10 things you should know before you own a Patterdale Terrier

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Patterdale terriers are a lively breed, often misunderstood.They are an active and intelligent breed, and it’s important that you know these 10 things before you own a Patteradale.

#1 They come from the Lake District in England

Patterdales were bred in ‘Patterdale’ in the Lake District, Cumbria. Therefore if you own a Patterdale terrier expect a high energy dog who will need long walks and hikes. 

#2 Recall doesn’t always mean recall!

Even when you train a patterdale with good recall, that doesn’t mean that they are always gonna come back! I would say that I have about 90% recall on my Patterdale, but that 10% risk is always there, and so we avoid letting him off near roads and places where there are a lot of distractions such as other animals, dogs or bikes.

#3 They have a Strong Prey Drive

They have a strong prey drive – not the best around small pets! So if you already have mice or guinea pigs a Patterdale could be a breed to avoid!

#4 Pet Patterdales shoudn’t have their Tails Docked

Pet Patterdale’s should not have their tails docked. Docking is only legal for working dogs who have it done up to five days old by a vetinary surgeon. If the tail is docked at a later date and/or by an unqualified veterinarian this is illegal docking. 

#5 They were Bred for Hunting Underground

Patterdale’s were bred for hunting underground for foxes and badgers. If you have a pet patterdale you will need to be aware of avoiding areas where your dog could go into fox dens and badger sets and get lost underground. 

#6 They are Prone to Separate Anxiety

Patterdales are prone to separation anxiety. A Patterdale is not for you if you are out of the house daily from 9-5. Only get a Patterdale if you or someone else can be at home with him or her most of the day. Ways of minimising separation anxiety could be building up the amount of time left slowly and combining this with the use of an entertaining food dispenser such as a licky mat or kong. 

#7 They are very Intelligent

Patterdales are very intelligent, which means that they need a lot of mental stimulation. Consider training your patterdale on agility courses and using dog puzzles for their treats. 

#8 They are not Aggressive provided that…

Are Patterdale’s aggressive? Patterdales are not aggressive provided that they have the right training ands mental/physical stimulation. They should also be socialised with humans and other dogs from a young age. A rescue patterdale will be more of a challenge than raising a puppy from scratch.

#9 The Patt Splat

Patterdales tend to stretch their back legs out when they lie down, known by breed owners as the ‘Patt Splat! No, your dog is not broken, it’s just a patterdale thing!

#10 They make Great Pets for the Right Family

Patterdales make wonderful family pets in an active family. If you have time to spend training your patterdale and going for long walks he will be the perfect addition to your family as they are very loving and loyal to their owners.

Do you own a Patterdale Terrier? If so, I would love to hear all about him or her – please leave your comments below!!

If you own a Patterdale here are some fantastic terrier toys that they will love!

You might also like to read about How to Choose a Patterdale Terrier Breeder.

24 thoughts on “10 things you should know before you own a Patterdale Terrier”

  1. Very interesting read very informative thank you I pick my bitch up on the 26th of this month I can’t wait

  2. I have a patterdale x border terrier and honestly she is the best dog out there! She’s so beautiful and clever but definitely has a bit of a naughty streak! Interesting Bella has never done a patts splat- maybe thats the border in her? Or because she’s female? Anyway I love her! 15 next month!

  3. Hy ,we have a patt/border terrier,his name is Murphy,(known within a 5 mile radius.)
    Loves people,hates cats,will chase and kill(if he can) any game birds,jumps in muddy dykes,rolls in fox poo,can Hoover bird bread off the lawn,faster than a Lab,
    Sleeps on the bed,will share(his)settee with you,snores and farts,
    But we wouldn’t be without him,he was rescued from a garden shed ,full of fleas,
    and open sores,now has 3/4c/van seaside holidays a year,lives in the country(Suffolk) his slaves love him.

  4. I lost my boy ozzie at 17 yrs old. Heartbroken he was my animal self. The best dog iv ever had… Fun, extremely loving & loyal. My absolute shadow. I miss
    Him dreadfully, he’s left a huge hole.

  5. Picked up our Patterdale pup a week ago! A lot to learn I feel, as we’ve had dogs but never a Patterdale before. She’s adorable x

    • Recall doesn’t always work especially when deer are around, I watched my little girl disappear across a big field head down tail up hunting. But she does know her way home thankfully no roads to cross. She hunts continuously excellent with everyone from baby’s to adults always wants to play. An escapologist climbs any fence I’ve watched her walk along the top of our five foot one,

  6. We rescued a Patterdale out of traffic. We would walk him on a leash and asked neighbors trying to reunite him with his pack. No one recognized him. So he is ours now. We call him Red! He recalls when he is finished doing hiss rounds. He comes back to make sure we are there and darts off again. He comes back so he has chosen us as his new pack! He has a rat terrier sister and doxie brother and a Bombay cat that out weighs all of them…he thinks he is a dog too…Dr Bombay runs with the pack too! My rat terrier does the patter slide!

  7. We have a patterdale in the US! Got her as a puppy, she’s 12 now but still loves to play like one. She’s slowed down a lot now and spends most her time napping in the sun. I’m glad to have a name for her pattsplat.

  8. my dog has got really bad lead aggression towards other dogs and animals, rescued he is nearly 3 years old. First patterdale had and still learning with him think he is cross but not sure what with. Any help or advice would be very grateful.

  9. Funny to learn about the pattsplat! I called it otter pose because she looks like a sea otter and is just as playful. She loves all the humans as much as every dog she’s ever met. Tries to get the cats to play and chases all the rabbits! Thought she was just a rescue mutt but came across pix of a black wire haired patterdales here and there’s no mistaking! Thanks for the site and all the info here, as this breed is unheard of in the states.

  10. My baby girl Rosie passed away on the 12th August she was my best friend she come to us at 5 weeks and was13 when she passed am absolutely devastated xx

  11. I have a rescue which i believe is a Chihuahua/Patterdale mix. i need to do ‘the test’ to confirm. His name is Aldo. He LOVES to scratch his body on the carpet and when he does so, he flattens himself on his chest, throat, and chin as much as he can, folds back his front legs at the knee and pushes himself with his back legs like he is a little motor boat … I’ve never seen anything like it. And he does other ‘floor routine’ moves that are similarly unusual (to me). For some reason I attribute these ‘moves’ to his possible Patterdale connection. Is this anything you’ve ever seen or heard of w/a Patterdale. Thanks.


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