The Patterdale terrier is a type of working terrier, and is mainly used for hunting. This breed originated in northern England, and was originally known as the Black and Tan terrier.
Patterdales with black coats were originally known as the Fell terriers. They were popularized in the early 1950s, due to the efforts of Cyril Breay and Frank Buck from Leyburn in Yorkshire. The bloodlines they developed were further improved by dog breeder Brian Nuttall. He crossed the dogs that his grandfather had reared, with the breeds developed by Breary and Buck.
This dog is between 10-12 inches high, and it weighs around 12 pounds. Its body frame is sturdy and compact, and its head is broad. These dogs have a variety of skin coats, their colors ranging from red, black, tan, to chocolate; almost 95% Patterdales are black. The qualities that people look for in Patterdales are endurance, a strong neck and jaws, and the flexibility to run into burrows. Since these dogs are used for hunting, their physical abilities are of greater significance than their external appearance. They live for about 12-13 years.
The Patterdales are highly energetic and intelligent animals who learn quickly. They are aggressive in nature, and it is difficult to keep them quiet for a long time. Thus, training this breed needs a lot of patience. Because of their assertive and aggressive nature, it takes a lot of time to train them. Keeping them occupied in some way or other allows their energy to be channelized effectively, and thus discourages their destructive nature. That is the reason why Patterdales are not considered to be good family pets. But, once you gain control over them, they can be extremely loyal.
Hunting and Vermin Control
Farmers use them to control vermin. Interestingly, Patterdales do not only hunt for satisfying their hunger, but also as an exercise or play. If they are given anything that resembles their prey, they destroy it. It searches and hunts animals that live in burrows with ease and efficiency.
In England, these dogs are mainly used to get rid of foxes, by chasing them out of their burrows. In the eastern USA, small terriers are used by farmers to control woodchucks, whereas in the western USA, bigger ones are used to control badgers and raccoons. It is necessary to keep their track when they are moving around, since their high prey drive can lead them into unfavorable situations.