Lakeland and Welsh terriers share a lot in common. If you're looking for a small to medium-sized wiry-haired terrier, both fit the bill. Their basic body structures are similar, although they differ in variety of color and size. Since neither breed is that common, your choice might hinge on availability.
The Lakeland terrier originates from England's Lake District. Many terriers were bred to hunt a specific type of vermin. For the Lakeland, that's the fox. As the United States Lakeland Terrier Club points out, most terrier breeds bolt their prey, or a hunter know the whereabouts by baying. The Lakeland terrier was expected to actually kill the foxes.
In his native Wales, the Welsh terrier hunted not only foxes, but also badgers and otters. In the 19th century, the breed was also known as the Old English wire-haired black-and-tan terrier.
When full-grown, the Lakeland terrier stands approximately 14 inches high at the shoulder and weighs 17 pounds. The Welsh terrier matures to a slightly larger size, between 15 and 15.5 inches, and weighs 20 to 22 pounds.
The Lakeland terrier breed standards permits many colors. You can find Lakelands in solid colors of black, red, liver, wheaten and blue. If the dog has a saddle or jacket, it must cover the back, sides, back of the neck and onto the tail. That saddle can be black, liver or blue, with the rest of the Lakeland a tan or wheaten shade. Grizzle is also allowed -- wheaten or red mixed with blue, liver or black.
Unlike the Lakeland, the Welsh terrier breed standard allows only one basic bi-colored coat pattern. The Welsh terrier boasts a black jacket on his back, spreading to the neck in the front and upper thighs and tail in the back. His head, legs, forequarters and hindquarters are a deep, reddish tan.
The Lakeland terrier loves life and his people. He's a happy-go-lucky dog but a true terrier. That means his favorite pastimes include digging, barking, going after rodents and chasing cats. He's not necessarily good with other dogs and probably shouldn't live with felines. However, he easily becomes a kid's best friend.
The Welsh terrier's basic temperament doesn't differ that much from the Lakeland, although he's a little more of a "Steady Eddie." Along with his terrier traits, he's a bit of a better watchdog than the Lakeland, although much depends on the individual dog. He's also not especially keen on other canines or felines. Unlike some terriers, Welsh terriers enjoy water and swimming.
By Jane Meggitt
About the Author
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.