Open Letter to Dog Show Judges

United States Lakeland Terrier Club, Inc.

Member of the American Kennel Club

Judges Education Department
American Kennel Club
8051 Arco Corporate Drive, Suite 100
Raleigh, NC 27617-3390


The USLTC, Inc. is celebrating the 75th year of AKC recognition of our breed. We are proud of the accomplishments of our breed as a show dog and the consistent quality in a breed with such a small gene pool.

A parent club’s job is to preserve and protect the breed. Rather than patting ourselves on the back for a job well done, we are entreating you who are approved to judge our breed and those who may judge it in the future to read and to follow the below recommendations so that our breed can remain true to its heritage.

  1. All allowed colors are equally acceptable. The Lakeland terrier comes in more color varieties than any other terrier breed. Our recognized solid colors include blue, black, liver, red and wheaten. Our saddle marked colors include black and tan, blue and tan, liver and tan, grizzle and tan and red grizzle. Blue and blue and tan individuals will not have as much shine to the coat as other colors. The blue dilution means that there are fewer black pigment granules per hair shaft which results in a jacket that does not reflect light in the same way as non-dilute colors do. Liver and liver and tan individuals will have brown nose and eye rims. They will also have somewhat lighter eye color. All saddle marked dogs should have light colored furnishings—either wheaten or golden tan.
  2. It is currently unusual to see Lakelands in the show ring with naturally colored furnishings. AKC Rules Applying to Dog Shows Ch. 11 Section 8-C clearly states that dogs must be excused if their color has been changed by artificial means. The current situation is that an exhibitor that plays by the rules sticks out like a sore thumb. Many of our owner-handlers would prefer to play by the rules. Help us out here, please.
  3. Our standard opens by stating “The Lakeland Terrier was bred to hunt vermin.” Contrary to popular belief, real working terriers get along with other dogs. A Lakeland Terrier that does not spar should not be penalized. The standard is clear; they are required to be confident, bold, gay and friendly, but “the overly aggressive, argumentative dog is not typical and should be strongly discouraged.” The mature Lakeland that expresses a shy temperament should be severely penalized. It is never appropriate to encourage or allow one exhibit to make contact in any way with another, nor to penalize an exhibit that turns his/her head in indifference or otherwise ignores another dog.

Thank you for your attention. With your help, the Lakeland Terriers who are most correct in breed type and character will carry forward the winning tradition of the last 75 years.