Lakeland Terrier

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lakeland terrier portrait
Meet the Lakeland Terrier, a small dog with a huge personality! Bursting with energy and charm, this breed is adored for its unique wiry coat and fearless nature. They might be small, but their tenacity and zest for life make them stand out in the canine world.

Join us in this comprehensive guide as we explore everything you need to know about this breed, including their appearance, temperament, ideal environment, grooming, exercise requirements, training tips, dietary needs, health concerns, history, and more.

Best For

The Lakeland Terrier is a perfect companion for those who love an energetic and bold sidekick. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys a lively, playful, and sometimes mischievous buddy, this breed could be your match. They thrive with plenty of human interaction, making them a delightful addition to active families and dog lovers with a sense of adventure!

Overview

OFFICIAL NAMELakeland Terrier
ORIGINEngland
BREED GROUPTerrier Group
BREED SIZESmall
HEIGHT13.5-14.5 inches
WEIGHT15-17 lbs
LIFESPAN12-15 years
LIVING SPACESmall
SENSITIVITY TO COLD WEATHERLow
SENSITIVITY TO WARM WEATHERModerate
GROOMING NEEDSHigh
EXERCISE NEEDSHigh
TRAINABILITYModerate
BARKING TENDENCYModerate
BITING TENDENCYLow
DROOLING TENDENCYLow
SHEDDING LEVELLow
POPULARITY RANK143rd
lakeland terrier in a park
Photo: animalinfo/Getty Images

Appearance

The Lakeland Terrier is a small but sturdy dog breed that is one part adorable and two parts robust. If you’re looking for a canine companion that is as charming to look at as it is vivacious, then you’ve found your match in this British beauty.

At first glance, the Lakeland Terrier looks like a delightful toy-sized package, standing only 13.5 to 14.5 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing between 15 and 17 pounds. But don’t let their size fool you, these dogs are fit and agile, always ready for an adventure.

The body of a Lakeland Terrier is compact and well-proportioned, showcasing their strength and agility. Their straight front legs and muscular hindquarters give them a balanced and workmanlike appearance, hinting at their origins as working dogs in the English Lake District.

Their heads are rectangular, with small V-shaped ears that fold over, adding an extra dash of charm to their appearance. The eyes of a Lakeland Terrier are fairly small and oval, often gleaming with a mischievous twinkle that hints at their playful nature.

The expression on a Lakeland’s face is one of confidence and friendliness. It’s hard not to fall in love with their bold, cheeky demeanor. They carry themselves with a “cock-of-the-walk” attitude, strutting around with a self-assured air that is endearing and entertaining.

But perhaps the most striking feature of the Lakeland Terrier is their distinctive double coat. The outer layer is thick and hard, while the undercoat is soft and close to the skin. This combination gives them a rugged yet neat appearance, with the wiry topcoat often hand-stripped to show off their outline.

The color of their coat can vary and may be solid or saddle-marked. Common colors include blue, black, liver (a reddish brown), and red. Regardless of the color, their coats are usually cut to give them a tailored and polished look.

a pair of lakeland terrier playing with a tug toy
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Temperament

If you’re looking for a small dog with a big personality, the Lakeland Terrier is your perfect match. This breed is a bundle of energy, love, and tenacity, wrapped in a wiry coat and topped with a playful twinkle in their eyes.

Lakeland Terriers are known for their bold and spunky temperament. They’re not afraid to strut their stuff and show the world who’s boss. Despite their small size, they’re confident and courageous, never backing down from a challenge or an adventure. This “cock-of-the-walk” attitude is part of their charm and one of the reasons why they’re so beloved among dog enthusiasts.

But don’t be fooled by their boldness. Lakeland Terriers are also incredibly affectionate and lovey-dovey with their families. They form strong bonds with their human companions, always ready to shower them with love and attention. Whether it’s curling up on your lap for a snuggle or following you around the house, they love being in the thick of family activities.

With strangers, however, they can be a bit reserved. They’re not the type to immediately warm up to anyone new. But once they get to know you and see that you’re a friend, they’ll welcome you into their circle with open paws. Just give them some time and patience, and they’ll soon be wagging their tails in greeting.

Lakeland Terriers are also known for their playful and mischievous side. They love to play and can often be found engaging in a game of fetch or chasing after a toy. And with their intelligent and independent-minded nature, they’re always up to something interesting. Whether it’s exploring a new corner of the yard or figuring out how to get to that treat you’ve hidden, their curious minds are always at work.

However, it’s important to note that they’re not overly aggressive or argumentative. While they may have a bold and confident demeanor, they’re generally friendly and good-natured. They might strut around like they own the place, but at the end of the day, they’re just lovable furballs looking for some fun and affection.

