A smart, workmanlike dog, the Lakeland Terrier dog has a thick, harsh coat, that comes in black and tan, blue and tan, red, wheaten, red grizzle, liver, blue or black. He is compact in size and stands at 37cm and under when adult, with fully grown males weighing 8kg and females 7kg.
As his name suggests, this Terrier breed comes from the Lake District, where he was bred by farmers to go to ground after foxes, to protect their lambs. Originally considered a strain of Fell Terrier, he has been known as the Lakeland Terrier since 1912. Various breeds have contributed to his make-up, including the old Black and Tan Terrier, the Bedlington Terrier and the Border Terrier.
Because of his working roots, the Lakeland Terrier is fearless and fast when he needs to be – but in the home, as a pet, he is a friendly, loving and affectionate dog, who is fun and mischievous. Some Lakeland Terrier dogs can be feisty with other dogs and so early socialisation is essential.
Like many small breeds, they can suffer from kneecaps that may temporarily slip out of place (luxating patellas).
The Lakeland Terrier needs about an hour's daily exercise, but he will happily accept much longer walks if you can offer them. In addition, he will enjoy playing in the garden, but, bred to squeeze down small holes, it goes without saying that garden boundaries should be fully escape-proof.
Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.
The coat consists of a thick undercoat and a dense, harsh topcoat that is designed to protect against the bitter conditions of the Lake District and also to protect the dog from his earthwork. The Lakeland Terrier's coat, which does not shed, needs combing through a couple of times a week. In addition, show dogs are trimmed, but pet dogs are usually clipped a couple of times a year.