Welsh terrier

Welsh Terrier

General Description

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.

Know something we don’t? Add it here


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.


15 inches


20 to 21 pounds

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.


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.


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.

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.

Leave a Reply