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Welsh Terrier

Other names: Welshie

Welsh Terrier

Originally bred in Wales, the Welsh terrier is one of the oldest terrier breeds known. Previously named the Black and Tan terrier, when the breed was standardised in 1885 by the UK Kennel Club, the name was changed. Welsh terriers were bred for vermin control on farms and also to hunt otters, badgers and foxes. The happy and energetic terrier has a zest for life and a wonderful attitude and certainly great self-determination.

Key facts about the Welsh Terrier

Life expectancy :





Temperament :

Playful Intelligent Hunter

Size :

Origins and history

The Welsh Terrier is one of the oldest known dog breeds in the UK, dating back many centuries. With his high energy levels and abilities to eradicate vermin and hunt small game, he is a competent working dog. In some circumstances, the breed has been used alongside hunting hounds, giving chase to otters, badgers and foxes.

Previously known as the “Black and Tan Wire-Haired Terrier”, the breed name was changed to “Welsh Terrier” in 1885 in the UK. Although many of these dogs are now used for showing purposes, the breed appears to be dying out and is now classified by the UK Kennel Club as a rare breed.

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 3 - Terriers


Section 1 : Large and medium sized Terriers

Physical characteristics of the Welsh Terrier

    Adult size

    Female : Between 14 and 15 in

    Male : Between 14 and 15 in


    Female : Between 20 and 22 lb

    Male : Between 20 and 22 lb

    Coat colour

    Type of coat

    Eye colour



    This breed has a very similar appearance to the Airedale and the Lakeland Terrier. This breed is of medium build with a wiry coat, and either black and tan or black grizzle and tan in colour. Even though it’s an illegal practice, tail docking does sometimes take place. New-born puppies from this breed are generally born solid black, then their coat changes shade as they get older.

    Good to know

    The Welsh Terrier dog is among just a very few dog breeds that sweat or perspire. As he is a very active dog, you may notice an obvious body odour. You certainly cannot use antiperspirant deodorant on him, so we would suggest frequent baths to keep him smelling sweet!


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      Certainly, the Welsh Terrier is quite mild-mannered, yet he is still quite mischievous and playful. With early socialisation, he will often become attached to one member of the family. It’s usually the puppy that decides this, not necessarily the owner.

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      With an inquisitive and playful personality, the Welsh Terrier is always ready for a game of fetch. Welshies are usually a bundle of fun even though they maintain their sparky terrier attitude most of the time. He is very happy when engaged in a tug of war or a game of frisbee in the garden.

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      Although we think of a terrier dog as being high energy and full of attitude, the Welsh terrier is less excitable, more sensible and a steadier dog, even though he is still brimming with drive and energy. These dogs have a sensitive side and they love nothing better than being calm and quiet and spending time with the family at night.

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      This very intelligent breed uses its brain as well as its body. The dog can however bore very easily and will become quite mischievous if he has nothing to occupy him.

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      As a working dog, the Welsh Terrier is efficient and spirited in the field. He is playful, alert and active and is always eager to please.

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      Fearful / wary of strangers

      This breed may initially be wary of strangers, but soon overcomes this shyness and enjoys the company of anyone who wishes to get to know them.

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      This dog has a fun-loving, happy personality and is usually quite independent. This independence however, can lead to some difficulties when training the Welsh Terrier.

      Behaviour of the Welsh Terrier

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        Tolerates solitude

        If this dog is raised to understand that he is sometimes left alone during the day, he shouldn’t have any problems with solitude. He has a laid-back attitude and is quite adaptable to different situations. If he is left alone at home, he can easily become bored. You can counteract this by giving him plenty of interactive toys to keep him busy and prevent him from destroying the soft furnishings.

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        Easy to train / obedience

        Once you begin the training process, the Welsh Terrier is usually happy to commit. His independent streak will sometimes mean he doesn’t listen to you, but on the whole, he is keen to learn new skills. It’s advisable to teach the dog that his master is the pack leader and try to vary the training activities to keep the dog keen.

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        Welshies can certainly bark and make themselves heard. It’s very important that you teach this terrier to be quiet when you command, otherwise he will drive you and the neighbours mad with his barking.

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