How long do Patterdale Terriers live?

If you own a Patterdale, you’ll know how much joy they can bring to your life, so you’ll want them to stick around for as long as possible.

The good news is that Patterdale Terriers are small dogs, which means they will have a longer life expectancy than medium and large dogs.

A Patterdale Terrier that is healthy, well kept and has not been fed poor quality commercially-prepared dog food will live 15-17 years.

However, it is not uncommon for Patterdales to live above 17 years old. Our poll received many reports of Patterdales living to 18, 19 and even 20 years old.

So if you’ve currently got a Patterdale or you’re thinking of buying a Patterdale, it’s safe to say you’ll have plenty of fun (or headaches) for many years to come.

Why do small dogs live longer?

It’s common knowledge that smaller dogs like terriers live longer than medium and large dogs, but why?

Dogs such as Great Danes live approximately 8-10 years, whereas our beloved Pats can be with us for up to two decades.

There are multiple theories that have set out to uncover why small dogs live longer than larger dogs. Such as Professor Elgar’s research comparing size and age deaths. The study concluded that ultimately younger dogs age slower than larger dogs.

In other words, the body of a large dog breaks down at a faster rate than a small dog.

And if you’ve ever owned a Patterdale, you’ll know they’re still as playful as a puppy long into their elder years.

How to make a Patterdale Terrier live longer?

As mentioned previously, Patterdale Terriers can live long, prosperous and healthy lives when well cared for. But how do you keep a Patterdale healthy?

Health checks

Although Patterdales are generally healthy dogs, they are prone to some health conditions.

Eye problems can often develop, especially if your Patterdale is a working dog often digging to ground. Speak to your vet and arrange a yearly checkup for corneal ulcers, glaucoma and conjunctivitis.

Fleas and worms can also cause problems, so be sure to stay on top of them.


Patterdale Terriers are high drive dogs that require much exercise to keep mentally and physically healthy.

As with all Terriers, I recommend a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise daily. 

The exercise could be in the form of walks, play, mental stimulation and games.

I’ve found that mental stimulation such as find and seek will be more tiring for your Patterdale than two 30-minute walks.

Plenty of exercises will keep your Patterdale happy, and we all know a happy Patterdale is a healthy Patterdale.


There is only one diet when it comes to keeping your Patterdale healthy.

Raw food. 

Raw food is what it sounds like, feeding your Patterdale raw meat and uncooked ingredients.

It’s the best diet for your Terrier friend as it is species-appropriate. You’ll find that your dog goes to the toilet less, has a shinier fur coat, has more energy and in the long run, will need fewer trips to the vet.

There are obvious downsides to feeding raw, such as handling, storage (expect a full freezer) and bacterial management.

However, if you want to increase your Patterdales life expectancy, raw food will give you a superb shot. 

Leave a Comment