By Avatar photoShiloh Nevada Last updated: 18th November 2022

Sealyham Terrier


Avatar photo Shiloh Nevada
Last updated: 18th November 2022

The Sealyham Terrier is a breed of terrier dogs that developed in Britain, officially in the mid-1800s. Though this small, AKC-recognized breed was earlier known for its working skills (especially hunting), it is now a relatively rare breed, and hence, not much common. They have an elongated body, a small, erect tail, and short but sturdy legs, making them stand very close to the ground level. Their eyes and nose tip are black, while the muzzle is somewhat long. The whole body and even parts of its pear-like face are covered with long, coarse hair.

Sealyham Terrier Pictures

Quick Description

Other Names/Nick NamesWelsh Border Terrier, Cowley Terrier
CoatDouble, dense, rough, long, water-resistant
ColorsPrimarily White, with Black, Blue, Brown, Cream, Yellow face markings (Breed Standard)
TypeTerrier, Working Dog, Companion Dog, Watchdog
Group (of Breed)Purebred
Lifespan11 to 15 years
WeightMale: 23-24 pounds;
Female: 18-22 pounds
Height (size)Small; 24-28 inches
Personality TraitsAlert, aggressive, independent, cheerful, loyal, stubborn, responsive
Litter Size3-6 puppies
Good with ChildrenYes
Good with PetsYes
Good for New/First-time OwnersYes
IntelligenceAverage (33.3% approx.)
Country of OriginUK
Time DevelopedMid-19th century
Competitive Registration/ Qualification InformationAKC, FCI, ANKC, CKC, KC (UK), NZKC, UKC
Breed Standard

Video: Sealyham Terrier Puppies Playing

History & Development

The documented history of the Sealyham Terrier begins from the middle of the 19th century. Before this period, there is only a few evidence of the existence of a white, long-sized, small terrier breed imported into Wales during the 15th century. This evidence received some acceptance since, Capt. John Edwardes took the initiative of developing the Sealyham Terrier. He belonged to the Edwardes family that is believed to have introduced the breed a few centuries back.

Nonetheless, between 1850 and 1891, Capt. Edwardes involved himself dedicatedly in developing it. Initially, this dog was used to control pests, and control vermins, especially badgers, as well as to hunt small game. Edwardes did not keep any record as to what breeds he implemented in the development of the Sealyham Terrier. Many believe that the breeds like Welsh Corgi, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, Bull Terrier, Wirehaired Fox Terrier, and the presently extinct White Cheshire Terrier all played their roles in its development.

Very soon, the Sealyham Terrier gained prominence for its promptness in encountering foxes, otters, and badgers, while its voguish appearance gained it the privilege of appearing in the dog shows, with its first appearance being in 1903.

In 1911, the Sealyham Terrier was recognized by the AKC. Soon after, the demand for this dog started to soar rapidly because of its hunting skills and extreme competitiveness in dog shows. It even got associated with the Hollywood stars and the British Royal Family. However, since the World War I, the popularity of this breed has somewhat declined with a significant drop in their numbers, though not on the verge of extinction. However, new breeders have also started to develop crosses with this terrier breed.

Temperament and Behavior

These well-mannered canines make a ‘magical bonding’ with their owners and family, emerging as excellent companion dogs. However, they are independent enough, doing fine when left alone.

Because of their innate hunting instinct, they are often seen digging and barking, and can even be quite vocal. This breed has a boisterous personality, loving to play and run around with family members. These terriers are completely safe for kids, though prefer staying reserved when strangers are around, that make them good watchdogs. If trained properly from puppyhood, they will learn to get along with other pets, including other dogs, birds, and cats.

This dog is one of the calmer terrier breeds and is suited for both country and city life. S. Terriers can make excellent working dogs, keeping the premises free from mice and rats.



A short to moderate walk every day and a game session should do the purpose. Allow it off leash if only you have a secured fenced area since they are prone to follow their nose.


Sealyhams have a double coat. While the outer coat is wiry and water resistant, the undercoat is dense. You should use a wire comb to brush them regularly, twice/thrice a week, to prevent matting. We should remember that, because these dogs stand low to the ground, they can catch dirt very quickly, especially in the muddy environment. You should also groom them by hand stripping so as to prevent the hair from becoming too smooth. You can consult a professional for clipping or haircut if you have no experience.

Health Problems

They do not have any major problem (nor has anything been officially declared by AKC), but they have sometimes been noticed to suffer from some minor diseases including retinal dysplasia, lens luxation, and seldom, deafness. Also, be aware of general dog health problems like allergies, bone issues, etc. Eye examination from time to time is good for them.


  • Teach your dog to keep barking under control. Just ignore it completely when it yells, and keep those things of motivation away from it. Engage it with lots of activities, also, teach it the ‘quiet’ command with a few of its favorite foodstuffs as rewards for good behavior.
  • When you are out for walks, don’t just move through the greens. Take your dog for walks through the busy streets where it can see new faces, others’ pets, or even feral animals (like squirrels, lizards or birds), and get accustomed to different kinds of sounds and scenes, all at the same time. You can also take your dog to the dog store or malls, rather than just to the dog park. All this should help it get rid of much of its inherent shyness about strangers and other new things.
  • If your dog is prone to digging, never scold or punish it. Rather, fix one single digging spot for your dog so as to make its digging instinct and the digging spot synonymous to each other, rather than developing the actual purpose of the habit. You can also keep things of curiosity and fun toys spread across your garden so as to keep your dog diverted from the act. Give it treats when it finds out new toys you previously kept hidden.


Stick to the same diet schedule as small terriers. High-quality dry kibbles are best. The quantity is 3/4 to 1.5 cups daily.

Interesting Facts

  • The AKC ranking of this breed is 163.
  • England’s King George V and celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor, Alfred Hitchcock, Agatha Christie, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davies, Cary Grant owned this dog.
  • One of the Sealyham Terriers belonging to Alfred Hitchcock appeared in one of his 1941 films ‘Suspicion’.
  • Recently, dog enthusiasts like Harry Parsons and his partner, Gail Westcott, have been working dedicatedly to bring back the breed to the limelight.
  • A male Sealyham Terrier called Ch. ‘Efbe’s Hidalgo At Goodspice’ (AKA Charmin) (born May 19, 2004) won the ‘Best in Show’ at the American Kennel Club National Championship (2007), and many other competitions.
  • Some experts say that banning tail docking has reduced their ability as working dogs.
  • In 2016, only 49 puppies have been registered by the AKC.

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