A very happy Patterdale Terrier on the rocks at the beach on a quiet day

Patterdale Terrier

20 July 2023

Considering bringing home a new family member? The loveable Patterdale Terrier is a great choice!

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Let’s talk about… Patterdale Terriers: what are they?

  • Patterdale Terriers, also known as Patties, are small but robust dogs that originated in the Patterdale region of the Lake District.
  • They were originally bred for hunting and have a strong prey drive.
  • These terriers are known for their fearless and determined nature, making them excellent working dogs.
  • They have a compact build with an average height of around 25 to 30 cm and weigh between 5 to 7 kg.
  • Patterdale Terriers have a life expectancy of approximately 12 to 15 years.
Patterdale Terrier  Exercise Needs 3/5 Grooming Ease 4/5 Trainability 3/5

What is the temperament of Patterdale Terriers like?

  • Patterdale Terriers are energetic and lively dogs with a courageous spirit.
  • They possess a high level of intelligence and are quick to learn.
  • While they are loyal and affectionate towards their family, they can be reserved and wary of strangers.
  • Early socialisation is essential to help them become well-rounded and comfortable around different people and animals.
  • Patterdale Terriers have a strong hunting instinct and may not get along well with small pets such as cats or rabbits.
  • They thrive on mental stimulation and physical activity, so keeping them engaged and providing outlets for their energy is important.
Doggy member Denzel, the Patterdale Terrier, sitting in a field lined with trees, smiling happily after a game of fetch

How much exercise do Patterdale Terriers need?

  • Patterdale Terriers are highly active dogs that require a significant amount of exercise.
  • They typically need at least 1 hour of exercise per day to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.
  • Engaging in activities such as brisk walks, jogging, hiking, or interactive play sessions is beneficial for their overall well-being.
  • It's important to note that Patterdale Terriers have a strong prey drive and may be prone to chasing smaller animals if not properly trained and controlled.
  • They should always be kept on a secure lead or in a safely enclosed area to prevent them from running off.
  • Puppies have specific exercise needs based on their age and physical development.
  • It's essential to provide them with short and controlled play sessions to avoid overexertion and protect their growing bones and joints.
  • As they mature, their exercise duration and intensity can gradually increase.
  • They can usually manage full adult exercise levels by 12-18 months.
  • Consult with your vet for specific exercise recommendations based on your Patterdale Terrier's age, health, and individual needs.
Doggy member Lenny, the Patterdale Terrier sitting calmly on a walk waiting for a treat

Do Patterdale Terriers need a lot of grooming?

  • Patterdale Terriers have a short and dense coat that is relatively low maintenance.
  • Their weather-resistant fur provides good protection from the elements.
  • Regular brushing with a soft-bristle brush or grooming mitt is sufficient to remove loose hair and keep their coat in good condition.
  • They are considered moderate shedders and may benefit from more frequent brushing during shedding seasons.
  • Additionally, check their ears regularly for any signs of infection, and trim their nails if needed to prevent overgrowth.
  • ​​Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Doggy member Merlin, the Patterdale Terrier having a lot of fun on the beach!

Are Patterdale Terriers easy to train?

  • Patterdale Terriers are intelligent and eager to please, making them trainable with consistent and positive reinforcement methods.
  • However, they have a strong independent streak and may exhibit stubbornness at times.
  • Early socialisation and puppy training classes are highly beneficial to introduce them to various people, animals, and environments.
  • Patterdale Terriers respond well to reward-based training techniques, using treats, praise, and play as motivators.
  • It's important to establish clear boundaries and provide mental stimulation to keep them engaged.
  • Patience, consistency, and firm yet gentle guidance are key when training Patterdale Terriers.
  • Keep training sessions short, fun, and varied to prevent boredom.
Doggy member Willow, the Patterdale Terrier sitting in front of a small waterfall

What do Patterdale Terriers eat?

  • Feeding your Patterdale Terrier a well-balanced and appropriate diet is crucial for their health and vitality.
  • Choose a high-quality dog food that suits their age, size, and activity level.
  • It's recommended to feed most of them two meals a day as adults.
  • Avoid overfeeding and monitor their weight to prevent obesity, which can lead to various health problems.
  • Patterdale Terrier puppies have different dietary needs than adults and should be fed a specially formulated puppy food until they reach around 12 months of age.
  • The transition to adult dog food can begin gradually as their nutritional requirements change.
  • Puppies should initially be fed 3-4 times daily until 6 months old when this can be reduced to twice daily.
  • It's important to follow the feeding guidelines provided by the food manufacturer and consult with your vet for specific dietary recommendations based on your Patterdale Terrier's age, weight, and overall health.

Are Patterdale Terriers healthy?

Patterdale Terriers are generally healthy dogs, but like any breed, they may be prone to certain health conditions. Some health concerns that can affect Patterdale Terriers include:

Bones and Joints

  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease - a hip condition that affects the blood supply to the head of the femur bone, leading to breakdown of the bone, pain and lameness.
  • Luxating patella - this is when a dog’s kneecap moves out of where it should normally be
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) - in this condition the discs of the spine are abnormal and can slip out of place and put pressure on the spinal cord, which can lead to pain and/or paralysis


  • Cataracts - a common cause of blindness due to a clouding of the lens of the eye


  • Epilepsy - A condition of the brain that causes dogs to have fits


  • Atopy - when the immune system overreacts to an allergen and results in skin irritation


  • Obesity - Abnormal or excessive fat accumulation leading to secondary health concerns.

This list is by no means comprehensive, if you have any concerns about the health of your dog, or if you want to discuss further if a Patterdale is right for you, consult with your vet.

BorrowMyDoggy loves Patterdale Terriers

BorrowMyDoggy has 3163 Patterdale Terrier members

Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian. Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive. If you ever have any concerns about your dog's health, contact your local vet.

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