Welsh Terrier

Written by: Jamie
Updated: July 6, 2020

Keen to learn about the Welsh Terrier? Then check out this guide to find out all about their personality traits, health, trainability, and more!

Welsh Terrier dog standing

The Welsh Terrier ‘Welshie’ is a dog that was bred to hunt smaller animals such as badgers, otters, and foxes. Originating from Wales, this confident and inquisitive dog is one of the oldest breeds of Terrier’s still around today!

They make great family dogs but you must make sure to meet their exercise and grooming requirements.

Height: 15-15.5 inches for males, 14 inches for females
Weight: Around 8 kilos for a female, 10 kilos for a male
Lifespan: A Welsh Terrier’s lifespan is around 12-15 years
Pedigree Breed: Yes, this breed is recognized as a KC pedigree

Positives & Negatives of the Welsh Terrier

No matter which dog you decide to choose, it is always important to check the background and behavioral expectations of the breed. You must assess whether the dog will be able to fit into your home environment.

Below are the positives and negatives relating to the Welsh Terrier.


  •  Their playful, friendly personality makes this breed great with kids and the elderly. They are also a good choice for first time owners.
  •  Can be left alone for around 5-8 hours.
  •  Barely sheds any fur.
  •  The Welsh Terrier is an easily trainable breed.


  • Their coat needs regular grooming attention.
  • Still has the instinct to chase and hunt smaller animals.
  •  Likes to dig holes and bark.
  •  Needs regular and consistent exercise.

Welsh Terrier dog sitting


Welsh Terriers are now considered rare, with the Kennel Club registering 376 puppies bred over the entire year of 2019. Although they weigh in on the small side, their personality is incredibly strong.

Welshie’s make great companions and are easily adaptable to any lifestyle or home environment changes. They suit active families and are fantastic with older children, they also love cuddles and affection.

They have the desire to hunt, bark, and dig holes wherever they deem necessary, so it is important to focus on training before this becomes the norm.

Welsh Terriers aren’t as aggressive compared to other Terrier breeds, but it is still important to socialize them from an early age. Their thick and wiry black and tan coat rarely sheds fur, but still needs regular maintenance to prevent knots and tangles.

With regular exercise, training, grooming, and lots of love and attention, you will end up with a very well-behaved pooch, not to mention a loyal forever companion.

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The Welsh Terrier is considered to be one of the oldest breeds of Terrier known previously as The Old English Black and Tan Terrier.

They were officially recorded by the Kennel Club in 1887 in the UK for registration and 1885 in the USA, however, paintings show the Welshie dates back much further.

It is believed the Welsh Terrier could even date back to 1450. A Welsh poet described “a good black and red bitch to choke the polecat”

The features of this breed have stayed the same with little change over the centuries. They were first bred in the 1700s to run across the Welsh mountains and valleys hunting rodents, foxes, badgers and otters, whilst often working alongside hounds. Their size makes them nimble enough to fit through tunnels and chase out prey.

In the 20th century, the Welsh Terrier was bred for dog shows but since then, the breed has slowly begun dying out, officially being labelled rare by the Kennel Club. Its intelligence allows the Welshie to excel in dog agility.

Welsh Terrier resting


The Welsh Terrier temperament differs from other Terriers. They are calmer and friendlier with other dogs, but if challenged, they won’t back down, so socialization as a puppy is important.

The Welsh Terrier size does not matter when they feel the need to defend. This pooch loves to be involved in everything, they like to please their owner and are completely loyal companions to their forever owners.

They are playful and energetic so an active family would suit this breed perfectly but still hold the instinct to chase and hunt so it is important to supervise these behaviors.

Cuddles and affection is adored by this breed, so expect regular attention from your loyal companion.

This breed loves to dig holes and have the tendency to bark… a lot! So, this is another area that will need to be focused on when training.

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Are Welsh Terriers Good With Strangers?

The Welsh Terrier is naturally curious and reserved when meeting strangers. Like most dogs, it is the environment and upbringing you give your puppy which will influence its behavior around strangers.

Generally, if the puppy has been introduced to new people regularly growing up then you will have a friendly pooch.

Are Welsh Terriers Good With Other Dogs?

The Welshie is calmer compared to other Terrier breeds, but won’t back down, after all they used to fight to the death when catching prey. If this breed lacks training and social skills then dog aggression will become an issue.

If trained correctly and socialized from a young age, this pooch will be friendly towards other dogs. Their high energy allows them to play nicely with younger dogs.

Is a Welsh Terrier Good With Children?

Overall yes, a Welshie’s playful and energetic personality go great with children, making them the perfect family pet. Although this breed does have a high prey drive, this does not mean they are automatically aggressive to children, in fact quite the opposite when it comes to the Welsh Terrier.

The breed isn’t known to nip however, it is still important to keep an eye on them around younger children as they could knock them over accidentally.

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Minor health problems such as glaucoma and lens luxation may occur, veterinarians, therefore, recommend eye check-ups.

This breed is also prone to allergies, some pooches may be affected by atopy or worst-case scenario, seizures.

Poor development could cause hip dysplasia in this breed, leading to arthritis. This is why regular exercise is so important for this breed.

Dry eye known to professionals as Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is a condition where the pooch doesn’t produce enough tears which could eventually cause damage to the surface of the cornea.

If you are worried about your pooches health, screening programmes are available through the British Veterinary Association or the Kennel Club.

The Canine Health Schemes allow breeders to view any inherited diseases, so you can always check if this has been completed before purchasing your loyal companion.

Recommended Next: Learn all about the adorable Silken Windhound. It’s a great family pet that just loves people.


Although small, this breed will still need roughly over an hours worth of exercise each day. It is also best for a Welsh Terrier to have regular access to a garden.

Good exercise and grooming is the number one way to keep your pet healthy and in good shape. Your pooch should be taken to a variety of new places and terrain, as an inquisitive breed this will keep them interested.

Trips to the beaches, woods and forest areas are a perfect place to take your pooch. Do not let them off the lead unless they have good recall as they could get lost when chasing smaller animals.


Welshie’s were used to track and kill smaller animals so this breed certainly doesn’t lack intelligence. A Welsh Terrier can be easily trained but you should never use harsh techniques to teach this breed, as this will just alienate your pet.

Their trainability is what makes this breed so great at competing in dog agility. They learn quickly, yet they can still be mischievous and stubborn so it is recommended to take intervals.

They may even try to pull the wool over your eyes to distract you from the training!

The Welsh Terrier is easily trainable compared to other breeds, which makes this pooch a great choice for first time owners.


Welsh Terrier grooming is important even though they rarely shed fur, regular brushing is needed in order to maintain your pooches coat.

The wiry coat allows knots and tangles to develop much quicker than other coats seen on different breeds so it is recommended to brush and maintain their coat around 2-3 times per week.

Brush the coat clearing knots, removing some of the undercoat then clip back the pads with a size #30 or #40 blade.

Maintain the ear canal with regular cleaning, if your pet will let you, remove some of the hair found around the entrance of the canal.

When conducting a sanitary trim be sure to use the size #10 blade. The same blade size should also be used around the ears and facial area.

The body and tail area should be used with a size #4 blade and a snap on comb size #1 should be used for the legs. You should then find some basic grooming scissors to trim outstanding areas around the eyes, paws and ears.

This breed perspires through sweat glands unlike others, therefore it is important to groom regularly to prevent any foul smells from the coat.

About the Author

Hi, I'm Jamie! I've always been around dogs and now writing about them is an absolute joy.
Read more about my story here.
Reach me at Jamie@woofbarkgrowl.co.uk or connect with me on LinkedIn below.

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