Lakeland Terrier

Table of Contents

History and Origin

The Lakeland Terrier hails from the Lake District in England, a region known for its rugged landscape. This breed was initially developed for utilitarian purposes, specifically for hunting and protecting livestock. Their main role was to control the population of foxes and other vermin that posed a threat to sheep in the farming communities. The Lakeland Terrier’s tenacity and courage made it an indispensable companion for farmers in these challenging terrains.

Early Beginnings

The early beginnings of the Lakeland Terrier trace back to the 19th century, where they emerged as a distinct breed. They were bred from a mix of other terriers, possibly including the now-extinct Old English Black and Tan Terrier, the Border Terrier, and the Bedlington Terrier. The breed’s development was driven by the need for a dog that could navigate the difficult landscapes of the Lake District while effectively controlling vermin populations.

Evolution of the Breed

Over time, the Lakeland Terrier evolved from a purely working dog to a breed also admired for its appearance and temperament. While maintaining their working abilities, the breed started gaining popularity in dog shows. Their wiry coat, distinctive appearance, and spirited personality caught the attention of dog enthusiasts beyond the farming communities. This transition marked the Lakeland Terrier’s move from a farmer’s aid to a beloved pet and show dog, while still retaining the boldness and agility that defined its early beginnings.

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:

12 to 15 years



Maintenance Level:


Shed Level


Best For

The Lakeland Terrier is best suited for active individuals or families who can provide ample exercise and mental stimulation. Their bold, energetic nature and intelligence make them ideal for those who enjoy an interactive and engaging pet. Well-suited to various living situations, they thrive in environments where they can be part of family activities and receive consistent training and socialization.

Lakeland Terrier Traits

Breed Characteristics

The Lakeland Terrier is a small to medium-sized, robust breed known for its wiry coat, energetic and bold temperament, and strong hunting instincts. They are intelligent, independent, and confident, with a friendly disposition that makes them great companions for active families or individuals.


Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Appearance

The Lakeland Terrier is a small to medium-sized dog with a distinct, wiry coat that comes in a variety of colors including blue, black, wheaten, red, and grizzle. They exhibit a sturdy and well-proportioned build, characterized by a rectangular-shaped body, an alert expression, erect ears, and a bushy topknot on their head, contributing to their spirited and confident appearance.

1. Ears
Small, V-shaped, and erect, adding to their alert and keen expression.
2. Eyes
Dark, small, and deep-set, giving them an intelligent and lively look.
3. Nose
Typically black, providing a striking contrast with their coat.
4. Height
Stands about 13 to 15 inches at the shoulder.
5. Coat Length
Features a dense, wiry outer coat and a softer undercoat.
6. Coat Color
Comes in a variety of colors, including blue, black, wheaten, red, and grizzle, often with a distinctive beard and whiskers.
7. Tail
Traditionally docked, but when left natural, it’s carried upright.
8. Weight
Generally weighs between 15 to 17 pounds, fitting within the small to medium-sized dog category.

Lakeland Terrier Temperament

The Lakeland Terrier is a breed known for its spirited and confident temperament. Here’s a closer look at their personality:

Energetic and Playful

  • High Energy Levels: Lakeland Terriers are lively and energetic, always ready for play or adventure. They thrive on physical activity and mental stimulation.
  • Playfulness: Their playful nature makes them great companions for active families or individuals.

Bold and Confident

  • Fearless Nature: True to their terrier heritage, they exhibit a bold and fearless personality, often showing no hesitation in new or challenging situations.
  • Confidence: They carry themselves with a confident demeanor, which can sometimes border on stubbornness.

Affectionate and Loyal

  • Strong Family Bonds: Lakeland Terriers are known for forming deep connections with their families, displaying loyalty and affection.
  • Companionable: They enjoy being part of family activities and can be quite affectionate with their loved ones.

Intelligent and Independent

  • Quick Learners: They are intelligent and can be trained, but their independent streak might require a patient and consistent training approach.
  • Problem-Solving Skills: Their intelligence also means they can be quick to solve problems and can be very resourceful.

Good Watchdogs

  • Alertness: They are alert and aware of their surroundings, making them good watchdogs.
  • Vocal: They are likely to bark to alert their owners of anything unusual, though this can be managed with training.

