The Lakeland Terrier originated in the nineteenth century near the Scottish and English border, in Lake District of Cumberland. The breed is one of the many descendants of the Black and Tan Terrier of the region, the result of crossing it with several other breeds. These include the Fell Terrier, the early Dandie Dinmont Terrier, the Bedlington Terrier and the Border Terrier.
The collaborative nature of the Lakeland could be considered one of its defining characteristics. When working on farms, these dogs were usually kept in packs. A Lakeland that was aggressive to other dogs would be quickly separated from the pack. As a result, working within a group was a trait prized by early breeders.
This is one of the oldest working breeds still in use today. In the Lake District, the Lakeland Terrier has been used for generations to exterminate the fell foxes that threaten sheep folds during the lambing season. While the majority of terriers are used to bolt or mark their prey, the Lakeland must kill their quarry. Despite their tenacious reputation, the Lakeland remains a loving companion to humans.