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Welsh Terrier Information

Description of the Welsh Terrier

Welsh terriers look similar to Airedale terriers.  They are rugged looking, small dogs that have a double coat, which is course, abundant and wiry on the outside and soft and short underneath.  The Welsh terriers coloring is tan, black, and grizzle or black and tan.  All Welsh terrier puppies are born black and the puppies lighten gradually as they get older.  They have a squared off beard, furry moustache, bushy eyebrows and a docked tail.  Their eyes are almond shaped, dark and small with a black nose.  For puppy’s ears to take on the right adult form, some dogs require their ears trained.      

Temperament of the Welsh Terrier

Welsh terriers make wonderful pets for families with young, active children.  These loving, affectionate, intelligent, hardy, loyal dogs can withstand some rough play and love to be included in all family activities.  Train and socialize them when Welsh terriers are young to keep them from becoming timid or unruly.  The intelligent and bright Welsh terriers need constant variety and consistent, firm training because they understand what is required from them but are often cunning and try to get their own way or disobey commands.  Most Welsh terriers love to dig and swim.  These highly active dogs require daily exercise to help burn off some of their endless energy. 

Grooming & Shedding of the Welsh Terrier

The Welsh terrier’s wiry coat requires clipping every two or three months and brushing every two or three days with a brush and comb.  Depending upon the dogs coat condition, Welsh terriers usually require their coats plucked three or more times annually.  Show dogs need even greater grooming level attention.  Welsh terriers shed none or very little hair and require bathing only when necessary.  

History of the Welsh Terrier

Originally developed in Wales as a British black and tan terrier offshoot, they used these terriers to hunt badger, fox, and otter either alone or in hound packs.  Many believe they bred the Celtic strain of welsh terrier from the black and tan terriers and the English strain using the fox terrier and Airedale terrier.  In 1844 in England, they showed the Welsh terrier for the first time and in 1888, they imported the first Welsh terriers to the United States.  Primarily used as companion dogs and family pets, they still use some Welsh terriers for tracking and hunting.   

Health Issues of the Welsh Terrier

  • Major Concerns: none
  • Minor Concerns: lens luxation
  • Occasionally seen: cataracts, patellar luxation, distichiasis
  • Suggested tests: knee, eye




Up to 15 inches (39cm)


20-21 pounds (9-9½kg)


10-12 years




Yes –with regular exercise



Young Children


Need exercise space

Yes – small yard

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