And let’s not forget their clownish side. Sometimes, these little terriers just love to make you laugh with their antics. Whether it’s doing a silly dance or making a funny face, they know how to lighten up any mood and bring a smile to your face.

lakeland terrier standing on grass
Photo: slowmotiongli/Getty Images

Ideal Environment

The Lakeland Terrier needs an environment where it can thrive and be its playful self. If you’ve got a heart full of love and a home that’s ready for some fun, then you’ve got the ideal setting for this lovely breed.

Ideal Owner

First things first, Lakeland Terriers are incredibly sociable and love being part of an active family. They’re great with kids and can keep up with their energy levels, making them an excellent addition to a bustling household. But they also form strong bonds with individuals and will relish the companionship of a dedicated pet parent who has time to engage with them.

Other Pets

Given their background as working dogs bred to chase after pests, they have a high prey drive. This means they might not always get along with other small pets like cats or rodents. However, they generally do well with other dogs, especially if they’re introduced properly and socialized from a young age.

Physical Environment

When it comes to their physical environment, these terriers love having a secure outdoor space where they can explore and play. A fenced yard is ideal for them to run around and burn off some energy. But remember, they’re quite agile and can easily jump over low fences, so make sure your yard is escape-proof!

Climate Adaptability

As for the climate, Lakeland Terriers are pretty adaptable. Their double coat protects them from both cold and hot weather. In colder climates, their thick undercoat keeps them warm. In warmer regions, their wiry topcoat helps insulate them against the heat. However, like all dogs, they should never be left in extreme temperatures and should always have access to shade and fresh water during hot weather.

lakeland terrier in a field of grass and flower
Photo: animalinfo/Getty Images

Grooming

When it comes to grooming, the Lakeland Terrier is a breed that likes to keep things interesting. This isn’t your average wash-and-go dog. Their unique double coat and playful nature make their grooming needs a bit more specific, but with a little time and patience, you can keep your Lakeland looking and feeling their best.

Coat Care

Let’s start with their distinctive coat. Lakeland Terriers have a wiry topcoat and a soft undercoat. This combination requires regular brushing to keep it healthy and looking good. A thorough brush at least once a week will help remove any loose hairs, prevent matting, and keep their coat shiny and neat. A slicker brush or a comb with both coarse and fine teeth are excellent tools for this job.

But brushing alone isn’t enough for these terriers. Their wiry coat also needs to be hand-stripped. This is a process where you pluck out the dead hair by hand (or with a stripping tool) to help maintain the texture and color of their coat.

It might sound a bit daunting but don’t worry. You can learn how to do it yourself or take your Lakeland to a professional groomer. Hand-stripping is usually done twice a year, but the frequency can depend on your dog’s individual coat growth.

Now, let’s talk about bath time. Lakelands don’t need frequent baths, and a good scrub every three to four months usually suffices unless they get particularly dirty. Use a dog-specific shampoo to keep their skin healthy and their coat vibrant.

Dental Care

Moving on to dental care, regular teeth brushing is crucial. Ideally, you should brush your Lakeland’s teeth daily. Regular brushing helps to prevent bad breath, gum disease, and other dental problems. Use a dog-friendly toothpaste and brush, and turn it into a bonding session with your furry friend.

Nail Trimming

Next up are their nails. Like all dogs, Lakelands’ nails grow continuously. If you hear a clicking sound when they walk on hard surfaces, it’s time for a trim. Trimming your dog’s nails every three to four weeks is usually enough to keep them at a comfortable length. If you’re not confident doing it yourself, a vet or professional groomer can do it for you.

Ear Care

Lastly, don’t forget about their ears. Check them weekly for any signs of redness, bad odor, or irritation, which could indicate an infection. Clean them gently with a dog-friendly ear cleaner and a cotton ball. Never insert anything into their ear canal.

lakeland terrier walking on a pathway
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Exercise

When it comes to exercise, the Lakeland Terrier is like a pocket-sized dynamo. This breed is all about action and adventure, and they need regular physical activity to keep them happy and healthy.

Exercise Amount & Types

To start with, expect to spend up to an hour each day on exercise for your Lakeland Terrier. This could be broken up into two or three shorter sessions, depending on your dog’s energy levels and your own schedule.

Remember, these dogs are agile and energetic, so a slow amble around the block won’t cut it. They enjoy brisk walks where they can explore their surroundings, sniff out new scents, and strut their stuff.

In addition to walks, Lakeland Terriers love a good play session. A game of fetch in the yard or a fun tug-of-war match can help burn off some of that terrier energy. They also enjoy chasing after toys, so interactive play with a ball or a frisbee can be a great way to keep them entertained and exercised.

