The Patterdale Terrier

Of all the dogs, i believe that the working terrier is the one who leads the pack in his ability to adapt  and shine in  a multitude of  situations. That ability, which is obvious in the American pit bull terrier, seems to be abundant in many of the terriers. When i consider  all the terriers, and i have been around my share, the patterdale is king at about anything that requires high energy, intelligence and drive. Like most of the European working or sporting dogs he is considered a mish mash of the best of the working terriers with the lakeland being the foundation. Most of these dogs that were imported to this country were either some of the best to be had or from the best. It seems like when they got to America they were soon to become a dog that was not just for ground work but much more.

My history with the breed came about as do many things in life and almost by accident.  a friend of mine, know as boston blackie, had been on a trip to the British isles on pit bull business and came home raving about a terrier that was the “mini pit” of Europe. He was the first that i knew personally that brought them to this country. they were slowly but surely catching on as a vermin dog deluxe.  they were also used for many other things and were generally good at about everything that they did. It wasn’t long before i got one for my son, who was becoming a pretty good dog hand, and needed something he could handle that was smaller than a pit bull.  In the course of time i liked his little “chay ho” dog enough to round up a couple of bitches to be bred to him and thus began a quarter century love affair with the “little big dogs” of the dog world. I can tell you story after story of the amazing things that i have heard of and seen personally of these dogs but the one that i think that says it all is from my book on the American pit bull terrier and is about an amazing pit bull bitch i had that was an escape artist and  a stone cold killer to top it off.  Many people have commented on the story over the years and while some say nuttley was the co star, many more say he was the star.

After reading this, many people will say I have got to have one of them, but i say this in all honesty and just like their cousins the American pit bull terrier, the patterdale terrier is not for every one.  I have seen a lot of people have them for house dogs and have done well, but it is a tricky situation and you must be way above average as a dog owner to make it work. They are the best security dogs I have ever had and will wake up the bull dogs on a cold winter night to tell them something is amiss. sometimes it is a falling leaf, frog or cat off in the distance.  They can be very mouthy and a dozen in a kennel situation can make your head hurt. I can tell the difference in the bark and can tell you when it is the u.p.s. lady or someone  lurking around. Some one told me that they were just like a jack russel and i said uh huh….on speed. Another question about the breed is just how game are they and i always say if they get in a hole with something that they can’t kill, you are going to dig our a dead one. that of course is relative to the situation and compared to a pit bull i figure they are about the same in that department. The difference of course is that the pit bull is dog game and the patterdale is, for the most part, varmin game but can be a  bit gritty to his buddies in the field or in a kennel situation. i hope that you enjoy the nuttley story as it will tell you a lot more about the breed than my little essay here.

May the good lord bless you in all your doggin and maybe give you a good dog or two along life’s journey and who knows one could even be a patty.


Written by Mr GARY J. HAMMONDS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     SPRING 2016

1 thought on “The Patterdale Terrier”

  1. I have owned a patterdale( mix with whippet) for 8 months now and my Life has been shattered in many ways- mostly positive ones . The patty is not a boring dog for sure. She seeks thrill, stimulation and affection from anyone ( human, dog or cat) I find her so unique and above most dogs( not biassed) and she is the best sleeper I have known- peaceful and ultra relaxed to make up for all the exhiliration during the day. Blessed to have her!

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