Sealyham Terrier

"The White Welsh Dog"

Photo of Sealyham Terrier


The documented history of the Sealyham starts in the 1800s, although there is some evidence that small, white, long-backed terriers existed in Wales as far back as the 1400s. The originator of the breed, Captain John Edwardes of Sealyham, descended from the family thought to have imported those early white terriers. Captain Edwardes worked from 1850 to 1891 to develop a plucky, good-looking white terrier that soon gained a reputation for its ability to face down badgers, otters, and foxes. The Sealyham started another chapter when it entered the dog show arena in 1903. The AKC quickly recognized them by 1911, and they became one of the most competitive breeds in the show ring. They remained in demand as hunting terriers, and also found their way into homes as jaunty and smart-looking companions. After the 1930s, the Sealyham's popularity began to decline, however, and today it ranks only 149th out of 155 breeds in AKC registration numbers.


The Sealyham is all terrier all the time, which means she's spunky, cocky, and full of herself. It also means she can have an attitude when it comes to other dogs, although in truth, she's not as unwelcoming or boisterous as most terriers. She's friendly, playful, and fairly outgoing, even with strangers, unless she senses something amiss. Sealys can be independent and even stubborn, but that's part of their charm.


The Sealyham Terrier is longer than tall, with short legs and a level topline. She's built to maneuver in tight quarters. Her body is strong and substantial, and her head is long, broad, and powerful. Her ears are folded level with the top of the head. The coat is weather-resistant, consisting of a soft, dense undercoat and a hard, wiry outer coat. The color is white, or white with lemon, tan, or badger markings.


The Sealyham was bred to think for herself, and to persist in the face of adversity when facing down tough quarry. She was not bred to check in with you for directions, so don't expect that kind of responsiveness. This is a free-thinking, sometimes stubborn pupil when it comes to obedience. She can be trained, but only if it seems worth her while, so be ready with lots of positive rewards. She's easily distracted, so train for short sessions and keep it fun.

Grooming & Care

The Sealy's coarse coat needs combing two to three times a week, plus stripping (pulling dead hairs out by hand) every three months. The coat can be clipped instead of stripped. Clipping is much easier and pet owners usually prefer it, although it softens the coat. Clip the Sealy's nails and keep her big teeth clean. Compared to most other terriers, the Sealyham is relatively low key, but she's still an energetic, fun-loving dog that needs to have a short walk or boisterous game session every day. Take care that she doesn't find a way under the fence and off in pursuit of something to hunt – a squirrel or rabbit across the road can be a powerful motivator for any terrier.

Health Concerns

The Sealyham has no major health problems, but retinal dysplasia and lens luxation occur at a greater rate than in most other breeds, so ask the breeder about these issues, and request copies of eye tests.

Famous Sealyham Terrier

Most breeds can't boast a single Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club, but this guy is downright greedy with at least 4.

Ideal Owner
Activity Level 3
Schedule 6
Home 9
Children 48
Experience 54
Quick Facts
Grooming 57
Exercise 61
Challenges This dominant dog requires a confident owner.
Height 9.5 to 10.5 inches
Weight 21 to 24 pounds
Life 12 to 14 years
Home Alone 20
With Kids 86
With Strangers 105
Availability 95

This client information sheet is based on material written by: LifeLearn

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