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Lakeland Terrier Temperament: Meet The Bold and Fearless

Bold and fearless are two perfect words to describe the Lakeland Terrier Temperament. This pint-sized pooch has tons of swagger packed into a 17-pound package! If you are looking for a rugged yet portable companion, look no further than the Lakeland Terrier!Photo of Lakeland Terrier | Dog Temperament

Lakeland Terrier Temperament

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of this rare breed. Here are the key components of the Lakeland Terrier Temperament:

Fearless and Bold

Photo of Lakeland Terriers

Lakies (as they are affectionately known) were developed to guard English farmsteads against marauding foxes. In order to do this job, they had to be incredibly brave. Modern Lakeland Terriers are plucky little dogs that will never run from a fight. Do not expect your Lakeland Terrier to roll over and show his belly during a scuffle at the dog park. These little guys are scrappy, and owners need to be prepared to manage that behavior.


Lakeland Terriers have excellent eyesight and hearing. They are always on the watch and they will alert their masters to anything new in the environment. Lakeland Terriers make outstanding watchdogs. They also retain a high prey-drive. They will keep your home free from vermin such as mice and rats.


Lakeland Terriers are very clever. They are highly trainable and they excel at canine sports such as agility, earthdog and rally obedience. They get bored easily, so their owners need to enrich their environment with lots of puzzles and toys.


Lakies are muscular and sturdy. Even though they are small, they are rugged enough for outdoor excursions. If you are seeking a companion for hiking and camping, a Lakeland Terrier is an ideal alternative to a large breed dog.

Photo of an Agile Lakeland Terrier | Dog Temperament


Lakeland Terriers are happy and upbeat. They love to play and explore, can coexist with gentle children and other pets, but early socialization is imperative. They are energetic and they are always game for an adventure! Lakie owners report that these dogs have a special affinity for playing in the water!

A Brief History of the Lakeland Terrier

The Lakeland Terrier is a very old breed.

The breed gets its name from the Lake Region of Northern England.

English workingmen needed a hunter that was “tough and gritty.” They required a dog that could patrol the farm all day in the adverse weather of the British Isles.

This “tough and gritty” working dog was the predecessor of the modern Lakeland Terrier dog.

Training your Lakeland Terrier

Photo of Lakeland Terrier | Dog Temperament

Lakeland Terriers are incredibly smart and they are easy to train with the proper motivation.

They bore easily, so do not enjoy repetitive commands. That means you should keep training sessions short, and interesting.

A bored Lakeland Terrier may develop nuisance behaviors such as barking or digging. Be sure to keep them busy with food puzzles, Kong toys, and other brain games.

Lakies also respond well to positive reinforcement training. Never use rough, physical reprimands with your Lakeland Terrier. It will damage your relationship with this smart and sensitive breed.

Early socialization is critical for this breed. Enroll in a puppy socialization class at the earliest opportunity. If you can't find a puppy class to enroll in then your best bet will be an online dog training resource such as Doggy Dan's.

Lakeland Terrier Size and Appearance

The Lakeland Terrier is a compact creature. The Lakie weighs about 17 lbs and stands roughly 15 inches tall.

Photo of an alert Lakeland Terrier | Dog Temperament

The Lakeland Terrier comes in a variety of coat colorations and patterns. The red Lakeland Terrier is one of the more common solid colorations.

The black Lakeland Terrier is rare, but it is still recognized within the AKC breed standard.

Other colorations include blue, liver and wheaten.

Some Lakeland Terriers have a dark saddle marking on their back. They are rare in the United States, so they will draw considerable attention when you walk them in public places.

Lakeland Terrier Grooming

Lakeland Terriers have a harsh, wiry double coat.

Shedding is minimal, so they are a good breed for people with allergies.

Their coats require hand-plucking. You will need to learn this technique or find a groomer that can provide this service.

Photo of Lakeland Terrier Portrait

Lakeland Terrier Portrait

Staying Healthy

Lakeland Terriers have a lifespan of 12-16 years.

They are a relatively healthy breed, with few reported genetic disorders. Currently the United States Lakeland Terrier club does not require breeders to do any mandatory testing.

A few issues to discuss with your veterinarian include:

However, these are not abundant.

Like all dogs, Lakeland Terriers must receive an annual checkup from a veterinarian and monthly heartworm prevention.

Regardless of the Lakeland Terrier's healthy disposition a resource such as  The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health is still invalu