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Adopt a Welsh Terrier

Welsh Terrier Dog Breed

Picture: Yann Arthus-Bertrand/Corbis



Area of origin:


Original function:

otter, fox, badger, and rat hunting

Average size of male:

Ht: 18-19, Wt: 35-40

Average size of female:

Ht: 17-18, Wt: 30-35

Other names:


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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

Welsh Terrier Dogs Available on Petfinder Right Now

See more adoptable Welsh Terrier dogs available on Petfinder

Welsh Terrier Dog Temperament

The Welsh, although more mild-mannered than many terriers, is still playful and mischievous enough to provide plenty of entertainment and challenges, yet he is calm enough to be a reliable house pet. He is independent, inquisitive and sensitive. He needs daily exercise in a safe area. He may dig and bark.

Welsh Terrier Dog Care

The Welsh terrier needs a moderate walk on leash every day or an invigorating play session. If allowed to run off leash, he should be in a safe area because he tends to hunt. The Welsh does best when allowed access to house and yard. His wiry jacket needs combing two to three times weekly, plus shaping every three months. Shaping for pets is by clipping or stripping.

Welsh Terrier Dog Health

Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: lens luxation
Occasionally seen: cataracts, patellar luxation, distichiasis
Suggested tests: eye, (knee)
Life span: 12-14 years

Interested in the history of the Welsh Terrier dog breed?

One of only two terriers native to Wales, the Welsh terrier probably descended from the old black and tan rough terrier that was popular in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. By the late 1700s, a distinctive strain,” known as Ynysfor, was running with otterhounds in North Wales. At the same time, a similar dog, the "Old English broken-haired" terrier, was being bred in northern England. The two strains were so similar that when they began to be shown, the same dog could compete successfully as either breed, and they were classified together. Eventually, they all became known as Welsh terriers, regardless of their origin. After all, both strains had shared similar backgrounds and were used to hunt otter, fox and badger. In 1886, the English Kennel Club recognized the breed. The early dogs were too rough to be competitive in the show ring, and breeders sought to improve the Welsh's lines not only by selective breeding but also with crosses to the racier wire fox terrier. The result was a dog that in some ways resembles a miniature Airedale terrier. He became a competitive show dog, but for some reason he has never attained the heights of show ring success that similar small, long-legged terriers have achieved.

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