Black and tan Patterdale.
|Fell Terrier (working terrier group)
Coloured Terrier (working terrier group)
Lakeland Terrier (original group/breed)
|Country of origin
|Classification and breed standards
|Not recognized by any major kennel club
|This breed of dog is
The Patterdale Terrier is a
dog native to the
Cumbria in Northwest England. The name
refers to a village a little south of
and a few miles east of
According to breed standards, this terrier stands between 25,5 cm (10 inches)
and 38 cm (15 inches) at the withers and weighs between 4,5 kg (10 pounds) and
11 kg (24 pounds). The preferred size depends on the quarry. In Great Britain,
all sizes are in use, depending on the terrain and the quarry. Quarry here is
mostly fox. In the eastern United States, smaller is preferred and 30 cm (12
inches) tall and 5.5 kg (12 pounds) is considered the maximum usable size for
(aka woodchucks). However, larger (9 - 12 kg) is preferred when hunting
excess of 13 kg (29 pounds).
95% of the breed is black, but bronze (black that shines brown in sunlight),
grizzle, chocolate, red, liver (with red nose)and black-and-tan are also
acceptable. White feet and white chest markings appear in all coat colours.
Coats are smooth, rough, or broken-coated. However, this breed is rarely shown
and breeders are more concerned with the practicality of the breed than with
outward appearances. Practicality means strong neck, jaws, and teeth; staying
power at bay; ability to squeeze into tight burrows; durability and endurance;
and peaceful with humans, livestock, and other dogs.
Most Patterdale puppies are bold and confident beyond their capabilities, and
therefore are never, or briefly, entered to rats as they soon lose all caution
when confronted with quarry of any size. Many a bold pup has lost his life in a
raccoon den while on a casual walk-in-the-woods in the States. They have great
stamina and can work quarry all day, or play all day with the kids. Yet, indoors
they are relaxed and quiet. They have been exported abroad notably to the States
where they appear to be used primarily as hunting dogs.
An excellent book about the origin of the breed and fell terriers in general
is The Fell Terrier by D. Brian Plummer from The Boydell Press. Plummer
goes into depth describing the land and the people that shaped the big dog in
the small package currently called the Patterdale Terrier.
The Patterdale Terrier of modern times refers to the mainly black smooth
coated fell terrier first popularized by Cyril Breay from Kirkby Lonsdale and
Frank Buck from Leyburn in Yorkshire during the early part of the 1950s. At that
time, any "typey" fell terrier being shown in the Lake District was called a
Lakeland Terrier, or simply called a coloured terrier, whether or not they
were from Ullswater county. In the early 1960s, Brian Nuttall of Holmes Chapel
began breeding dogs that he acquired from his grandfather and from Breay and
Buck blood lines. These dogs were carefully linebred. Nuttall blood lines are
still considered to be of the highest quality and adds a bit to the price of a
puppy. The modern Patterdale Terrier is to fell terriers, what the
Jack Russell Terrier is to hunt terriers—the indisputable leader in numbers
and performance as a breed.
They were developed in the harsh environment in the north of England that is
unable to sustain agriculture and too hilly in the main for cattle. Sheep
farming is the dominant farming activity on these hills. Foxes being predatory
on sheep and small farm animals, necessitated predator control. Unlike the hunt
terriers to the south, typified by the Jack Russel terriers of today, which are
bred to bolt a fox to continue the chase, or to bay the fox until the fox can be
dug to, these fell terriers were bred to bolt the fox or dispatch it, if it
chooses to fight. Where much of the "earths" in south of England are an easy
dig, much of the north of England includes "earths" too rocky and/or too deep to
dig. The fell terriers that survived to pass on their genes, have created a
truly "tough as nails" dog.
Some puppies are allowed to chase rabbits, but most tire of chasing any
quarry that won't turn and fight.
Black Patterdale Terrier puppy at 9 weeks.
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