The Welsh Terrier

The Welsh Terrier’s exact origin date is not entirely known, but judging from ancient paintings he is a very old breed and native to Wales. Welsh Terriers were originally called “Old English Terriers” or “Black-and-Tan Wire Haired Terriers.” They were mostly used as a sporting dog and excelled in hunting badger, fox, and otter.

The Welsh Terrier was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1888.

Sizing up

  • Weight: 20 to 22 lbs.
  • Height: 15 to 15.5 inches
  • Coat: Dense, wiry
  • Color: Black with reddish-tan markings
  • Life expectancy: 10 to 14 years

What’s the Welsh Terrier like?
The Welsh Terrier is outgoing, playful, and affectionate. He enjoys a good chase; you will often find him darting off after small critters so if he’s off his leash make sure it’s in an enclosed area. He is friendly with other dogs and is even patient around young children as long as they’re respectful. He is very protective of his family making him a great watchdog.

Welshies are particularly difficult to housebreak so you should begin training sessions the day you bring one home. He is able to learn bad habits at an early age.

When it comes to grooming, the Welshie requires a little extra attention. He’ll need a good comb through at least twice a week and his coat will need to be stripped about every three months. 

The Welsh Terrier is generally a healthy breed with a few concerns to watch for:


  • A condition that clouds the lens of the eye and in some cases can lead to blindness. Purebreds have a higher chance of developing cataracts than mixed breeds.

Lens luxation

  • Occurs when the eye lens becomes dislocated  

Patellar luxation

  • A knee condition where one or both kneecaps can accidentally slip out of place

Takeaway points

  • The Welsh Terrier needs daily exercise.
  • The Welsh Terrier is great with children.
  • The Welsh Terrier can be an excellent watchdog.
  • The Welsh Terrier should be trained right away.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Reviewed on: 
Friday, January 2, 2015