The Lakeland Terrier

descriptive textDog breed infoLakeland Terrier
Weight: 15 — 17 lbs
Height: 13” — 15”
AKC Rank 2008 #129
Lifespan: 12—16 yrs
Group: Terrier
Origin: England

Dog Breed Info - Lakeland Terrier

A rather shaggy looking Lakeland
descriptive text

Breed Overview

Origin 1700’s. Original Function Vermin hunting. Today: Earthdog trials.

Originally, Lakeland Terriars (called Patterdale Terriers at the time) were a mix of Old English Wirehaired Terriers and the Bedlington and were used by farmers to kill off otter, fox and badger as well as small vermin found in fields and barns. This proved an excellent water dog and was equally as effective working in the rough terrain of the English Lake Region. The Lakeland shares common ancestry with the Border Terrier, Bedlington Terrier and Fox Terrier. By 1921, the “Patterdale” Terrier was recognized as the “Lakeland” and in 1934 the AKC registered the breed. The Lakeland has done well in the show ring and is popular in some areas as a companion and house pet.


The Lakeland is stubborn, independent and difficult to train. This dog really does need clicker training and because of her sensitivity, needs positive reinforcement training AND with a sense of humor too. You will need patience and repetition but it can be done.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Lakeland Terrier? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

Many Lakeland Terrier puppies can be a problem to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.


The Lakeland and Welsh Terriers are very much alike, both in looks and temperament. They are both moderately difficult to train, both need strong socialization as puppies and both need a firm handler who sees to it they don’t take over the household as “pack leaders.” They both dig and bark and do all the things terriers do. The Lakeland Terrier is a happy, playful, energetic and affectionately sweet family pet and a wonderful watchdog too. They need daily walks to satisfy their mental needs. This is a spunky little dog that is always busy investigating and looking for new adventures by hunting, running and chasing anything that moves. Give this dog enough exercise and she will settle in the house and become an endearing house pet, devoted to her family. The Lakeland is independent and stubborn, but it is also sensitive and MUST be trained with patience. Some Lakeland's are prone to separation anxiety.

If you get a Lakeland Terrier with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."


Friendly Toward Other Dogs

No. Generally does not like strange dogs. Can be aggressive toward other dogs. Will pick and choose her dog friends.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Best if raised with the pets like cats and dogs. Can be aggressive toward small pets and animals so be careful. Definitely NO rodent-looking pets like gerbils or hamsters.

Friendly Toward Strangers

No. Wary and reserved with strangers. Not stranger-friendly. Can be aggressive.


Very playful. Exceptional, even entertaining at times.


Yes, quite affectionate. Loves children and loves to run and romp with the older kids.

Good with children

The Lakeland gets along very well with children but the kids need to be respectful of dogs and not too rambunctious. No poking, pulling, screaming, etc.

Good with Seniors over 65?

Yes. The Lakeland can be a good match for seniors. As long as the senior can walk a mile or so twice a day and toss a bell in a game of fetch, the Lakeland Terrier would do well. She’s affectionate, loves to play, is a good watchdog and is loyal.

Living environment

Apartment, condo, house with yard, farm, ranch okay, AS LONG AS the Lakeland Terrier is able to go outdoors for her walks and play time each day.

The dog would prefer a house with a medium to large size fenced yard and a doggie door where she could go out and explore, sniff and investigate as her instincts dictate.

This is an indoor dog that needs to sleep and socialize with her family.


Energy level

High energy. Work this off with walks, games of fetch, running.

Exercise needs, daily

Two moderate walks on leash will do it OR a brisk game of fetch in the yard will do it. The dog needs the walks for mental stimulation.


Excellent watchdog.

Guard dog

No. Maybe if provoked.


No, does not shed, OR sheds next to none.


The wiry coat needs combing twice a week to avoid matting. A full grooming and shaping with scissors or clippers is recommended 4 times a year, probably by a professional groomer.



Suggested Reading - Lakeland Terrier
Click on the cover photos for more book information and reviews.

3rd book from the left - "101 Dog Tricks." Great mental stimulation for your dog. There are things in this book I had never though of for a dog to do!

Book on the far right - By the American National Red Cross and deals with dog illness, emergencies and injuries. It's a valuable reference manual for all dog owners.


Lakeland Terrier Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Lakeland Terrier puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training.
Lakeland Terrier Breeders with puppies for sale. This is a very hard to find breed. Try an online search for breeders, puppies or clubs.

Lakeland Terrier Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for a Lakeland Terrier Rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Lakeland Terrier Rescue At the time of this writing, Petfinder is listing only 17 Lakeland's available for adoption in the entire USA. That figure can change, but it suggests this is a rare dog in this country.
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site but you will probably have to go online and search for Lakeland Terrier Rescue groups, foster homes, kennels or even breeders, as this appears to be a scarce breed.

Dog Health Issues For The Lakeland Terrier
Below are the dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Lakeland Terrier by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below worry you! Your own dog will probably never have any of these problems. These are dog illness and medical issues this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Lens luxation—Hereditary. Weak fibers holding the lens of the eye allow the lens to dislocate. The eye can not focus. This leads to painful, red eyes that tear a lot and can lead to Uveitis or Glaucoma if not treated right away. If detected early, surgery and medication might solve the problem.

  • Distichiasis—An eye condition involving the cornea. Eyelashes, growing improperly on the inner surface of the eyelid cause corneal ulcers due to the constant rubbing and irritation. The problem is fixed by having the vet remove the lashes if the ulcers don’t heal.

  • Legg-Perthes—Legg-Calve Perthes - A disease of the hip joint in young dogs. It is a deforming of the head of the femur head where it fits into the pelvic socket and is generally noticed at around 6 to 8 months age. The disease affects small and toy breeds and can range from mildly debilitating to totally debilitating. It’s very painful and the dog will have a lame leg at the affected hip. Pain can become severe in some dogs and the dog will go from occasional limping to continuous carrying of the leg. Severe muscle atrophy can set in with the appearance of shortening of the affected leg. Restricted joint movement is also a common sign Legg-Perthes. Surgery will usually restore a dog to a fairly normal life but prevention at the breeding stage is the right solution.

  • Atopic dermatitis's—Hereditary. Shows at 1 to 3 years age. Skin allergy triggered by dust mites, pollen, poor quality foods and other garbage we put into the dog’s environment. Many breeds are prone to this. The dog will lick, rub, chew and scratch the infected areas. Allergens can also come from fleas, bacteria and yeast infections. See your vet. There are many treatments ranging from medicines, antihistamines, diets, bathing, cleansing the house of dust mites and so on.

  • von Willebrand"s Disease—vWD - A deficiency in clotting factor in the blood. The affected dog does not properly utilize the blood-platelets for blood-clotting. Thus, the dog is prone to excessive bleeding if in an accident or surgery.

  • Hypothyroidism—An underactive thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone which reduces the dog's metabolism level. Hypothyroidism stems from the dog’s immune system attacking the tissues of the thyroid gland. Bottom line is the dog becomes symptomatic. The cause can be a predisposition for thyroid problems, air pollution and allergies. A FEW symptoms of the disorder include lethargy, weight gain, skin infections, dry skin, hair loss, slow heart rate, ear infections, depression. See your set right away.

  • Cataracts—Hazy or cloudy vision that can lead to total blindness if not treated early.

Other health problems could occur with your Lakeland Terrier. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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