Welsh Terriers -
They'll Steal Your Heart!

Welsh Terriers are a very old pure breed originating several centuries ago in Wales. Many authorities believe they are descended from the Old English Black and Tan Wired Haired Terrier.

The Welshie is a game and hardy breed that had the stamina and enthusiasm to run with the pack hounds during long hunting days in pursuit of otter, fox or badger.

Welsh terrier having fun among the Fall leaves outsideCourtesy Rolaman

They worked in very difficult, often cold conditions and rocky terrain, in the mountainous regions of North Wales, proving their toughness and courage over and again. You have to admire the grit of this small dog!

Although they no longer work in their previous occupation, they still retain the spirit for it. If an unfortunate varmint should happen to stop by your property, they'll be sorry they did.

This is a handsome little dog, compact and sturdy looking, with a very alert expression. They bear a strong resemblance to the Airedale - albeit half the size, and Lakeland terriers, though they are a distinctly different breed.

Famous celebrities that enjoyed the breed include Caroline Kennedy the daughter of President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jackie. Her Welshie was named Charlie.

Welsh terrier throwing his head back while enjoying the outside in the grassCourtesy Томасина

Characteristics of the Welsh Terrier

Welsh Terriers are very easy and fun to live with, being very affectionate, feisty - yet obedient, and always ready to play.

Welsh Terrier standing illustration on white background

This dog is a party animal and loves to be around people and go everywhere. He doesn't like being left alone, but does not make a fuss or bark about it to the neighbors.

When a Welshie barks, it's for a valid reason, not just to hear his own voice! At least that has been my observation.

Always inquisitive and playful, as well as intelligent, he can be drawn into training sessions if presented in a fun or game-like manner.

However, as an owner, you do need to let him know who is the boss or he will happily rule the roost. He is smart enough to take advantage of any loopholes you've overlooked.

Speaking of loopholes, if he accidentally gets out of your property, he's hard to catch. Even though he may see you lip-syncing words at him, for some uncanny reason he suddenly becomes totally deaf! Go figure.

Although he likes meeting other dogs and is not aggressive, the Welsh Terrier has a high degree of courage and will not back down from a confrontation.

Welsh Terrier up close head and shoulders pictured in outside grassy areaCourtesy Mikespooner

Physical Stats and Care

Height: 15-15.5 inches
Weight: 20-21 lbs
Color variations: Black/Tan preferred, and Grizzle

This is a handsome little dog, compact and sturdy looking, with a very alert expression. They bear a strong resemblance to the Airedale - albeit half the size, and Lakeland terriers, though they are a distinctly different breed.

The low odor double coat is harsh and wiry on top while soft and fine underneath. Weekly brushing will keep it tangle free and in smart condition.

For a Welsh Terrier, the following two tools make grooming pleasurable and cut down on the time it takes. They are designed to be easy on your pet while being perfect for removing tangles and loose hair in the under coat. Your pooch will be looking great in no time:

Stripping is necessary for show dogs, or if you want to keep the coat at its very natural best. Low shedding makes this breed a good candidate for allergy sufferers to consider.

Dental care should also be a regular part of grooming because serious health problems can develop as a result of gum disease. Brushing should be started early in a pet's life.

Additionally, you will also want to inspect his paws/nails, and ears for any attention they might need.

A head to toe check of vital signs is also a good habit - you can learn how do that here.

Share Your Welsh Terrier Knowledge

If you have a Welshie, won't you share his/her pictures and the knowledge you have that can benefit others considering this breed.

There is nothing to compare with first hand information to get a good idea of what a dog breed is really like on a daily basis.

We've made it quick and easy for you to share what you know right here.

We can't wait to put your story on our website!

Health Notes

The Welsh Terrier is a hardy little canine and generally enjoys not only good health throughout his lifetime, but also a prolonged youthfulness well into senior years. With good care, they can easily live up to 14 or more years.

However, it is good to be aware of health issues that may affect the breed, even though in many cases your Welshie may never be affected by them.

Some disorders associated with this breed include:

  • Eye conditions such as Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Inherited Lens Luxation which can also lead to glaucoma. DNA testing is available for this and should be done in breeding stock.
  • Dry eye may also be a related issue.

Other issue noted:

  • Epilepsy,
  • Cushing's disease
  • Hypothyroidism

Those seeking to acquire a Welsh Terrier should be sure to ask breeders about these health matters and what testing has been done.

How Active is the Welshie?

The Welsh Terrier can be very active and busy for periods of time indoors and then become a complete couch potato.

But if they haven't been given a walk, that's a different story and they will find a way to let you know its time to go out!

Ideal Living Space

This breed is very adaptable to any accommodations, although they do like to be outside quite often.

Without a yard, they will definitely expect to get one, or hopefully two, decent walks a day!

The Welshie With Children?

This breed really lights up around children of all ages and enjoy playing games with them. They are tough enough to handle boisterous activity but know when to be gentle.

The caution still remains that interactions between children and dogs should always be watched.

As A Companion For Seniors?

The Welsh Terrier is affectionate, fun and playful. He's also very alert and does a good job as watchdog. 

Most any senior family or empty nester would enjoy this faithful companion and as long as they can meet his exercise needs, he would enjoy them too.

Further Reading

welsh terrier guide book
Welsh Terrier
Kennel Club Book

Special Limited Edition includes the breed’s history and origins, the Welshie’s characteristics and breed standard. Also provides advice on puppy selection, and all aspects of care as well as house-training, grooming, nutrition, safety and healthcare.

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  • Image resource:: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Welsh_Moletai_May_2014.jpg by Томасина
  • license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/ CC BY-SA 4.0
  • https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sophie_the_Welsh_Terrier_2.jpg by Mikespooner 
  • License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/ CC BY-SA 3.0
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