Working Wednesday: The Patterdale Terrier

The Patterdale is a compact, hard working terrier that is not currently recognised by the UK Kennel Club. This dog is more of a 'type' rather than a breed, being the result of crosses between different types of terrier breeds belonging to the North of England.

These days Patterdales are mostly from two main lines - Nuttall or Wheeler - who breed their best two Patterdales together for consistency. Historically, they used to be a cross between the two best terriers that someone had, usually Fell Terriers, Jack Russell Terriers or Border Terriers. In essence, something that would 'get the job done.'

Black Smooth Coated Patterdale

Patterdale Fun Facts:

  • They are one of the most popular hybrid breeds to have been developed over time

  • They have incredible power and stamina, so can easily keep up with a horse

  • They were named after a village in the Lake District

  • They can compress their chests to fit into tiny holes when working.

  • Their 3 coat types are smooth, broken and rough coated.


Patterdales began as crosses between the Fell Terrier and Jack Russell Terrier - carefully being line bred by an Ullswater Huntsman, Joe Bowman. They were originally bred to run with the Lakeland Fell Packs - using their great speed and stamina to keep up with the hounds and horses. Bowman lived in the Lake District, in the North of England, which has some harsh environments. Due to these conditions, cattle farming is less popular and sheep farming is predominant in these hilly, rocky areas. Patterdales have been used for many years as predator control on farms.

Chocolate Rough Coated Patterdale


Patterdales are well known for their tremendous working abilitiy and their will work as hard as they can, because they are so eager to please their owner. Patterdales are also extremely loyal and combined with their fierce working side it makes them excellent guard dogs for the farm or house. When it comes to working they have a willing, hard side. Despite this, they have a nice soft side and love nothing more but to curl up in front of the fire with their family, making them great family pets too.

Patterdale Activities

Due to their speed, power and willingness to please and learn, Patterdales can compete and excel in most dog activities. This includes flyball, agility, obedience, canicross and also working (such as ratting, working with ferrets and rabbiting).

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