Overall, the Lakeland Terrier is a joyful and engaging breed, well-suited for those who appreciate a lively, intelligent dog with a strong personality. They fit best in active households where they can be part of regular activities and where their need for exercise and mental engagement is met.

How to Care for a Lakeland Terrier

Caring for a Lakeland Terrier involves providing them with daily exercise to channel their high energy and intelligence, consistent training to manage their bold terrier temperament, and regular grooming to maintain their wiry coat. These affectionate and spirited dogs thrive in environments where they can be closely involved in family activities and require social interaction to keep them happy and engaged.

Grooming a Lakeland Terrier requires regular brushing to maintain their wiry coat and minimize shedding, along with periodic hand-stripping to keep the coat texture proper. Routine care also includes regular nail trimming, ear cleaning, and dental hygiene to ensure overall health and well-being.

  • Regular Brushing: Brush their wiry coat several times a week to remove loose hair and prevent matting.
  • Hand-Stripping: Unlike many other breeds, the Lakeland Terrier’s coat should be hand-stripped a few times a year to maintain its texture and appearance.
  • Bathing: Bathe them as needed, typically every few months, using a dog-specific shampoo to keep their coat and skin healthy.
  • Nail Trimming: Regularly trim their nails to prevent overgrowth and discomfort.
  • Ear Care: Check and clean their ears regularly to prevent wax buildup and infections, especially considering their erect shape.
  • Dental Hygiene: Regular teeth brushing is important to maintain oral health and prevent dental diseases.

Maintaining a regular grooming routine is crucial for the health and comfort of a Lakeland Terrier, ensuring their distinct coat remains in good condition and they stay healthy overall.

Training a Lakeland Terrier, a breed known for its boldness and intelligence, requires a strategic approach that aligns with their temperament. Here’s an in-depth guide:

Understanding the Terrier Temperament

  • Independent Nature: Recognize their independent streak, which can make training a bit challenging.
  • Stubbornness: Be prepared for moments of stubbornness, typical of terrier breeds, and use consistent, patient training methods.

Positive Reinforcement Techniques

  • Rewards-Based Training: Utilize treats, praise, and toys to motivate and reward them during training sessions.
  • Avoid Harsh Methods: Negative reinforcement can backfire, leading to resistance and fear.

Consistency and Routine

  • Regular Training Sessions: Establish a routine with regular training sessions to reinforce learning and behavior patterns.
  • Clear and Consistent Commands: Use clear, consistent commands to help them understand and follow instructions.

Early Socialization and Obedience Training

  • Socialization: Expose them to different environments, people, and other animals early to develop well-rounded social skills.
  • Basic Obedience: Focus on basic commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘come’, and ‘heel’ for foundational obedience.

Managing High Energy and Prey Drive

  • Channeling Energy: Provide them with physical and mental activities to channel their high energy constructively.
  • Controlling Prey Drive: Engage them in controlled play and activities that satisfy their natural instincts without encouraging negative behaviors.

Advanced Training and Activities

  • Agility Training: Consider agility or other dog sports to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.
  • Trick Training: Teaching them tricks can be a fun way to engage their minds and strengthen your bond.

Patience and Understanding

  • Progress at Their Pace: Understand that every dog learns at its own pace; be patient and celebrate small victories.
  • Bonding Through Training: Use training sessions as an opportunity to build a strong bond and trust between you and your Lakeland Terrier.

Training a Lakeland Terrier effectively involves understanding their unique personality, employing positive reinforcement techniques, and providing them with the mental and physical stimulation they need. With the right approach, they can be well-behaved and enjoyable companions.

Caring for the diet and nutrition of a Lakeland Terrier is crucial for their overall health and well-being. Here’s a guide with specific headings:

Balanced Diet

  • Quality Dog Food: Choose a high-quality dog food appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. Small breed formulas are often suitable for Lakeland Terriers.
  • Proper Portions: Control food portions to prevent obesity, a common issue in smaller breeds. Follow the feeding guidelines on the dog food packaging or consult with a vet.

Regular Feeding Schedule

  • Consistent Meal Times: Establish and stick to regular meal times, typically twice a day, to support their digestive health and maintain a stable metabolism.


  • Access to Fresh Water: Ensure that they always have access to clean, fresh water to keep them well-hydrated.

