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The Welsh Terrier was originally called the Black-and-Tan Wire Haired Terrier, Old English Terrier and at one point called the old Reddish-Black Wirehaired Terrier. Developed in Wales, they were bred for their hunting abilities particularly with badger, fox and otter. The dogs would go down into the dens to drive out the prey for the hunter and would commonly be taken out with packs of hounds. The breed was first shown in England in 1884. Some of the Welsh Terrier's talents include: hunting, tracking, watchdog, agility, and performing tricks.


The Welsh Terrier looks like a small version of the Airedale Terrier. The head is rectangular in appearance. The muzzle is half the length of the head with a slight stop. Teeth meet in a scissors or level bite. The small, almond-shaped eyes are set fairly wide apart and are dark brown in colour. The v-shaped ears fold slightly to the side of the head and forward. The front legs are straight and the round, small feet are cat-like.

The back is level forming a straight line. Dewclaws may be removed. The tail can only be docked on working dogs. The coat is double with a soft undercoat and a wiry, hard, dense outer coat with bushy eyebrows, moustache and beard. Colours include black and tan and grizzle with a black jacket marking over the back. Puppies are born all black and as their coats lighten the jacket marking remains black.


The Welsh Terrier is a vigilant, active, cheerful dog, who is affectionate and intelligent. As a breed the dogs are loving, devoted, playful and happy, they are usually patient with children and can withstand rough play. Curious, courageous, hardy, energetic and peppy, they are best suited to an active family.

Welsh Terriers need plenty of exercise along with leadership, clearly knowing the rules of the home and what is expected of them. This structure is what makes a dog happy and well balanced. When a dog is lacking in this they can become timid, and unsure. They can also possibly become dog-aggressive and stubborn as they make up their own rules. They will not listen if they sense that they are stronger minded than their owner, however they will also not respond well to harsh discipline. Owners need to be calm, yet possess an air of natural authority. Socialise this breed well from a puppy with people, other dogs and if possible other animals.

The Welsh Terrier has a slightly lower energy level than some of the other hunting terrier breeds. They like to swim and dig. Some can be difficult to house train. The Welsh Terrier is bright enough to understand quickly what you want of them but, if you are not a calm, assertive leader, they can be sly enough to try to divert you from your intentions. Give these dogs constant variety in their training and remain consistent towards them. Remember to always be your dogs pack leader.

Height, Weight

Height: Maximum allowed: 39cm.
Weight: 9-9½kg.

Health Problems

Some lines are prone to eye problems and skin irritations.

Living Conditions

Welsh Terriers can live in smaller dwellings or a flat as long as they are sufficiently exercised. They are very active indoors and can live without the use of a garden.


The Welsh Terrier is untiring. They need to be taken for at least two goods walks. They are always ready to play with a ball and to run freely in the open countryside. The Welsh Terrier likes to chase after anything that moves. Take caution when letting them off their lead especially around livestock.

Life Expectancy

Around 10-12 years


The Welsh Terrier needs to have its coat stripped two, three, or more times a year depending upon the condition of the coat. It also requires grooming with a brush and comb a number of times each week. Dogs that are to be shown will require even greater levels of attention to their grooming. The longer hair at the feet, on the belly, and around the face, give the Welsh Terrier its typical appearance and should be left long. This breed looses little to no hair.



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