The Lakeland Terrier is a friendly, outgoing breed who never gets tired of playtime. An active lifestyle is ideal for this energetic breed and, though small, he's able to keep up on adventures of all kinds. The more exercise the Lakie gets, the better behaved he will be. Hunting instincts persist, so keep an eye—and leash—on this working-type dog to prevent chasing and wandering. This intelligent terrier is likely to outsmart you on a regular basis, so you need to be on your toes to keep up. A confident owner is necessary to keep the fiery Lakeland from making the rules. Because the breed is so rare, ensure the Lakeland is a good match before making a commitment. If you're expecting a dog who is always on his best behavior, you'll be disappointed—but if you approach training with a sense of humor, the Lakie's impish behavior is sure to amuse.
The Lakeland Terrier is also referred to simply as Lakeland and is nicknamed the 'Lakie.'
The Lakeland Terrier's non-shedding double coat is wiry on top and soft underneath. It may be a variety of colors, not limited to black and tan, liver, red, or grizzle.
Average Height: 14-15 inches
Average Weight: 17 pounds
Breed Standard & History
Small, yet sturdy, the Lakeland Terrier offers a working dog appearance. Muscular legs and thighs betray his power, while a narrow body and shoulders allowed the breed to fit into dens and tight spaces on the job. His tail is high set, docked, and carried upright. He has small, V-shaped ears that fold above the skull, and small, wide-set oval eyes. His expression may range from alert and determined to lively and impish. The double coat is hard and wiry, and must be hand-stripped rather than clipped for the show ring. A variety of colors is allowed, with none favored over another. The Lakeland Terrier should present a bold and friendly temperament. – AKC Breed Standards
The Lakeland Terrier—a working dog developed from the Welsh Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier, Border Terrier, and other terrier types—was used to hunt fox in packs with other terriers and hounds. Unlike terrier breeds used only to bolt quarry from dens, the Lakeland Terrier was used to kill fox. Its name comes from the Lake District in England, where it was developed.
Though the Lakeland was recognized by the UK Kennel Club in the 1920s and by the American Kennel Club in 1934, the breed is considered rare—the AKC registered only 220 puppies in 2016. The Lakeland is more popular in Europe, where they are still used to work.
AKC Breed Category
Lakeland Terriers are confident, alert, and intelligent, with an independent streak typical of terriers. Though they learn easily, they're not always willing to perform on command and may be stubborn. The assertive little Lakeland is sometimes called a big dog in a small body and is often mischievous. Win good behavior by making a game out of training.
Are Lakeland Terriers Good with Kids? Older kids are a better match for the Lakeland Terrier as small children may be too rambunctious. Lakelands, and most terrier types, are quick to react when they feel their space is being invaded.
Are Lakeland Terriers Good with Other Pets? Some Lakelands get along with other dogs. Early socialization is important to help a Lakeland Terrier accept other dogs at home or on the go. They're likely to chase cats, and small pets like hamsters and rabbits aren't ideal for a home with a Lakeland due to its high prey drive.
Lakies are not big enough to be guard dogs, but this trusted watchdog will sound the alarm to alert you of strangers—whether human or squirrel. Lakelands are friendly and accepting once you've greeted guests.
As with all terriers, the Lakeland has an abundance of energy you must manage if you wish to make her a happy, healthy companion.
- Lakelands may be stubborn.
- They are likely to dig holes in yards and gardens.
- A high prey drive means they're not an ideal match for small animals, and they are likely to wander, so make sure they are chipped and are wearing a personalized dog collar with your contact information printed on it.
- Barking is a common terrier trait.
- A Lakie may take advantage without a strong leader.
Lakeland Terriers are companionable dogs who are happy to relax indoors—so long as they get enough exercise and mental stimulation. They're a high-energy breed, and without appropriate exercise they're likely to become destructive. They may adjust to apartment life, but training them not to bark unless warranted is important.
Though tough and rugged, the Lakeland Terrier is not meant to live outside. They appreciate treks outdoors—but should be kept in fenced areas or on leash to keep them from wandering in search of critters to chase.
At least 30 minutes of exercise per day—more is better—will help keep a Lakeland in good condition. Without enough exercise, they may become destructive or difficult to manage.
Stamina is something the Lakeland has plenty of. This terrier was developed for endurance on the hunt, and his energy is likely to outlast yours.
Activity distance rating
- Running Miles: Three to five miles may be manageable for a Lakeland Terrier, if he's in good health.
- Hiking Miles: Lakeland Terriers are happy to join you on the trail for long hikes, but consider their high prey drive—they should stay on leash unless they have impeccable trail manners.
The general recommendation for how much high-quality dry dog food to feed an average weight Lakeland Terrier is ¾ to 1 cup per day, split between two meals.
While terriers tend to guard their food, these behaviors are not more prominent in the Lakeland Terrier than in other breeds. Regardless, children should never be allowed to touch or remove food while any dog is eating.
You can leave your Lakeland Terrier alone for five to eight hours during the day if you give him plenty of exercise and attention when you're home. He may need a break part way through the day, so a dog walker or doggie daycare could be a good option for this energetic breed. Crate training can help prevent destructive behaviors while unsupervised.
Health and Grooming
Brushing the Lakeland Terrier's coat a few times per week and stripping it every 8 to 10 weeks is necessary to keep it in top condition. Bathe him only as necessary. While stripping is required for show, pets may be trimmed, though this may alter the texture and color of the hair.
Trimming nails regularly will help prevent painful splitting, cracking, or breaking a nail. Terriers may be sensitive about having their paws touched, so get him used to the activity early.
Common Health Issues
The Lakeland Terrier is generally a healthy breed, but may develop some health conditions, such as:
- Legg-Calvé-Perthes syndrome
- Von Willebrand's disease
- Canine cramping syndrome (CCS), also known as Spike's disease
- Eye concerns
You can minimize serious health concerns in a Lakeland Terrier by purchasing him from a reputable breeder who engages in responsible breeding practices, and through screening for common diseases and conditions.
Intelligent Lakies are quick to learn—but not always willing to do as asked. Positive reinforcement techniques and game-like training methods are the best ways to get a Lakeland to cooperate. Early training should include socialization, basic manners, and polite leash skills. Teaching a Lakie to go to a specific place in the house when the doorbell rings—his bed, perhaps—can help minimize unnecessary barking.
Lakeland Terriers may excel at agility and other dog sports. They've got plenty of stamina to race around the course, and their competitive nature may be satisfied by the activity. They may also enjoy advanced tricks or rally obedience—the key is to make it fun for this lively breed.
Sporting Dog Training
Though no longer a common choice as a sporting dog, the Lakeland Terrier's hunting instinct endures. Lakies may appreciate the ability to put that instinct to use in Earthdog trials or barn hunt competitions.
Here are a few commonly asked questions about Lakeland Terriers.
Though no dog possesses zero risk of causing a reaction in allergic people, the Lakeland Terrier is considered a hypoallergenic breed. Because dander and saliva also contribute to allergies, one should not assume a Lakie won't trigger an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals—but they may be less likely to do so than other breeds.
Lakelands love to play in water, but are not strong swimmers. They'll often splash around, but should be supervised near water.