Treats and Supplements

  • Moderate Treats: Use treats sparingly and opt for healthy options, especially during training.
  • Supplements: Consult with a veterinarian before adding any supplements to their diet, particularly if they have specific health issues.

Monitoring and Adjustments

  • Regular Weight Checks: Regularly monitor their weight and adjust their diet as necessary to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Dietary Adjustments: Be ready to adjust their diet based on their life stage, health condition, and activity level.

A well-balanced diet, portion control, and consistent feeding habits are key to maintaining the health of a Lakeland Terrier. Regular veterinary check-ups can also provide guidance on any specific dietary needs or changes, particularly as they age or if health issues arise.

Caring for the exercise needs of a Lakeland Terrier involves ensuring they receive adequate physical activity and mental stimulation to match their energetic and intelligent nature. Here’s a brief guide:

Daily Exercise

  • Regular Walks: Daily walks are essential for their physical health, with the length and intensity adjusted to their energy level.
  • Playtime: Engage in active play sessions, as they enjoy games like fetch, tug-of-war, and other interactive activities.

Mental Stimulation

  • Training Exercises: Incorporate training into their exercise routine to provide mental stimulation.
  • Puzzle Toys: Use puzzle toys or treat-dispensing games to challenge their intelligence.

Outdoor Activities

  • Secure Outdoor Space: If you have a yard, ensure it’s securely fenced, as Lakeland Terriers can have a strong prey drive.
  • Off-leash Play: Where safely possible, allow them some off-leash time in secure areas to explore and run freely.

Balancing physical exercise with mental challenges is key to keeping a Lakeland Terrier healthy, content, and well-behaved. Regular, engaging activities will not only satisfy their physical needs but also help to prevent boredom and potential behavior problems.

The ideal environment for a Lakeland Terrier is one where they can receive ample physical activity and mental stimulation, essential for their energetic and curious nature. These terriers thrive in environments where they can be actively involved in family life, as they form strong bonds with their owners and enjoy being part of daily activities. Their moderate to high energy levels mean they do well in homes where they can have access to a yard for play and exploration, but they can also adapt to apartment living as long as their exercise needs are consistently met.

Inside the home, Lakeland Terriers appreciate having their own space, such as a comfortable bed or crate, where they can relax and feel secure. It’s important to provide them with toys and engage in regular play sessions to keep them mentally stimulated. Given their terrier instincts and intelligence, they also benefit from interactive toys that challenge them mentally. Since they are known for their digging and chasing behaviors, ensuring a safe and secure outdoor space is crucial to prevent them from escaping or getting into trouble.

Overall, the Lakeland Terrier is adaptable and can thrive in various living situations, from apartments to houses with large yards, as long as they receive sufficient exercise, mental engagement, and are part of the family’s daily life. Regular grooming, veterinary care, and a suitable diet are also important in creating an ideal environment for a Lakeland Terrier.

Lakeland Terrier Health

The Lakeland Terrier, generally a robust and healthy breed, does have specific health considerations that owners should be aware of to ensure their well-being. Here’s an overview of their health profile:

Common Health Issues

  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: A condition affecting the hip joint, leading to arthritis or lameness.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease: A blood disorder that affects clotting.
  • Eye Problems: Including cataracts and lens luxation, which can impact their vision.
  • Skin Issues: Allergies and skin irritations can occur, often related to their dense coat.

Preventive Health Care

  • Regular Veterinary Check-ups: Routine check-ups are essential for early detection and management of potential health issues.
  • Vaccinations and Parasite Control: Keeping up with vaccinations and regular treatments for parasites like fleas and ticks is vital.

Diet and Exercise for Health

  • Balanced Diet: Feeding them a high-quality diet suitable for their size and activity level helps in maintaining overall health.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise is important for their physical health and to prevent obesity, which can lead to other health issues.

Monitoring and Early Detection

  • Observation for Symptoms: Be vigilant for signs of discomfort, changes in behavior, or health issues.
  • Proactive Health Monitoring: Regular home health checks focusing on their hips, eyes, and skin can help in early detection of potential problems.

Genetic Testing

  • Breeding Considerations: Responsible breeders should conduct genetic testing to screen for common hereditary conditions.

