Welsh Terriers are hardy and typically live to be 10-12 years old if they are healthy and active. Some live to be 15 years old. In addition, these dogs typically keep their activity level and alertness well into their old age.
3-6 puppies per litter
CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR
The Welsh Terrier's jacket is black, spreading up onto the neck, down onto the tail and into the upper thighs. Their legs, quarters, and head are clear tan, which is a deep reddish brown color. Some have grizzle jackets, as well. White is allowed only as small marks on the front of the breast.
15-15 1/2 inches high at the withers
15 inches high at the withers
Welsh Terriers don't tire easily. However, they are calm dogs that will do quite well in an apartment or with a small yard provided they are exercised regularly.
The Welsh Terrier is a compact and medium sized dog with a coarse wire haired cod. Their legs, head and underbody are tan and their jackets are black or grizzle. They have docked tails to complement their appearance as a rather square shaped dog. They have a very specific terrier expression that is a result of the particular set and color of their eyes and the way they use their ears. Welsh Terriers are very friendly and spirited dogs, and they tend to be very outgoing. They have a typical terrier trot that makes them effortless runners.
A Welsh Terrier's head is rectangular in shape. They have small, dark brown almond shaped eyes that are set far apart. Their ears are v-shaped and small. Their muzzle is about half the length of their head and is squared off. They have black lips and large strong teeth. Welsh Terriers have black, squared off noses.
Welsh Terriers are good hunting dogs for fox hunting and bird hunting. Today, however, they are most often kept as family pets. Terriers are small dogs, but they are not lap dogs. They are energetic, intelligent and require stimulation. Though they are typically calm in nature, they are not designed to lie placidly in the house all day. They will be happiest and best suited to an active family.
The Welsh Terrier's coat is hard, wiry, and dense with a close-fitting thick jacket and a short soft undercoat. The undercoat provides insulation, while the wiry topcoat protects from dirt, rain and wind. Furnishings on muzzle, legs, and quarters are dense and wiry, as well. Welsh Terriers are typically red/brown with black marks.
The word terrier is from the Latin word "terra" meaning "earth." Welsh Terriers originated in Wales around the 1800s. They descended from the Old English Black and Tan terriers that have been in existence in England since the 13th century. The breed has been officially recognized since 1886. Prior to 1900, Welsh Terriers were referred to as Old English Terriers or Black and Tan Rough Haired Terriers.
Welsh Terriers were bred to be hunters of otter, fox and badgers on Welsh farms. To accomplish such tasks, they needed to be compact, brave and natural hunters. Over time, the Welsh bred their own version of the English black and tan, slowly breeding the features that appealed to their needs. They wanted a dog of good bone and muscle, with strong jaws and teeth. In addition, they needed the dog to have strength and stamina, but have a calm enough disposition that it could be trusted with their children or other dogs. Due to the weather, the dog needed a rugged, weather resistant coat. Appearance was less important than function.
Welsh Terriers are very alert dogs, which is what makes them good hunters. However, they are also very friendly and intelligent. They love pleasing their master and show a good level of self control. They are rarely shy and do well in the city or country, though some exhibit a much stronger hunting instinct than others. They are great family pets because they are loving and loyal and get along quite well with children, even tolerating the roughness of toddlers quite well. Because of their intelligence, they are happiest when they have activities to keep them occupied, though they are rarely active to a fault. It's important to understand that the general nature of terriers is to be active and engaged in activities. However, of the many breeds of terrier, the Welsh terrier is one of the calmest and most tolerant of inactivity.
These dogs need interesting things to do each day. They are quite curious and playful, which makes them great dogs for children who will truly use them as companion animals. Most love to swim. All in all, they make a very loyal, loving and hardy pet.
Bitches are more alert and quicker to learn. They are also quite independent and tend to love people more than other dogs. They bark more than male Welsh Terriers, as well. The bitches are also the ones most likely to be hunters. In fact, in the American Working Terrier Trials, whether the hunting abilities of terriers are measured, two out of three Welsh Terriers achieving their titles are bitches.
