Lakeland Terrier Training: What You Need To Know

The Lakeland Terrier is a spirited and independent breed that can be a challenge to train, especially for new owners. However, with patience and consistency, these clever dogs can learn good manners and important skills. 

When it comes to training any dog, you need to start as soon as you bring them home. Whether you’ve chosen to rescue an abandoned pet, rehome an older dog, or get a pedigree puppy, you need to have a plan before they pass over the threshold to their new home.

Vital Tasks To Teach Your Lakeland Terrier

Early training is important for any dog because they need to know how to be a part of your pack and fit into your lifestyle. As a working terrier by nature, Lakelands require dedicated, patient owners who are willing to put in the effort to train them correctly. Before you welcome a Lakeland Terrier to your family, you should take the time to research the breed, find out about its history and temperament and be prepared for training. When it comes to making a rough training plan, here are some of the key tasks you’ll want to focus on. 

Toilet Training

Housetraining is one of the first priorities with any puppy; no one wants their house to smell of dog mess! Lakelands can be a little stubborn about this, so persistence and positive reinforcement are key. Take your puppy out frequently and reward them lavishly for going in the right spot. Crate training can also help establish a regular routine. With time and consistency, your Lakeland will learn to stop doing their business indoors and wait until taken outside. Make sure you give them regular opportunities to go outside, as holding in their pee or poo can cause health problems and stress for your dog. 


Early socialisation is critical for Lakeland Terriers, as they are intelligent dogs and need to be introduced to new experiences quickly to avoid becoming fearful and nervous. Expose your puppy to new sights, sounds, people, and other dogs in a calm, controlled way, to ensure that you associate new things with a positive experience for your dog. Reward calm behaviour and discourage barking or aggression. Well-socialised Lakelands are friendly and outgoing, while unsocialised dogs can become snappy or shy. Make socialisation fun and positive by trying new places and helping your pet to have fun when out and about. 

Lakeland terrier on a lead close-up of head

Basic Obedience

As mentioned, Lakeland Terriers are highly intelligent, but their independent nature can make training a challenge at times. Even the best dog trainers and experienced owners have been known to struggle to deal with these feisty terriers, but with a little hard work and a lot of patience, you can teach them right from wrong. Use positive reinforcement like treats, praise, or play to teach basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” “come,” etc. Be patient and persistent, as these clever dogs will test your limits. Consistency and firm (but kind) corrections are key to getting your Lakeland to mind their manners. Make sure you use the same terms when teaching your dog, and give them praise when they succeed. 

Lead Walking And Recall 

Lakelands love to run and explore, so teaching them to walk on a lead is important from an early age. They might not be the biggest dogs out there, but they sure can pull when they want to! Also, due to their nature, these dogs are prone to a high prey drive, which means you need to make sure their recall is on-point and that they will walk on a lead well when required. Start lead training early by letting your pup drag a lead around indoors, then practice short walks outside. Use treats to reward walking close to your side. If they pull, stop and call them back to you. With regular practice, your Lakeland will learn to walk politely on a lead without pulling and be a great walking companion. 

Controlled Barking

Like many terriers, Lakelands are known for their big voices and their love of using them! It’s important to teach them when barking is appropriate and when it’s not. Reward quiet behaviour and give a firm “quiet” command when the barking is excessive. Providing adequate exercise and stimulation can prevent nuisance barking as well. Try to redirect their attention with a toy or game if your dog is becoming agitated and noisy. If your dog barks for attention, avoid giving it to them to show them that this isn’t an effective approach. With patience and consistency, you can limit excessive vocalising and make your home welcoming for visitors and family members alike. 

To Sum Up: Be Prepared To Put In The Hours To Get Your Dream Dog

With the right approach, Lakeland Terriers can be a real joy to train. Their intelligence means they pick up on new things quickly. But their independent spirit means you must be patient, persistent, and consistent in training. Focus on positive reinforcement and relationship-building while being firm when needed, and your Lakeland will respond well to training.

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