Ensuring a healthy life for a Lakeland Terrier involves regular veterinary care, proper diet, adequate exercise, and attention to their specific grooming and health needs. With proper care and regular health monitoring, Lakeland Terriers can enjoy a high quality of life as a cherished family member.

Lakeland Terrier Breed Comparison and Consideration

When considering a Lakeland Terrier and comparing it to other breeds, it’s important to understand their unique traits and how they fit into different lifestyles. Here’s a comparison with other similar breeds and key considerations:

Comparison with Similar Breeds

Lakeland Terrier vs. Welsh Terrier:

  • Temperament: Both are energetic and bold, but the Lakeland may be more independent and less prone to excessive barking than the Welsh Terrier.
  • Size: Lakeland Terriers are generally smaller and more compact than Welsh Terriers.

Lakeland Terrier vs. Airedale Terrier:

  • Size: Airedales are significantly larger than Lakelands, making them more suitable for spacious living environments.
  • Energy Levels: While both breeds are energetic, Airedales may require more exercise and space to roam.

Lakeland Terrier vs. Border Terrier:

  • Coat: Border Terriers have a shorter, denser coat that’s easier to groom compared to the Lakeland’s wiry coat.
  • Personality: Borders are typically more easygoing and less stubborn than Lakelands, making them slightly easier to train.

Considerations Before Choosing a Lakeland Terrier

  • Energy and Exercise Needs: Suitable for active owners who can provide ample exercise and mental stimulation.
  • Grooming Requirements: Regular grooming, including hand-stripping, is necessary to maintain their coat’s condition.
  • Training and Socialization: Early and consistent training is crucial, as their terrier nature can lead to stubbornness.
  • Living Environment: They adapt well to various living situations but thrive in environments where they can be an integral part of the family’s daily activities.

Choosing a Lakeland Terrier means committing to an active, engaging pet that requires regular grooming and consistent training. They are best suited for those who appreciate the spirited, bold personality of terriers and are prepared to meet their physical and mental needs.


While they can adapt to various climates, their dense coat means they might struggle in extreme heat. It’s important to provide them with shade and water and avoid intense outdoor activity during hot weather.

Lakeland Terriers can excel in dog sports like agility and earthdog trials, thanks to their high energy, intelligence, and natural agility.

Their wiry coat requires hand-stripping to maintain its texture and appearance, a grooming process unique to certain terrier breeds.

Yes, they were bred to hunt and still retain a strong prey drive, which means they might chase small animals if not trained or supervised.

While they can live peacefully with other pets, especially if raised together, their hunting instincts may kick in around smaller animals.

They can be a good choice if the owner is prepared for their high energy levels and independent nature, but they may pose a challenge due to their need for consistent training and grooming.

They enjoy activities that stimulate both their body and mind, such as long walks, interactive play, and puzzle games.

Top Takeaways

The Lakeland Terrier, a breed known for its spirited and bold temperament, is an excellent choice for those who appreciate a lively and interactive canine companion. Originating from the Lake District in England, these small to medium-sized terriers are characterized by their wiry coat, which comes in a variety of colors and requires regular grooming, including hand-stripping to maintain its distinctive texture. Their energetic nature makes them well-suited to active families or individuals who can provide them with ample exercise and mental stimulation.

Despite their small stature, Lakeland Terriers are robust and confident, often exhibiting the typical terrier traits of independence and tenacity. This can make training a challenge, but with consistent, positive reinforcement methods, they can be responsive and well-behaved. They form strong bonds with their families and are known for being affectionate and loyal companions. However, due to their strong prey drive, they are best suited to households where they can be closely supervised, especially around small pets.

In terms of health, the Lakeland Terrier is generally a healthy breed, but like all breeds, they require regular veterinary check-ups to monitor for common health issues such as Legg-Calve-Perthes disease and skin allergies. Their adaptable nature means they can thrive in various living environments, from apartments to homes with yards, as long as their physical and emotional needs are met. Overall, the Lakeland Terrier is a delightful breed for those looking for an energetic, cheerful, and loyal dog that can bring a lot of personality into their home.

Top Lakeland Terrier Names

Choosing the perfect name for your Lakeland Terrier can reflect their unique personality and characteristics. Here are some top name suggestions.

Female Names











Male Names











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