The Lakeland Terrier is a dog breed, one of many Terrier breeds, that originated in the Lake District of England as a descendant of the old English Black and Tan and Fell Terriers for the purpose of hunting vermin.
The Lakeland Terrier originated in the Lake District of Cumberland, England near the Scottish border in the 1800s. He is related to several terrier breeds and is one of the oldest working terrier breeds still in use today. His diverse ancestors include the now extinct Old English Black and Tan terrier, the early Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Bedlington Terrier and Border Terrier.
For generations, the Lakeland has been used in the Lake District for the purpose of exterminating the fell foxes which raid the farmer’s sheep fold during the lambing season. Whereas most terrier breeds have only to bolt their quarry, or to mark it by baying, the Lakeland must be able to kill the foxes in their lair. Despite his reputation for courage and tenacity, the Lakeland is a gentle and loving companion.
The Lakeland is similar to the Welsh Terrier being slightly shorter and considerably finer-boned. Grizzle Lakelands are often mistaken as "Miniature Airdales". This breed has thick, hard wiry outer coat and a soft undercoat. The Lakeland comes in 10 colors which are black and tan, blue and tan, liver and tan, tan grizzle, red, red grizzle, wheaten, liver, blue, or black. They have an upright tail. Lakeland Terriers grow to between 33 and 38cm (13 to 14.5 inches) in height measured to the withers with a weight of between 7 and 8 kg (16 to 17 lbs). They are known for their minimal shedding of hair.
The eyes are small and dark colored. The nose and pads of the feet are black except in liver colored dogs where the nose and pad coloring will be liver colored. This breed has little to no shedding (see Moult).
The dogs are friendly, bold, and confident. Shyness is very atypical, as is aggressiveness. Intelligent and independent minded, especially when going after prey, they are quick to learn and easy to train, though Lakelands seem to exhibit 'selective deafness' when their interest level is aroused. They are not "yappy," barking only when they have reason.
In 1925 the breed attained homogeneity following a cross-breeding with the Fox Terrier and the Airedale Terrier. The Lakeland Terrier is suitable for fox hunting and rabbit hunting, and are especially talented hunters of vermin.
In the Lake District of the UK, the mountainous, rocky terrain is unsuitable for hunting fox on horseback and foxes were hunted on foot. It has been suggested that the lakeland terrier's great stamina derives from running all day with the hounds, unlike his close cousin, the fox terrier, who would have been carried in a saddle bag to be released only when the fox had gone to earth.
The working dog version of the Lakeland is often known as the Fell Terrier or Patterdale Terrier.