Celebrate UKC's 125th anniversary with a whole new look that goes way, way back. Heritage-style Display Pedigrees are available in the online store today!

I Accept

United Kennel Club (UKC) is an international dog registry celebrating bonds, rewarding ability, and preserving the value of a pedigree. We use cookies to capture information such as IP addresses and tailor the website to our clients' needs. We also use this information to target and measure promotional material. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.

Skip to main content
Facebook Instagram Subscribe to E-news YouTube

Lakeland Terrier

Terrier Group

The goals and purposes of this breed standard include: to furnish guidelines for breeders who wish to maintain the quality of their breed and to improve it; to advance this breed to a state of similarity throughout the world; and to act as a guide for judges.

Breeders and judges have the responsibility to avoid any conditions or exaggerations that are detrimental to the health, welfare, essence and soundness of this breed, and must take the responsibility to see that these are not perpetuated.

Any departure from the following should be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


The Lakeland Terrier was bred to hunt vermin in the rugged shale mountains of the northern England Lake District.

The Lakeland Terrier was recognized by the United Kennel Club on January 1, 1995.

General Appearance

The Lakeland Terrier is a breed of moderation. The breed is small and workmanlike, with a square, sturdy build. Its deep, relatively narrow body allows it to squeeze into rocky dens. He has sufficient length of leg to cover rough ground easily.

Short-legged, heavy-bodied dogs and overly refined, racy specimens are not breed typical and are to be penalized.


The Lakeland is gay, friendly, self confident and bold, but not overly aggressive. He is typically alert and ready to go, and may be intense and determined, or gay and even impish. Expression reflects the dog's mood.


The head is well balanced and in proportion to the size of the dog. The skull and muzzle are of equal length and joined by a slight stop.


The skull is flat and refined, not overly broad.


Broad with powerful jaws, not longer than the skull.


A full complement of comparatively large, strong white teeth meet in a scissors bite.


The moderately small, somewhat oval eyes are set squarely in the skull and fairly wide apart.

In liver colored dogs, the eyes are dark hazel and the eye rims are brown. In all other colors, the eyes are dark brown and the eye rims are black.


The nose is black except in liver colored dogs, when it will be brown.


The small, V-shaped ears fold just above the top of the skull. The inner edge is close to the side of the head. The flap is pointed toward the outside corner of the eye.


The slightly arched, long neck is refined but strong. Clean at the throat, it widens gradually and smoothly into the shoulders.


The shoulders are well angulated, and shoulder musculature is flat and smooth. The shoulder blade is long in proportion to the upper arm, allowing for reasonable angulation while maintaining the more upright "terrier front." A line from the top of the shoulder blade should pass through the elbow.

When standing and moving, the elbows are held close to the body.


The strong, clean forelegs are straight when viewed from either the front or the side. The pasterns have no appreciable slant.


The withers are noticeably higher than the back. The short, level topline ends in a high tail-set. The loins are short and taut; and may be slightly longer in bitches.

The body is strong and supple. The moderately narrow, deep, oval chest extends to the elbows. The well sprung ribs are moderately rounded off the vertebrae. The tuck-up is moderate.

There is a well-defined, broad pelvic shelf behind the tail that is more developed in dogs than in bitches.

The following are to be penalized: a barrel-chested, big-bodied dog; a slab-sided dog lacking substance.



The hind legs are well angulated but not so much as to affect the balance between the front and rear that allows for smooth, efficient movement. The well-muscled thighs are powerful. The stifles turn neither in nor out. The distance from the hock to the ground is relatively short. Viewed from the rear, the hocks are parallel to each other. The rear pastern is straight when viewed from the side.


Small, round and compact with deep pads.


The tail is set high on the back. It is customarily docked so that the top of the tail is level with the occiput when the dog is in show position. It is carried upright, with a slight curve toward the head being desirable.

Fault: Tail tightly curled over the back.

Coat & Skin

The breed is double coated. The outer coat is wiry in texture. The soft undercoat is close to the skin and does not overpower the wiry outer coat. Appearance is neat and workmanlike. The coat is trimmed short and smooth on the skull, ears, forechest, shoulders and behind the tail. Body coat is one-half to one inch longer and may be slightly wavy or straight.

The furnishings on the muzzle and legs are crisp in texture. They are longer than the body coat, and plentiful but not profuse, and should be tidy. The face is traditionally trimmed with the hair left longer over the eyes to give the head a rectangular appearance from all angles, with the eyes covered from above. The eyes are apparent when viewed from the front, giving a unique mischievous expression. The legs appear cylindrical.

The breed is hand stripped. Clipping is inappropriate for the show ring.


The following colors are equally acceptable: solid colors, including blue, black, liver, red and wheaten: wheaten or golden tan with a saddle. The saddle may be blue, black, liver, or varying shades of grizzle. Grizzle is a blend of red or wheaten intermixed with varying amounts of black, blue or liver. In saddle-marked dogs, the saddle covers the back of the neck, back, sides, and up the tail.

Height & Weight

Ideal height is 14½ inches at the withers. Ideal weight is 17 pounds for males, 15 pounds for females.


Movement is straightforward and free, with good reach in front and drive behind. It is smooth, efficient, and ground-covering. Coming and going, the legs are straight. The feet turn neither in nor out; the elbows are close to the sides in front, and the hocks are straight behind.


(A dog with a Disqualification must not be considered for placement in a conformation event, and must be reported to UKC.)
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.
Viciousness or extreme shyness.

The docking of tails and cropping of ears in America is legal and remains a personal choice. However, as an international registry, the United Kennel Club is aware that the practices of cropping and docking have been forbidden in some countries. In light of these developments, the United Kennel Club feels that no dog in any UKC event, including conformation, shall be penalized for a full tail or natural ears.

UKC Breed Standards: Lakeland Terrier

Looking for a Dog?

Find a dog that will fit your family.

Note: The breeders on this list are not endorsed by UKC.

Official UKC Breed Standard

Revised May 1, 2017

©Copyright 1995, United Kennel Club