Breed Profile – The Lakeland Terrier


Lakeland Terriers are listed as a ‘vulnerable native breed’ by the Kennel Club in the UK, in 2018 there were only 139 Kennel club registrations and this number has been decreasing since 2010 (254 registrations). The reason for their decline in numbers isn’t fully understood but may be due to the increasing popularity of other breeds and crosses alongside their typical working terrier needs which may not suit all households.

Lakeland Terriers were originally bred to hunt foxes in the Lake District. They are well suited to the unpredictable weather and terrain of the Lake District, a small and sturdy terrier but with a narrow body that can squeeze through all kinds of nooks and crannies and a thick double coat to protect them and keep them warm in all weather.

In temperament the Lakeland Terrier is a cheerful, confident, active and energetic dog, intelligent but often wilful and determined. They can make good family dogs, with a non-shedding hypoallergenic coat, often getting on well with children and other dogs but may not suit families with small animals unless socialised with them from a pup. Typical terrier behavioural issues can be a problem, like all terriers, they love to dig, bark, guard toys and food. They can also be excitable or hyperactive at times and chase other small animals. With the right attention, training and regular activity these issues can normally be resolved, however.

Regarding their diet, Lakeland Terriers will benefit from diets with slow-releasing energy to fuel their active on-the-go natures and satisfy their natural appetites. A good quality active maintenance food will suit adults and young seniors in good health, for example Dr. John Gold or Dr. John Titanium. 

There are some reports of skin problems with this breed however, which may be due to environmental allergens, but some Lakeland Terriers may need a hypoallergenic diet to help with the itchiness and skin irritation. At Gilbertson and Page we have three hypoallergenic diets to choose between, if your dog shows signs of sensitive skin or digestion why not read our recent article on these: