The Patterdale Terrier

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Solid, smooth and jet black is the a typical patterdale terrier. Such a dark gladiator of a dog is a joy to see, but despite what some may tell us, the patterdale can be thrown in practically any colour. From certain lines, the litter can be multi-coloured from sandy ginger to black and practically every shade in between. In the UK at the moment it appears that the patterdale Terrier is the next “In thing” , but I hope this fad peters out for such publicity and popularity will, eventually, lead to the demise of the patterdales working ability.

Patterdale Terriers

For many decades patterdale terriers have been bred from worker to worker, with the dogs not up to scratch culled. This method of improvement had given us the patterdale of today as we know it, with many excellent strains that are game. Gameness and working ability is the number one priority for the genuine terrier owner.

The trouble when a breed/type becomes popular is that the prices asked for such animals are often hugely inflated and poor specimens are passed off as genuine workers thus allowing a sub-standard dog carry its genes into the next generation. To a true working terrier bloodlines are everything. But the money men care little for such pedigrees; in fact, they don’t even understand the relevance of such history. Indeed, it is well documented that false pedigrees are banded around in order to sell pups to the highest bidder. Could you ever imagine these money men ever culling a terrier because it is a coward and a non-worker? No Way! They would probably breed off it, sell the pups for £250 a shot and then sell the adult as an “Experienced” worker. In the end, it is the breed that looses out.

Patterdale Terrier

Breeding smaller and smaller to satisfy the overseas market is, again, at a detriment to the real working patterdale. A real terrier must be big enough to endure the rigours of a days hunting and working earths. It may need to use its strength to push its fox into a stop end. Some small, snipey headed terriers would be of little use to the true terrier man.

Those terrier owners that go out and dig to their dogs week in, week out often shun the shows/clubs/money side of things. They do not need a rosette to tell them what to keep in their kennel, their dogs are judged by their quarry. The value of a true patterdale cannot be realized by spanning or how it walks across a ring, but only by the amount of hours it puts in under the turf. Let us hope that the patterdale terrier’s popularity isn’t its undoing.

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33 Comments

  1. My 2 year old red patterdale, rustys , like bruce lee , hes a nuttall wheeler strain which means smooth coated we a white bib ! Since buying him from a pup hes been full bore retrieving game birds of all types ,squirrel , when he reached 9 month he caught his first rabbit , now at two hes getting in to everthing ! Un stopable lol hard as nails he’d go out his way to get the job done no matter how big of a job and once some things in his head wtf hes mental , best hardest little dog ever a absolute nightmare but on thee other hand he die for me if id let him which I wouldnt becouse hes my best pal

  2. brambles 12345 on

    I have a 13 week old patterdale terrier same as the one in the picture above its now bolting rabbits and doing its work Great stuff

  3. My wife and I have an all black Pater Dale Terrier. I have owned many dogs over the years, but have never loved any other as our little “Rescue Dog”. I find it hard to believe that anyone would let her go to the streets. She is very smart (and sometimes devious) and seems to understand the English language better than some humans do. She is also very affectionate and protective. She can run like the wind, and she did very well {and seemed to love it} in the contests in which she had to deal with all kinds of obstacles, like ramps, tunnels, hurdles, etc. We should be so lucky!

  4. hi could anybody give me advise on off the lead training I a 3 month old patterdale hes so0 inelegant and listen in the house but out on the lead he tends to be his own person especial at the park with other dogs around am pretty sure he would run on and not listen to command help please

    • Be patient and carry loads of treats. Mines just turned a year and has just started to get it. Be brave, don’t hide the dog away to avoid your own embarrassment when it doesn’t come back.
      Ours has had a couple of scrapes, but is so game she thinks the other dogs are playing. You gotta trust them and they’ll trust you back.
      I practised calling mine and taking her on and off the lead and giving her a treat when she went back on. That way she does;t think the funs over.

      Hope this helps, they drive you crazy !!!

  5. I have a bundle patterdale like the brown one in the pic. He is 7 now and we walk and he chases squirrels rabbits and birds everyday. Never catches them though! I truly believe that this is what keeps him the great, balanced and a brilliant dog to have in our lives

  6. My Nuttall patty is going on 14 years old. He’s retired from hunting, aside from chasing the occassional groundhog, squirrel, or rabbit…but has been one of the best dogs I’ve ever owned.

  7. I’m parting way with my beloved 1 yr old patterdale Loki tomorrow. Unfortunately, totally out of character he but my next door neighbour. Were keeping him at a friends for a couple of days and from there he’s going on to be a working dog. I’m heartbroken but in reality, this is what he’s meant for.

  8. i have just rescued a patterdale and she has a badly damaged lower jaw which we where told was caused by badger/fox baiting she never barked for at least 1 month and after 3 months she is a different dog she has watched, learned and played with my beagle also a rescue and they love chasing birds and squirrels, so if working a patterdale causes such injuries i am glad i do not work mine, she is now a happy dog but still as brave and stubborn as ever.

  9. Much prefer the more ”old-school” Lakeland type patterdale to the ”Bully” smooth coat type but i suppose as long as they work,who cares ?

  10. Good article & I agree & hope the breed does not get spoiled, I love my Patterdales & am not supprised by their increased popularity, mine are red & choc color, Nuttal – Wheelers, yes attractive dogs but workers!

  11. hi all,iv just joined tonight so starting my browse on site lol looks great so much to chose.
    love the the dogs,iv got a rough coat pure white lurcher,jack russel and fell terrier from brightmore lines which iv just lined.derry

  12. Not a lover of the black dog but money men and rosette hunters spoil the breed a rosette dont bite back

  13. Love the patterdales terriers. I think my one is a patterdales don’t seem to see many like her though. Fern is all black and very curly coated. Always trying to hunt got quite large paws but small and stocky. I would like to know f she is a patterdales. She is I suppose a sort of rescue dog. Her owner could no longer keep her as her husband died in drowning accident. Long story.

  14. Good afternoon, I have just joined this forum and am keen on all wildlife sports, but my passion is goose shooting, hope to hear off members to swap stories

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