But don’t forget about mental exercise too. These intelligent dogs thrive on problem-solving activities and enjoy games that test their brains. Puzzle toys or hide-and-seek games can be a great way to challenge their minds and tire them out mentally.

Dog Sports

If you’re interested in dog sports, the Lakeland Terrier could be a star in the making. They excel in agility courses, where their speed, agility, and intelligence really shine. They also do well in obedience and rally competitions, showing off their trainable nature and desire to please.

Lastly, remember that exercise isn’t just about tiring your dog out. It’s also a chance for them to bond with you, explore their environment, and have some fun. So whether you’re heading out for a walk, playing a game, or training for a competition, make sure to keep things enjoyable and stimulating for your Lakeland Terrier.

lakeland terrier exiting a tunnel on agility course
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Training

Training a Lakeland Terrier is an adventure in itself. These intelligent, independent, and sometimes stubborn dogs require a trainer who is just as tenacious and resourceful as they are. But with the right approach, you’ll find that training your Lakeland can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

Lakelands are smart and quick to learn. They’re capable of picking up new commands and tricks with relative ease. However, their independent nature means they won’t always do what you ask just to please you. They like to think for themselves and often prefer doing things their own way. So, while they’re trainable, they also require a bit of patience and a good sense of humor.

Positive reinforcement methods work best with this breed. They respond well to rewards like treats, praise, and playtime. Keep training sessions short and fun to hold their interest. If they’re enjoying themselves, they’re more likely to engage and learn.

Socialization is a crucial part of training for Lakelands. Start introducing them to different people, environments, and situations when they’re young. This will help them grow into well-rounded, confident dogs. Puppy classes can be a great way to start socializing and training at the same time.

Obedience training is another must for these terriers. Teaching them basic commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘come’, and ‘leave it’ will not only keep them safe but also establish you as their leader. Remember, consistency is key. Make sure everyone in the family follows the same rules and commands to avoid confusing your dog.

Lastly, don’t forget about leash training. Lakelands have a high prey drive and might be tempted to chase after small animals. Training them to walk nicely on a leash can prevent any unexpected dashes.

lakeland terrier running through a rural field
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Diet & Nutrition 

What to Feed & How Much

When it comes to choosing food for your Lakeland Terrier, quality really matters. Look for high-quality dry or wet food that meets the nutritional standards set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). These foods will have a good balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and essential vitamins and minerals.

Some Lakeland owners also opt for raw diets, but if you’re considering this, it’s best to consult with a vet or a pet nutritionist to ensure your dog gets all the nutrients they need.

The amount of food your Lakeland needs can depend on their age, size, and activity level. Generally, an adult Lakeland Terrier will need around 1 to 1.5 cups of dry food per day, divided into two meals. Puppies usually eat three to four times a day to support their growth and development.

Keep in mind that every dog is unique. Your Lakeland might need more or less food depending on their metabolism and lifestyle. Regular check-ups with your vet will help you adjust their diet as needed and keep them in tip-top shape.

Treats

Of course, treats are part of the diet too! They’re great for training and as a special reward. But remember, treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake to avoid weight gain and nutritional imbalances.

Water

Water is another important part of your dog’s diet. Make sure your Lakeland has access to fresh, clean water at all times. This is especially important during hot weather or after exercise, to prevent dehydration.

lakeland terrier standing on grass
Photo: slowmotiongli/Getty Images

Health

When it comes to health, the Lakeland Terrier is a generally robust and hardy breed. With a life expectancy of 12-15 years, these little terriers have plenty of time to fill your life with joy and laughter. But like all breeds, they do have certain health conditions that they’re more prone to. Here are common health issues associated with the breed:

Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: This condition affects the hip joint, causing lameness and discomfort. It usually appears in young dogs and can be managed with surgery and physical therapy.

Von Willebrand’s Disease: This is a blood clotting disorder that can lead to excessive bleeding even from minor injuries. There’s no cure, but it can be managed with careful monitoring and treatment.

Eye Conditions: Lakelands can be prone to various eye conditions like cataracts and Primary Lens Luxation (PLL), which can affect their vision. Regular eye checks can help catch and treat these conditions early.

Allergies: Like many breeds, Lakelands can suffer from allergies, which can cause skin irritation and digestive issues. Identifying and avoiding the allergen can help manage this condition.

Hypothyroidism: This is a condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, leading to weight gain, lethargy, and other symptoms. It can be managed with medication and regular monitoring.

