Welsh Terrier

Recommended for: Families
Maintenance Level: Medium
Lifespan: 10-14 years
Loyal, independent
Health Risk:
This breed has an around average probability of having health issues in its lifetime, hence it is one of the more affordable breeds to insure.
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Breed Overview

The Welsh Terrier (a.k.a. Welshie) is a small-medium dog similar in appearance to the Airedale Terrier and some claim it is the oldest breed native to the UK in existence today.

The Welsh Terrier has a double coat: a dense, wiry topcoat to repel water and a soft, short undercoat. Though born solid black, all Welshies eventually become a tan and black coloured coat which does not shed but requires brushing at least once a week to remove dead hair and prevent matting.

According to the breed standard, the maximum height allowed for Welsh Terriers is 39 cm, and they should weigh between 9 and 9.5 kg. The lifespan of the Welshie is 10 to 14 years.

Like all breeds originally bred to be working dogs, the Welsh Terrier is an active dog who needs a daily walk and lots of playtime.

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Personality and Temperament

Welsh Terriers are smart little dogs who are easy to train and fast learners if taught by a strong, consistent leader. They can have an independent streak, which may make housebreaking a bit difficult, but once trained the Welshie is a loyal and devoted companion.

They are very loving and patient dogs who love children and can withstand some roughhousing. However, it is important to teach children how to behave around and interact with dogs – teach them never to approach a dog while it is sleeping or eating, and never leave young children unattended with the dog.

When raised with them, Welshies can get along with other dogs, but remember that terriers can be aggressive towards dogs and they view small pets like rabbits and rodents as prey.

Common Welsh Terrier Diseases & Conditions

Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

  • Allergies. The Welsh Terrier can be prone to certain allergies, including food allergies, contact allergies and inhalant allergies. Treatment usually involves removal of the allergen from the dog’s environment or medication.
  • Epilepsy. Possibly inherited, epilepsy is a neurological disorder which causes seizures that can manifest themselves in unusual behaviour, dizziness, rigidity and fainting spells. Though it is frightening to watch, the prognosis for affected dogs is usually quite good, and treatment is available.
  • Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that cause the optic nerve damage, causing black spots in the eye and causing vision to decrease over time. It’s difficult to determine whether your Welsh Terrier is affected by glaucoma until the later stages where the condition is more severe. Symptoms are not easily visible or noticeable for the owner. If the eye is affected with glaucoma, it may be red, swollen, sore, or become particularly cloudy in appearance. See your vet if you suspect your Welsh Terrier may require treatment.
  • Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough of the thyroid hormone. Symptoms include epilepsy, loss of hair, fatigue and patchy skin. It is treatable with medication and a special diet.

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Welsh Terrier Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance


The Welsh Terrier is believed to be one of the oldest purebred terriers, and it is thought that the modern Welshie is not much different from its ancestors, bred several centuries ago. It was originally known as the “Black and Tan Wire-Haired Terrier”, and it is probable that it shares ancestors with the now-extinct Black and Tan Terrier.

The breed was first classified as “Welsh Terrier” in England in 1885.

Welshies were bred strong and tough to go to ground or into caves after hunts and retrieve game, often having to fight off otters and badgers.

They made their way to the US in 1888, and by 1901 were well established in the country. As of 2013 the Welsh Terrier was ranked 104th out of the 180 breeds recognised by the AKC.

Welsh Terrier Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance

Welsh Terrier Facts!

  • Welshies like to be in high places and have been known to climb onto tables and other high furniture.
  • King Edward VIII, JFK, Former UK Prime Minister Clement Attlee and Armie Hammer have all owned Welsh Terriers.
  • The word “terrier” originates from “terra”, the Latin word for “earth”, referring to their hunting abilities.
  • The Welsh Terrier is one of the few breeds of dogs that actually sweats. This means they can take on a noticeable body odour and may need a bath more frequently than other breeds.

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Welsh Terriers, Perth: https://www.facebook.com/WelshTerriersPerthWesternAustralia

Welsh Terrier Club (UK): http://www.welshterrierclub.co.uk/

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