Q. Does this breed have any health problems?
A. Modern Lakelands from reputable breeders suffer from no known hereditary health problems that arise with regularity and there are no recommended health or genetic tests for the breed.
Q. I've never seen a Lakeland Terrier before. How common are they?
A. Lakelands have consistently been one of the least registered of all breeds, both in Canada and the United States. Entries at dog shows are similarly near the bottom of the terrier group. In their native England, Lakeland Terriers are on the Kennel Club's List Of Vulnerable Native Breeds. Certainly, this is a rare breed and you are unlikely to encounter many Lakies walking in your neighborhood. For many, this adds to their appeal: you will definitely have a dog that attracts a lot of attention! I think many breeders are pleased that our numbers are relatively low, as many breeds have suffered from excessive and indiscriminate breeding.
Q. Do Lakeland Terriers bark a lot?
A. If they have a larynx, they can bark! In any breed, the most significant factors contributing to barking are the dog's lifestyle and how the dog was raised. If a Lakeland has been left unsupervised for long periods and has never been trained not to bark, s/he can easily become a problem barker. Generally speaking, most Lakelands do not bark excessively if raised well.
Q. I have allergies and I hear that the Lakeland Terrier does not shed. Should I consider the breed based on this?
A. There are many non-shedding breeds, and they are considered hypoallergenic because they produce a minimum of dander. The Lakeland's minimally-shedding coat means that most people with mild allergies find them quite tolerable.
Q. What are the grooming requirements of a Lakeland Terrier?
A. This depends on several factors: most importantly, the decision on whether you elect to hand-strip or clipper your dog. You can hand-strip in the beginning and, later in your dog's life, switch to clippering. However, going from clippering to stripping is not easy. Thus, you should decide early on whether you wish to have your dog hand-stripped or clippered.
It is entirely a matter of personal preference which grooming method you choose. Clippering is much easier and faster, and can be accommodated at a reasonable price at grooming shops. If you bring along a grooming chart and instructions (we provide these in our Puppy Booklet for new owners), most professional groomers will be able to achieve a suitable look for your pet. The downside is that your dog will lose the natural crispness and color of the coat, although it should be noted that this has no impact on health or well-being. Lakelands whose grooming is neglected will become very hairy. The woolly, "teddy-bear" look is favored by some pet owners, but most Lakie people will want to see the breed in its traditional trim, whether that is achieved by hand-stripping or clippering.
Hand-stripping is something of a skilled art form, and not one that is usually mastered quickly. It involves pulling a very small amount of the hair out with the aid of a stripping knife, and "working" the coat to bring about its natural quality. It takes several hours to fully hand-strip a Lakie, although in a pet setting this need only be done three of four times per year. With dedication, almost anyone can learn to do a basic job that will more than suffice for the pet home. Locating people in your area that can strip a dog for you can be difficult (if not impossible) and expensive.
Q. Are Lakelands easy to train?
A. With the right type of training, most Lakelands can be trained to do almost anything. We don't find that the dogs we have worked with are naturally stubborn. Some Lakelands have been extremely successful in obedience, and in other performance events such as Agility, Flyball, Rally, and so forth. They aren't naturally obedient such as is the case with Border Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs, German Shepherds, etc.
Q. Are there any major temperament differences between males and females?
A. It is very difficult to make strong generalizations based on gender. We have had wonderful companions, both male and female, and a Lakie of either sex will doubtlessly be a great pet. That being said, we have found that many of our boys are more easy-going and laid-back, and tend to mature into relatively gentle-mannered adults, although they still retain a bit of clownishness as befits a terrier. We find that many of our bitches are bolder, more energetic, and carry a very healthy self-esteem. Both make wonderful pets and will carry all of the essential qualities that define a typical Lakie temperament. And, there are always exceptions: we have had many milder tempered girls and more energetic boys.
Q. What is the difference between grizzle and red Lakeland Terriers? Are color differences important?
A. Lakelands come in nine colors or color combinations. Over the years, we have bred grizzle-and-tan, black-and-tan, red grizzle, red, liver-and-tan, black, and blue dogs. Greater than 90% of our dogs have been either grizzle-and-tan or red: these are by far the most common colors. Color should be considered of minor importance in a placement decision, although we understand why some people will find certain colors more aesthetically pleasing than others. The red coat varies from deep red to a pale blonde color. It has no other color in the jacket and has no markings, and is also known as self-colored (e.g. no saddle marking). Grizzle Lakelands will vary from a dark saddle marking on the back to a very light sprinkling of black over the shoulders and in front of the tail, over a darker tan base with lighter furnishings. Color and texture is notably affected by coat quality and will be determined by grooming (primarily) and the genetics of the individual.
Q. I've decided that I would like to have a Lakeland but there are no breeders in my area. How do I purchase a Lakie if I can't meet the breeder?
A. There is a very small group of reputable Lakeland breeders, spread across Canada and the United States. Most are small home-based hobbyists, having one or two litters a year. Therefore, unless you are very lucky to live in the area of a Lakie breeder, it can be difficult to actually meet with the breeder from whom you acquire your Lakie. This isn't necessarily a bad thing: it is better to get a dog from a quality breeder that you trust rather than a lesser breeder simply because s/he is convenient.
Q. Do you ever have older dogs available?
A. As we do not have a kennel, we do not have mature Lakelands available very often. When they are available, these dogs make excellent pets because they have already been trained and one can avoid the rigors of raising a puppy. If you are interested in an older dog please don't hesitate to ask as even if we don't have one we might be able to refer to someone who does.
Q. Can I show my dog at dog shows, or use him/her for breeding purposes?
A. We do not often sell dogs for breeding or show purposes, except to reputable breeders or people with experience showing a terrier. If you wish to have a showdog from us, we can discuss what that would entail, and provide mentorship if you are in our area or direct you to someone who can help you. We sell all companion animals on a strict non-breeding agreement.
Q. What's the value of a championship for the parents of my prospective pet? I'm not interested in showing my dog, so why should I care about whether or not the dog comes from a breeder who emphasizes show-quality dogs?
A. A championship title suggests that the breeder cares about breeding Lakeland Terriers on a level that is geared toward the betterment of the breed. This differs significantly from those who are simply looking to profit by breeding puppies for the pet market. Show breeders, in most cases, don't make money off their dogs but rather incur significant costs supporting them. Breeding and raising a litter is expensive, and showing dogs is very expensive. To have this level of commitment usually demonstrates that the person is truly dedicated to the breed and passionate about raising quality puppies that make excellent pets as well as outstanding show dogs.