To keep your Lakeland healthy, a balanced diet is crucial. Feed them high-quality food that meets their nutritional needs, and avoid overfeeding to prevent obesity. Regular exercise will also help keep them fit and active.

Regular vet check-ups are another must. These will allow your vet to monitor your dog’s health and catch any potential issues early. Your Lakeland should also be up-to-date on vaccinations to protect them from various diseases.

lakeland terrier jumping for a ball on the beach
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History

The Lakeland Terrier has a rich history that dates back to the 1700s. This breed was born in the beautiful Lake District of Northern England, where farmers needed a fearless, agile dog that could protect their sheep from foxes. Enter the Lakeland Terrier, a small but gutsy terrier that proved perfect for the job.

Lakelands were bred to be workers. They had to be brave enough to chase foxes into their dens, small enough to squeeze through narrow passages, and tough enough to hold their own against their quarry. These traits are still evident in the breed today, making them an energetic and courageous companion.

Despite their long history, Lakelands were only formally recognized as a breed in the late 1920s or early 1930s. It was around this time that they were first registered by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Today, they may not be as well-known as some other terrier breeds, but those who discover them are quickly charmed by their lively personality and distinctive looks.

In terms of popularity, the Lakeland Terrier doesn’t top the charts. The breed currently ranks 143rd on the AKC’s list of Most Popular Dog Breeds. But don’t let that fool you. What they lack in popularity, they more than make up for with their loyal, spirited nature and their unique ability to make you laugh. They’re a well-kept secret in the dog world, and their owners wouldn’t have it any other way.

In popular culture, Lakelands are not as prominent as some other breeds. However, they’ve had their moments in the spotlight. For instance, a Lakeland Terrier named Stingray of Derryabah won Best in Show at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1968, cementing the breed’s place in the annals of canine fame.

Parent Club

The parent club for the Lakeland Terrier breed in the United States is known as the United States Lakeland Terrier Club (USLTC). The USLTC is dedicated to advancing and protecting the interests of this spirited breed through education and research. You can visit their website for more information about the club, their initiatives, and how to get involved.

Breed Standard

A breed standard is a set of guidelines established by breed clubs or kennel organizations, defining the ideal appearance, temperament, and physical traits of a specific breed.

It serves as a reference for breeders, judges, and enthusiasts to evaluate and maintain a breed’s unique qualities. Covering aspects like size, appearance, and temperament, breed standards are used in dog shows and competitions to assess individual dogs against the ideal representation of their breed.

Check out the Lakeland Terrier’s breed standard as set by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

two lakeland terrier puppies on green grass
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Acquiring

Bringing a Lakeland Terrier into your life is an exciting journey! Before you begin, make sure your home is ready for this energetic breed. Stock up on chew toys, dog food, and prepare for plenty of exercise.

If you decide to buy a puppy, ensure you choose a reputable breeder. But have you considered rescuing? There are many Lakelands in need of loving homes. Rescuing a dog can be incredibly rewarding, and you’ll be giving a second chance to a deserving pet. The AKC and the USLTC can help connect you with rescue organizations.

Remember, whether you choose to buy or rescue, you’re embarking on a wonderful adventure with a Lakeland Terrier!

FAQs

Are Lakeland Terriers good pets?

Yes, Lakeland Terriers make excellent pets. They’re known for their energetic, friendly nature and love of play. They’re also quite intelligent and can be trained with patience and consistency.

Are Lakeland Terriers cuddly?

While they’re not typically the most cuddly breed, every dog is unique. Some Lakelands may enjoy snuggling up on the couch while others prefer more active forms of affection like playing or going for walks.

What are Lakeland Terriers known for?

Lakeland Terriers are known for their fearless, hardworking nature. Originally bred to hunt foxes in the Lake District of England, they’re incredibly agile, spirited, and tenacious.

Are Lakeland Terriers good with cats?

This largely depends on the individual dog and their upbringing. Lakelands have a high prey drive, so they might chase cats. However, if they’re introduced to cats at a young age and properly socialized, they can learn to live peacefully with feline friends.

How much exercise do Lakeland Terriers need?

Lakeland Terriers are an active breed that requires about an hour of daily exercise. A couple of walks a day, along with some playtime or mental stimulation, should keep them happy and healthy.

Are Lakeland Terriers hypoallergenic?

Lakeland Terriers are considered a hypoallergenic breed because they shed very little. However, no dog is truly 100% hypoallergenic. People with allergies should spend time with a Lakeland before bringing one home to see if they trigger any reactions.

How big do Lakeland Terriers get?

Lakeland Terriers are a small breed. Adult dogs typically weigh between 15 to 17 pounds and stand about 14 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder.

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