Sealyham Terrier

Other names: Sealy

Sealyham Terrier
Sealyham Terrier adult

Are you a lover of terriers but wish they were a little calmer and more docile? The Sealyham Terrier might just be your perfect match! This quirky dog was originally used to hunt small game, but has since become popular as a loving companion dog. While the Sealy (as he’s often known) still loves a good walk and enjoys exploring, he’s far less active and calmer within the home than most other terriers. Known for his clownish personality and great sense of humour, this breed makes for a wonderful pet and/or working companion - though it’s worth noting that this breed is extremely hard to come by nowadays.

Key facts about the Sealyham Terrier

Life expectancy :





Temperament :

Affectionate Playful Hunter

Size :

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Origins and history

Captain John Tucker developed the Sealyham Terrier in the 1800s on his estate, Sealyham (hence the breed name) in Haverfordwest, Wales. He was looking for a dog who could hunt for small but hardy wildlife such as foxes and badgers. The breed quickly gained popularity over in England and was especially loved by the rich and famous, including the British royals. Although the breed was popular in the early 1900’s, it’s now an extremely rare breed.

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 3 - Terriers


Section 2 : Small sized Terriers

Physical characteristics of the Sealyham Terrier

  • Sealyham Terrier
    Sealyham Terrier

    Adult size

    Female : Between 12 and 12 in

    Male : Between 12 and 12 in


    Female : Between 18 and 20 lb

    Male : Between 18 and 20 lb

    Coat colour

    Type of coat

    Eye colour



    While the Sealy is classed as a small dog, he’s definitely on the bigger side of the small breeds. His body is quite long and muscular, sturdy but set fairly low on the ground. His legs are short but robust, and his tail is medium in length. The head of the Sealyham Terrier is long and wide, with dark deep-set eyes, black noses, and big ears that are rounded at the tips.

    Good to know

    Sadly, the Sealy is an extremely rare breed and is scarily close to extinction. To find one, you’ll need to get in touch with a breeder and be prepared to wait.


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      As a cuddly and affectionate breed, the Sealy is sure to bring his family endless amounts of love and loyalty.

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      The Sealyham is often described as ‘clownish’ because of his love for play and entertaining. Expect plenty of playtime and laughs from this breed - he has a superb sense of humor!

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      This breed is generally mellower and calmer than other breeds, making him the perfect choice for Terrier lovers who’re seeking a less rowdy companion.

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      The Sealy is a very intelligent pooch who learns tricks and commands with ease. He will respond to a friend more than an authoritarian master.

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      As a terrier breed, the Sealyham Terrier loves hunting - in fact, that’s what he was bred to do! Whether it’s a bird, mouse, or rabbit, the Sealy loves to chase. Thankfully, early socialization can help the breed live peacefully alongside cats.

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      Fearful / wary of strangers

      The Sealy is generally affectionate and friendly, but can take some time to warm to strangers.

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      This is an independent breed which can often exhibit a stubborn and wilful streak. It’s essential to get a hold on training as early as possible, remaining firm and consistent. Once that is achieved, he will be very close and loyal to his master.

      Behaviour of the Sealyham Terrier

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        Tolerates solitude

        If a Sealyham Terrier is accustomed to being left home alone from a young age, he generally copes fine with some alone time. However, if it happens fast and without slow adjustment, the Sealy may suffer from separation anxiety.

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        Easy to train / obedience

        This breed, like most terries, is known to be a bit troublesome in the training department. Due to his independent nature, the Sealy requires firm and consistent leadership - otherwise, he’ll quickly try to get the upper hand. Positive reinforcement is the best method, so use plenty of healthy treats and praise.

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        The Sealy only really barks when necessary.

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        Tendency to run away

        With a strong prey drive and a natural instinct to dig, the Sealyham is likely to run off without notice. Make sure your garden is extremely secure and keep the dog on a lead around wildlife and small animals, at least until your Sealy is extremely well-trained and socialized.

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        The Sealyham is a skilled digger, capable of causing chaos in any garden. If left alone for too long or bored, the Sealy may become yappy and dig excessively.

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        Greedy / Gluttony

        He can be extremely possessive over food. As ever, treats are an excellent motivator for training.

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        Guard dog

        Although small, the Sealy is bold and alert, unafraid to alert his owners of intruders. He makes a great watchdog.

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        First dog

        The Sealyham Terrier can be a challenge to train and is best placed with an owner who has experience of training terriers or other independent breeds. However, if a first-time dog owner has plenty of time to dedicate to training and socialization, the Sealy could make a fine first-time canine companion.

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          Sealyham Terrier in a flat

          This is an adaptable breed who will cope in a flat or apartment providing he gets walked regularly. Gardens should be well-secured.

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          Need for exercise / Sporty

          Despite being less active than other Terrier breeds, the Sealyham Terrier still loves an adventure and relishes the chance to stretch his legs. Ideally, this breed will get two half an hour walks every day, as this will keep him calmer within the home.

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          Travelling / easy to transport

          The Sealy is a small breed with a calm temperament, making him easy to transport.


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            Sealyham Terrier and cats

            The Sealy will tolerate cats well if socialized with them from a young age - otherwise, it may prove a little difficult.

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            Sealyham Terrier and dogs

            It has been known for unsocialized Sealies to act aggressively to other dogs. Make sure you get your puppy out and about around other dogs regularly.

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            Sealyham Terrier and children

            The Sealy is playful, sweet, and lively at the same time. He is the perfect companion for animal-friendly children.

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            Sealyham Terrier and the elderly

            The Sealyham Terrier could make a fine companion for an elderly person, providing they have the knowledge or means to train and socialize it extensively.



            Expect to pay between £500 for Non-KC Registered dogs, and £1100 for KC-Registered dogs. Looking after a dog of this size typically costs between £50 to £80 a month, including food, medical/insurance, and incidental expenses.


            The Sealy’s beautiful, wiry coat needs brushing 2-3 times per week - otherwise, you’ll be faced with an endless mine of knots! Many owners of this breed choose to have their dog regularly clipped to make the coat more manageable. Remember to brush the Sealy’s teeth and check and clip its nails every 2-3 weeks, as well.


            This is a low-shedding breed.

            Nutrition of the Sealyham Terrier

            The Sealy will do fine on a high-quality dog food formula which is appropriate for its age (puppy, adult or senior).

            Health of the Sealyham Terrier

            Life expectancy

            The Sealy is prone to some minor eye conditions but is generally a healthy breed, which lives on average for 13 years.

            Strong / robust

            Despite his small size, the Sealyham Terrier is a fairly strong and robust pooch.

            Withstand heat

            The Sealy has a thick double coat, meaning he can overheat in the sunshine. Provide access to fresh, cold water and shade. Most Sealy’s would simply prefer to retreat indoors in hot weather.

            Withstand cold

            The Sealy copes well in colder temperatures but should still be kept indoors - this isn’t an outdoor-living dog.

            Tendency to put on weight

            This breed can be prone to gaining weight if under-exercised. He’s often known as the ‘couch potato of terriers’ and needs encouragement to remain active, especially in his elder years. If the Sealy becomes overweight, he’ll be highly prone to back problems.

            Common illnesses

            • Retinal dysplasia

            • Lens luxations

            • Glaucoma

            • Chondrodysplasia

            • Luxating patella

            • Intervertebral disk disease

            • Deafness

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