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Patterdale Shepherd (Patterdale Terrier & German Shepherd Mix) Dog Breed Info: Pictures, Personality & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Patterdale Shepherd (Patterdale Terrier & German Shepherd Mix)

Height: 18-22 inches
Weight: 50-60 pounds
Lifespan: 10-12 years
Colors: Black, cream, brown, red, fawn
Suitable for: Houses and apartments, active lifestyles, multi-pet households
Temperament: Intelligent, strong-willed, loyal, family-oriented, loves children, protective

The Patterdale Shepherd is a lively designer breed. The parents are the Patterdale Terrier and the German Shepherd. They aren’t as noisy or rambunctious as most Terrier breeds, but they are more active and independent than most Shepherd breeds. These dogs aren’t well known because their Patterdale Terrier parent is not a popular nor widely bred dog. But they do make excellent pets for singles and families.

These dogs feature medium-sized builds, agile bodies, and large heads with dark eyes. Their active nature requires a great deal of outdoor exercise and plenty of indoor activity, especially if they will be left alone at home for any length of time. Patterdale Shepherds can do well in both houses and apartments if they have access to the outdoors for at least two hours a day.

These dogs are intelligent, but their strong will can make them tough to train for owners without any previous training experience. Once trained, most owners find that their Patterdale Shepherd is well-behaved and affectionate. Do you want to learn more about this interesting crossbreed dog? We’ve put together a comprehensive guide that delves deep into the breed’s characteristics, temperament, health, and more. Read on!

Divider 1Patterdale Shepherd Puppies

patterdale shepherd puppy
Photo Credit: Left: German Shepherd puppy (Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0, ) | Right: (Pxhere)

A true Patterdale Shepherd puppy isn’t easy to find in the United States due to the rareness of breeding the Patterdale Terrier here. Therefore, you will likely have to seek out a breeder who specializes in breeding this hybrid dog rather than relying on the humane society and rescue organizations.

When adopting one of these puppies, it’s important to be sure that their parents are purebred, especially the Patterdale Terrier parent. Some breeders may try to use a different type of Terrier to breed puppies and then try to pass the puppies off as real Patterdales. Checking the bloodline or lineage records should give you peace of mind in knowing that you’re adopting a true Patterdale Shepherd pup.

Patterdale Shepherd puppies are snuggly and adorable, but they don’t stay like that for long. Before you know it, your puppy will be big, rowdy, and ready to test their boundaries. The more you learn about this breed now, the easier it will be to parent one if you end up deciding to adopt.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Patterdale Shepherd

1. They Don’t Bark Much

Terrier breeds have a reputation for barking, so it makes sense to assume that the Patterdale Shepherd might like to bark since they are part Terrier. But the truth is that they’re quite compared to the average Terrier breed.

2. They Don’t Get Bulky

Even though their German Shepherd parent is quite large, bulky, and muscular, the Patterdale Shepherd tends to grow into a lean body without any bulk. Although, they do display many features of the German Shepherd, such as piercing dark eyes and large heads.

3. They Don’t Have Much of a Prey Drive

The Patterdale Terrier is an efficient hunter and the German Shepherd is a good tracker, which results in high prey drives for both breeds. But their Patterdale Shepherd offspring typically doesn’t have a high prey drive, which allows them to get along well with other animals, like cats.

Parent Breeds of the Patterdale Shepherd
Photo Credit: (L) JD, Shutterstock | (R) Jumpstory

Temperament & Intelligence of the Patterdale Shepherd 🧠

This mixed breed is graceful, agile, and curious. They’re great family dogs as they’re affectionate, they always seem eager to please, and they love kids. They aren’t typically aggressive to strangers or other animals, and they love to challenge their minds. These dogs do get bored easily, so they should have access to toys and games while spending time indoors.

