The Patterdale Terrier or the Black Fell Terrier, is an English dog breed. These dogs originated in England, along with other terriers including the Airedale Terrier, Lucas Terrier, and the Smooth Fox Terrier. These dogs are small and the word terrier comes from tere, which means earth. Earth refers to the original function of the dogs and how they were used to catch vermin. Specifically, the terriers were used to hunt down foxes and force them out of their dens. Their small and wiry nature made them useful and much more agile than larger hunting dogs.
If you have been looking for the perfect furry companion, then you may already know that science has a lot to say about canines. In fact, researchers have known for over 30 years that the mere act of petting a dog can lower the blood pressure, slow the heart rate, calm the breathing and relax the muscles. If you are ready to start embracing the calm that a dog can bring to your life as well as the lowering of stress hormones, then you may find yourself hemming and hawing over the exact breed. If smaller dogs are more your speed, then a Patterdale Terrier may be just what your heart desires.
Where Do Patterdale Terriers Come From?
The Patterdale Terrier was bred almost exclusively for its ability to hunt. The dogs are descendants of several other Northern terrier breeds, and their origins can be traced back to the early 20th century to an early breeder named Joe Bowman. Unlike other terriers, the origins are quite clear and attributed to a single individual.
Patterdale Terriers are a newer breed of dog and they are quite popular. These dogs are working dogs who focus on hunting, but they are far less “yappy” than other terriers.
What Do Patterdale Terriers Look Like?
Patterdale Terriers have smaller heads with short muzzles, and their coats are black about 95% of the time. However, potential Patterdale Terrier colors include a bronze, red, liver, grizzle, or chocolate coat.
Some white patches may be seen on the feet and chest as well, and this creates a unique color pattern that is quite desirable.
The coats of the terriers are typically rough, broken, or smooth. A smooth coat is short and lies close to the body, while a broken coat is one with longer hair around the head, legs, body, or a combination of these areas. A rough coat is one with longer hair that is a bit more coarse and harsh.
The Patterdale Terrier is quite small in size, thought sturdily built. Adults weigh between about 11 and 13 pounds, on average. While this is generally true, due to a large variation the dogs can weigh upwards of 30 pounds!
Patterdale Terrier Temperament
Patterdales have unique personalities that are both similar to and different from other types of terriers. Like other terriers, the dogs are confident, strong-willed, and lively. In some ways they are stubborn, but they can also be very biddable.
These jolly pups have a lot of energy and enjoy playing, running, and fetching. They aren’t cuddly lapdogs that will want to be showered in kisses, but they are great fun. Since they are a working breed, they are good at chasing and searching out toys, balls, and other objects. Most terriers are sweet dogs and Patterdales are no exception.
However, you do need to make sure that the abundance of energy is exerted in a positive manner. Otherwise, your pup can become bored and destructive, which is very bad for your furniture and wardrobe.
Although normally gentle, Patterdale Terriers can occasionally show guarding behaviors so it’s important to pick a puppy from friendly parents, and to socialize him thoroughly.
Since Patterdale Terriers were bred as working and hunting dogs, they have strong instincts when it comes to hunting animals. The dogs were often used to locate foxes and rats, but they are highly adept at finding other animals as well, including raccoons.
In fact, some terrier owners use their dogs to hunt raccoons. However, even if you are not the hunting type, your dog’s instincts can kick in if there is a raccoon nearby. Raccoons can and will attack dogs, and often with disastrous results.
You can prevent incidents fairly easily, since raccoons almost always attack at night, so keep your dog on a leash at all times when he potties in the evening, even if you live in an urban area.
Patterdale Terrier Training
The strong will, stubbornness, energy, and hunting instincts of the Patterdale Terrier can make this dog a bit difficult to train. If you have ever had a terrier as a pet, then this might seem like quite the understatement.
However, since Patterdales are a bit calmer and more low key than a Jack Russell or a Yorkshire, they are easier to train than these dogs. Training with positive reinforcement is advisable, and scientific research shows that this type of training results in fewer behavior problems down the road.
The good news is that the terriers have few health problems linked to their specific breed.
Conjunctivitis and the formation of cataracts are two issues to watch out for. Patterdales will often develop allergies, so this is commonly the cause of the pink eye issue. Not only are seasonal allergies a concern, but skin allergies can develop too. If your pup has allergies, you may see some dermatitis developing across the body.
Some dogs can also develop a disorder called portosystemic shunt or PSS. PSS forms when the blood meant to travel to the liver moves around the organ instead. This causes a lack of blood and a decrease in the nutrients and oxygen needed to function properly.
Patterdales can develop knee issues, like most other terriers. The problem is called patellar luxation where the knee cap slips out of place. While the condition sounds awfully painful, it really is not. If the knee cap slips out of place, you may see your terrier kicking the leg to the side of the body.
Patterdale Terrier Puppies
Patterdale terriers are a rare breed, especially since it is a relatively new one compared to other terriers. For example, the Jack Russell Terrier breed is well over 200 years old. Also, breeders are not as abundant in the United States as they are overseas.
Don’t be tempted to buy a Patterdale Terrier puppy, or any other puppy, from a pet store. Go to a breeder, who has an interest in the welfare of the mother.
Make sure you meet the mother and if possible the father too. They should be in good condition, friendly and have an obvious bond with their owner. Remember, cheaper puppies often come from breeders who have cut corners. Choose your pup based upon their quality rather than their cost.