Lakeland Terrier vs Welsh Terrier: What Are Their Differences?

Written by Kathryn Dueck
Published: September 12, 2022
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Are you a fan of lively, intelligent dogs with a get-up-and-go attitude? If so, the terrier family may be just what you’re looking for! Though their exercise needs are high and they possess typical terrier stubbornness, the Lakeland and Welsh Terriers also have immense love and affection to give. Compare the Lakeland Terrier vs Welsh Terrier to find out if one of these breeds is the right one for you.

Comparing a Lakeland Terrier and a Welsh Terrier

Two welsh terrier dogs sitting at the river
Hunters bred Lakeland Terriers to hunt foxes that harried sheep during lambing season.

©Joy Prescott/

Lakeland TerrierWelsh Terrier
Breed OriginEnglandWales
AppearanceBroad, bearded muzzle; folded, v-shaped ears; athletic build; upright tailBroad, bearded muzzle; square nose; alert, folded ears; athletic build; upright tail
SizeMale: 14-15 inches, 17 pounds Female: 13-14 inches, 16 poundsMales: 13-15 inches, 17-22 pounds Females: 12-15 inches, 15-20 pounds
Hair Type and ColourDense, wiry double coat of medium length Black, blue, red, liver, wheaten, black and tan, grizzle and black, various saddle markingsDense, wiry double coat of medium-length tan and black
TemperamentAffectionate, intelligent, lively, playful, alert, confident, courageousAffectionate, intelligent, lively, playful, alert, confident, courageous, occasionally stubborn

The Key Differences Between a Lakeland Terrier and a Welsh Terrier

The key differences between a Lakeland Terrier and a Welsh Terrier are breed origin, appearance, size, hair type and color, and temperament.

Lakeland Terrier vs Welsh Terrier: Breed Origin

Lakeland Terrier on agility Route
Lakeland Terriers originated in England’s Lake District in the 1700s as hunting dogs.


Lakeland Terriers originated in the Lake District of England in the 1700s. Along with the Welsh terrier, it is one of England’s oldest terrier breeds. Several terrier breeds may have contributed to the modern Lakeland Terrier, including the extinct Old English Black and Tan Terrier. Other potential contributors are the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, the Bedlington Terrier, and the Border Terrier.

Hunters bred Lakeland Terriers to hunt foxes that harried sheep during lambing season. Today they fill multiple roles, including that of the working dog, show dog, and beloved pet.

Welsh Terriers originated in Wales, possibly descending from the Old English Black and Tan Terrier, one of the oldest terrier breeds. Welsh Terriers gained status as a breed during the 1700s, though a more exact date is impossible to determine. Like the Lakeland Terrier, these are purebred dogs.

Breeders bred Welsh Terriers to be courageous and persistent hunting dogs. They were responsible for tracking and cornering potentially fierce prey like foxes, otters, and badgers. Not only are Welsh Terriers fearless and fierce in a fight, but they are also small enough to harry animals in their dens.

Lakeland Terrier vs Welsh Terrier: Appearance

Welsh Terrier on a summer meadow
Welsh Terriers are often called “miniature Airedales” for their similar coloration and build.

©Radomir Rezny/

Lakeland Terriers and Welsh Terriers appear similar in many ways. Both have long, broad, bearded muzzles, though the Welsh Terrier’s muzzle is slightly broader than that of the Lakie. Both breeds’ ears are alert and folded in a V shape, and their tails are alert and erect. Lakeland Terriers have slightly narrower chests and longer necks than their Welsh cousins, though both breeds retain a lean, athletic build.

Lakeland Terrier vs Welsh Terrier: Size

Welsh terrier lying on table
The Welsh Terrier is the larger of the two breeds, standing as tall as 15 inches and weighing up to 22 pounds.

©Nataliya Kuznetsova/

The Lakeland Terrier is the smaller breed, but not by much. Males typically measure 14-15 inches at the withers with an average weight of 17 pounds, and females are slightly smaller at 13-14 inches and 16 pounds. These dogs are known for their compact, athletic build with surprisingly long legs.

