Lakeland Terrier

"Short and Spunky"

Photo of Lakeland Terrier


Lakeland Terriers come (not surprisingly) from England's Lake region, and probably mixed it up with lots of other British terriers before becoming the breed we know today. A skilled fox hunter, the Lakeland helped farmers get rid of the foxes that preyed on the spring lambs. Later, the upper classes adopted him for their fox hunts because of his keen eye, great courage, and speed. Sometimes called the Patterdale, Elterwater, or Fell Terrier, the Lakeland was finally recognized by his current name in 1921, and accepted by the American Kennel Club in 1934. Although he's a handsome and dapper bundle of happy-go-lucky terrier energy, he still isn't well known in the United States, currently the 127th most popular breed.


Brimming with charm, an infectious zest for life, and energy most people can only sit back and envy, the Lakeland Terrier makes a great family pet, keeping everybody entertained with his curiosity and the many adventures he manufactures for himself. Although the Lakeland will be cautious around people he doesn't know and generally aggressive towards other dogs, and while you simply can't train this little guy not to chase small furry animals, Lakelands make gentle, loving companions for those they know and love, especially children. Don't expect much loyalty, however. The Lakeland is likely to love you just as much as your spouse, your kids, or that neighbor who always has a dog treat in her pocket.


A small terrier with a big attitude, the Lakeland stands about 13.5 to 14.5 inches and weighs about 17 pounds, but don't expect to tote him around in a handbag. He'd rather use his long legs to chase foxes (or rabbits or squirrels or moles or whatever you've got). The Lakeland should have an alert, impish expression, v-shaped ears folded over, and a long straight muzzle with powerful jaws and big teeth. The Lakeland should have a wiry, solid-colored coat in blue, black, liver, red, or wheaten, with or without a blue, black, liver, or grizzle saddle pattern, clipped short to reveal his ready-for-action frame and his high-set tail, which is likely to be wagging.


What self-respecting terrier would want to sit, stand, lie down, roll over, and beg when he could be dashing through the woods after all those juicy critters? The Lakeland needs to stay busy, interested, and engaged, so forget boring drills and long training sessions. Better to focus on house rules with lots of positive reinforcement for a job well done, and spend the rest of your energy on long walks, hikes, and other outdoor adventures - but always on leash, or the hunt-happy Lakeland may get lost or run into the street.

Grooming & Care

Show dogs need a strict regimen of stripping and scissoring, but pet Lakeland Terriers can get away with a good clip-down at the groomers every two or three months. In between, brush the wiry coat, comb out tangles, clean those big teeth and ears, and keep nails neatly trimmed…but train your Lakeland puppy to endure grooming. Otherwise, you'll never get this one to sit still long enough to apply the brush to the coat.

Health Concerns

The healthy Lakeland doesn't have many health problems, but can be prone to dental issues, making regular tooth care essential. Some also develop occasional eye problems like lens luxation or malformed eyelashes, and some may experience degenerative hip disease. Talk to your breeder and your vet about Lakeland Terrier health issues.

Famous Lakeland Terrier

Kids might know Zelda Van Gutters, the roving reporter for Nickelodeon Magazine.

Ideal Owner
Activity Level 4
Schedule 6
Home 44
Children 49
Experience 54
Quick Facts
Grooming 57
Exercise 60
Challenges Needs a consistent, assertive owner.
Height 13 to 15 inches
Weight 14 to 20 pounds
Life 12 to 16 years
Home Alone 83
With Kids 86
With Strangers 91
Availability 95

This client information sheet is based on material written by: LifeLearn

© Copyright 2014 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.