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Welsh Terrier - History, Appearance and Health

Terrier Galés - Historia, Apariencia y Salud

Lobo Azul |

Terriers are a most curious group of breeds where we can find everything from pet dogs that spend the day sleeping on the couch, to animals that are the terror of rats and even cats.

Within this second type is the Welsh terrier , a dog that appears very strong and we know as soon as we see it that it would be able to clean a home of rodents in a short time.

  • Size : small, 37 to 37 cm, making it ideal for living in an apartment
  • Weight : between 7 and 9 kilos, keeping a good proportion with its size
  • Hair type : very hard, as if it were made of wire. It is very dense, protecting your skin very well
  • Character : He is very happy and sometimes a bit aggressive with dogs. He can be a little nervous and does not get along well with other pets.
  • Health : iron, as in all terriers that have been selected to work for years
  • Life expectancy : about 13 years

History of the Welsh Terrier

The area in which it originated is clear if we look at its name, and it is believed that its most direct ancestor was the black and tan wire-haired terrier, which was widespread throughout Great Britain two centuries ago.

This is just a theory, since as with the vast majority of races, unless its origin has been documented, it is almost impossible to know it exactly.

What we do know is that already in the 18th century, in North Wales there was a terrier very similar to the one there is now , and in fact it is often said to be the oldest breed in the United Kingdom in a series of investigations about the country. .

In the 18th century it was a dog that was used to hunt otters, foxes, badgers and all types of burrowing animals, as is the case with a good part of the terriers, whose origin is underground, in the galleries of other animals.

We had to wait until well into the 19th century, in 1886, for the English Kennel Club to recognize the breed , although after this it continued to be crossed with fox terriers.

It seems that the intention was to create a dog that was as stylized as possible, turning the Welsh terrier into a mini-sized Airedale terrier, since it looks very similar to the largest terrier that exists.

Right now he is a companion dog, away from his initial work, although he is hardly seen outside of Wales and the United Kingdom, being more numerous in exhibitions than on the street.

It is not going through its best moment, since only 300 puppies are registered a year , so its long-term survival is threatened, something that we hope will be solved, since losing a breed is a tragedy.

History of the Welsh Terrier

Appearance of the Welsh Terrier

As soon as we see the Welsh terrier we realize that we are looking at a strong and muscular dog , a compact animal that is capable of anything and has great energy.

This is helped by the fact that it is very square, having a height at the withers almost identical to the length of the body, which makes it a very functional animal that is unlikely to suffer from bone problems.

It has a wide head with triangular ears, but perhaps what stands out most about its head are its eyes, which show us a happy and brave look, like a rogue and without giving the impression of being aggressive.

The tail is no longer amputated and is carried erect, somewhat curved, and the hair is made up of two layers, as occurs in many terriers. The exterior is very hard and is responsible for protecting it from field attacks, such as rain or punctures from plants, while the interior is dense and similar to wool, preventing it from getting cold.

Its appearance in the photos is not completely natural and if we want it to look like that we will have to go to the hairdresser in order to have it shaped, which will be black and tan or a combination of tan with a somewhat duller black. , pulling towards grey.


The Welsh terrier cannot hide its origins, so its behavior is similar to that of other terriers, although in this case its owners say that it has mellowed quite a bit.

He tolerates training very well because he is very smart, but it is advisable not to tire him out with very long sessions, so you will have to take him somewhere where nothing will distract him and teach him in very short periods.

The Welsh terrier can show aggression with other dogs, but never with people and it has a very strong hunting instinct, as is logical, since it continues to remember its origins as a burrowing dog.

This means that it will chase small animals until it catches them, and that it can be quarrelsome with both other dogs and cats, so it may not be the best breed if we want it to live with more pets.

In order to ensure that these problems do not appear, or are mild, there is no choice but to socialize him very well from a young age, making him live with other animals and thus get used to their company.

It is not a dog suitable for an apartment, since it has a tendency to bark a lot, and if we have it in a garden it will dig holes. If we don't mind that, he will be one of the best dogs if we like to go out into the countryside daily and do activities in nature.

Welsh Terrier Health

He has excellent health, as could not be the case when it comes to a terrier. Its only weak point is its eyes, since it has a genetic predisposition to glaucoma, although it is possible to do tests to find out if our dog is prone to suffering from this disease.

For the rest, he will settle for routine visits to the veterinarian, in order to have him vaccinated and dewormed.

Welsh Terrier Health


Feeding is not a problem and it is enough to purchase a feed for small dogs , which comes with the appropriate size of kibble, which is very important, as it makes the dog chew its food well.

As always, we must buy the best feed we can afford , going to premium brands that we do not find in supermarkets, but only in specialized stores.

There are specific feeds for some terriers such as the Jack Russell , of a similar size, but it does not have to be a specialized feed for terriers, and in fact it is more of a publicity stunt than anything else.

Care of the Welsh Terrier

Among the care that must be given to the Welsh Terrier is walking, at least an hour a day, loose and better if it can be in a rural area where it has freedom.

He has a huge amount of energy, which never seems to run out and a trick to calm him down is to take him to an area where he can swim, as he loves it. Here you have to be careful, choosing places with little depth that we can reach to take it, as it can go too far into the water.

The hair must also be taken care of and we must not be fooled by its rustic appearance, it is advisable to brush its hair with a special comb for hard hair at least a couple of times a week .

Feeding the Welsh Terrier

One of the characteristics of his hair is that it does not fall out, so he has to go to the hairdresser two or three times a year in order to have it cut and given the shape to which we are all accustomed, helping him to get through times of extreme heat like summer better.

If we do not have experience with dogs, or have not owned any terrier, it would be advisable for us to go with him to a training school , to have a professional educator work with him and to be given the first guidelines for instructing him.

It is said that he is one of the least stubborn terriers, but it is advisable to keep him under control from a very young age, so that he knows the limits that he should never cross when he is in our presence or with other dogs.

Additionally, in some of these centers they have Agility tracks , where we can enter and have a little fun with our Welsh terrier, with the obstacles of the mini breeds, being a good way for him to burn off energy while we do some sport.

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