Bred during the heyday of British hunting, the Welsh Terrier is a dog with immense skills, helping him thrive against dangerous “opponents.” The same experience molded this dog to have the intelligence, self-determination, and undying gusto for fun, fun, and fun! Today, he now acts as a fun-loving and lively companion that wants to spend his day as pleasurable as possible with its beloved family.
Origins of the Welsh Terrier
It’s not known when the Welsh Terriers exactly came into existence. Still, it is believed that they have originated in the 1700s, descending from two extinct British breeds, the Old English Terrier and the Black and Tan Rough Terrier.
An innate working dog, the Welsh Terriers were bred to hunt otters, badgers, and foxes and eliminate vermins in northern Wales. With keen senses, powerful legs, strong jaws, and inherent Terrier bravery, any small prey was no match for these dogs.
In 1886, the English Kennel Club recognized the breed, followed by the American Kennel Club in 1888. Probably the most renowned Welsh Terrier was John F. Kennedy’s beloved pet, Charlie, a gift of his wife, Jackie, during his campaign period.
Today, the Welsh Terrier is considered a rare breed, with AKC receiving only less than 400 registration annually.
Characteristics of the Welsh Terrier
Height: 15 inches
Weight: 20 pounds
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
The Welsh Terrier is a compact, medium-sized dog with triangular drop ears and a high-set-tail. His double coat has a dense, hard, and wiry topcoat, serving as his protection, and a short, soft undercoat, for insulation. He is an incredible runner with almost limitless energy, capable of reaching great speeds, accentuated by a seamless gait.
While he may seem extreme, the Welsh Terrier is actually calmer than the other terriers. He has a fun-loving side, and a great zest for life, always willing to partake in many activities with his family. He can live with well-mannered older children, but his assertiveness requires supervision if he’s dealing with super young kids.
Meanwhile, other pets like dogs and experienced cats are usually amenable to living harmoniously with him. Don’t be surprised to see them chasing in play. Just remember his high prey drive. So, he might not be a good option with smaller creatures, such as birds, rats, or hamsters.
Highly alert, the Welsh Terrier is watchful of their surroundings and barks at any approaching stranger. However, he should not be considered as a guard dog. His friendly nature makes it easier for him to be swayed by petting or treats. He might even direct the burglar to the valuables!
Brimming with intelligence, he is also inquisitive and is good at solving problems. With such traits, the Welsh Terrier shouldn’t be left bored as he can create his own amusement in the house, often getting him into little mischiefs.
Moreover, he can be strong-willed and independent, typical of a dog with a Terrier lineage. Fortunately, all is needed to treat him with patience and extra effort. The Welsh Terrier is eager to please and is always thrilled to be with his human companions. Just make everything firm yet pleasurable, and this dog’s contagious love for fun will radiate to his family.
Caring for the Welsh Terrier
The Welsh Terrier is a low maintenance dog breed. He only needs weekly brushing and occasional clipping and hand stripping to keep his coat in its top condition. Bathing is rarely necessary. As he has a big heart for digging, make sure to trim his nails regularly to avoid painful cracking, splitting, or worse, a broken nail.
While he may seem fit to withstand inclement due to his weather-resistant coat, you should never leave a Welsh Terrier outdoors for extended periods. He has a tendency to wander due to his innate curiosity. If not, you will see your lawn excavated in a breeze. With that, it is best to supervise him outdoors to fulfill his exercise needs. Walk him or engage him for some outdoor romps to release his high energy.
In terms of feeding, the Welsh Terrier will thrive in ¾ cups to 1 cup of high-quality dog food each day, divided into meals. As terriers tend to have food guarding behaviors, it is best to prohibit children from touching or removing food while he is eating.
Potential health problems that affect the breed include hip dysplasia, glaucoma, lens luxation, and hypothyroidism. Getting your dog from a reputable breeder that practices responsible breeding minimizes the chances of seeing these health concerns in a Welsh Terrier.