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.