When it comes to small, or perhaps it is better to call them tiny, dogs, the Patterdale Terrier is near the top of the list in cuteness and energy. Though the breed’s genealogy doesn’t go back very far, it has quickly become one of the dog owner’s favorite breeds to have around the house or apartment. But sometimes cuteness isn’t enough, so check out these 10 things you didn’t know about the Patterdale Terrier.
1. Joe Bowman is a significant person in the breed’s creation.
Very few dog breeds can trace their ancestry back to the person who started it all, but in the case of the Patterdale Terrier, there is a specific name – Joe Bowman. One reason is that the origin of the breed only goes back to the early 20th century, so there was a fair amount of recordkeeping being done.
2. Their maximum height is about 12 inches.
Compare that height to that of your average Chihuahua and you have roughly the same size dog. But there is a significant difference in weight, as Patterdale’s have been known to weigh as much as 30 pounds, though this is probably the result of too many yummies. Usually they weigh in at about 15 pounds, which is twice that of a Chihuahua.
3. They defy the stereotype yappiness of small dogs.
Though the breed still will yap, its propensity to do so for hours on end is considerably subdued, especially within its own breed. This is one of the reasons they are a preferred pet for active families and retain their cute factor.
4. Their coat smoothness will depend on the length of the fur.
The rule of thumb is: the shorter the hair, the smoother the coat. Though there are 3 possible types of coats you can end up with – smooth, broken, or rough – the easiest way to know is to see the length of their hair after they have gone through puppyhood.
5. They can be stubborn.
Some people like to say strong willed, but stubborn is stubborn. This may not be the best choice for first time dog owners because you have to have a combination of patience and a firm hand to train their stubborn trait out of them. And that takes experience.
6. Their small size can be a liability out in the great outdoors.
While the Patterdale has been bred as a hunting dog to catch rats and raccoons, the latter has been known to turn the tables on the Patterdale and attack them, killing them by drowning. The cute factor due to its size can only go so far, so it can be more of a dog to watch than a watchdog.
7. They are prone to allergies.
This health issue can be a major cause for concern, and even though regular visits to the vet will help, know that they can develop anything from pink eye to the skin condition known as dermatitis. Since every dog is different, this is one of those you don’t know until it happens issues. Just be aware that you Patterdale may require a significant amount of health attention.
8. It has not escaped the problem of Patellar Luxation through its selective breeding process.
Patellar Luxation is a problem common to virtually all terrier breeds. The condition causes the dog’s knee caps to shift out of place. In most cases, you can learn how to slip the knee back into place with a minimum of fuss. But if the problem occurs often it is time to take them to the vet.
9. Beware of PSS, a more dangerous health issue.
PSS, or PortoSystemic Shunt, is an internal organ issue which will likely result in the dog being tired and has a low energy level. The reason is that blood that is supposed to go through the liver skirts around the organ, causing the problems. This is a problem for the vet to deal with, and though surgery is rare you will probably have to use the old pill-in-the-treat method of giving them medication – for life.
10. If you are looking to own one, get a pure bred.
The problems mentioned above can be mixed in with health problems from other breeds, turning a cute puppy into a sickly and unhappy pet. It needs to be made clear that this is not the fault of the owner, but the result of mixing the Patterdale with other breeds. In short, the purer, the better.