Description & History

The origin of the Fell or Lakeland Terrier - once known as the Patterdale Terrier - is in Cumbria in north west England.

The breed like the Welsh Terrier, is derived from the straight-legged, wire-haired Old English Black and Tan Terrier. Other breeds, including the Wire Fox Terrier, the Irish Terrier and the Dandie Dinmont are believed to have contributed to the breed's development.

The Lakeland - an earth terrier - was bred to kill and bolt the fox. Other vermin such as martens, badgers, and otters - which were numerous in the late 1800's - all fell prey to this hardy and workmanlike dog.

The size and agility of the breed enabled them to work in amongst the rocks as well as underground - baying when they finally found their prey. Occasionally dogs would get trapped, having burrowed long distances to capture and kill their quarry.

For a number of years the Lakeland has had considerable success worldwide as a show dog, differing greatly from its ancestors. These were working dogs and often battle-scarred, which made them quite unsuitable for the show ring.

The breed was named in 1912 and recognised by the British Kennel Club in 1931.

Rosamund Walters.

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