patterdale Terrier breed always has white paws. Some white markings can be found on his chest regardless of coat colour.

The Patterdale Terrier dog’s grooming regimen includes brushing his teeth at least twice a week and cleaning his  ears weekly. Don’t forget to trim his nails at least once a month too.

During the grooming process, it also pays to be on the lookout for lesions, fleas, and ticks or signs of infection.

Do Patterdale Terriers shed?

Yes, Patterdale Terriers do shed like all kinds of dogs. They are moderate shedders that require little grooming. Since they have a short double coat that lies flat on their body, brushing their coat once a week will be enough to keep them clean and tangle-free.

However, Patterdale dogs’ fur needs to be hand-stripped at least twice a year, so it is best to hire a professional groomer to do this.

Are Patterdale Terriers hypoallergenic?

No, Patterdale Terriers are non-hypoallergenic dogs. They are not ideal canine companions for allergy sufferers.

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Temperament and Intelligence

The Patterdale Terrier dog breed is intelligent and has the desire to please his owner. As such, this small dog is easy to train. But he can be a challenging dog to train for first-time owners.

However, it is crucial to start the Patterdale Terrier’s obedience training and socialisation as early as possible. This will help him understand his place in the pack and recognise who to look up to for instructions.

When properly trained, Patterdale dogs can even take part in canine sports due to their determined nature.

The Patterdale Terrier dog breed makes a great family pet and loves to play with kids, but their interactions must always be supervised to prevent any accidents. Moreover, young children should be taught how to handle dogs to avoid injuring them.

The Patterdale Terrier breed’s strong prey drive will result in small animals like cats, mice, or guinea pigs being chased or worse killed.

However, Patterdale Terriers can get on well with cats in the household when raised together. As for other dogs, they can coexist well enough since these dogs can also work in packs.

Are Patterdale Terriers good pets?

Yes, Patterdale Terriers are good pets. Unlike most Terrier dogs, they are not the yappy sort. These small pooches like to work. But at the same time, they can be happy and contented curling up with their owners.

Are Patterdales aggressive?

No, Patterdale dogs are not aggressive so long as they are given proper training and socialisation at a young age.

Both processes are important as Patterdale dogs are protective of their owners. Well-trained ones can be useful watchdogs that will bark when needed.

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Nutrition and Feeding

The suggested serving for an adult Patterdale Terrier is 3/4–1 cup of high-quality dry dog food per day. Feeding a dog with a balanced diet can be confusing since each dog is unique.

Nutritional requirements of dogs often vary depending on their age, size, build, health, activity level, and metabolism. The most sensible course of action is to seek vet advice to find the appropriate balance your Patterdale Terrier will need.

Here are the typical daily calorie needs of an adult Patterdale Terrier that weighs 9 kilos (20 pounds):

  • Senior and less active: up to 590 calories daily
  • Typical adult: up to 660 calories daily
  • Physically active/working dog: up to 730 calories daily

The most important thing to consider when you buy a commercial dog food is the ingredient. Look for a dog food that is formulated for small and active dogs that is rich in protein.

Just note that expensive does not often translate to excellent-quality dog food. Also, make sure not to choose a dog food that contains food fillers like corn, wheat, or soy.

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Health and Exercise

The Patterdale Terrier is a healthy and hardy breed, but he is also predisposed to certain health problems (albeit not many) such as:


It is an eye disorder that places extra pressure on the eyes. Affected Patterdale dogs may experience pain and redness in their eyes. In worst cases, vision loss may occur. This condition has no cure and requires lifelong treatment to manage the symptoms.

Patellar Luxation

The misalignment of a dog's kneecap or patella results in patellar luxation. Patterdale Terriers with this disease will have difficulty in moving around as the affected limb is painful. It can be cured depending on what treatment option the vet chooses: medication or surgery.

When looking for beautiful puppies, make sure that they were bred by a reputable breeder. The puppies along with their mother and father must be health-tested. This is one of the best ways to lower the risk of acquiring a disease-prone Patterdale puppy.

Patterdale puppies are ready to leave with their owners when they reach around 8–9 weeks old.

Avoid Patterdale breeders who pressure you into bringing home the puppy if he is only around 6 weeks of age. This is too early for him to be separated from his mother, and he may become weak and fall ill.

Patterdale dogs, like most Terrier dogs, have high energy. They require lots of exercises and mental stimulation. They normally need at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily.

Patterdale dogs love to play games that involve chasing and running. Take them out for long walks, jogging, or hikes as they are great exercise partners.

Remember that a bored dog that is full of energy is never a good thing. The Patterdale Terrier breed should not be left alone for long periods or he will develop destructive behaviours.

How long do Patterdale Terriers live?

As Patterdale Terriers are small dogs, they tend to have a longer lifespan than larger dog breeds. They can live up to 12–15 years.

Mind that the Patterdale breed is susceptible to diseases. Hence, regular health checks with the vet are needed to prevent the development of any health issues.

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Cost of Ownership

The price for a Patterdale Terrier puppy ranges from £900–£1,500. Remember to buy from a reputable breeder. Do not take the risk of acquiring Patterdale puppies for sale from shady breeders as you might become a victim of a puppy scam.

Many dogs are left abandoned and in need of a loving family. Thus, it is also a good idea to consider adopting your pooch from a Patterdale Terrier rescue organisation or a dog shelter.

Since the Patterdale Terrier size is small, the breed only needs minimal amounts of food daily. Your puppy’s monthly food expenses can amount to £20.

Moving into a new and unfamiliar family home can be intimidating for your new Patterdale Terrier puppy. Providing him with his daily necessities will help in slowly making him feel at home.

The total cost of your pup’s necessities, which include dog toys, collar, and food and water bowls, is around £100–£300.

Disease prevention is a top concern when it comes to owning a dog. Thus, you will need to regularly take your Patterdale Terrier puppy to the vet for check-ups. Prepare to pay around £30–£60 for each session.

Puppies are very vulnerable to contagious and fatal canine illnesses. Vaccinating your Patterdale Terrier puppy will protect him from these dangers. You will have to pay approximately £100–£150 for the first shots of the vaccine and £50–£60 for annual boosters.

Vet care for your Patterdale Terrier puppy can be pretty expensive, especially during emergencies. Consider signing up for pet insurance to lower its cost.

Choosing a lifetime package for your Patterdale pup will have a monthly fee that can range from £18–£80. If you prefer a time-limited coverage, an additional £15–20 to your monthly bills.

Patterdale Terrier Breed Highlights

  • The Patterdale Terrier dog breed is a working dog that has lots of energy and needs plenty of exercises.
  • Since this small Terrier dog has a short tight coat, he only requires minimal grooming.
  • Patterdale Terriers are useful watchdogs and will bark when needed.
  • Intelligent with the desire to please, these hunting dogs are easy to train.
Patterdale Terrier

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The information, including measurements, prices and other estimates, on this page is provided for general reference purposes only.

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