How much do you know about the Patterdale Terrier? Patterdale Terriers are confident, compact dogs that are quite popular in the United States. Breeders first created this relatively new breed of independent dogs to hunt foxes and rabbits. If you’re interested in adding a Patterdale Terrier to your home, here are a few things you need to know.

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Where Does The Patterdale Terrier Come From?

Breeders first developed the Patterdale Terrier in England, and the breed is named after the village they come from. This dog is almost more of a type than a breed; their origins lie in a culmination of several working terrier breeds indigenous to the United Kingdom. 

Hunters bred the Patterdale Terrier in the unforgiving environment of northern England, where land is too hilly for cattle and unsuitable for farming. There, sheep farming is the most common agricultural pursuit. One of the biggest threats to sheep in northern England at the time was the red fox. Shepherds needed hunters to rid their areas of pesky red foxes who could harm their sheep. In other areas, denning animals like the fox are hunted by “digging dogs.” In the rocky northern reaches of England, however, hunters needed a dog that could flush the fox from their stony dens or eradicate the vermin where the dogs found them. The Patterdale Terrier owes much of its existence to Joe Bowman, a huntsman.

The Hunting Act of 2004 rendered the practice of using dogs like the Patterdale Terrier to hunt foxes illegal. The breed made its way to the United States, where they participate in hunting raccoons, nutria, groundhogs, and foxes.

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What Does a Patterdale Terrier Look Like?

Most Patterdale Terriers are black. Other coat colors can occur, but it’s rare. These colors are red, bronze, liver, grizzle, or chocolate brown. Patterdales may also have unique white splotches on the feet and chest as well. Their coats can look rough, broken, or smooth. They have small heads with short muzzles. 

The Patterdale Terrier is a small dog, though not as “yippy” as some other similar terrier breeds. The average Patterdale weighs between 11 and 13 pounds. It’s worth noting, however, that due to their variability as a breed, some weigh as much as 30 pounds. Patterdales are usually about 12 inches tall but can reach heights of 15 inches. 

What Is A Patterdale Terrier’s Personality Like?

Many terrier breeds have similar temperaments, but in some ways, the Patterdale breaks the terrier mold. Like most terriers, Patterdales are strong-willed, confident, independent, and energetic. Unlike other terriers, however, Patterdales want to please their people and look to follow their handlers’ instructions. This breed is sweet and quite playful, with plenty of energy for activities like running, hiking, and fetch.

How Hard Is It To Train a Patterdale Terrier?

Socializing and training a new puppy are essential for any dog, and the Patterdale Terrier is no exception. As we’ve discussed previously, this breed is eager to please their people. However, they can also have a bit of a terrier stubborn streak. Don’t worry though, you’ll see that with patience and consistency, training your pup can be an enjoyable pastime for you both.

During training, try to avoid methods like shouting or punishment, as these harsh techniques may cause your terrier to shut down. Instead, try to stick with positive reinforcement and keep your training sessions short and fun. A great-tasting training treat doesn’t hurt either. If you begin to feel frustrated, end your training session as quickly as possible, preferably on a positive note. 

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How Much Exercise Does A Patterdale Terrier Need?

Despite their small size, Patterdale Terriers require quite a bit of regular exercise to dispel some of their energy and to maintain a healthy, happy weight. This breed is a working and hunting dog, so they always have plenty of energy. They also have a high prey drive as a result of their breeding, so make sure to keep your Patterdale Terrier leashed whenever you are out and about. Dogs that don’t get enough exercise are prone to boredom, which can lead to destructive behavior; we all learn eventually that a tired dog is a well-behaved dog.

In addition to adequate exercise, it’s essential to follow serving-size recommendations from pet food manufacturers or your veterinarian, no matter how much they flash you those hungry puppy dog eyes!

Patterdale Terriers tend to have a short coat that leaves them vulnerable in cold weather, so consider getting your pup a stylish, warm sweater for the winter months if you live in a cold climate.

Do Patterdale Terriers Have Health Problems?

As with most purebreds, Patterdale Terries can suffer from a couple of inherited health issues.

  • Glaucoma: Patterdales can be susceptible to glaucoma and cataracts. Cataracts occur when a clouded film forms over the eyes and can normally be taken care of with surgery.
  • Portosystemic shunt: also called PSS, this disorder occurs when blood meant to travel to the liver instead flows around it. The lack of blood flow to the liver means the essential organ does not get the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function properly. PSS is diagnosed via a blood test.

A Patterdale’s life expectancy is between 11 and 13 years.

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How Do You Groom a Patterdale Terrier?

If you choose to bring home a Patterdale Terrier, you’ll be happy to hear that their grooming needs are low maintenance and their short coat shed infrequently. For best results, use a grooming mitt once a week to remove any dead hair and keep their coats shiny. They don’t need baths very often, but if you need to freshen them up, you can bathe them with a gentle, allergen-friendly dog shampoo.

The Patterdale Terrier: A Great Pet For the Right Home

Patterdale Terriers aren’t for everyone. They are friendly and loyal, but their high prey drive and extensive exercise needs won’t suit any household. These dogs need a job, whether that job is hunting or participating in some other kind of canine competition. With the right owners, a Patterdale Terrier can make an excellent canine companion.

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