Rare Breed Spotlight: Patterdale Terrier
This fearless varmint hunter emerged from the mists of Northern England
Frequently battered by frigid, sodden, blustery weather, the Lake District of northern England features steep, barren, rocky hills (known as fells) interspersed with 16 lakes. In that remote, rugged countryside, farming is almost impossible and sheep are the only livestock that can survive.
Residents of the region consider fell-dwelling foxes to be the prime predators of their flocks (and smaller farm animals) and hunt them down with hounds and terriers. Many remote locales developed their own distinctive breed of terrier, some of which became recognized breeds with The Kennel Club (England). Others went on their merry way, virtually unknown outside of their immediate area. Such was the fate of the Patterdale Terrier.
Developed to plunder the marauding populations of foxes, rabbits and rats, the Patterdale was bred for its working ability rather than appearance. Foxes and vermin don’t go to ground for refuge in the fells; they hide out in rocky cracks and crevices in the desolate hillsides. Searching the craggy landscape, wriggling into narrow fissures and battling predators to the death required a ferocious, fearless and rugged little terrier. Many breeds were known under the generic heading of fell terrier. One of these breeds went on to become the Lakeland Terrier; the Patterdale is another that garnered its own name.
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