Choosing a Welsh terrier

The Welsh terrier looks like a miniature Airedale terrier and is the best mannered and least quarrelsome of all the terriers.

History and Origin

As the name implies, the Welsh terrier was developed in Wales as an all around working dog several hundred years ago. This terrier was used to corner quarry or force it out of its holes and caves to an area easier for the hunter to shoot. He was also used in packs with hounds. To do this, the breed had to be bred for courage, especially since the fox, otter and badger were popular prey. Until the late 1800s, the Welsh terrier enjoyed popularity in Wales but wasn't known in the rest of the world. In 1884, the first Welsh terrier was shown in England and eventually imported to the United States. It was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1888 as a member of the terrier group.

Appearance and Size

The Welsh terrier is a wire haired rugged looking terrier. He has a rectangular head with a mustache, beard and bushy eyebrows. The ears are V-shaped and fold forward and the tail is docked. The coat of the Welsh terrier is wiry and harsh. The color of the coat is most often black and tan with the jacket black. In some dogs, the jacket is grizzle.

The adult Welsh terrier stands around 15 inches at the shoulder and weighs about 20 to 21 pounds.


The Welsh terrier is an active and playful dog and when compared to other terriers, he is the least quarrelsome.

Home and Family Relations

The Welsh terrier is an affectionate, playful and energetic dog that loves being with his family. This dog does best with an active family of older children. Some may be snappy if not well socialized.

The Welsh terrier can do well in an apartment as long as he is taken on daily walks. They should not be allowed off leash since they love to chase things without thinking of their own safety. They can do well with other family pets if raised with them but may still chase smaller pets.


The Welsh terrier can be trained with patience and persistence and some have excelled in agility and performing tricks. Some may be difficult to house train.

Special Concerns

As with other terriers, the Welsh terrier may become destructive and dig if left alone for too long. The coat of the Welsh terrier needs to be groomed to maintain its condition.

Common Diseases and Disorders

The Welsh terrier is a hardy breed that has few known diseases.

Life Span

The average life span of the Welsh terrier is approximately 10 to 12 years.

We realize that each dog is unique and may display other characteristics. This profile provides generally accepted breed information only.