AKC Dog Breeds: Lakeland Terrier

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Terrier Group
Height: 12-15 inches   Weight: 12-17  pounds  Color: Solid (blue, Black, Liver, Red, or Wheaten); or Wheaten or Golden Tan With A Saddle of Blue, Black, Liver or Grizzle

Peppy, spunky, and jolly, this breed does exceptionally well with children. The Lakeland Terrier was bred to hunt vermin in the rugged shale mountains of the Lake District of northern England. He is a small, workmanlike dog of square, sturdy build. His body is deep and relatively narrow, which allows him to squeeze into rocky dens. The Lakeland Terrier was originally bred in the Lake region of England as a ratter and fox hunting dog. The breed has been developed through the selective crossing of several breeds including the Old English Wirehaired Terrier, the Bedlington Terrier, the Border Collie and the Dandie Dinmont Terrier. Originally known by one of several names including the Fell Terrier, Eltewater Terrier and the Patterdale Terrier, the name Lakeland Terrier was officially recognized 1921. The Lakeland Terrier quickly became a popular breed in the United Kingdom and then became recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1934.

General Appearance
The Lakeland Terrier is a solid, squarely proportioned dog similar to the Welsh Terrier, but a bit smaller. It is an elegant dog with a beautiful, elongated head and straight, strongly boned legs. The long head has bushy hair on the foreface. The teeth are either overshot or undershot. The hard outer coat with its undercoat liner protects the dog from brambles, and bad weather. It has powerful jaws and dark or hazel eyes. Puppies are often born dark. The thick, hard, adult coat is resistant to bad weather and comes in many combinations of black, black & tan, reddish, red grizzle, wheat, liver & blue, grizzle, and grizzle & tan. The dog may or may not have a saddle. The tan color is like straw, not rich and dark. The v-shaped ears fold over. The nose is dark. The docked tail is set and carried high. The dog looks as if he is standing on his toes.


The Lakeland Terrier is a dog that is playful, full of energy, and can be very entertaining, with lots of enthusiasm and a love for life. He is a confident and courageous dog, but also has a very curious and inquisitive nature that can lead him into trouble, or even into danger. If you have a beautiful designed garden then be warned - these little terriers love to dig. These are also not the right choice for those that want a quiet life, as they demand plenty of activity, plenty of attention, and they can bark a lot. Alert and eager to please, the Lakeland Terrier is an intelligent dog and is quick to learn. However, training can be difficult because these dogs have a very independent and stubborn streak, making them best suited to those with some level of experience with handling and training dogs. When it comes to strangers the Lakeland Terrier will usually be quite polite but wary. His tendency to bark and raise an alarm makes him an effective watchdog. He is generally good around gentle and considerate children. These dogs can make good companions and family pets for active people and families, but do need an owner that is confident, assertive, yet positive.

The Lakeland Terrier sheds little to no hair, but does require frequent grooming. A professional should perform hand plucking the hair approximately three times per year. Hair inside the ears should also be plucked. The beard of this breed should be regularly cleaned.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy

The Lakeland Terrier is one of the many terrier breeds that is free from any of the serious hereditary conditions found in other breeds.  Occasionally Lakeland Terriers will have lens luxation, a condition of the eye, and they may also have a bleeding disorder known as von Willebrands Disease. A simple blood test administered by a veterinarian can check for this condition which is not life threatening and can be easily managed. Puppies may also be born with Legg-Perthe's disease that is a degenerative condition of the hip joint, although this is typically very rare. Checking the lineage of the parents will ensure that this is not a concern in a Lakeland Terrier puppy. The life expectancy of the Lakeland Terrier is around 12-16 years.

Activity Level

As with most terriers, this breed is very lively and would do best with a small to average size yard. However, will do okay without one. The Lakeland Terrier does exceptionally well in agility, and loves jogging or brisk runs.


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