The Breed History
The breed derives its name from the Lake District of England where early development of the breed took place. This breed is considered one of the original terrier breeds. The Lakeland shares ancestors with the Bedlington, Patterdale, and Border Terriers. Perhaps the extinct Black and Tan Terrier was a progenitor. The first breed standard was drawn up in 1921. Registration in AKC occurred in 1934.
Breeding for Function
They were raised primarily for fox and otter hunting. They were renowned for going deep underground. These terriers were also used for vermin control and for guarding sheep flocks.
Height at Withers: female 13-15" (33-38 cm), male 14-15" (35.5-38 cm)
Weight: males 17 lb (7.5 kg), females 15 lb (7 kg)
Coat: The double weather resistant coat is harsh and wiry, straight to slightly wavy in the outer coat layer, and the undercoat is dense and soft. The brows do not cover the eyes, and beard and moustache are trimmed for show. Blue, liver, wheaten, red, black, black and tan, blue and tan, and grizzled are accepted colors. Some dogs may have a dark saddle.
Longevity: 13-14 years
Points of Conformation: Lakelands possess sturdy square conformation, moderate muscling and bone, and their expression is alert. Smallish oval eyes are fairly wide set and colored to match the dog (hazel, brown, or dark brown), with dark palpebral margins. Ears are triangular, small and the leather is thick. They fold forward, with the fold above the topline of the skull. The skull is fairly flat and broad, muzzle is blocky, and there is a minimal stop. The nose is black, but may be liver on liver colored dogs. The lips are dark, neck is long and fine, not throaty, slightly arching, and there are prominent shoulders. Limbs are straight boned and metacarpals and metatarsals are short. Dewclaws are usually removed. The feet are compact, toes well arched, and the pads thick and darkly pigmented. The topline is level and the back is short, the thorax is deep and narrow with ribs well sprung, and the abdomen is moderately tucked up. The high set tail is carried up and curves slightly forward at the tip. It is commonly docked. The gait is long, free and smooth.
Recognized Behavior Issues and Traits
Reported traits of this breed include: Courageous at the hunt, calm temperament, is an independent thinker, mischievous and playful. Lakelands make a good watchdog. These terriers will fight with other dogs, and should be socialized early to other pets in the household. Need close human companionship, plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom vices, including digging. Need to be in a fenced area if let off leash. Have moderate grooming needs.
Normal Physiologic Variations
Hip Dysplasia: Polygenically inherited trait causing degenerative joint disease and hip arthritis. Too few Lakeland Terriers have been screened to determine an accurate frequency.
Legg-CalvР№-Perthes Disease: Polygenically inherited aseptic necrosis of the femoral head, resulting in degenerative joint disease. Can be unilateral or bilateral, with onset of degeneration usually between 6-9 months of age. Treat surgically if causing lameness/ discomfort. Frequency and mode of inheritance in the breed has not been determined.
Patella Luxation: Polygenically inherited laxity of patellar ligaments, causing luxation, lameness, and later degenerative joint disease. Treat surgically if causing clinical signs. Too few Lakeland Terriers have been screened by OFA to determine an accurate frequency.
Elbow Dysplasia: Polygenically inherited trait causing elbow arthritis. Too few Lakeland Terriers have been screened by OFA to determine an accurate frequency.
Primary Lens Luxation (PLL): An autosomal recessive gene causes primary lens luxation. Homozygous affected dogs usually develop lens luxation between 4-8 years of age. Rarely, heterozygous carriers can develop lens luxation, but at a later age. Lens luxation can lead to secondary glaucoma and blindness. A genetic mutation has been identified, and a genetic test is available.
Persistent Pupillary Membranes: Strands of fetal remnant connecting; iris to iris, cornea, lens, or involving sheets of tissue. The later three forms can impair vision, and dogs affected with these forms should not be bred. Identified in 9.38% of Lakeland Terriers CERF examined by veterinary ophthalmologists between 2000-2005.
Hypothyroidism: Inherited autoimmune thyroiditis. 7.7% positive for thyroid auto-antibodies based on testing at Michigan State University. (Ave. for all breeds is 7.5%).
Cataracts: Intermediate or punctate cataracts. Reported in 7.46% of Lakeland Terriers presented to veterinary teaching hospitals. CERF does not recommend breeding any Lakeland Terrier with a cataract.
Glaucoma: Primary, narrow angle glaucoma occurs in the breed. Can cause secondary lens luxation. Screen with gonioscopy and tonometry. Frequency and mode of inheritance in the breed has not been determined.
Other Eye Disorders: Distichiasis, Corneal Dystrophy, and other eye disorders are reported in the breed, but too few Lakeland Terriers have been CERF eye examined to determine an accurate frequency.
Cryptorchidism, Microphthalmia, Prognathism, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and von Willebrand's Disease are reported.
Isolated Case Studies
Laryngeal Paralysis and Everted Laryngeal Saccules: The ultrasonographic appearance of laryngeal eversion due to bilateral laryngeal paralysis is described in a young Lakeland terrier.
Osteochondroma: A Lakeland terrier puppy had progressive hind limb ataxia associated with pain in the thoracic spine. Plain radiographs revealed a lesion affecting the dorsal neural arch of the fourth thoracic vertebra and myelography revealed spinal cord compression. Surgical excision cured the dog's clinical signs. Histopathology revealed osteochondromatosis.
Tests of Genotype: Direct test for PLL is available from OFA and the Animal Health Trust.
Tests of Phenotype: Recommend patella evaluation, hip and elbow radiographs, CERF eye examination, and thyroid profile including autoantibodies.
- Breed name synonyms: Lakeland, Patterdale Terrier (historical)
- Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC, KCGB (Kennel Club of Great Britain), ANKC (Australian National Kennel Club), NKC (National Kennel Club)
- AKC rank (year 2008): 131 (176 dogs registered)
- Internet resources: The United States Lakeland Terrier Club: www.uslakelandterrier.org
Lakeland Terrier Club (UK): http://lakelandterrierclub.org.uk/
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