Like all terrier breeds, the Lakeland is a fearless dog with a heart of gold. They love to run and chase and thrive on outdoor activity, and will play with the zeal of a puppy, even as an adult. Lakelands are good family dogs and enjoy the company of older, well behaved children. They are reserved with strangers, but are generally not aggressive toward people. Lakelands, though they love the company of people, have an independent streak and have often been compared to rebellious teenagers.
Lakeland Terriers are high energy dogs with lots of stamina. They are not lazy lapdogs, by any means and even though they are small dogs, should not be kept in an apartment. Lakies need lots of yard space to run in and will want to be outdoors as much as possible. Their daily activities should vary, as this intelligent breed bores easily. Walks, trips to the park, games of catch in the yard, games of tag with children are all things Lakies will participate in with great earnest. If possible, owners should consider enrolling their Lakeland in agility training, as this keeps their minds and bodies sharp. This breed needs as much mental stimulation as they do physical activity, and if their requirements are not met, they will become anxious and destructive.
Lakies are intelligent and pick up on training quickly, however they like to do things on their own terms, so patience is a must. Keeping the training sessions varied and as interesting as possible helps to keep them engaged in the process. Lakies will not respond to a wishy-washy leader. If their boundaries are not consistent, they will take that as a cue that they, the dog, are king and you, the person, are his subject. Always train a terrier with a positive attitude and lots of praise, as harsh treatment will backfire.
Once leadership is established and basic obedience mastered, Lakies should graduate on to advanced training or agility activities to keep their minds and bodies active.
Housetraining a Lakeland Terrier can be a challenge. Many owners suspect this is simply willful rebellion on behalf of the dog. Expect six to eight months of crate training, if not more.
Lakies are possessive of their toys and food, and though they love kids, shouldn't be trusted around toddlers. Small children don't understand boundaries, and if they approach and eating Lakeland, or attempt to take one of his toys, disaster can ensue.
Like other terrier breeds, Lakelands can not be trusted off leash or in an unconfined area. Even in a fenced yard, Lakies should be supervised, as they can easily tunnel underneath their enclosure in search of adventure and rabbits to chase. They will absolutely give chase to small animals and won't respond to your pleas to return home.