Patterdale Terrier is a working dog breed that originated in the Lake District of Cumbria in Northwest England. Many tough little terriers originated in northern England, a reflection of the inhospitable land and climate. The Patterdale Terrier (or Black Fell Terrier) was developed to hunt grounddwelling vermin—foxes in England but often raccoons and badgers in the U.S.—and is a tough, courageous little dog.
The Patterdale Terrier is a compact, well-balanced terrier dog breed which stands 10 to 13 inches tall and weighs 10 to 11 pounds. Her head is strong, her ears are button and tight, and two hands should be able to span her chest. The tail is carried high, and, if docked, no more than one-fourth of the tail should be removed. The coat may be smooth or rough, but either coat should be dense and coarse. Acceptable colors include red, chocolate, black, and black and tan. The coat needs weekly brushing. The rough terrier coat may need hand-stripping. Potential Patterdale Terrier owners should discuss this with a breeder prior to buying a dog.
The Patterdale Terrier is not a black Jack Russell Terrier and should not be confused with one. The Patterdale Terrier dog breed is laid back in the house and not yappish. However, it has a tendency to hunt on its own and is absolutely fearless. The Patterdale Terrier breed needs daily exercise, including long walks, and this exercise should be on leash or within a fenced yard. The Patterdale Terrier is receptive to training and is very social with people. These dogs have a desire to work and, when they are motivated to train, will enjoy it. They have participated in terrier go-to-ground trials, enjoy agility training, and do well in tracking. A Patterdale who doesn’t get enough exercise and who doesn’t have a job to do (or regular training sessions) will get into trouble.
The Patterdale Terrier dog breed needs an owner who understands terriers, especially a terrier with strong hunting instincts. A Patterdale Terrier is fine with children over about 7 years of age but we do not recommend the Patterdale Terrier breed for younger kids. Patterdales are usually good with other dogs. This is generally a healthy breed.