Patterdale Terrier Care

The Patterdale Terrier is a small-sized, athletic hunting breed that is hardy and independent. These dogs have the classic terrier temperament--they can be headstrong, bold, and hard to train, in other words--so they're not the best choice for inexperienced dog owners. The good news: aside from some training challenges, overall Patterdale Terrier care and maintenance isn't too time-consuming.

Below you'll find details on caring for a Patterdale Terrier including puppy development, exercise needs, dietary recommendations, and more. For answers to your questions about owning this spirited hunting breed, keep reading!

Patterdale Terrier Breed Development

As a small-sized breed, Patterdale Terrier puppy development typically spans 14-16 months from birth to full maturity.

Physical Development: Patterdale puppies grow steadily in height and length for the first 7-8 months, then those growth rates slow somewhat while the adolescent "fills out" by gaining muscle mass and fat. A Patterdale normally reaches its full adult size (an average of 14 inches at the shoulders in height and 14 pounds in weight) at 10-11 months of age.

Social Development: Patterdale pups reach adolescence at 5-6 months, sexual maturity at 9-10 months, and full maturity at about 15 months.

For specific milestones in Patterdale Terrier development, refer to the following:

Patterdale Terrier Exercise Needs

Though small, these dogs are very athletic and agile, so Patterdale Terrier exercise requirements are moderate overall. Patterdales are intelligent and extremely task-oriented hunting dogs, so they'll need activities that stimulate them mentally as well as physically. They also make good jogging companions.

The typical adult Patterdale Terrier, depending on its age and overall activity level, will need about 45 minutes of proper exercise per day, which you can accomplish with a couple of walks or jogs and a moderate period of play. You can start exercising your Patterdale puppy at 2½-3 months old by taking it on short (5- to 10-minute) leashed walks, then you can increase the walks' length and frequency as the puppy grows. And these early walks are a good time to give the pup leash training: make sure your Patterdale puppy walks beside or behind you on the leash instead of being allowed to lead or "tug" on it. This establishes you as the leader, and will help minimize the dog's stubbornness and high prey drive once it matures.

A few precautions to keep in mind when exercising your Patterdale Terrier: first, puppies younger than eight months old shouldn't participate in activities that include a lot of jumping, running, or navigating of stairs, as doing so can injure their still-developing joints and bones. And regardless of age, all Patterdales should be leashed when in public. These dogs have incredibly high prey drives, and will instinctively chase animals--birds, squirrels, cats, even small dogs--if given the chance; a leash will help you control your Patterdale when it spies an interesting-looking critter. Even when exercising in your own yard, the area will need to be securely fenced to keep the dog from running off after small animals. Otherwise, Patterdales are hardy, versatile dogs that can exercise in a variety of situations and weather conditions.

Safeguards aside, exercising your Patterdale every single day is a must. These dogs are willful, task-oriented, and active, and if bored or restless they'll turn incredibly destructive, fussy, and disobedient. Consistent exercise will be great for your Patterdale's peace of mind--and for your own sanity! A few exercise ideas:

  • Walking/Jogging: Two 20-minute walks (or 15-minute jogs) per day is a good target
  • Fetch: A Patterdale will chase a ball or stick for hours
  • Hide-and-Seek: Great indoor, rainy-day activity; give the dog a treat when it finds you
  • Canine Sports: These dogs can excel at obedience and agility trials, flyball, and other competitions
  • Hiking: Excellent bonding activity; bonus if you can find a remote area where the dog can be off-leash

When indoors, it's a good idea to give your Patterdale access to one or more balls or toys that will allow the dog to burn excess energy. It's also recommended that you establish a regular exercise schedule for the dog, such as walks or jogs after breakfast and dinner and a play period in the afternoon.

Patterdale Terrier Maintenance

In terms of shedding and drooling, these dogs don't need much care. Patterdale Terrier shedding is pretty low, and drooling isn't an issue.

Patterdales have double-layered coats that come in smooth, broken or rough varieties--but the good news is that none of the three coat variants shed much at all. Regardless of coat type, Patterdales only need weekly brushing to keep the shedding low. Owners might need to vacuum the floors and use lint rollers on clothes and furniture occasionally to pick up stray hairs, but shedding isn't much of a problem with this breed.

And a Patterdale Terrier almost never drools. If your Patterdale is drooling excessively, it may be a sign of a medical issue, in which case a veterinarian's care is recommended.

Living Environment

The Patterdale Terrier is pretty versatile--so these dogs will be okay living indoors or out. If your Patterdale lives inside with you, make sure the dog gets a chance to get outside to stretch its legs on a daily basis; if the Patterdale lives out in the yard, make sure the area is fenced and the dog has a comfy house to sleep in. For the Patterdale Terrier, apartment living is okay--but again, the dog will require daily outdoor exercise. Overall, though, homes with fenced yards are best for this breed.

Another concern for owners of a Patterdale: weather. These dogs and their double-layered coats can actually adapt to most climates, and will be comfortable in all except extremely hot or cold temps.