welsh terrier

The Welsh Terrier, also known as the Old English Terrier, comes from Wales. It is part of the AKC/UKC, Terrier Group. This breed came into existence during the 1700’s and was used in fox hunts and to catch badgers.

Brief History

The Welsh Terrier has fierce jaws and good digging skills. They were most commonly used to dig up badger lairs, but also as companion dogs. The Welsh Terrier first arrived in the U.S during the 19th century. Two older dog breeds — the Old English Black and the Tan Terrier, are believed to be related to the Welsh Terrier.

Physical Features

The Welsh Terrier is a compact and sturdy dog breed. They’re typically medium in size with a slightly rugged look. They also have a rectangular head with a square muzzle and a coarse, wiry coat. Don’t let the size fool you: though compact, their muzzles are quite strong. Welsh Terriers have a black square nose and a docked tail. They have V-shaped ears which are always folded forward. Typically, their legs, underbody and head are tan in color, with a jacket in black or grizzle.

Average Height:

18-21 inches

Average Weight:

20-28 pounds

Life Expectancy:

10-14 years


The Welsh Terrier is friendly and outgoing. They tend to be on the feisty side with unique quirks. That being said, the Welsh Terrier is notably easy to train and game for new activities. This dog breed is known for showing intelligence and self-restraint. The Welsh Terrier is a friendly and amiable dog breed that enjoys people — especially children — and other animals. Although the Welsh Terrier has a pronounced prey instinct, when positively trained and socialized, is one of the easiest dogs to live with. They are capable of deep companionship and are immensely loyal.

The Welsh Terrier does best with lots of exercise and a fenced and secure garden or backyard. This is a very sensitive dog breed that needs tons of positive reinforcement and does well with lots of attention and affection. Care must be given to ensure that all fencing in backyards and gardens is secure, as they do have a tendency to dig. The Welsh Terrier does well with lots of off-leash running. They enjoy playing Frisbee and ball.

Special Needs

The Welsh Terrier needs an active home. This breed does well with plenty of regular exercise, positive dog training and socialization. The Welsh Terrier breed needs to be socialized from puppyhood and should never be isolated.This breed bonds closely with all family members, including children.

The Welsh Terrier needs to interact with people so as not to become bored and mischievous. Positive training needs to tailor to the specific temperament of this breed. Because of their high-energy, Welsh Terriers typically do best with an experienced dog parent that can be firm, yet kind. Interactive dog toys are a plus for the Welsh Terrier. If excessive barking is a problem, food dispensing dog toys help with boredom.

All family members need to be on the same page with positive dog training methods. Although it may be difficult to not spoil this pup, it’s for the best. The Welsh Terrier should live indoors, but may have housetraining issues if not trained positively beginning at puppyhood.

Possible Health Concerns

  • Legg-Perthes Disease. This is the deterioration of the top of the femur. It is characterized by a lack of blood supply and destruction of the blood vessels of the bone. It is a hereditary condition in some terrier breeds. 
  • Dental Problems. The Welsh Terrier needs proper dental care, including preventative methods like daily tooth brushing, which will help prevent gum disease, periodontitis and endodontic disease.
  • Skin Allergies: This dog may be prone to Atopic Dermatitis. This is caused by an abnormal immune system response. There are many allergies which can affect the skin, and are caused by fleas, dog food and other allergens like pollen in the air. Consult with your veterinarian if your dog suffers from intense itching.
  • Hip Dysplasia is the abnormal development of the hip joint. It is generally characterized by a loose joint, and then degenerative joint disease. 
  • Epilepsy is an inherited disease that causes seizures
  • Primary Lens Luxation (PLL) This is an inherited disease that affects the eye. It is associated with the disintegration of the zonule fibers that hold the lens in place. 
welsh terrier dog


The Welsh Terrier is an energetic dog breed that does well with plenty of regular exercise and canine sporting activities like agility, obedience, and dock diving. Herding and Frisbee are also stress-free ways that your dog can have fun. That said, some of the best activities you can have with your dog are unorganized like going out for a jog or a long walk. Plan hikes and vigorous exercise for cool mornings.


Clipping should be done every 8-12 weeks. The Welsh Terrier’s coat should be kept longer or unclipped in colder weather. Opting for a professional dog groomer helps with maintaining coat health.

Routine daily grooming will keep the Welsh Terrier’s coat in good condition. This is one of the easiest breeds to groom. A short bristled brush or mitt should be used to maintain a shiny and healthy coat. Twice yearly visits to the veterinarian for dental hygiene maintenance is a must. Ears need to be regularly wiped out, and nails trimmed regularly.

This breed is famously feisty, happy and energetic. They also make for good travel companions because they are so adaptable. They also love adventure. As with all terriers, it’s best to supervise when out and about to make sure that they don’t stray and that all fences are secure. Terriers are well known for digging underneath fences and escaping. 

welsh terrier dog breed

Liked this post? Subscribe to our newsletter!

How to Add a Dog to a Family That Already Has Pets

At some point, there’s a good chance you’ll think about adding a dog into...

Are Human Shampoos Safe for Pets?

Are Human Shampoos Safe for Pets? Do your dog’s feet smell like Fritos? Does your cat have litter...

5 Reasons Your Pet Needs Insurance

If your pet is sick, how are you going to pay for it?

5 Diseases You Can Get From Your Cat

Did you know you can get diseases from your cat? Read this article and find out how.

Common Health Problems in Birds

If you have a bird it’s important to know the health concerns they may face.

Amazon Parrots as Pets

Amazon Parrots as Pets There may be more than 350 different types of bird species...

What Are African Grey Parrots?

What Are African Grey Parrots? One of the most distinctive breeds of parrot is the...

What Are Bearded Dragons?

What Are Bearded Dragons? The Bearded Dragon is like a primeval character that would...

Are Human Shampoos Safe for Pets?

Are Human Shampoos Safe for Pets? Do your dog’s feet smell like Fritos? Does your cat have litter...

5 Reasons Your Pet Needs Insurance

If your pet is sick, how are you going to pay for it?

A Guide to Pet Wellness Programs

Are pet wellness plans worth it? Taking your pet to the veterinarian for an annual checkup is the best way to catch problems before they become severe. Learn about pet wellness plans, including those from Banfield Pet Hospital, VCA, and National Veterinary Associates.

How do I Find Veterinarians Near Me?

If you have a pet (or several) you’ve likely asked yourself, how do I find veterinarians near me? If you’re about to search for “local vets in my area,” rest assured that we have done the work for you, and all you have to do is call.

Kidney Failure in Cats

Read this article to learn about kidney disease and kidney failure in cats. Know the signs of kidney failure in cats and call a veterinarian if you have any concerns.

Breathing Problems in Dogs and Cats

There are a number of reasons why your pet may be experiencing breathing problems, read this article for some possibilities.

Cat Health: A Checklist

In this article find a checklist for cat health. You’ll learn daily, weekly and monthly tips for cat healthcare. And call a local veterinarian if you have any concerns.

Common Illnesses in Dogs and Cats

Watch out for these common illnesses in dogs and cats, including skin conditions, upset stomachs, urinary tract infections, and arthritis.

Upset Stomach in Dogs and Cats

It can be scary when your dog or cat experiences vomiting or diarrhea. In this article learn the signs and symptoms of upset stomach in dogs and cats. As well as remedies for upset stomach in cats and dogs.

Dog Health: A Checklist

Keep track of your dog health with this checklist. Covering everything you need to do daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly.