Welsh Terrier

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30-35 lbs
In the late 1700s, a rough-coated terrier – known as Ynysfor – was used in North Wales with otterhounds to hunt otter, fox and badgers. During this time, a similar dog – called the "Old English broken-haired" terrier – was used in northern England for the same purpose.
otter, fox, badger, and rat hunting
Date of Origin

Welsh Terrier Health

Average Size
Height: 18-19 inches Weight: 35-40 lbs
Height: 17-18 inches Weight: 30-35 lbs
Minor Concerns
  • Lens Luxation
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Knee

Welsh Terrier Breed History

The Celtic strain is believed to be bred from the coarse-haired Black and Tan terrier while the English strain using the Airedale and Fox terrier. In fact, the two terriers were so alike that when they began to be shown, the same dog could compete successfully in either category. For example, in 1893, “Dick Turpin” was a well-known show dog that appeared in both categories. Because of their similarities, they were classified together and soon became known as Welsh terriers, regardless of their origin. The early dogs were not competitive in the show ring, so breeders began to improve the lineage with selective breeding. In addition, they crossed it with the wire fox terrier, which resulted in a dog that looks similar to a miniature Airedale terrier. The improvements in the breed created a better show dog, however it has never reached the success seen by other small, long-legged terriers. In 1888, Prescott Lawrence brought a male and female Welsh terrier to America. He showed them at the old Madison Square Garden in the Miscellaneous Class. It wasn’t until 1901 that a classification was offered for Welsh terriers at Westminster. Popularity has steadily increased for these well-mannered, sturdy dogs.

Welsh Terrier Breed Appearance

This rectangle-shaped, compact terrier is rugged-looking with its abundant, course, wiry coat. Its colorings can be black and tan or black, grizzle and tan. Bushy eyebrows, a squared-off beard, and a furry moustache frame its face. Its double coat is wiry and course on the outside with a short, soft undercoat. In keeping with its square appearance, the Welsh terrier’s tail is docked. Its gait is that typical of a long-legged terrier – effortless, with good reach and drive.

Welsh Terrier Breed Maintenance

The Welsh terrier’s wiry coat needs brushing several times weekly and clipped every three months. Bathe only when necessary. As a puppy, its ears may need to be trained in order to take on the correct adult form. This breed is highly active and does best when it has access to both the house and the yard. It can be an outdoor pet in mild climates, but should sleep indoors when it’s cold. It needs daily exercise to release some of its endless energy. Take it off its leash only in safe areas, since it tends to hunt if the opportunity arises. In order to be an enjoyable pet, the Welsh terrier should be given basic training. Be consistent and firm; because even though it is an intelligent breed that learns easily, it is independent and may disobey commands.

Welsh Terrier Breed Activity Requirements

The Welsh terrier is affectionate and spunky. Its patience with children makes it a good choice for a young family, as long as they include their pet in their activities. This terrier has a desire to please, but its curiosity and independence make for some mischief. This breed enjoys swimming, digging, and playing, and also may bark. It could be shy around strangers, but prone to fight with other pets and strange dogs.