Lakeland Terrier: A Guide to the English Working Terrier


When Jane Smith of Cumbria decided she needed a reliable working dog to help manage vermin on her farm, she turned to the Lakeland Terrier, a breed renowned for its spirited nature and gameness. You might wonder what sets this spirited terrier apart from its kin, like the Border or the Patterdale.

Steeped in a rich history that dates back to the rugged fells of the Lake District, the Lakeland Terrier is a testament to the traditional terriers of England—bred not just for looks, but for their ability to work. As you consider whether this breed’s energetic temperament and unique care requirements align with your lifestyle, remember that owning a Lakeland is not a decision to be made lightly. Their tenacity and charm are well-documented, but so are their distinctive needs.

To truly appreciate the nuances of this bold little terrier, one must understand its origins, its role as both a show dog and a working companion, and the commitment required to ensure its thrive. Join us as we explore the legacy and future of the Lakeland Terrier, and perhaps you’ll unearth whether this dog’s indomitable spirit matches your own.

  • Noise Level
  • Energy
  • Sociability
  • Trainability
  • Care
  • Health


The Lakeland Terrier is known for its moderate noise level, high energy, sociable nature, moderate trainability, moderate care needs, and generally good health.

Lakeland Terrier: Traits, Temperament, and Care Guide

The Lakeland Terrier, developed in the 18th century for hunting, possesses a bold and friendly temperament, complemented by a robust and waterproof coat. It requires diligent grooming and regular exercise to maintain optimal health.

As you raise Lakeland Terrier puppies, they’re imbued with high energy and a strong prey drive, characteristics honed for centuries. They exhibit a wiry double coat, which requires regular brushing to prevent matting. Early socialization is crucial to temper their hunting instincts and promote a well-adjusted demeanor.

The leggy, narrow-chested build is a hallmark of the breed, indicative of its agility and stamina. The Kennel Club recognizes Lakeland Terriers for their distinctive traits. They thrive with regular exercise, whether in a rural setting or adapting to an apartment lifestyle.

Exploring the Characteristics of the Lakeland Terrier

Diving into the characteristics of the Lakeland Terrier, you’ll uncover a breed defined by its agility, tenacity, and distinct wiry coat, which have been meticulously refined over centuries of selective breeding. Recognized by the Kennel Club in 1928, these game little terriers are a proud member of the terrier breeds, known for their leggy, narrow-chested stature and a double coat that comes in various colors, including the classic black-and-tan.

Coat TypeWiry top coat with dense undercoat
Color RangeVarious, including black-and-tan
Required MaintenanceNeed regular grooming
Exercise NeedsHigh; need space and stimulation
Prey DrivePossess a strong prey drive

Lakeland Terriers thrive with exercise and mental stimulation in a securely fenced area. Due to their independent nature, they require high-quality dog food and consistent training.

Lakeland Terrier: A Comprehensive Profile and Guide

You’re about to uncover everything you need to know about the Lakeland Terrier, a breed steeped in English heritage and working prowess.

This comprehensive guide will provide detailed insights into their physical attributes, temperament, and the dichotomy between show and working lines.

Understanding the Lakeland Terrier’s unique characteristics is essential for prospective owners and breed enthusiasts.

Everything You Need to Know

Understanding the Lakeland Terrier starts with recognizing its origins as a breed honed by Tommy Dobson for the rigors of the Eskdale and Ennerdale hunt in the mid-18th century. This English working terrier, stemming from the Lake District, is a testament to the breed’s tenacity and effectiveness.

  • Appearance: Leggy, narrow-chested with a weatherproof coat, often linked to the Old English Black and Tan.
  • Divergence: Show and working strains exhibit distinct traits post-Kennel Club recognition.
  • Exercise: High exercise needs demand active engagement.
  • Temperament: Bold, confident, and tenacious with a high prey drive.
  • Loyalty: Renowned for unwavering dedication to their owners.

As you consider joining the community of Lakeland Terrier breeders or owners, understand that you’re embracing a dog breed rich in history and character.

Discovering the Temperament

Person presenting a terrier at dog show.
young lakeland terrier dog dog show

When exploring the temperament of the Lakeland Terrier, it’s clear that their bold and confident demeanor defines their approach to life and interactions with their human companions. These spirited Lakeland Terriers possess a strong prey drive, indicative of their roots in the terrier group.

Terriers are known for their intelligence and affection, yet they can also display a stubborn streak. This feisty little breed requires proper training and positive reinforcement to instill good manners. Loyalty and devotion run deep, though they can be protective and wary of strangers.

Lakeland Terrier: Is It a Good Fit for Families?

The Lakeland Terrier’s loyalty may align well with family dynamics, though its independent streak requires consistent training efforts.

Given their need for ample exercise and play, these terriers suit active families, especially in rural settings.

However, their strong prey drive necessitates vigilant supervision around small pets and a strategic approach to curb their barking propensity.

Assessing Lakeland Terrier’s Compatibility with Families and Kids

Considering a Lakeland Terrier’s friendly and affectionate demeanor, this breed is a delightful addition to family settings, especially those with children. Their sturdy build and adaptable nature mean they can keep up with the hustle and bustle of a busy household.

  • Family-Friendly: Lakeland Terriers are loyal and dedicated, providing both companionship and a sense of security in the home.
  • Great with Children: Their playful energy is a match for kids, promoting engaging play sessions.
  • Training and Socialization: Intelligent and responsive to positive reinforcement, making them good candidates for training classes and early socialization.
  • Exercise Needs: They need a lot of exercise, encouraging active participation from family members.
  • Independence: While loving, they can be independent; understanding their personality is key to integrating them into family life.

