By Macy Gen Veterinary AssistantMacy Gen Last updated: 27th October 2022

Welsh Terrier


Macy Gen Veterinary Assistant Macy Gen
Last updated: 27th October 2022

The Welsh terrier deriving its origin from the Wales region of the United Kingdom is a high-spirited alert breed, primarily developed to hunt rodents, fox, and badger. Sturdy, robust and compact like most terrier breeds, their significant body features include a rectangular head, brown, almond-shaped eyes, V-shaped ears folded above the skull, strong, square muzzle, and a high set tail. Having a free and effortless gait, they are versatile dogs good for the city as well as country-side life.

Welsh Terrier Pictures

Quick Description

Common nicknamesWelshie, WT
Pronunciationwelsh TAIR-ee-uhr
ColorBlack and tan; black grizzle and tan; grizzle and tan
Breed typePurebred
Average lifespan/ life expectancy12 to 15 years
Size (How big do they get)Medium
Height Approximately 15 inches
Weight14 to 20 pounds
Litter size4 to 6 puppies
Behavioral CharacteristicsHappy, lively, energetic, intelligent, playful, loyal, devoted
Good with childrenYes
Climate CompatibilityPrefers cold climate
Do they barkComparatively less than other terrier breeds, only to alert
Shedding (Does it shed)Minimal
Competitive Registration Qualification/ InformationAKC, FCI, ANKC, NZKC, UKC, CKC, KC (UK)

Video of Welsh Terrier Puppies

History and Origin

Though the actual time of their development is unknown, paintings and several depictions mention their period of origin to be in the 17th century. Because of its flexible nature, it was employed to hunt badgers, otters, and foxes. It had the tenacity and courage to dig into the badger’s den and kill it instantly. Speculated to derive its ancestry from the Black and Tan Terrier (with a broken coat), Lakeland Terrier, Airedale Terrier and the Irish Terrier, these dogs were initially known by several names like Black and Tan, Old English or Wire-Haired terrier. However, after 1885 they were classified in the group of Welsh Terrier by the Kennel Club of the United Kingdom. The Welsh Terrier Association formed in 1923 is the only club in the U.K. developed for the wellbeing of this breed. The foundation sire of the present day Welsh Terrier is Dick Turpin, who rose to popularity in 1888 after winning a lot of shows. Their popularity in the United States started spreading by the beginning of the 20th century. The WTCA (Welsh Terrier Club of America) was established in 1900 as AKC’s member club to support the betterment of this breed.

Welsh Terrier Mixes

Temperament and Personality

Cheerful and energetic, fun loving and affectionate… these traits define the Welshie as a perfect family pet devoted towards its family, loving to dwell happily with its kith and kin.

They do get along well with children, being their perfect playmates, though supervision could be required when your Welshie is interacting with the little ones.

Being alert in nature like all other Terrier breeds, they serve as great watchdogs, intimating their masters about the arrival of an intruder into their domain or even of any unusual sight or sound they see or hear.

However, because of their Terrier descent, your WT might have a mind of its own and also be quick enough in deciding about a particular action.

Though they may be a little mellow than other Terrier breeds, their equation with other dogs may not be pleasant enough unless they are brought up with them. Keeping smaller pets with them could be risky since these hunting dogs could pounce upon the little creatures in no time.



These breeds have high exercise requirements, needing to be worked out for an hour to channelize their increased energy levels positively. Take them for a long walk or even a jog on a regular basis and also give your Welshie sufficient playtime in a fenced yard. Though they are better suited to live in an open space than small apartments, they can thrive indoors if they are given their daily dose of activities.


Though they do not shed much, these dogs need to be combed every alternate day to keep their coat in good shape.

Since they have a broken coat, it needs to be stripped twice or thrice a year with your hand or a stripping knife. You can even appoint a professional groomer to do this task for you. This would help in maintaining the overall coat health and also minimize chances of matt and tangle formation. You can also clip their coat occasionally, but in such cases, the old hair would remain within the skin follicles and not be removed entirely.

Bathe your Welshie only when the need arises for the same. Trimming its nails on a monthly basis is essential as they are prone to suffer from onychodystrophy (a disorder in the growth of nails) leading to brittle and weak nails. Brushing its teeth alongside cleaning its eyes and ears are other grooming instructions to be followed to keep infections at bay.

Health Problems

Though they have a good physique and a moderately long lifespan, some of the common health issues they are known to suffer from include allergies (resulting in an itchy skin), hip dysplasia, Legge-Calve-Perthes disease, head shaking, eye problems (glaucoma, lense luxation) and hypothyroidism.


These breeds have average intelligence, ranking 53rd in the Intelligence of Dogs by Stanley Coren. However, they are apt in taking commands as well as following instructions, thus needing a skilled taskmaster to groom them properly.

  • Since they do not get along well enough with other pets, socializing them since the time they are puppies would help these dogs to mingle in a friendly way with other canines. Arrange for a puppy party at home where you may ask your friends to get along their dogs too. Taking your Welsh Terrier to a dog park though leashed would also be another way of helping him build a rapport with others.
  • Teach your Welsh Terrier puppy to walk on a leash since their instinct to chase could trigger any moment making them go after anything that is moving when taken outside. First get him used to his leash or harness by just keeping it casually at a particular place in the room. Once he begins to fiddle with it or shows interest in it casually put the leash over your dog. The moment you do so, give him one of his favorite goodies so that he can associate wearing the leash to getting a treat. Accustom him to wear it for a short span and gradually increase the duration. Let him walk inside the house first comfortably with the leash on and then take it out. Do not forget to award him after every milestone he achieves.


Good quality dry dog food is essential to keep your Welsh Terrier in good health. If you desire to add human food simultaneously to their diet make sure it is devoid of nuts, ice-cream, chocolates and junk stuff.

Interesting Facts

  • Eminent personalities like John. F Kennedy, Clement Attlee and King Edward VIII had Welsh Terrier as their pets.

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