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The Patterdale Terrier has its origins as a working terrier with heaps of stamina.  They were originally bred to run all day with the foot packs of the Lake District and have a lighter, sleeker appearance than the other terriers from the area.  There used to be a saying about the working Jack Russell and Patterdale Terrier that the ideal Terrier should be 12” high x 12 inch girth and weigh 12lbs.  Give or take lb either way across the three.  Of course all of that has changed with metrification and the changes bred into the Jack Russell terrier since it became the Parsons Terrier.  But the Patterdale terrier weight and sizing has remained more constant. However, it is important to remember that there is variation in the breed.

Expected Patterdale Terrier Weight

Your Patterdale Terrier is expected to weigh around 12lbs or just short of 6kg.  However, and this is a big however, the Patterdale is an active little dog and just like us the fitter the dog and the more muscle it has the heavier it will be.

Expect an average Patterdale Terrier weight to be around 5kg-10kg, but it is not really about the weight.  A healthy Patterdale looks healthy; they offer a sleek, athletic  appearance with a well defined shape, alert eyes and ears and everything in proportion, and having a ready for anything stance.  A healthy Patterdale looks fit.


Everyone will tell you that Patterdale’s make great pets and they do, but they also need exercise and not only for their physical wellbeing they need to work those little brain boxes as well!  They make great pets for those with horse stables or smallholdings and they’ll happily occupy themselves keeping the place rodent free.

For the urban owner or potential owner that does not have several acres, it is still easy to keep your Patterdale fit and healthy.  Just don’t think of them as a little dog with little exercise requirements.  They will love playtime in the garden with a ball or Frisbee and definitely need at least two walks a day and if you go mountain biking or running, take the Patterdale he’ll thank you for it.  In fact why not take up Canicross with your Patterdale?  A great way for you both to stay fit.  They also often excel at agility.

When they are not running around they love lounging around with their human family or going out and about in the car.


Patterdale’s are a breed that thrive on any feed regime, however unless you are working your terrier for most of the day, avoid working dog mixes as they are a high energy feed and your Patterdale that is not out running for hours will not need additional energy.

They do well on a raw diet, or any of the reputable dry blends.  Something like Tails is a good choice as the food is blended for the needs of the dog and they will take into account the breed requirements.

In the unlikely event that your Patterdale gets overweight and looks fat, then a health and fitness routine is required to return him to his beautiful athletic glory.  If you are sure that your dog has not been constantly treated by the kids then it is worth checking his health with the vet to rule out any underlying health conditions.  Then stop and think, are you sure your dog is not getting fed on MacDonalds or Pizza? Or having too many biscuits or crisps?  Cut back the treats and even training treats can be bought in low fat versions these days or cook off liver or chicken thighs for low fat training treats.  

Generally, a Patterdale Terrier that is a family pet and who has moderate exercise will need less food than a working terrier who is out and about on the farm all day.  Overfeeding or incorrectly feeding a working blend to a Patterdale Terrier that is not getting lots of exercise could lead to behaviour problems, exacerbate or lead to separation anxiety and in some cases could even lead to obesity.  

What if my Patterdale Terrier is Overweight?

If your Patterdale needs to lose weight, then the easiest way to do that is to walk or run him/her more, whilst ensuring a balanced diet and only low fat treats.  As with humans the more unfit the dog is the more you will need to gradually build up the extra exercise.  If your Patterdale is an older dog, it may be that he just needs less food or different food to keep him well.  Look at the many food blends especially created for older dogs.  These take into account the different requirements of the older dog of any breed and may be the only change that is required.  However, always consult your vet if your Patterdale is less active or appears to not be enjoying the exercise.  

If you enjoyed this blog on Patterdale terrier weight you might also like to read about Patterdale terrier coats and should Patterdale terriers have their tail docked?

3 thoughts on “Patterdale Terrier Weight”

  1. Hi our patterdale has had numerous problems ,itching .scratching constantly ,she looks at her back as if shes been stung (but hasnt) she can damage her skin so badly she then has to have antibiotics,my vet has no idea really what causes the start of it all ,its not seasonal ,no fleas ,ticks ,etc shes had blood tests skin scraping etc,She now also has seizures we have paid for MRI that shows no tumours etc o brain and also no nerve damage as when scratching etc starts she seems to sort of drag her back legs almost clockwork motion and refuses to walk ??She seems in a lot of pain when this happens ?she is now on gabapentin,and vet thinks she should have pills to help seizures too ?she was having steroids too ?I am absolutely annoyed that 5 vets we have seen all can not give us a positive final diagnosis its disgraceful? Anyone else have this problem with dog especially the frantic scratching and refusing to go walks it makes her so unhappy as symptoms last for at least 3 weeks .Thanks lynne

    • Poor baby. Could it be an allergy? Wondered if any vets have tried her on antihistamines? I would definitely get another opinion.

    • This is a bit of a late reply, as only just come across this website. Did you ever find the cause? We took our patterdale to vets yesterday and we discussed Spikes disease. Look it up, sounds like what you are describing. Hope your dog is well 🥰


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