Lakeland Terrier Adaptability Quirks

While adaptable to various living environments, Lakeland Terriers must have their high energy levels and strong prey drives managed through consistent exercise and structured training. As a member of the Lakeland Terrier Club, you’ll learn that these terriers are small but require regular mental and physical stimulation to channel their innate tendencies to control vermin.

The breed’s adaptability quirks include a propensity to vocalize and a robust prey drive.

The Lakeland Terrier Association emphasizes that while well-suited for apartment living, they’re prone to certain health issues without adequate grooming and exercise. Their activity level calls for proactive engagement. Embrace their affectionate nature, and be ready to contend with their independent streak and occasional stubbornness.

With mindful care, your Lakeland Terrier’s unique qualities will flourish.

Lakeland Terrier Obedience Techniques

You’ll find that Lakeland Terriers respond best to consistent, firm training strategies that respect their intelligence and independent nature.

Positive reinforcement is key; it rewards desired behaviors and establishes trust between you and your dog.

Early socialization and obedience training are critical to prevent the development of stubborn tendencies and ensure they’re well-behaved companions.

Effective Training Strategies

To effectively train your Lakeland Terrier, consistently apply positive reinforcement techniques that cater to their intelligent and independent character. You’ll want to initiate training at an early age, using methods that engage their abundant energy and satisfy their need for mental stimulation. Here’s a quick reference for key aspects of their training and care:

Training FocusGrooming Care
Dog SportsRemove Dead, Dense Undercoat
Mental StimulationPrevent Matting
Consistent ExerciseRegular Brushing & Hand-Stripping

Ensure you provide ample exercise, including brisk walks, to channel their energy productively. Remember, dog sports can be an excellent outlet for their zest. Regular grooming is essential to maintain their distinctive coat, removing dead hair and preventing matting. Engage in a clinical but caring approach to meet their physical and emotional needs.

Joyful brown dog mid-leap on white background.
jumping moment lakeland terrier dog white background

Exercise and Grooming Needs

Ensuring your Lakeland Terrier gets daily exercise is crucial for their overall health and prevents behavioral issues stemming from pent-up energy. Daily walks are a must, as these terriers need lots of physical activity; they can run all day, thanks to their heritage as working dogs. Your small dog with v-shaped ears will thrive with the right amount of exercise, integrating you into their pack.

Their exercise and grooming needs don’t end there. The Lakeland’s double coat that comes in various colors requires regular maintenance to remove loose hair. Hand-stripping is essential several times weekly to keep their weather-resistant coat in top condition. This routine ensures their coat is healthy and strengthens the bond between you and your spirited companion.

Health Considerations

It would be best to consider the Lakeland Terrier’s potential for certain hereditary conditions, such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy, which can impact their quality of life.

A meticulous approach to their grooming and exercise routines can mitigate the risk of common issues like ear infections and maintain their overall health.

Common Health Issues and Lifespan

Owners of Lakeland Terriers should anticipate their pets’ lifespan of 12-15 years while remaining vigilant for signs of common health issues such as cataracts and hip dysplasia.

As proud American Kennel Club (AKC) members, Lakeland Terriers excel in various dog sports, but to maintain this breed’s vigor, you must be proactive about their health concerns. Regular veterinary check-ups and health screenings are crucial to catch early signs of patellar luxation, progressive retinal atrophy, or Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease.

As an adult dog, your Lakeland may be prone to ear infections and skin allergies, so it’s essential to ensure a consistent grooming and care routine.

Is Lakeland Terrier the Right Dog for You?

Considering a Lakeland Terrier as your next canine companion requires understanding their energetic and self-reliant nature to ensure a good fit with your lifestyle.

Lakeland Terriers are small but vigorous little dogs that descend from fell terriers and were originally bred to ‘go to ground’ in pursuit of vermin. This breed type embodies a bold spirit, able to confront potential intruders with unwavering courage.

Their high energy demands ample exercise and mental stimulation, especially in open, rural spaces.

To manage their strong prey drive, you’ll need to commit to consistent training and early socialization. If you’re prepared for a dog that may challenge your patience but is sure to steal your heart, the Lakeland Terrier might be the right breed for you.

Alternatives for Lakeland Terrier: Hardy and Energetic Small Terrier Breeds

For those who adore the Lakeland Terrier’s hardiness and energy, these small terrier breeds offer a similar combination of toughness and liveliness.

Similar DogsShort Description
Welsh TerrierKnown for its hunting skills and friendly nature, similar build and energy.
Airedale TerrierThe largest of the terrier breeds, known for its versatility and intelligence.
Irish TerrierFiery red coat, spirited personality, great for active families.
Border TerrierSmall but tough terrier, valued for its affectionate nature and versatility.
Norwich TerrierSmall, robust breed with a strong hunting instinct and friendly demeanor.


In wrapping up, if you’re seeking a spirited companion, the Lakeland Terrier may just fit the bill. Their robust constitution requires keen attention, though. Embrace the challenge of their training, akin to navigating a Victorian maze, with patience and strategy.

Regular exercise and grooming keep them in good shape. Before choosing this breed, weigh its vivacious temperament against your lifestyle. The Lakeland isn’t just a pet; it’s a legacy of English moxie and determination.



Michelle is a knowledgeable content writer at Dogwondersworld, specializing in canine behavior and nutrition, and is responsible for creating informative and engaging articles for the site. Her expertise contributes significantly to the depth and quality of the content.

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