Lakeland Terrier Guide

Terrier Dog Breeds

The Lakeland terrier is a rather small dog of short-backed, square proportion with a sturdy, workmanlike build. Its legs are fairly long, enabling it to run at good speed and traverse the rugged shale terrain of its native mountain countryside. Its gait is smooth and ground-covering, with good reach and drive. Its body is deep and narrow, allowing it to squeeze through small passages after its quarry. Its expression reflects its mood, ranging from intense to gay or impish. Its double coat consists of a soft undercoat and a hard, wiry outer coat.

The spunky Lakeland makes the most of every day, always busy investigating, playing and, if it really gets its wish, hunting, running and chasing. Given daily exercise in a safe area, it settles down in the home and makes an entertaining and endearing house pet. It is reserved with strangers and usually aggressive toward other dogs and small animals. Clever, independent and stubborn, it can be mischievous. It is nonetheless sensitive and must be trained with patience as well as a sense of humor.

AKC RANKING 126

FAMILY terrier

AREA OF ORIGIN England

DATE OF ORIGIN 1700s

ORIGINAL FUNCTION vermin hunting

TODAY'S FUNCTION earthdog trials

AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 14.5 Weight: 17

AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 13.5 Weight: 17

OTHER NAME none

Energy level High energy

Exercise needs Medium

Playfullness Very playful

Affection level Moderately affectionate

Friendliness toward other dogs Shy

Friendliness toward other pets Shy

Friendliness toward strangers Shy

Ease of training Easy to train

Watchdog ability High

Protection ability Not very protective

Grooming needs High maintenance

Cold tolerance Medium tolerance

Heat tolerance Medium tolerance

This is an active breed that needs daily entertainment or it will make it for itself. A moderate walk on leash or a hardy game in the yard can usually satisfy its needs, but it also enjoys the chance to explore off leash in a safe area. It enjoys spending the day in a secure yard, but it should optimally sleep in the house. Its wire coat needs combing one or two times weekly, plus scissoring and shaping (clipping for pets and stripping for show dogs) four times yearly.
• Major concerns: none
• Minor concerns: lens luxation, distichiasis
• Occasionally seen: Legg-Perthes, vWD
• Suggested tests: eye
• Life span: 12-16 years
The first Lakeland terriers were kept by farmers who took them along with small packs of hounds in order to kill the foxes that were a problem in the area. The dogs were extremely game and were also used on otter and vermin with great success. Although its background is not documented, it shares common ancestors with the border terrier, Bedlington terrier and fox terrier. As fox hunting became valued more for its sporting aspect, the terriers became more fashionable as a part of the fox hunt. Those dogs from the English Lake region gained a reputation as particularly game dogs, although at that time they were identified as Patterdale, Fell and Elterwater terriers, all of which came from the Lakeland region. Only in 1921 were they recognized as Lakeland terriers, although Cumberland is considered the exact birthplace of the breed. The breed was accepted for AKC registration in 1934. Since then, the Lakeland terrier has been a prominent contender in the show ring, combining dapper good looks with unsurpassed showmanship. Its popularity as a pet, however, has remained moderate.