Welsh Terrier

"No, I'm Not a Miniature Airedale"

Photo of Welsh Terrier


The Welsh Terrier's roots may go back as far as 1200, when hunters employed medium-sized black-and-tan terriers to eliminate vermin, badgers, otters, foxes and hares. These terriers eventually evolved into two very similar breeds: the Old English Terrier and the Black-and-Tan Terrier. By the 19th century, these two breeds were deemed to be so similar that they could be considered the same breed: the Welsh Terrier. In 1886, the Kennel Club of England recognized the Welsh Terrier. Two years later, Prescott Lawrence imported two Welsh Terriers to the United States, and showed them in Madison Square Garden. Yet, the Welshie isn't common, maybe because of his grooming needs and, ahem...exuberant bark. He's 91st on the list of popular dogs.


These sociable, merry dogs are curious, spunky and – like most terriers – utterly fearless. They're known to be on the barky side, making them unsuitable for apartment living. They also are known to be on the clownish side, with a penchant for making mischief. Not surprisingly, docility is not in this dog's vocabulary – at least not until he learns what his place is in the family pack.


The Welsh Terrier is about 15 inches high at the shoulder (about 8 inches smaller than the typical Airedale Terrier) and weighs 20 to 25 pounds. His black and tan coat is wiry and curly – and like many terriers, he radiates confidence and good humor.


The Welshie needs regular exercise and early training to channel his humor, intelligence and spunkiness into outlets that are acceptable to people. Puppy kindergarten and a follow-up obedience class will school him in the basics and imbue him with the good manners that every dog should have. Ambitious owners will enjoy tapping into their Welshies' special talents by participating in earthdog trials, lure coursing and agility trials.

Grooming & Care

Keeping a Welshie in tip-top condition can take a bit of doing, particularly for show dogs, but regular brushing, combing, and clipping are essential even for pets. Like all other dogs, regular pedicures and ear cleanings keep him comfy from head to toe. However, there's an upside to this dog's relatively high maintenance: when properly groomed, the Welshie sheds very little. Because he's small, the Welshie can get a lot of exercise indoors, or in a small back yard, but like all terriers, exercise is a must for a well-behaved and healthy dog.

Health Concerns

Like any purebred dog, the Welsh Terrier has his share of inherited health issues. Among the chief health concerns are glaucoma, epilepsy, hypothyroidism and allergies. Dogs intended for breeding should receive OFA and CERF clearances first. Ask the breeder to see results of these tests.

Famous Welsh Terrier

Charlie, who lived in the White House with President John F. Kennedy and his family.

Ideal Owner
Activity Level 4
Schedule 5
Home 43
Children 48
Experience 51
Quick Facts
Grooming 57
Exercise 60
Challenges Barks a lot, will chase small animals.
Height 15 to 16 inches
Weight 20 to 22 pounds
Life 9 to 15 years
Home Alone 83
With Kids 86
With Strangers 91
Availability 95

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

© Copyright 2014 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.