Lakeland Terrier

Other names: Lakeland

Lakeland Terrier

The Lakeland Terrier is very lively, courageous, fiery, and loyal to his owner (although independent). But he can be rather hostile towards strangers and other dogs. The Lakeland Terrier is perfect for the work he was bred for: he is very agile and determined, he is able to jump from rock to rock even without momentum, he can confront and kill prey that’s bigger and stronger than him. However, his  fiery temperament results in occasional fights with his peers.

Key facts about the Lakeland Terrier

Life expectancy :





Temperament :

Playful Hunter

Size :

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Origins and history

This breed owes its name to the strait formed by the Lakes of the north-western English coast. In this region, the breed developed mainly out of necessity and not for sporting reasons as was the case with most Terriers. In fact, the Lakes region was populated by foxes with a higher-than-average size, who devoured chickens, rabbits, and deer. Fox-hunting was impossible in these inaccessible lands and it was therefore necessary to breed dogs for the hunt: these were the Lakeland Terrier’s ancestors. Several Terriers have participated in the creation of the breed we know today: The Bedlington Terrier, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, the Border Terrier, the Fox Terrier and the Airedale Terrier.  The first standard of the Lakeland was written in 1912 and the English Kennel Club recognised the breed in 1921. It was only in 1954 that the CFI officially recognised the breed.

Physical characteristics of the Lakeland Terrier

Adult size

Female : Between 13 and 15 in

Male : Between 14 and 15 in


Female : Between 13 and 18 lb

Male : Between 15 and 20 lb

Coat colour

Type of coat

Eye colour



The Lakeland Terrier is a bright, work-fit, balanced and compact dog. The head has a flat, refined skull, powerful jaws and a wide snout. The eyes are dark or hazel. The ears are small and "V" shaped; these are always twitching with cheerfulness. The neck has a good length, and is slightly arched. The body is slightly narrow, the back is short and elevated. The limbs are muscular and perfectly level. The tail moves joyfully, and never curls or moves over the back.

Good to know

In the 19th century, dogs that had the same origin as the Lakeland (lake area) came in different types and had various names such as Patterdale Terrier, Fell Terrier or even Working Terrier. All of these dogs were unified under the name Lakeland Terrier in 1912, to standardize the breed we know today.


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    The Lakeland Terrier is described as a small dog that is sure of himself but remains, all the same, attached to his social group, with whom he is friendly and cheerful.

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    He generally gets along well with children because he enjoys playing with them. However, attention must be paid to chasing games, which may awaken this hound’s hunting instinct.

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    As with most Terriers, the Lakeland is fearless, fiery and full of energy, especially as a puppy.

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    He is very aware of his surroundings, and so he is very bright, which makes him a very clever dog with whom it is pleasant to interact.

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    The Lakeland Terrier is a versatile hunter, who is as comfortable in water while hunting otter as on land when hunting a fox. He is a stubborn, determined and courageous hunter.

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    Fearful / wary of strangers

    He is loyal to and protective of his social group, and so is naturally suspicious of strangers. He doesn't easily trust people he doesn’t know and keeps his distance until introductions are made.

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    The Lakeland is a rather solitary and independent dog. Although he is attached to his social group, he can flourish without them.

    Behaviour of the Lakeland Terrier

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      Tolerates solitude

      This very active dog will only be able to withstand the absence of his masters if his exercise needs are met. This terrier will not necessarily suffer from separation anxiety, but rather boredom or frustration.

      Otherwise, if his needs are met before and after each period of absence (which should not be too long), he can cope with loneliness without problem. Having an activity to keep him busy can be helpful.

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      Easy to train / obedience

      Obstinate in nature, it is sometimes difficult to make the Lakeland Terrier cooperate because he is far from docile or submissive.

      Thus, a firm, coherent, early and attentive education is necessary to achieve a satisfactory relationship with this dog.

      Although he likes to delight his master, his strong temperament and his cunning instincts sometimes make him forget what the rules are. It is therefore necessary to never surrender anything to him and to offer regular treats when training.

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      This dog can be very noisy, especially if he is working, if an intruder is approaching, or if he is bored.

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      Tendency to run away

      His hunting instinct is strong. If he lives in the countryside, it is important to secure his outdoor environment with a good fence to prevent him from running away.

