Size is somewhat debated in dog circles, with disputes surrounding the cut-offs that determine each class. Typically a Patterdale Terrier’s size places it in the ‘small’ category of dog breeds.
Small dogs are seen as any breed whose size is under 10kg. On average, Patterdale Terriers weigh between 4.5-6kg, placing them clearly into the ‘small’ category.
Patterdale Terrier Size & History
Looking back at the history of a Patterdale Terrier, you will find they were originally bred to dispatch foxes. In order to successfully complete their job, Patterdales needed to be small enough to fit into a foxes’ den.
Therefore when breeding these terriers, breeders wouldn’t only focus on hunting ability alone but also on the size of their breeding stock. A dog could have the best hunting instinct in the world, but if they were too big to fit into a den, they couldn’t dispatch a fox.
To ensure they could successfully fit into the dens, Patterdales were bred to have the same proportions as a fox.
Not only did this mean they could fit into their shelters, but it also meant they stood a chance at dispatching them. If Patterdales were too small, they could be easily overpowered by the foxes – which is not ideal for the Patterdale or its owner!
Patterdale Terrier Breed Standard
Breed standards are a guideline set out by The Kennel Club that describes a breed’s model appearance, characteristics, and temperament.
As Patterdale Terriers are not officially recognised by the Kennel Club, they don’t have a definitive breed standard that breeders can use.
Even without a definitive standard, the Patterdale’s appearance is easily identifiable. Patterdales have a distinctive athletic build that helps them stand out against their fellow terriers.
Compared to the slender Patterdale Terrier, Lakeland Terriers are taller, yet they appear bulkier, whereas the Fell Terrier is much shorter and on the chunkier side.
The Size of a Patterdale Terrier
While we’ve already determined that Patterdale Terriers fall into the category of ‘small’ dogs due to their weight, we haven’t discussed their height…
Of course, every dog is unique, and the sizing will always vary. However, on average, Patterdale Terriers stand between 25-38cm.
On average, a fox’s height is between 35-45cm, making them slightly taller than a Patterdale Terrier.
While areas of a fox den can be surprisingly spacious, their entrances are often much smaller in the hopes of keeping predators out. As a result, fox den openings may be as small as 25cm.
Purposefully bred to be the same size, if not smaller than the average fox, Patterdales will always be able to fit into even the smallest of fox dens, thereby successfully fulfilling their original purpose.
However, today it is far less important for Patterdale Terriers to be the same size as a fox. This is because the hunting of foxes was made illegal in England and Wales by the Hunting Act 2004 and in Scotland by the Protection of Wild Mammals Act 2002.
Patterdale Terrier Crossbreed Sizes
Way before the recent trend of crossing every dog breed under the sun in order to make the cutest looking animal, Patterdale Terriers were often crossbred within the Terrier group.
All terriers were originally bred as working dogs, meaning their size has always been an important factor; not for appearances, but to make sure they could carry out a specific task.
The different terrier breeds were each designed for hunting specific animals. Take the Jack Russell Terrier, for example. Due to their more petite frame, Jack Russell Terriers were bred for hunting rabbits.
Frequent crossbreeding between the various Terrier breeds made the perfect sized dog for hunting each different animal.
As a sort of middle man of the group, the Patterdale Terrier was often mixed with smaller breeds to increase their height or taller breeds to reduce their size.
One of the most famous Patterdale crossbreeds, the Patterland stands at an average height of 33-35cm.
A purebred Lakeland Terrier is typically taller than a Patterdale. However, the height of a Patterland falls between the upper bounds of a Patterdale’s size and the lower bounds of a Lakeland’s – as you would probably expect.
The Patterbea is a cross between the Patterdale Terrier and a Beagle. With both breeds standing at just about the same height, it’s no wonder that the Patterbea is usually 33-35cm tall.
Patterjack is the name commonly given to a Patterdale crossed with a Jack Russell Terrier.
Jack Russell Terriers are a shorter breed than the Patterdale, so mixing them brings the average height down slightly to between 25-30cm.
The Patterpoo, as you can almost certainly guess, is a cross between the Patterdale Terrier and the Poodle. The size of a Patterpoo varies by quite a lot, from 25-38cm, depending on the type of Poodle involved.
This is because there are three different types of Poodle; the Toy Poodle (25cm), the Miniature Poodle (28-38cm) and the Standard Poodle (40cm+).
A surprising combo; the Chatterdale is a mixture of a Chihuahua and a Patterdale Terrier!
With Chihuahuas being quite a bit smaller than a Patterdale, the average size of the cross is also smaller, with the Chatterdale standing between 20-27cm in height.
Unfortunately, the Patterdale Whippet doesn’t have a funky blended name – although I think ‘Pippet’ would be ideal!
Commonly bred to increase the Patterdale’s speed and agility – the Patterdale Whippet, stands at an average height of 18-22cm.
Overall, even including the larger crossbreeds, it’s clear to see that a Patterdale Terrier is not a big dog.
The average size of a Patterdale Terrier makes them a perfect dog for so many environments and living situations, providing they receive appropriate levels of care.