The Welsh Terrier

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Welsh Terrier
Weight: 19 — 21 lbs
Height: 15” — 16”
AKC Rank 2008 # 99
Lifespan: 12—14 yrs
Group: Terrier
Origin: Wales

Dog Breed Info -- The Welsh Terrier

Two Welsh Terriers are better than one
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Breed Overview

Origin: 1700’s. Original Function: Hunting otter, fox, rats, badger. Today: Earth dog trials. Colors: Deep tan with black.

In the 1700’s, a breed known as Ynysfor was running with Otterhounds in the North of Wales. At the same time, a similar dog, the Old English Broken Haired Terrier was coming along in England. The two dogs were so much alike that they could interchange in competitions and no one knew the difference. In time, both became known as Welsh Terriers. The Welsh was used to force prey out of holes and burrows so the hunter could come up and kill it, something I totally disapprove of. It was a good killer of small animals such as various vermin though. The breed was recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1886 and on 1888 the AKC recognized the breed in America. As good and sweet as this breed is, it has never taken off very well in the States and is currently #97 in popularity in the USA.

The Welsh Terrier face-on
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Not easy. For some reason training takes a lot of time and patience. The dog can learn anything, but on her own time. Use clicker training with positive reinforcement and a patient, a steady voice and she will come around.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Welsh Terrier? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

Most Welsh Terriers are somewhat easy to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.


This is an active, intelligent and playful, well-mannered dog that resembles the Airedale Terrier, only smaller. The Welsh Terrier is friendly and is a good house pet, does well with children and is a great watchdog at the same time. She’s quite tolerant with the kids and likes games where she can run, romp, jump, display her silly antics and especially swim. The breed is entertaining in their own way and yet she can be very calm and quiet. As with most terriers, she can dig holes and bark if bored. The Welsh Terrier can be nippy and testy as well as showing a degree of separation anxiety if not well socialized starting at a young age. If getting one, make sure the breeder gave your dog plenty of social time starting at around3 to 4 weeks. If properly socialized, she’ll be a great addition to your busy household. Be sure to make plenty of time for her, though!

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Maybe. Can be picky about dog friends. Will pick and choose k9 friends.

Friendly Toward Other Pets?

Cautious. Can be a bit aggressive with other dogs, cats and chase small animals around the house. Maybe not the best choice if you have a house full of small pets. But remember, no two dogs are exactly the same.

Friendly Toward Strangers?

Reserved with strangers. Not sure if she should bark, run, or hold her ground. Leave the relatives at home. This dog is not keen about strangers.


Fairly playful — playful enough to keep the kids occupied..


Affectionate enough to be a good family pet and companion

Good with children

Yes, gets along with kids, especially older, well-mannered children. The Welsh Terrier likes to romp and run around with the kids. She’s fairly tolerant of their noise and kids' antics. If she’s raised with the kids, all the better.

Good with Seniors over 65?

Yes. Welsh Terriers and a seniors make a good match. The dog is just affectionate and playful enough to give the senior a day of entertainment, yet the exercise needs are within reach. The grooming and care take a lot of time which a senior would have, so I think this is a go. Plus, she’s a good watchdog! If longevity or training are issues, find a Welsh Terrier Rescue group or kennel and get a dog 2 or 3 years old that is house trained and knows a few commands. That will save some headaches.

Living environment

Apartment, condo, farm, ranch all okay as long as she gets out for walks, play time and maybe a swim in the lake or stream. If a house, give her a doggie door to the fenced back yard. She can tolerate the warm weather but don't keep her outdoors in very hot weather or cold weather.


Energy level

Moderate. She’s lively and full-of-herself, enough to keep things moving.

Exercise needs, daily

Moderate. A reasonable walk on leash and some vigorous play time with a ball or toy will suffice. If off leash, be sure the dog is fenced in. The dog will run off chasing anything that moves.


Excellent watchdog. Sometimes she even barks too often!

Guard dog

No. The breed may be too friendly or just not a killer with that aggressive instinct.


Very little if any.


This breed has a wiry coat. Comb or brush three times a week to prevent matting Clip her quarterly to keep her looking good. Clipping keeps her coat nice and soft. Overall, the grooming takes quite a bit of time. Get a stiff bristle brush at the pet store.



Suggested Re4ading For The Welsh Terrier
Click on the cover photo for more book information.

The book on the right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog emergencies, illnesses and injuries. It's a valuable reference manual and should be kept close sat hand.


Welsh Terrier Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Welsh Terrier puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training.
Welsh Terrier Breeders with puppies for sale.

Welsh Terrier Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for a Welsh Terrier rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Welsh Terrier Rescue - (Nationwide) At the time of this writing, Petfinder is listing only 9 Welsh Terriers available for the entire country. Try the site below. Be sure to check on any prior dog health problems before you adopt.
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site but chances are you will need to go online and look for Welsh Terrier Rescue groups, kennels, and even try breeders, as they sometimes have adult dogs left over.

Dog Health Issues For The Welsh Terrier
Below: The dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the breed by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness and medical issues this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Atopic dermatitis's—Atopy. Hereditary. Shows at 1 to 3 years age. Skin allergy triggered by dust mites, pollen, poor quality foods and other garbage we put into the dog’s environment. Many breeds like the Welsh Terrier are prone to this. The dog will lick, rub, chew and scratch the infected areas. Allergens can also come from fleas, bacteria and yeast infections. See your vet. There are many treatments ranging from medicines, antihistamines, diets, bathing, cleansing the house of dust mites and so on.

  • Lens luxation—Hereditary. Weak fibers holding the lens of the eye allow the lens to dislocate. The eye can not focus. This leads to painful, red eyes that tear a lot and can lead to Uveitis or Glaucoma if not treated right away. If detected early, surgery and medication might solve the problem.

  • Cataracts—Hazy or cloudy vision similar to humans and can cause blindness if not treated.

  • Glaucoma—Painful pressure builds in the eye and leads to blindness.

  • Hypothyroidism—An underactive thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone which reduces the Welsh Terrier's metabolism level. Hypothyroidism stems from the dog’s immune system attacking the tissues of the thyroid gland. Bottom line is the dog becomes symptomatic. The cause can be a predisposition for thyroid problems, air pollution and allergies. A FEW symptoms of the disorder include lethargy, weight gain, skin infections, dry skin, hair loss, slow heart rate, ear infections, depression. See your set right away.

  • Epilepsy—A serious seizure disorder that shows up at around two to four or five years age. Seizures vary depending on which 0art of the brain they occur in. See your vet.

Other health problems could occur with your Welsh Terrier. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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