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      This dog is uncontrollable and destructive only if his energy spending needs are neglected.

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      Greedy / Gluttony

      He is no more greedy than any other dog - usually the Lakeland Terrier is reasonable when it comes to food. However, he will respond well to treats during training.

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      Guard dog

      Despite his small size, the Patterdale Terrier, as he was once called, can be a good, brave and fearless guard.

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      First dog

      Sometimes stubborn, this terrier is not necessarily the best dog for first-time owners. However, his small size, joviality, and desire to do well can delight those who choose to invest in their new companion’s training.

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        Lakeland Terrier in a flat

        Being able to live both indoors and outdoors, the Lakeland does not care about where he sleeps: an apartment or a house with a garden. The most important thing for him is that he is able to exercise enough every day.

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        Need for exercise / Sporty

        The Lakeland has a lot of energy to release, like all Terriers. He is a passionate and hard-working dog who can spend hours following a track, since his stamina and strength are remarkable.

        In fact, if he does not hunt, he should be kept by active owners who are willing to meet his needs for exercise, through daily walks and regular canine activities (Cani-Cross, agility, tracking, dog free-styling, etc.).

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        Travelling / easy to transport

        His small size might suggest that transport and travel are easy; however, this can be complicated due to this breed’s anxiety.

        Training, mixed with early socialisation, can make taking the Lakeland on trips more feasible.


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          Lakeland Terrier and cats

          Small pets, such as cats or rodents, are never welcome in the home of this terrier. Indeed, his strong hunting instinct can make cohabitation very difficult and diminish any hope of a serene household.

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          Lakeland Terrier and dogs

          In order for him to coexist with his peers, he needs to be socialised from a young age. This dog often triggers fights due to his energy, vivacity, and recklessness.

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          Lakeland Terrier and children

          He gets along pretty well with children but, like any Terrier, patience is not one of his qualities. It is therefore important to ensure that children learn to leave the dog alone and to avoid considering him as a toy.

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          Lakeland Terrier and the elderly

          This dog is far too active and agitated for those elderly people who can’t fully meet their needs. He needs masters that are very athletic and active.



          The price of a Lakeland Terrier varies depending on its origins, age and gender. It is important to find a quality breeder that can prove the purity of the lineage and the proper selection of his parents, so as to avoid any genetic problems. You have to estimate an average of £680 for a dog that is part of the Kennel Club.

          Regarding the average budget to support a dog of this size, it takes about £20/month, excluding grooming costs - which can be frequent and sometimes expensive.


          This dog, although rustic by nature, needs regular and specific grooming. The Lakeland needs a complete makeover, including hair removal and trimming, at least once a trimester.

          At the same time, weekly brushing is necessary to maintain the beauty, cleanliness, and protective qualities of the coat.

          Dogs that often go into the water should be dried thoroughly after each swim.

          Since the eyes are sensitive, make sure to clean them regularly.


          Hair loss is moderate, especially if the coat is regularly brushed. This dog does not suffer from excessive annual shedding.

          Nutrition of the Lakeland Terrier

          This Terrier does not require too much food as he is satisfied with just a little - as long as his primary needs are fulfilled and the diet he receives is adapted to his age, physical activity levels, and state of health.

          It is therefore possible to choose between several diets: home-made (raw or cooked) or branded (dry) food.

          For the Lakeland Terrier puppy, a veterinary follow-up will help to guide good physical development.

          One meal a day is enough for him but it is important to ensure that this particularly active dog is calm before and after each meal to avoid stomach problems.

          Health of the Lakeland Terrier

          Life expectancy

          The Lakeland’s lifespan is estimated at 14 years.

          Strong / robust

          The Lakeland Terrier is very sturdy and durable. He lives for very long time and is generally very healthy.

          Withstand heat

          If yours is a working dog, you should avoid exploiting him too much when it's hot. He is so determined and obstinate that he could drive himself to exhaustion, because he doesn’t know when to stop.

          Withstand cold

          His coat gives him perfect protection against bad weather, allowing him to live outside.

          Tendency to put on weight

          His dynamism allows him to burn off excess calories quickly, so he is not generally affected by weight problems.

          Common illnesses

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