Welsh Terriers are the larger of the two breeds, classified as medium-sized dogs. They resemble their cousin, the Airedale Terrier, in appearance, though they are considerably smaller in size. Males typically stand 13-15 inches at the shoulder and weigh 17-22 pounds. Females are smaller at 12-15 inches tall with an average weight of 15-20 pounds.

Lakeland Terrier vs Welsh Terrier: Hair Type and Colour

Red and blue Lakeland Terrier dogs sitting outdoors on a green grass with yellow flowers
Lakeland Terriers come in diverse colors, including black, blue, liver, red, and wheaten.


Lakeland and Welsh Terriers share similar hair types. Both breeds have dense, wiry double coats with a harsh outer layer and a soft undercoat. Shedding is minimal. Because of this, allergy sufferers may find cohabitation with these breeds tolerable.

These two breeds diverge when it comes to coating color and pattern. Welsh Terriers boast the signature black-and-tan pattern similar to that of the Airedale Terrier. Lakeland Terriers come in a more diverse array of colors than any other terrier breed, including black, blue, red, liver, wheaton, black-and-tan, and grizzle-and-tan. They may also feature a saddle marking, which is a second color layered over the back, neck, sides, and part of the tail.

Lakeland Terrier vs Welsh Terrier: Temperament

Lakeland Terrier playing
Lakeland and Welsh Terriers are playful, energetic, confident dogs with high intelligence and drive.


Both Lakeland and Welsh Terriers feature the typical terrier temperament. They are outgoing, lively dogs with tons of energy and drive. Their love and loyalty for their owners are matched only by their love of playtime. As long as they are well-socialized from puppyhood, they should be friendly and engaging with strangers and other dogs. However, they also make avid watchdogs, barking loudly to alert their owners to visitors.

As working dogs, these breeds have abundant energy requiring ample physical and mental stimulation. They become bored easily if neglected, so owners must ensure that they have toys and games available to them. Daily walks, runs, and playtimes are essential. Check out this guide to see how much exercise each dog type needs. Unfortunately, their intelligent temperaments can make these breeds stubborn and difficult to train for inexperienced dog owners. The Welsh Terrier, in particular, has this reputation. However, continuous training can yield great rewards, showcasing these breeds’ natural cleverness.

Lakeland Terrier vs Welsh Terrier: Life Expectancy

Welsh terrier isolated on white background
Welsh Terriers have a slightly shorter life expectancy, typically living 12-15 years.

©Sergii Adamchuk/

Lakeland Terriers usually live between 12-16 years. Potential minor health issues include lens luxation (distortion of the eye lens) and distichiasis (two rows of eyelashes). Major health concerns may include Legg-Perthes disease (the breakdown of the top of the femur inside the hip) and von Willebrand’s Disease (a bleeding disorder).

Welsh Terriers have a slightly shorter life expectancy, typically 12-15 years, which may be due to their larger size. Health problems common to Welsh Terriers include glaucoma (damage to the optic nerve) and lens luxation. Hip dysplasia (dysfunction of the hip socket) and atopy (hypersensitivity to allergens) are also potential issues.

Lakeland Terrier vs Welsh Terrier: Grooming Needs

Lakeland Terrier dog lying on the beach near the sea
Lakeland Terriers should be brushed weekly to keep their coats in good condition.


Proper grooming is essential for all types of dogs. Lakeland Terriers should be brushed weekly to keep their coats in good condition. Though shedding is minimal, their coats should still be stripped weekly. Stripping is the process of removing the old, dead coat so that the new one can grow.

Similarly, Welsh Terriers should be brushed weekly to prevent tangling and matting of the fur. Owners should maintain their coats with frequent stripping. A bath every 4-6 weeks for both breeds should keep them clean and smelling good, though more frequent bathing may be necessary if they are especially active.

Lakeland and Welsh Terriers are excellent pets for experienced, patient dog owners. Though their exercise and social needs are high, they pay that back in abundant love and loyalty.

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About the Author

I am a freelance writer with experience in both fiction and nonfiction. When not putting words on a page, I enjoy reading, hiking in the great outdoors, and playing with my dog.

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