Male Welsh Terriers are typically more easy going and friendlier than bitches. They are also quieter and steadier than females. However, Welsh Terriers, in general, are friendly and rarely aggressive. Though they show aggression rarely, they are a formidable enemy when they do decide to fight back. They have been bred to hold their own when required to do so.
Welsh Terriers are typically very hardy and healthy dogs. There are no specific medical defects noted in the breed, except that they are prone to luxated lens, a dislocation of the lens in the eye that can lead to secondary Glaucoma and cause blindness. They also occasionally have Epilepsy and thyroid conditions. In addition, some blood lines tend to be prone to minor skin and eye problems. Overall, they have maintained their healthy and sturdy tendencies through years of Breeding.
Welsh Terriers shed little or no hair, making them a great pet for the home. At least two times a year, however, their coats should be plucked. This regular plucking, along with occasional bathing, keeps the dog in good shape. They should not be bathed too often, as it will remove the natural oils in their coats and soften the wiriness of their hair. Their coat is coarse and durable, so it resists dirt fairly well. However, they should be brushed once or twice a week.
If your Welsh Terrier will be showed he will need the longer hair at his feet, on his belly and on the foreface trimmed regularly to emphasize the dog's rectangular outline.
You'll find few dogs more tireless than the Welsh Terrier. However, at the same time they don't require a great amount of exercise. If they're owned by an outdoor lover, they will be quite happy to run with them for as long as their owner desires. They love to chase things and will happily play fetch. However, since they are prone to chase whatever they see moving it's not wise to let them off their leash in an open area.
In general, this breed will be healthier and happier with an owner who exercises him regularly, but is not likely to become destructive if he is not exercised as frequently as other breeds. They love to swim, run, walk and play chase, so there are quite a few activities you can pursue with your Welsh Terrier to keep him active and happy. Welsh Terriers are particularly good dogs for agility classes or earth dog clubs (where dogs hunt by digging and tunneling after small critters who are secured in a sturdy cage so they can't be harmed) because of their love for mental and physical stimulation.
Welsh Terriers are brave and steady. Early training should include socialization to ensure that they don't become timid of strangers, though this tendency is uncommon. They are calmer than longer legged terriers, so they are typically not destructive dogs. Some can be diggers, so it's important to watch out for this trait and nip it in the bud with training techniques.
Welsh Terriers are very intelligent. They will quickly understand what you want from them, but they are also cunning enough to try and divert you to what they'd like to do. Variety in their activities and consistency in their training will keep them happy and more obedient.
Crate training works well for house breaking a Welsh Terrier. They can be a bit difficult to house train, so confining them to a crate when you are not actively engaged with them is a good idea until they are completely house trained. However, you must also give them regular opportunity to go to the bathroom in the appropriate spot in order for crate training to be successful.
Because Welsh Terriers like to swim, they may dig or splash in their water bowls or put their face completely underwater when drinking.
Some Welsh Terriers make a game out of escaping from their confines, so it's important to have a very secure fence if you plan to leave them outside alone. In spite of their size, many have jumped over fences of six feet tall or more, and like most terriers, they like to dig. Therefore, your fence must be secure at the bottom, too.
Welsh Terriers like to play fetch and retrieve. It's important to teach them which items are their toys and which are not, or you'll find your articles of clothing strewn about the house and yard.
Welsh Terriers are moderately territorial and only occasionally have dominance challenges. When the terrier does present a dominance challenge it will usually be through willful disobedience. For this reason, you should train your Welsh Terrier with a firm hand, and not show timidity toward him. However, physical punishment is not a good way to show dominance over this breed. This dog was bred not to tolerate being attacked by the prey they were hunting, so they are more likely than other breeds to growl or snap at you if you become too physical with them. You'll be far more successful by simply maintaining your place as master through your voice and consistent training. Once you've lost your dominance over a Welsh Terrier, it will be very difficult to win back.
Some Welsh terriers, particularly the females, are barkers, and can often have a nerve wracking, high pitched bark. If you leave your dog alone all day, he or she may have a tendency to bark and annoy the neighbors out of boredom. Train them early and train them consistently and you'll not find a better companion. They are eager to please and love blending into a family. But, like any other terrier, they are active and somewhat stubborn. If you provide regular activity for them and teach them who's master early one, you'll be very happy with your choice in pet.