The Patterdale Terrier is a breed of working dog that originated in the Lake District of Cumbria in Northwest England. The name Patterdale refers to a small village a little south of Ullswater and a few miles east of Helvellyn.
A Patterdale is a type of Fell Terrier, which is the modern name for what used to be called a Black and Tan Terrier. The Black and Tan terrier was "improved" and brought into the Kennel Club as the Welsh Terrier after a brief naming struggle in which the name "Old English Broken-coated Terrier" was attempted before being rejected by the Kennel Club hierarchy. The "Old English Broken Coated Terrier" is sometimes called the "Old English Terrier"
According to breed standards, this working terrier stands between 25.5 cm (10 inches) and 12 inches at the withers and weighs between 10 pounds and 13 pounds. The preferred size depends on the quarry. In the UK, all sizes are in use, depending on the terrain and the quarry. Quarry in the UK was mostly fox. In the eastern United States, smaller dogs are preferred and 30 cm (12 inches) tall and 5.5 kg (12 pounds) is the preferred size for groundhogs (aka woodchucks). However, somewhat larger dogs can be used in the American West when ground barn hunting larger raccoons and badgers.
COAT The coat may be "Smooth", "Broken" or "Rough". All types should be dense and coarse. Smooth: Coarse, overall very short, smooth
Broken: Coarse, longer hair on body except for head and ears which is smooth. May be some longer whiskering on muzzle and chin.
Rough: Coarse, longer hair overall, including face and ears and muzzle
COLOR Colors include: Black, Red, Chocolate, or Black and Tan(also,very rarely, they come in blue and blue and tan.These will have a slate colored nose)
(There may be some variations in the primary colors. For instance, blacks may have some lighter hairs in the undercoat and red may range from tan to deep red, chocolate may be a very dark or lighter brown and black and tan may have more or less of these colors on each individual dog, but the only registerable colors are those listed above) Chocolate-colored dogs will have a brown nose. (Officially called a "red" nose) Some white on chest and feet is acceptable.
A Patterdale Terrier can live up to 15 years. This depends on how well looked after it is.
Patterdale puppies tend to be bold and confident beyond their capabilities, and responsible owners of working dogs will not overmatch their dogs or enter them to formidable quarry before they are around one year of age.
A Patterdale terrier is a working terrier, and terrier work requires a high-energy dog with a strong prey drive and a loud voice. As a result, Patterdales are very energetic dogs, and can be quite vocal. It is not uncommon for a Patterdale to be cat-aggressive, and homes with other small fur-bearing animals in them (pet hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs, etc.) would do well to think through the ramifications of bringing a working terrier into the house.
Due to their compact size, friendly and inquisitive nature, and intelligence, Patterdales Terriers could be seen as an attractive breed of dogs for a family pet. Prospective buyers should be very aware that whilst these dogs may enjoy sitting in a lap, they are not “lap dogs” – they are dogs that require training and regular and consistent exercise to maintain their temperament and to fully occupy their minds.
Patterdales which are not trained on a consistent basis, or are not exercised regularly, may quickly exhibit unmanageable behaviour, including excessive barking, escaping from the garden, or digging in unwanted places inside and outside the house. Prospective Patterdale terrier owners are advised to do their homework, and those seeking working dogs are advised to focus on size and to make sure they are acquiring their dogs from true working homes.
Patterdale terrier 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. Since fox are perceived by farmers as being predatory on sheep and small farm animals, terriers are used for predator control. Unlike the dirt dens found in the hunt country of the south, the rocky dens found in the north do not allow much digging. As a consequence, a Patterdale terrier needs to be able to bolt the fox from the rock crevice or dispatch it where it is found. Because of the difficulty in digging in the north, northern dogs such as the Patterdale and fell terrier tend to be "as tough as nails." The use of "hard" dogs to hunt foxes in this way was made illegal in England and Wales by the Hunting Act 2004, as it runs counter to the code of practice under the Act.
The Patterdale Terrier was recognised by the United Kennel Club on January 1, 1995.
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