Lakeland Terrier

A Famous Fox Hunter with Impressive Survival Skills

Lakeland Terrier

A Famous Fox Hunter with Impressive Survival Skills, This Typically Stubborn Terrier Loves Children and Abhors Cats

Although not the most well known of the Terrier breeds, the Lakeland Terrier has a strut "like a rooster" with a sense of humor that persists all day long. In 1967, the Lakeland Terrier won both the Westminster dog show in New York and England's Crufts show in the same year, and by the same dog, an incredible feat in any year.

Lively and feisty, the "Lakie" is not a dog for the faint of heart, nor particularly suited to a novice owner. Instead, this self-confident, friendly and affectionate dog wants its own way – and you have to set enough boundaries to keep it safe without squelching that marvelous charm, independence, and rugged courage.


The Lakeland Terrier comes from the Lake District in England, and is one of the oldest Terrier breeds. Formerly known as the Cumberland, Westmoreland, Fell, and Patterdale Terrier, the Lakeland Terrier was kept by farmers; they used hounds and the Lakeland Terrier to hunt foxes that threatened their livelihoods.

Beatrix Potter lived in the Lake District, and raised sheep called Herdwicks. These hardy sheep are well-suited to the rugged, harsh terrain, but they and especially their lambs are prey to a particular kind of fox called the Westmoreland – hence the original breed name. The Lakeland Terrier was wellsuited to "go to ground" and follow the fox into its burrow so it could kill it.

The breed is likely related to several Terrier breeds, including the now extinct Old English Black and Tan Terrier, and the Dandie Dinmont, Bedlington and Border Terriers.

Because the Lakeland Terrier is so bold, it goes where other dogs won't. It can spend days and even weeks underground and survive with apparently little trouble. Other breeds cannot do this.

First exhibited in 1912, it later got its own club, but World War I stopped the development of the breed which wasn't resumed until 1921; then, the breed standard was formed. The American Kennel Club registered it in its studbook and formally recognized the breed in 1934. Today, as part of the Terrier Group, it's currently ranked 143rd in popularity among all breeds registered by the AKC.


At 15 to 17 pounds and standing 13.5 to 14.5 inches at the shoulders, the Lakeland Terrier is the smallest of the black-and-tan, long-legged Terriers. It looks like the Welsh Terrier, but is smaller and finer-boned.

The Lakeland Terrier is a big dog in a small package. It's very sturdy with a narrow, deep body that allows it to squeeze through narrow passages as it goes after prey. In spite of its small size, it has long legs so that it can run fast and keep up through the tough terrain of the mountainous countryside it comes from.

The coat is double, with the overcoat wiry, hard and able to stand up to harsh elements, while the undercoat is very soft. Colors can be blue, liver, black, wheaten and red. In addition to solid colorings, the dogs can also have several markings, which can be blue, liver, black, or a variety of shades of grizzle. Puppies can be born black and then change color as they grow. The ears are small and Vshaped and fold over, with eyes dark hazel, brown, or black.

For show, the fur should be stripped. If you intend to keep your pet for companionship rather than for show, clipping the hair in an easy-to-care-for "puppy cut" is advisable.


Affectionate, loving, cheerful – and very stubborn – the Lakeland Terrier is brave and confident, and must be trained with a firm, consistent, yet gentle hand. Because the Lakeland Terrier, like any Terrier, can be headstrong, it's absolutely imperative that you train your dog to know who's boss – gently – but start to train right away. If you allow your dog to get away with any sort of "bratty" behavior, you will end up with one very unhappy dog and perhaps a dog afflicted with "small dog syndrome" – which means that your little pet will decide that it rules the roost and is in charge of you instead of the other way around. Begin to socialize your pet as soon as you bring it home from the breeder and set firm, consistent, gentle boundaries from day one – and then don't back off. Believe it or not, this will make your pet much happier and less aggressive as well; you're not doing your dog any favors by letting it dominate.

Properly socialized, though, the Lakeland Terrier is an absolute love. Your pet is still very independent and has a mind of its own, but will be positive and spirited yet relatively obedient. Once properly trained so that it knows its boundaries, your pet will usually be loving, cheerful, affectionate and lively.

If you have children, you can be assured that your pet will love them too, as long as you watch little ones around your pet until it is used to them.

Although the Lakeland Terrier gets along well with other dogs, it doesn't get along well with cats. Keep that in mind when you adopt.

Proper Environment

This is a very active dog, although it can be well-suited to apartment living as long as your neighbors don't mind a little barking. That's because like any Terrier, this dog is certainly going to bark. Take your pet for a brisk walk at least once or twice a day and provide plenty of exercise whenever you can. DON'T leave your pet alone for long periods of time. This is not a dog that gets along well on its own.


The Lakeland Terrier is a very healthy dog with an average lifespan of about 10 to 12 years; some dogs have been known to live as long as 16 years or even longer. While generally healthy, with no tendencies toward any inherited problems, it is important to get your puppy from a breeder who follows the US Lakeland Terrier Club code of ethics to ensure proper health.


If you plan to show, you'll need to strip the fur; the coat should be about half an inch to an inch long on the body, slightly wavy or straight. The long hair on the legs ("furnishings") gives the dog’s legs the appearance of cylinders. Facial hair is trimmed but left long over the eyes to show off the rectangular appearance of the head.

If you're not going to show your dog, giving it a puppy cut is comfortable and easier than stripping.

Other than that, brush twice weekly for 15 to 30 minutes and rub down with towels to remove excess body oils; this should prevent the need to require many baths. Trim nails and brush teeth regularly to prevent dental problems which can lead to deterioration of the dog’s overall health.


Lakeland Terrier.

Retrieved October 20, 2015

Lakeland Terrier.

Retrieved October 20, 2015

Lakeland Terrier.

Retrieved October 20, 2015

Lakeland Terrier.

Retrieved October 20, 2015

The Lakeland Terrier.

Retrieved October 20, 2015.

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