While the Patterdale Shepherd is intelligent and a quick learner, they do have a stubborn side that can make it hard for them to concentrate and cooperate. A strong but loving hand is necessary for the pack leader to possess. This crossbreed needs daily walks and time to run outside every day to stay happy and healthy throughout their lives. They enjoy hiking, camping, and going on road trips, so they shouldn’t be expected to be happy about getting left at home alone.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

The Patterdale Shepherd is an excellent family dog. They’re independent enough not to constantly need attention from busy family members, they can learn how to stay calm and well behaved when spending time inside, and they have a soft heart when it comes to dealing with kids. In fact, these dogs can become quite protective of the kids in their family when danger is perceived. However, they don’t have to live in a family with kids to be happy if they get enough exercise and stimulation.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Thanks to the generally friendly attitude of the Patterdale Shepherd, they can get along well with other dogs, whether familiar or strange. They love visiting the dog park to meet new friends, and they’ll happily share their family home with other dogs. However, they should start socializing at a young age to ensure proper communication and behavior when meeting new dogs as adults. This designer breed also gets along well with smaller animals like cats if they’re taught to do so while still puppies. They should never be left unsupervised with a cat or other small animal when meeting for the first time.

Divider 4Things to Know When Owning a Patterdale Shepherd:

Exercise 🐕

Like most other dogs, the Patterdale Shepherd relies on daily walks and activities for mental and physical health. They can easily walk a couple of miles in the morning and still have plenty of energy left to spend hours playing in the backyard. If living in an apartment setting, at least two daily walks are recommended. If living in a house with a fenced yard, one long brisk walk should suffice. Rainy days should be filled with activities like hide-and-seek indoors to keep these dogs from getting too bored and becoming destructive.

Training 🦮

These dogs are certainly smart enough to pick up obedience training easily. However, whether they are willing to do so is a different story. They tend to get bored easily and aren’t that patient, which can make learning things like sit and stay a challenge. They are food motivated, so treats can help make training a more effective and pleasurable experience for everyone involved. They don’t respond well to negative reinforcement, therefore positive reinforcement and encouragement are always recommended.

Photo Credit: 1, 2.

Even though obedience training can be a challenge, it’s extremely important not to avoid it. These dogs need to learn their manners while they are still puppies so they don’t become overbearing and hard to handle when they become adults. Hiring an obedience trainer to work with will give your dog the chance to get a head start on training and allows you to learn proper training techniques to use at home.

Grooming ✂️

Although this mixed breed has short hair, it does shed frequently throughout the year. A quick daily brushing will help keep hair off the floor and the furniture at home. They don’t typically need baths unless they get into a mud puddle somewhere. Their ears should be gently wiped cleaned regularly to ward off infections. Offering a dental chew as a snack regularly will help keep plaque from building up. Also, their nails should be checked once a month or so and trimmed as necessary to keep them from splitting.

Health and Conditions ❤️

These dogs can live happy and healthy lives, but there are health conditions they could be prone to that all owners should be aware of.

Minor Conditions
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Bladder stones
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Hypothyroidism
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Endocrine pancreatic insufficiency

Divider 5Male vs. Female

There are a few minor differences between male and female Patterdale Shepherds to consider. Males are a little larger than females, with broader shoulders and heads. Females are said to be a little more vocal, though neither gender is particularly talkative. It tends to take longer for boys to get housebroken than girls. Other than these small things, both genders as well-rounded and would get along well in any family setting.

Divider 3Final Thoughts

Now that you know more about what the Patterdale Shepherd is all about, you can have confidence in your decision about whether this is the right breed for your family. There is plenty to love about these sleek, graceful dogs.  After all, they are easy to get along with and enjoy the company of children. But there is a great deal of commitment to consider too, thanks to their active lifestyle and adventurous attitude. How do you feel about making this designer breed your household pet? We’d love to hear about your thoughts in the comments section below.

Featured Photo Credit: Left: Patterdale Terrier (source: JD, Shutterstock), Right: German Shepherd (source: Capri23auto, Pixabay)

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