Patterdale Terrier – One Part Of The Miniature Pit Bull

The Patterdale Terrier

Patterdale Terriers make up half of the Pocket Pitbull. The Patterdale Terrier is a small dog breed originally bred in England to assist humans with hunting small game such as weasels, rabbits, and fox. Today, they are one of the most popular breeds in England, although not as popular here in the United States.

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History of the Patterdale Terrier:

The Patterdale Terrier was originally bred in the Lake District in England by a breed named Joe Bowman These tiny pups were often referred to as the Black Fell Terrier. They were initially produced to help Joe Bowman hunt fox, rabbits, and other small game. Their small stature would come in handy when it came time to burrow for the prey as well as to retrieve fallen game for him. The Patterdale Terrier grew in popularity for this reason as well as for guarding a home. They may be little in size but, you wouldn’t know that based on their large personalities. They can be fantastic watchdogs, likely due to the fact that they see themselves as a big ferocious dog (this is also known as Small Dog Syndrome). In 1978, the Patterdale Terrier was introduced to the United States of America. However, their vast popularity remains in Northern England. It is important to mention as a side note that these pups are only recognized by the UKC (United Kennel Club) and have not yet been accepted by the AKC (American Kennel Club).

“They motivate us to play, be affectionate, seek adventure, and be loyal.”

-Tom Hayden

Personality and Temperament of the Patterdale Terrier:

These dogs were bred to work. If they are not given a job to do then, they can quickly become bored and destructive. However, once they have a job to do, then that is where their loyalty and focus lies. These pooches have excellent instincts which make them a wonderful companion during hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities. They love to be part of the pack and will do their part to contribute. They are not a yappy breed which is unlike most of the fellow Terrier breeds. Their intellectual side is also higher than most dog breeds which make them a great partner for families with children or even those with special needs. They are known to be relatively easy to train due to their intellect and instinct. As previously mentioned, they love having a job to do and even if their job is to “sit” and “stay” then they are going to perform it to the best of their abilities and even try to raise your expectations. I guess you could say that they are the “Teacher’s Pet” because of their desire to please their owners and to complete a task with flying colors. While their instincts, intellect and desire to please may make the Patterdale Terrier easy to train, their stubbornness may make them a little more difficult. Each dog is different. Some dog will be more strong-willed than others, and some dogs will be laid back and willing to learn. However, if the owner is experienced, then training your Patterdale should be a piece of cake.

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Feeding a Patterdale Terrier:

The exact quantity and frequency should be given by your veterinarian. She can provide the best information about feeding your dog based on his weight, age, and overall health conditions. However, there are standard rules that you can follow. Some of which can be found on the back of the kibble packaging. This is also the location on the packaging where you can find the various ingredients and nutrients that are in (or lacking in) that particular kibble.

The Patterdale Terrier is a very active dog breed that enjoys hard work as well as lots of play time that is interactive and intellectually challenging. Therefore, he requires a dog food that is specially formulated for highly active dog breeds. If you choose a dry kibble, be sure to choose a smaller kibble or a formula for active small dog breeds. Remember, the Patterdale is a smaller dog and may not be able to handle big dog kibble.

It is vital that you do not overfeed your dog! Overfeeding can lead to unwanted weight gain, severe health problems and can even be fatal.


Caring for a Patterdale Terrier:


These Terriers are full of energy! All of that vitality needs to go somewhere or into some kind of activity, or it will be taken out on your favorite pair of sneakers. They require an adequate amount of daily exercise that is preferably interactive with other dogs or with their humans. The recommended amount of quality exercise is about 30 minutes. This should e a 30-minute run or even a game of fetch in the park. Anything that involves your dog expending his pent up energy is a good choice. You can even choose activities that are mentally challenging and get him moving such as teaching him a new trick or having him retrieve the mail.

They also prefer games that challenge their minds. These types of games can help keep your Patterdale sharp and on his “A” game! You may be able to find a doggie board game, puzzles for dogs, Dog Memory or even Dog Dominos at your local pet store. If not, check online! There are also various toys on the market that you can hide treats inside of and watch as your dog uses his intellect to figure out how to retrieve the treat from the toy.

If your dog still seems a little wound up, then a nice stroll, swim or giving him a job to do should do the trick.

Habitat requirements:

These compact pups can do very well in an apartment setting. Their small size and occasional barking should make the Patterdale Terrier the perfect apartment companion. The main thing to consider before bring home any dog is how much green space is readily available to them and how easily is it to access. These are important factors because dogs living in an apartment setting still need a place to go for exercise, playtime, as well as to relieve themselves throughout the day. The Patterdale may be compact enough for an apartment. However, their natural energy level may make them better suited for a house with a doggie door and a fenced in back yard. This environment allows your pooch to go outside, safely, whenever he needs or wants to.

Training Patterdale Terriers:

The Patterdale Terrier should be relatively easy to train because of their high intellectual abilities, their instincts as well as their desire to please their owners. However, they can also have a thirst for independence and may make training more difficult as a result. If your pooch becomes strong willed or stubborn during your training sessions with them, then you may need to consider a Doggie Boot Camp or other professional dog training programs. Owners with training experience, previous experience with dogs in general or with the breed may have an easier time training the Patterdale as they will naturally promote themselves as the leader of the pack and the dog will hesitate before questioning it.

In England, the Patterdale is trained to do multiple jobs as well as various sporting events specifically for dogs. These jobs and sports can include:

  • Hunting
  • Racing
  • Flyball (Fun Fact: A Patterdale Terrier was part of a Flyball team that went on to win the 2012 British Flyball Championships and the 2012 European Flyball Championships. He was an adorable Patterdale Terrier named Chip!)


The Patterdale is known as an infrequent barker. They are not yappy like many other small dog breeds are (including some Terrier breeds). These pooches are workers and hunters. They instinctually know that barking is an excellent way to chase away potential prey or game that their owner may be hunting. Therefore, they bark when it is necessary (signally an intruder is approaching, danger is near, or even in an attempt to scare the threat away). Otherwise, they know to keep their traps shut. Obedience training can help cement this trait if you felt your pup was getting mouthy.

Grooming Patterdale Terriers

Grooming can be rather low-maintenance. You may want to consider regular brushing for their coat. This will help control shedding (especially during the warmer months of the year). The Patterdale comes in a smooth coat or a broken coat. Either type of coat will be equipped with an undercoat (hence the regular brushing). Their coats can come in black, red, bronze, black with tan, as well as a liver coloration. Some Patterdales may even have white areas near their paws and chest regions.

Potential Health Problems for the Patterdale Terrier:


Discharge from the eyes. Can cause blindness and may lead to the dog losing the eye if the condition goes untreated.


Common in elderly dogs but can also develop in dogs with eye trauma or disease. A grayish cloudy film that covers the dog’s eye lens (behind the iris).

Hunting injuries:

These are injuries and illnesses that can occur as a result of the dog assisting their owner with a  hunt or by participating in a doggie sport.

  • Porcupine Quills
  • A foreign object cutting or getting caught in the pad of their paw
  • Broken nail
  • Disease acquired by swimming in or drinking contaminated or parasitic water as well as any disease acquired by capturing infected fallen game
  • Foreign object trapped in the eye or the ear
  • Getting stuck in barbed wire
  • Broken bones (or sprains) caused by a fall
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Allergic reaction caused by foreign plants or infected game


If the Patterdale Terrier is seen by the veterinarian for an annual check-up, given the appropriate shots, and remains uninjured or clear of illnesses and diseases, then he should live at least 11 to 13 years.

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