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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Welsh Terrier


Welsh Terrier Facts

  • Group
  • Terrier
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • 15"
  • Weight
  • 20 lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 14 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • Moderate - This breed enjoys typical daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Average Training Time
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Difficult
  • Colors
    • Black / Tan
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Adapted to city living
    • Can be trained as a watch dog or guard dog
    • Good with children
    • Hunting heritage
    • Should sleep indoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

Old English terrier, black and tan wirehaired terrier.


The Welsh terrier originated in Wales.

Date Of Origin

This breed developed in the 1700's.


Judging from the old paintings and prints of the first known terriers, the Welsh Terrier is a very old breed, for these prints show us a rough-haired black-and-tan terrier.

In old times this dog was more commonly known as the Old English Terrier or Black-and-Tan Wire Haired Terrier, and as late as 1886 the English Kennel Club allotted one class for "Welsh or Old English Wire Haired Black and Tan Terriers." Even to this day the color of the Welsh is as it was over a hundred years ago.

In other respects, also, the Welsh Terrier has changed very slightly. He is, as he was then, a sporting dog extensively used in his native home, Wales, for hunting the otter, fox, and badger, and he possesses the characteristic gameness that one naturally looks for in such a dog. Although game, he is not quarrelsome; in fact, he is well mannered and easy to handle.

The first record of Welsh Terriers having a classification of their own in England was in 1884-85 at Carnavon where there were 21 entries, but even at this time it was not uncommon for dogs to be shown as Old English Terriers and also as Welsh Terriers. As late as 1893, "Dick Turpin," a well-known show dog of those days, continued in this dual role.

Welsh Terriers were first brought to this country by Prescott Lawrence in 1888, when he imported a dog and a bitch and showed them at the old Madison Square Garden in the Miscellaneous Class. No other Welsh, however, were imported for some time. But, about 1901, classification was offered for Welsh at Westminster and four or five dogs were shown; from then on their popularity has steadily increased.


The Welsh terrier is a sturdy, compact, rugged, medium size dog that is square in proportions. The head is rectangular. The muzzle is half the length of the entire head, strong and squared off with a black, squared off nose. It has small, almond shaped, dark brown eyes. The small V-shaped ears fold forward. The Welsh terrier has a deep chest and muscular hind quarters. The tail is docked very short and carried upright. It is double coated with a soft undercoat and a wiry, dense outer coat. It is black and tan with a black jacket and tan base.


It is game in the field but friendly and outgoing with other people and dogs. It is spirited, courageous and intelligent.


Created to be a hunter in dens and lairs, it has also worked in packs together with hounds. Today it is exclusilely a companion dog, well adapted to apartment life and useful as a watch dog. It is very attached to its master but can be timid with strangers. It needs frequent brushing, and stripping by a professional groomer.

Health Concerns

Epilepsy, glaucoma, skin allergies, thyroid problems.

Additional Information

John F. Kennedy owned a Welsh terrier named Charlie.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle


Publisher: WikiMedia Foundation, On Going

Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/

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