Patterdale Terrier

  • Patterdale Terriers in the UK
  • Patterdale Terrier Dogs
  • Patterdale Terrier in the UK
  • Patterdale Terriers

Terrier Group

Exercise Level:
Barking Level:
Good with Children:
Good with other pets:
Height: 31 - 38cm M | 31 - 38cm F
Weight: 5 - 6kg M | 5 - 6kg F
Life Expectancy: 11 - 14 Years

Searching for a Patterdale Terrier?

The Patterdale Terrier also referred to as the Black Fell Terrier is a laid back, compact working dog breed originally bred to hunt vermin and fox. This dog breed is a favourite in Europe and growing popular in the United States and other countries. The Patterdale is versatile and smart with excellent hunting skills. It is an attractive dog with glossy black coats and friendly brown eyes. It weighs 15 to 30 pounds and stands 25 to 40 centimetres. The Patterdale is not recognised by The Kennel Club as a breed on its own.

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

book icon History

The Patterdale Terrier originated in Lake District called Patterdale in England. It is a relatively new breed developed by Brian Nuttall in the 1960s. The breed was bred to be a tough and hardy dog capable of working and protecting flocks against predators. Instead of flushing vermin and fox from their dens, like most terrier dogs, the Patterdale is trained to exterminate the prey and is small enough to burrow into holes.

Patterdales were first brought to the United States in 1978, where they were highly-valued as hunting dogs for badgers, boar and racoons. The Patterdale Terrier Club was later established in America in 1993. In 1995, Patterdale was recognised by the United Kennel Club in 1995, but until now The Kennel Club in the UK has yet to accept the Patterdale Terrier as a breed in its own right.

Although mainly bred as a working dog, the Patterdale is kept more as a companion dog and family pet for its loving and energetic nature.

comb icon Appearance and Grooming

The Patterdale Terrier is an active working breed with a compact and balanced appearance. Its small size and compressed chest can easily burrow into small holes underground to follow its prey. Patterdales weigh 15 to 30 pounds and stand 25 to 40 centimetres. They have robust and powerful wedge-shaped heads that are well-proportioned with the rest of the body. Eyes are set nicely apart and should match their coat colour showing lively and alert expressions, typical of terrier dogs. They have triangular ears that fold neatly above their heads and black or brown nose.  

The Patterdale boast of a well-muscled neck, shoulders and chest covered with a smooth or rough coat that comes with a dense undercoat. Rough coated Patterdales have longer guard hairs that are coarse to the touch and can be slightly wavy. They also sport prominent eyebrows, a beard and moustache. Coat colours include grizzle, red/tan, chocolate, black and tan, liver (dogs have a red/brown nose). Patterdales always wear white paws and some white on their chests regardless of coat colour.

Since Patterdale Terriers have short coats that lie flat on their bodies, little grooming is required. Brushing the coat once a week will suffice to keep it clean and tangle-free. However, Patterdales need to be hand stripped at least twice a year, so it is best to hire a professional groomer to do this. Other things to never forget as part of dog grooming, other than the coat, is brushing the dog's teeth at least twice a week, cleaning its ears regularly and trimming the nails at least once a month or when it gets long. During the grooming process, it also pays to be on the lookout for lesions, fleas and ticks or signs of infection.

bulb icon Temperament and Intelligence

The Patterdale, unlike most terrier dogs, are not the yappy sort. It is a laid-back dog that likes to work but at the same time will be happy curling up with its owners. Although its small size qualifies the Patterdale Terrier as a toy dog, major kennel clubs (except The Kennel Club) value hunting instinct, tough and fearless demeanour as solid qualifications to belong to the terrier group. The Patterdale is also a useful watchdog and will bark when warranted.

Patterdale Terriers are intelligent and have the desire to please their owners as such this makes them easy to train. However, it is crucial to start its training and socialisation as early as possible to understand their place in the pack and recognise who to look up to for instructions. When properly trained, Patterdales can even take part in canine sports due to its determined natures.

Although Patterdales make great family pets and love to play with kids, they must always be supervised to prevent any accidents. When it comes to smaller animals, the Patterdale's high prey drive will result in 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 dogs, they coexist well enough since Patterdales can also work in packs.

food icon Nutrition and Feeding

A typical serving for an adult Patterdale Terrier is 3/4 to 1 cup of quality dry dog food per day. Feeding a balanced diet to a dog is often confusing since each dog is unique. Nutritional requirement 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 dog will need.

Below is a sample typical daily calorie need of adult Patterdale Terriers that weighs 20 pounds:

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

The most important thing to consider when you buy commercial dog food is the ingredient. Look for dog food that is formulated for small and active dogs, which is rich in protein. Not all the time expensive translates to quality dog food. Also, make sure to stay away from food fillers like corn, wheat or soy.

stethoscope icon Health and Exercise

Patterdale Terriers are generally healthy with a lifespan of 12 to 15 years, but they are also predisposed to some health issues (albeit not many) such as Conjunctivitis, Cataracts, Glaucoma, Portosystemic Shunt, Patellar Luxation and some Allergies.

Like most terriers, Patterdales are highly energetic. They require plenty of physical and mental stimulation, normally at least 30 minutes of moderate exercises daily. The Patterdale also loves to play games that involve chasing and running. They should not be left alone for long periods of time, or they will develop destructive behaviours. Remember a bored dog is never a good thing.

pound icon Cost of Ownership

The Patterdale Terrier is among the cheapest dog breeds, with a price somewhere around £200 to £350. It's a good thing since the financial journey ahead is long and often winding. When you buy a Patterdale Terrier, be prepared to set aside a significant portion of your budget to food (£20 to £30/month), pet insurance (£18 to £40/month) and veterinary care (£800/year).

It is important that you have considered the financial aspect of owning a dog, so you don't suffer money issues along the way. Although pet insurance is often taken for granted, it is this one cost that may likely save you more money in the future. Anyway, a rough estimate to care for a Patterdale Terrier is around £50 to £80 a month. If you think you can afford that, then, by all means, buy a Patterdale for sale from a reputable breeder.

Is a Patterdale Terrier Right for You?

  • Patterdale Terriers are active working dogs with a balanced build.
  • Since they have short, tight coats and require little grooming.
  • They are useful watchdogs and will bark when warranted.
  • They require plenty of exercises, at least 30 minutes daily.
  • They are intelligent with the desire to please, thus easy to train.

Are you sure the Patterdale Terrier is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.

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Do you think the Patterdale Terrier is not the best dog for you? Find other breed options based on your lifestyle through our Pet Finder.

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

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