Lakeland Terrier

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The Lakeland Terrier dog is a sparky bundle ready to light up your world. See if you're a match in our guide.

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
12 to 15 years
Size:

Small

Maintenance Level:

Medium

Shed Level:

Low

Temperament:
PlayfulQuirkyMischievous
Coat Color:
BlueBlackLiverRedWheatenGrizzleGolden Tan

Best For

Lakeland Terriers are best for active and confident pet parents whose energy level can keep pace with their enthusiasm and can commit the time and effort needed to train and manage this pup. These pups do well with kids and other dogs when properly socialized, but they don't mix well with cats.

Lakeland Terrier Traits

What makes the Lakeland Terrier a Lakeland Terrier? Let's find out how they stack up.

Lakeland Terrier Temperament

Lakeland Terriers are feisty pups who look forward to adventures with you. With their intelligence and curious nature, Lakies really enjoy exploring, whether that’s a walk in the neighborhood or a hike down a wooded path where they can run, on a leash, and discover scents with their nose.

Plenty of play that exercises their minds and bodies will keep them happy, content and out of mischief. They’re known to create their own entertainment if they get bored, like digging holes in the yard. (Didn’t you want that new bush over here?)

Socialization starting when they’re a puppy is important for these pups. Lakeland Terriers love their families and are great playmates for older children. But Lakies can be wary of strangers and act aggressively if they feel the need to protect their food or toys, or if they feel they’re being cornered. So, they may misinterpret a toddler’s exuberant, quick movements and act accordingly. It’s important to supervise all playtimes with your dog and small kids.

Lakies can get along with other dogs they’ve grown up with, but they’ll never be a cat’s BFF. Lakelands have a strong prey drive and will chase cats and other small pets, like rabbits or gerbils.

These confident pups make great watch dogs. Lakies are quick to bark at new sights and sounds—whether they see a squirrel in the backyard or a guest approaching the home.

Their confident and independent nature likely comes from their fox-hunting history. They started out as farm dogs raised to guard sheep, and the foxes they chased were often bigger than them. Now, that’s a confident pup!

How to Care for a Lakeland Terrier

Despite a Lakeland Terrier’s independent nature, they do need their pet parents for a few key things—including consistent grooming, training and exercise—to look, feel and behave their best.

Lakeland Terrier Health

Lakeland Terriers have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years, and these pups aren’t as popular as some of their cousins. Because they’re not bred as frequently, they have fewer health issues than some other terrier breeds. Being aware of what they are at risk for can help your pup live the healthiest life possible.

  • Hypothyroidism: This is a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones. Luckily, this is easily treated by giving your dog thyroid medication every day. When detected early, it usually doesn’t impact the animal’s quality of life.
  • Eye Problems: Lakeland Terriers’ eyes can be susceptible to issues like lens luxation (an inherited eye condition) and distichiasis (unusual hair growth in the eye area), both of which can cause symptoms ranging from irritating to serious. Glaucoma and cataracts may also be common in older Lakies. Thorough eye exams during annual vet visits are recommended for early detection of any potential issues, many of which can be treated with medication or surgery.
  • Genetic Disorders: Legg-Calve-Perthes, a hip disease, can be a concern with Lakeland Terriers, as can von Willebrand’s Disease, a bleeding disorder. Getting your Lakeland Terrier puppy from a reputable breeder that tests for genetic disorders can help avoid these and other inherited conditions.
  • Obesity: As small dogs, Lakeland Terriers can become overweight easily, especially if their exercise needs are not met or if their owners treat mealtime as an all-you-can-eat buffet. Luckily, this is an easy problem to mitigate—daily exercise, a healthy diet and routine trips to the vet can keep any potential weight problems at bay.

Lakeland Terrier History

The Lakeland Terrier is named for the Lake District of Northern England, where they were bred as farmers’ dogs and tasked with critical jobs like protecting land and sheep, keeping farms free from pests and hunting foxes. The breed’s hard-working attitude persists today, as does their fearlessness, pride and intelligence.

A few other terrier breeds have similar origin stories: You’d be forgiven for confusing the Lakeland Terrier with their slightly larger cousin, the Welsh Terrier—similar in disposition and physical characteristics, the two are sometimes mixed up for each other. (Hint: The Welsh Terrier is slightly larger and is only black and tan. Lakies come in more color options.)

Thanks to their confident poise and undeniable handsomeness, Lakies can make excellent show dogs. In fact, in 1967 a Lakeland Terrier—Champion Stingray of Derryabah—was the first dog to win Best in Show at both Crufts and Westminster.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the Lakeland Terrier dog in 1934. Are you looking to add a like Lakie love in your life? You can find a list of reputable breeders on the AKC website. Lakeland Terrier puppy price ranges from $1,200 to $1,800. But for that, you’re likely getting a pup who’s been screened for health and temperament issues and may come with pedigree papers. If you’d like to adopt a pup, contact the Lakeland Terrier Club of America for rescue pups or keep an eye out for the breed at your local animal shelter.

FAQs

Do Lakeland Terriers shed?

Lakeland Terriers shed somewhat. Although their grooming needs can be involved, the breed is generally considered low-shedding and may be good for allergy sufferers.

Are Lakeland Terriers good pets?

Yes, Lakeland Terriers are good pets! This breed can make a wonderful pet for the right family who understands their personality quirks. Raising a Lakeland Terrier with kids in the home can be a lot of fun—they can tire one another out during daily playtime.

Are Lakeland Terriers aggressive?

Lakeland Terriers are not generally aggressive with people, unless provoked. They can be standoffish with strangers and are aggressive with other dogs and small animals, and they are not a fit for a home with cats. When it comes to interacting with humans, however, they’re much more likely to be shy than to growl or bite. While they can take a while to warm up, they’re often very loving once they get to know you. (Making early socialization critical to everyone’s happiness in the home.)

How long do Lakeland Terriers live?

The average Lakeland Terrier’s lifespan is between 12 and 15 years. With proper care, vet visits and a high-quality diet, you can help your Lakie live a long and happy life.

Do Lakeland Terriers bark a lot?

Sometimes it feels like Lakeland Terriers bark a lot. Typical terriers, Lakies like to share their thoughts. As such, they may be inclined to bark a lot. You can help curb your pup’s barking urge by teaching them when it’s OK to bark (and when they need to keep those thoughts to themselves).

What are the most common Lakeland Terrier mixes?

Some common Lakeland Terrier mixes are:

  • Lakeland Terrier-Jack Russell mix
  • Lakeland Terrier-Patterdale mix
  • Lakeland Terrier-Welsh Terrier mix
  • Lakeland Terrier-Border Terrier mix
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Top Takeaways

With a zest for life and a rebel spirit, the Lakeland Terrier is no subservient shadow. They can, however, be excellent family dogs who will frolic with kids for hours on end. Training and grooming routines can be intense, so pet parents should be well-versed in patience and live by the mantra that “practice makes perfect.” The payoff is a playful companion who is chock-full of personality—with the haircut to prove it.

Expert input provided by veterinarian Dr. Cori Wigfall, DVM, BVM and veterinary spokesperson of SpiritDog Training; certified dog trainer Kate LaSala, CTC, CBCC-KA, PCBC-A, CSAT, owner of Rescued By Training; and breed expert Pat Rock, breeder of Lakeland Terriers for 50 years.

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