Welsh Terrier Information

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The Welsh Terrier is a compact, rugged-looking dog with a friendly and courageous appearance.    Their wiry coat covers a square-shaped body, emphasized by the docked tail carried upright from their back.  The coat comes in one main variety: tan covering the legs, head, and underbody contrasting with a dense black jacket.  Some Welsh Terriers may also sport grizzled jackets.  A softer undercoat is also present.  They walk on small, round feet resembling cat's paws.  Their legs are muscular and demonstrate their quickness as a hunter.  Accented by V-shaped, forward falling ears and almond-shaped dark eyes, their rectangular heads sit atop a medium-size neck which leads into their sloping shoulders.  The muzzle, approximately half of the head, is square like the Welsh Terrier's body and ends in a dark nose.  Behind their tight, black lips can be either a scissor or a level bite, although the scissor bite is preferred.  Their trotting movements are typical of terrier breeds.

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The spirited Welsh Terrier is a typical hunting dog – always alert and aware of their surroundings.  They are also highly intelligent with a strong desire to please their owners whether they are hunting fox or running obedience trials.  Their easygoing, friendly temperament make them ideal pets, especially for families with children.  Because they are active and tough, they can tolerate the rough-housing delivered by kids and still have plenty of energy for playing or going on walks.  Besides being with their families, Welsh Terriers love swimming and digging.  Their hunting instincts make them love chasing anything that moves, so letting them roam off-leash can be  dangerous. Welsh Terriers do need early socialization experiences, particularly with other dogs, so they do not become shy or aggressive towards other animals or people.  Because of their high intelligence, Welsh Terriers can be stubborn and mischievous, especially when bored.  They need varied stimulation and consistency.

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15 inches
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20 to 21 pounds
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General Health

Welsh Terriers are generally a healthy breed.  However, epilepsy, glaucoma, thyroid problems, and skin allergies can be of particular concern.  Welsh Terriers have a life expectancy of around 12-14 years.

They live 10-12 years on average.

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Welsh Terriers originated in Wales and have remained much the same throughout their long history.  They were first used to hunt badgers, foxes, and otters either alone or in packs.  Although they initially shown in England in 1884 at Carnavon, the dog dates back at least several decades earlier when it was known simply as the Old English Wire Haired Black and Tan Terriers.  Welsh Terriers first came to the United States in 1888 with Prescott Lawrence.  For many years, Lawrence's were the only Welsh Terriers in the country.  After the turn of the century, a handful of the dogs were shown at Westminster and that appearance contributed to their growing popularity.  Possibly the most famous Welsh Terrier in the U. S. was Charlie, President John F. Kennedy's loyal dog.

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Welsh Terriers do require some routine grooming.  Although they shed very little, their coats do need to be plucked every three to six months to remove excess hair.  Several times a week, their coats should be thoroughly brushed and combed to keep them looking shiny and soft.  The hair around the feet, belly, and face is allowed to grow long but may be trimmed to keep the distinctive Welsh Terrier appearance. The rest of their coat should not be cut.  Welsh Terriers who will be shown require more maintenance than pets.

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Ideal Environment

Welsh Terriers can live in almost any environment.  Because of their small size, they make ideal apartment companions, especially if they also have a small yard or grassy area where they can run, chase a ball, or dig.  They do need constant stimulation and become bored easily, so they need to be provided with plenty of toys, distractions, and training.

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Dog Training!

If you're having problems training your dog or getting control, you should read our review of DogProblems.com. Adam will do whatever it takes to help you whip your dog into shape. I've used them to help with my Great Dane as well as help friends train their dogs. It's the first place I go to help answer users Questions. Many training issues are too extensive to answer in this forum, which is why I refer a lot of the load to his site. Update: I've been using and recommending DogProblems for three years now. I, as well as my users, value the techniques we've learned. I get weekly emails from users who have become better owners from the information they received.

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Welsh Terrier Q&A

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I have a welsh terrier pup - almost five months old. After having her for a couple of weeks I noticed she was scratching incessantly. Vet diagnosed her with mange and said she got it from where she was bred. She was treated and is now mange free but still scratches a lot. Vet said she might have food allergies. Does anyone else have a welsh with food allergies?

Yes I do! Thanks for the question. My dog's suffering just like yours! I even had to shave her to the skin, and I found she had fleas, lots and lots of fleas. Anyway, she's doing fine now, and I hope your pup gets better too!


How many puppies do Welsh Terriers usually have?

4-5 is usual, although litters of 6 are not rare.


I have 5 other dogs at the moment. 2 GSD males, 3 Malinois (2 males and 1 female). I would like to purchase a Welsh Terrier male pup, but am not at all sure how he will fit into the picture with all the larger dogs. All of our dogs have strong personalities as they are working dogs and the last thing i would want is to put something cheeky into the equation which would come off 2nd best. Am i being over-dramatic or would the Welshie be fine?

A welsh in that bunch would rule the roost. Ours wAs consistently one of the more playful and bossy at our dog park.


When deciding b/t a male and female welsh. Which one is more apt to stay around the family? Asked differently, which sex of dog is easier to train?

females far more difficult


I'm thinking about a Welsh Terrier for a companion. I have just fell in love with this breed. I have one concern, Just how active are they or can be? Are they abe to be laid back inside the home? I have no problem with daily walking and some play time with my companion and taking class. I do have a medium size fence in yard. Also a 16 year old. I just want to make sure this breed will not be too much for me. Oh. this will be my first time owning a dog. I don't want to buy on looks. thanks

Our Welsh "Velvet" was an outstanding pet. Active and fun outdoors but loving and quiet inside. She loved the occasional game of tug (like most terriers) which could be played inside or out, and would fetch until your arm fell off. She was both gentle and protective with my 3 yr old son and it gave me a great sense of satisfaction knowing that she was helping us look out for him. If she had one flaw, it would be that she was quite the escape artist. Being both extremely athletic and exceptional diggers, a Welsh that has a desire to roam can be hard to keep at home. She could go over a 4 foot fence with ease and dig under a cinder block wall if given a small amount of time. But overall, Velvet was far and away one of the best dogs that ever came into our lives.

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