The Lakeland Terriers were originally bred in the harsh but beautiful countryside of the English Lake District to hunt foxes. The purpose of the Hunt was to destroy the fox that would prey on sheep and lambs thereby affecting the livelihood of those dependent upon farming. The Lakeland had to be able to follow the fox over rugged peaks and steep cliffs in all weather and when the fox went to ground the Lakeland had to follow and either bolt the fox or kill it underground.
Its work dictated its shape and size. It had to be small, but agile enough to crawl long distances, legs not too short so as to enable the dog to jump. It was also required to walk or jog with the Hunt from the Kennels to the scene of operations, and then work. Necessity also dictated the shape of the head, as where a Lakeland can get its head the body will follow.
Lakelands can live up to and beyond the age of 15 years.
Average size and weight
6.8kg to 7.7kg
Breed personality, characteristics & temperament
The Lakeland is a small terrier with an impish and assertive disposition. It is a ‘people’ dog and thrives on plenty of human contact. As the Lakeland Terrier does not molt, they would make an excellent companion for those with respiratory problems. With their loud bark and fearless temperament they are a great deterrent to intruders. It is not a lap dog but a supremely athletic and lovable rascal who responds well to training and discipline.
Compatibility with other pets
As a companion dog the Lakeland Terrier should be familiarised with other household pets at an early age. It will then live happily and reliably with them. Early socialisation with people and other dogs, and basic obedience is also recommended. The Lakeland is not a pack dog but will run happily with a dog of the opposite sex.
Trimming the coat is a fact of life for almost all of the Terrier breeds, the Lakeland Terrier being no exception. Careful grooming can make a world of difference to the dog's appearance. To keep a typical harsh all-weather coat that is part of a Lakeland's overall look the coat should be stripped out by hand with the help of a stripping knife, or as is more usual today the dog may be clipped.
Drop ears can be prone to ear mite and need to be kept clean and dry. It enjoys a daily walk and can become bored if cooped up in a garden without company for long periods. You will also require a dog-proof back yard or a dog run to safely enclose your pet in safety during your absence as Lakelands are past masters at getting out through the smallest of escape routes.
The Lakeland Terrier is an ideal companion and family dog, suited to both town and country living.
Click here for advice on adopting a rescue dog and finding a breeder. All information has been provided by the Kennel Club.
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