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Welsh Terrier

Country/Date of Origin: Wales/1500s

The recorded history of the Welsh Terrier goes back to the 1500s. By the 1700s it was customarily used with fox hunting packs in the northern part of Wales. The long legged terrier was able to keep up with the horses but was still small enough to go after fox or badger below the ground. Show classes were offered for the Welsh Terrier at English shows in the 1880s. By 1901 there were enough of the breed in America to offer classes for them at American Kennel Club shows.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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Old English Terrier, Black and Tan Wire Haired Terrier

AKC Group: Terrier

Breed Club: Welsh Terrier Club of America

Rescue Club: Welsh Terrier Club of America Rescue

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Body Type:

  • A medium-sized, rough coated terrier with a distinctive patterning of the coat. Often confused with the Lakeland Terrier, the Welsh can be distinguished by its broader head and sparser facial hair
  • Height: 14-15 inches
  • Weight: 20-21 pounds
  • Button ears are not altered
  • Erect tail is docked


  • Active and playful, the Welsh Terrier is a charmer
  • Very much a one-family dog
  • Less volatile than the Lakeland or the Wire Haired Fox Terrier, the Welsh will not back down from trouble if he finds it


  • The workman-like coat is weather resistant and double. The out hairs are hard and wiry and the undercoat soft
  • The preferred color is black and tan but black, grizzle and tan is also permitted
  • Requires professional grooming

Health Concerns:

  • Generally hardy
  • Glaucoma or lens luxation are problems in the breed
  • Tends to get "hot spots" or other allergic skin conditions
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • Puppies are usually born solid black. The dark color recedes quickly and the blanketed, black and tan pattern should be visible by the time the pup is three or four months old
  • More level headed than most terriers
  • A good children's playmate
  • Welsh Terriers are excellent outfielders in a ball game
  • Relative rarity of the Welsh Terrier may make a puppy hard to find in some parts of the country

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