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How the Patterdale Terrier came to be

Discussion in 'Patterdale Terriers' started by SOULDOG, Jun 7, 2016.



    Most of the folks that write books on dogs would like their breeds to be ancient and have romantic and mysterious origins. Pick up any book on Jack Russell Terriers, for example, and Trump will be presented as the first white foxing terrier on earth -- never mind that the young John Russell selected it for looks alone and had no problem finding another white foxing terrier to mate with it.

    The Border Terrier folks have wrapped the story of their dog completely around the axle in an attempt to give it an ancient origin. In fact this breed was created at about the same time as the Kennel Club was created, and it was pulled on to the Kennel Club roles as quickly as could be.

    As for the Patterdale Terrier, quite a few people claim one person or another created the dog, and yet all seem quite confused as to the shape of the head. Where did that come from?

    In fact it is no mystery, and the true story of the Patterdale is not too deeply buried or very old.

    In 1873, the Patterdale and Matterdale hunts were combined to form the Ullswater Foxhounds. In 1879 Joe Bowman (just 22 years old) was made master of the Ullswater, a position he held (with a few short interuptions) until 1924, when he was replaced by Joe Wear who held the position for then next 47 years. Joe Bowman died in 1940 -- one of the most famous huntsmen of all time (there is even a song about him)

    Joe Bowman was an early Border Terrier breeder, and he was also the first person to cross up a blue-black Border Terrier with a black and tan Fell Terrier (also called a working Lakeland) to create what he called a Patterdale Terrier.

    In Jocelyn Lucas' book, Hunt and Working Terriers, a table at the back notes that the United Hunt prefered a "Lakeland, Patterdale, from J. Boroman's strain (Ullswater kennels)."

    In fact, "J. Boroman" is a typo, and the real man was Joe Bowman.

    Lucas published his book in 1931, and the information in it was collected between 1925 and 1930. The Patterdale Terrier was clearly a type (if not a widely used type) by the 1920s, and it centered on the Ullswater Hunt and Joe Bowman.

    With that knowledge, it was not too difficult a thing (but not too easy either!) to lay a hand on Foxes, Foxhounds & Foxhuning by Richard Clapham, published in 1923. Here we find not only a good picture of Joe Bowman (see top), but the picture reproduced below with caption.

    "One of the 'Patterdale' breed."

    Now we can see that the "Patterdale" name goes back to at least the Nineteen-teens -- a period just before the Border Terrier (which, like the Patterdale, started out as little more than what we would call today a Fell terrier topday) was pulled into the show ring. To see what Border Terriers looked like in 1915, click here.

    At about the time that Joe Bowman was fading out of the dog breeding business, in the 1930s, a young Cyril Breay was stepping up. Breay, like Bowman, had been a Border Terrier breeder.

    In the early 1930s Breay met Frank Buck, when Buck rescued one of Breay's dogs that had gotten stuck in a deep rock cleft and Buck -- an expert at dynamite -- had blasted it free.

    Bucks own line of dogs at the time were descended from Ullswater terriers kept by Joe Bowman, and Breay and Buck soon became fast friends with Breay breeding black dogs from Frank Buck into his line, and Buck crossing tight Border Terrier coats into his. Over time, the dogs of the two men devolved to a type as lines were crossed and condensed.

    Cyril Breay was always adamant that the Patterdale Terrier was not made by crossing in Bull Terrier, and he was not lying. The Patterdale head is no mystery to a border terrier owner - the same broad cranial outlines are evident in both breeds.

    Brian Nuttal began breeding Patterdales in the late 1950s, and says that his dogs are very much like those his father kept in the 1930s. It would not surprise me a bit to find that Nuttal's father got his dogs from Bowman, or from intervening hands that had gotten their dogs from Bowman. What is clear is that the Patterdale Terrier was already a recognized type by the time Nuttal's father owned his dogs.

    The fact that Joe Bowman started the Patterdale strain and named it takes nothing away from folks like Cyril Breay, Frank Buck and Brian Nuttal, all of whom did quite a lot to popularize the breed, maintain it as a working dog, and perhaps improve and stabilize its looks. It is an easy thing to name a new breed (it's done every day by puppy peddlers), but quite another to find a market and a following for the dogs based on their performance in the field.

    I mention all of this (I have told the story before and it is in the book), because I found a rather interesting old obituary on the internet the other day. Note the byline. With some amusement I note that "Greystoke Castle" was (supposedly) the ancestral home of Tarzan:

    September 1956
    PATTERDALE - One of Ullswaterside’s oldest residents, Mrs. Esther Pattinson, Broadhow, Patterdale, died at the age of 85. Formerly Miss Bowman, Matterdale, she hailed from a noted hunting family — her uncle was the celebrated Joe Bowman, huntsman of the Ullswater foxhounds for 42 years, while her great-grandfather, Joe Dawson, was for many years huntsman of the one-time Matterdale foxhounds. Mrs. Pattinson was only 13 years of age when she was hired as a farm girl, later working at Lyulph’s Tower for Mr. James Wood, who was agent for Lady Mabel Howard, Greystoke Castle.

