Patterdales originate from Patterdale village within the Lake District. Patterdales are not an exact science; thankfully the Kennel Club haven’t been interested in them! Could they cope! They are ‘Black Fells’ but can have some white on their chest, they can rarely be middle to dark brown. They can have any length of leg, any length of coat but you know one when you meet one. There is a Patterdale type called a ‘Nuttal’ originally bred by Brian Nuttal with smooth haired, smaller, stockier Patterdales with sweet natures. Rumour suggested they have some Staffie in their genetics. One couple who recently collected theirs & stated there was a black Staffie in amongst the dogs there. A key factor in Terrier genetics is they are derived from sighthound and Bull breed roots. The sighthound is their visual fixation, horizontal gaze and chase! The bull breed is the loving people focus and tenacity. In terrierrescue, rather than defining the breed, we’re interested in the dog! Black terriers are Scotties; Russian terriers; Staffies or Patterdales. (Schnauzers are honorary terriers!)
Patterdales like ‘Fells’, are close to their working roots and instincts. As with the ‘working type’ Terriers they need to be understood and respected for what they are and not resented. “You bought a Patterdale…your fault not theirs, for you not doing your homework”. They are well known as so many are found stray and end up in Rescue Centres homed as “Terrier crosses”. People can’t believe it when they stumble across our website and say ‘My Inkie’ was a Patterdale but I had no idea. One home has a long line of past Pet portraits all Patterdales. They had no idea what they had owned. We can tend to paint too honest a picture of their traits, as truly you have to be geared for a dog that will have their moments with other dogs; has ‘kill instincts with soft toys and furry friends’, are interested in next door’s garden, and can get over-excited with visitors, running children etc. Often we find when we ‘unpick’ dramatic statements they have caught clothing rather than bitten; rough played with ‘just wet fur’ rather than fought. But that’s what comes of being in inexperienced hands. We get the calls all the time, “It could be a child next time”; “I can’t trust the dog any more”. They get a ‘bad’ write up on the internet as, in the wrong hands; they can get themselves in trouble, lost, killed or put to sleep. A terrier is feeble hands has its life in constant threat. That is why we have huge kennel bills, as we have to take them in, to save their lives whenever we can.