    In the end, it turns out that Joe Bowman was born in High Row, Matterdale and died in Patterdale. It was, no doubt, an added bonus that Patterdale was also the old name of the Hunt that was both his employer and his passion. Finally, it should be noted that Patterdale was also the town where Joseph Dawson Bowman died, at the age of 88.
    XLR8, RedJohnMachobuck and Dusty Road like this.


    Im not sure what I just did .. still trying to figure out the new forum .. will a moderator erase this article since I put up two. Thank you
  3. Crow

    Crow Pup

    Great writing
    SOULDOG likes this.


    Great artical!!!
    SOULDOG likes this.
  5. RedJohnMachobuck

    RedJohnMachobuck Yard Boi

    thank you for that


    Patterdales are game little dogs that will surprise you. We have some good ones !!
    Trying to get a breeding done.
  7. stedz

    stedz Top Dog

  8. stedz

    stedz Top Dog

    If an academic like plummer could not find the true origin of the patterdale,even after over 200 visits to the lakes ,i dont think anyone could,Breay himself apparently was heard to say he thought the type originated in wales . nobody will ever know for sure.
    Soze the killer likes this.
  9. Blackpoison

    Blackpoison Premium Member Premium Member

    owned and bred by G.jones In UK.
    stedz likes this.
  10. stedz

    stedz Top Dog

    However i believe the modern day patterdale terrier has been refined into what it is by men like Buck, Breay,Nuttall and gould and dozens of other terriermen throughout the uk who put work before anything else.
    david63 and Blackpoison like this.
  11. Blackpoison

    Blackpoison Premium Member Premium Member

    the patterdale is as mysterious as the apbt.. since apbt originated in uk , why arent there MANY stafford as tall and big as APBT, its like either the went exinct, or aliens brought them to USA then pressed the flush button that deletes our memory of APBT origin and patterdales. lol The GODS gave us these dogs..the answer
  12. CockneyRebel

    CockneyRebel Big Dog

    I don't know the reason but I'm sure there's been tall staffs over the years.
    You select for working ability so in theory if nothing else was added then the dogs should remain the same size.
    Maybe the theory of added blood of working dogs from Spain and such is true?
    Blackpoison likes this.
  13. By far the best book on the breed mate.
  14. stedz

    stedz Top Dog

    Welcome back soze,the place aint been the same without you !
    david63 and Soze the killer like this.
  15. Thanks mate......
    That fell terrier book is by far the best book on them dogs...the info contained in it is valued by me mate......and I think there a lot of bull in there make up.....Plummer mentions in the book Nuttalls grand dad crossed pit dogs from Northumberland to Bedlington looking type terriers..Frain, (who used most of plummers book to help him write his own book on the breed)mention's Frank Buck owning a pied bull terrier what Frank would bring along to hold badgers at the end of a dig....Nuttall dug plenty of badgers,and it's possible he liked a stronger dog for drawing the beast..he then used border terrier-perhaps to calm them down?becuse he became a terrier man for a mink hound pack.......but in recent years I'm convinced even more bull blood has been added to the's curious ,but a lot of the strains show a good bit of bull-and a lot of the strains show a good bit of Bedlington(and border) in there appearence...and they can still crop up in the same litters these that Fell Terrier book,another breeder(can't remember name of top of me head) who plummer interviews,says his line of dogs originally came from a cross between the old Lancashire heeler and a bull terrier... plenty of bull in them dogs.......I herd Nuttall had first cross Apbt/Fell (Patterdales)only fifteen years ago for sale-I no a lad who could of had one!......

    All the best Stedz!
    david63, Lrs and stedz like this.
  16. Blackpoison

    Blackpoison Premium Member Premium Member

    patterdales and hounds working together,,, old pix. i was the camera man
    brian nuttal bred patterdale from 15 years ago.. bred by the man himself and imported to australia. not mine
    houndpatt.jpg nuttal.jpg
    david63, AGK, Soze the killer and 2 others like this.
  17. CockneyRebel

    CockneyRebel Big Dog

    Of course it's been added in more recent lines, take for example the Wheeler lines. I believe Wheeler bred a really small game staff to his Nuttall patterdales and then crossed back into the patterdale.
    david63 and Soze the killer like this.
  18. Blackpoison

    Blackpoison Premium Member Premium Member

    Soze the killer likes this.
  19. Yeah,I heard that to mate to be honest.
    Bull cross terrier been a cross to improve terrier bloodlines for centuries and it seems terrier breeders still use this practice.
    david63 likes this.

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