Welsh Terrier

Ceaseless attention, resolution, energy, tough.
These words are occurs to me, if I try to describe the essence of Welsh Terrier.
All this just my opinion of course, from my point of view, based on my 14 years old experience.
I just hoping, that you, dear visitor would be inquire in this characterization, and I will able to introduce you the Welsh Terrier.
If you living with your Welsh terrier hopefully you will nod repeatedly during the reading.

We are speaking about the most ancestral Terrier, ancient application but today with modern appearance.
They are lineal descent of the Old English Broken Haired Black & Tan Terrier. The long legged Terriers are origin from this breed on the British Isles.
[The 33 terrier breeds are divided to four sections: Large and medium-sized Terriers, Small-sized Terriers, Bull type Terriers, Toy Terriers]
Name of the breed refer to Wales, high mountains, which inhabitants are well-known for wily and complicated language. The Welsh Terrier called for Daer-gi Cymru there.
Their work was the hunting for pests: fox, badger, rat, etc. around the farm.
Under the ground they can count on themselves, wiliness, hardness, cleverness, speediness, fearless. For that very reason they are so independent, in someone wording obstinate, hard-headed breed.
They should have been able to find, catch, and defeat the wild in their own territory.

Milestones of the breed:  
The first champion was Bangor Dan Lliw (Pym x Topsy)
The Welsh Terrier Club founded in Great Britain.
The first official standard raised by The Welsh Terrier Club
The Welsh Terrier Club of America founded in the States
Small size breed, 39 cm height (withers-height), weight is 9 kg.
Coat is wire, permanent grooming, trimming required.
This type of coat is water repellent, protecting them against from cold and heat. Regular bath is not necessary, if we should do it, please use professional doggy shampoo for sensitive skin. Just to avert the unpleasant itching.
Color is black and tan. The head, legs, shoulders and thigh are tan, the back is black. Officialy the color can be grizzle and grey and light tan, but the dark color is showier, pick out the beauty of the dog. The puppies are born almost totally black, with tan marks and the color later become to the final black-tan proportion. They will reach the final color at 1-1,5 years of age.
Overall appearance is plucky, compact but not heavy. Elegant presence.
Skull is parallel, properly long, but not shows the fox terriers' fineness. I would say more manly than the fox terrier's face.
Ears are V-shape, not to light, not too heavy. Eyes are almond shape, never round, color is dark brown. Bite is scissor bite with big teeth. Neck is long, well settled. The shoulder is steep. Back is tight, short, but different proportion than the fox terrier has. Loins are tight. Chest is strong and deep. Angulations behind is well explicit, the hocks are short. Paws round, called cat-like (but I think they will be offended by this comparison). Tail is high settled. In Europe is not docked. Movement is parallel, energetic.

Not a boring breed.
True friend, perfect family member.
Like the rock. Some of them can be provocative. Some of them are not keepable with same sex dogs. Fortunately I have different experience, like my dogs, but in the past I met with this problem. You should consider it before take home the first Welsh.
Get used to cat and other animals, but I suppose to start it immediately in puppy age.
With people and children completely friendly, 100% reliable.
As an attentive, hot temperamented breed they are perfect for signaling.
Versatile, in competent hands will be able to work a miracle. Consistent rearing and lot of exercise needed. In this case we will have well educated clown, funny terrier for a long years.

Today they are useful for hunting under the ground and in forest, field, and water.
Under the ground they are used for fox and badger hunting, in forest they are great for tracking for wounded games, wild boar-hunting, apport on land and in water.

Teachable for guarding work.

The last year's disaster reminded us for the importance of rescue dogs in these situations. The first registrated rescue dog was Welsh Terrier in Hungary.
Very successful in agility too. The World Champion was Ch. Vicway Dirty Harry (breeder: Sari Makela, owner: Mika Mättö) in 2000.

Sari Makela & Vicway Out of Blue, Fotó: Jari Nevalainen

Sari Makela & Vicway Look, Fotó: Jari Nevalainen

Used for drug-seeking and personal search by Police and Border-guards.
Successful are in obedience competitions too.
Might keep in house and yard but they need to move few hours a day. Very well apporting for long hours, that's why easy to train by balls. Water-lover, great swimmer, does not forget to take your Welshies to any lake at the summertime.
If you would like to know everything about the Welsh Terrier you should read Bardi McLennan's: The Welsh Terrier Leads The Way.

For all the recognized breed has its owner country. Mostly it is the country, where the breed comes from. In case of Welsh Terrier it is Great Britain of course. This country issued the official standard, where the appearance, the temperament, the behavior and the faults are described in details.
Here you can read the official breed standard.



FCI-Standard N°78/ 28. 11. 2003 / GB  
ORIGIN : Great Britain


Group 3 Terriers.
Section 1 Large- and medium sized Terriers.
Without working trial.
GENERAL APPEARANCE Smart, workmanlike, well-balanced and compact.

Affectionate, obedient and easily controlled. Happy and volatile, rarely of shy nature. Game and fearless but definitely not aggressive although at all times able to hold his own when necessary

Skull : Flat, of moderate width between ears.
Stop : Not too defined.

Nose : Black.
Muzzle : Medium length from stop to end of nose.
Jaws/Teeth : Jaws powerful, clean cut, rather deep and punishing ; strong with perfect, regular scissor bite, i.e. e. upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Eyes : Small, well set in, dark, expression indicative of temperament. A round, full eye undesirable.
Ears : V-shaped, small, leathers not too thin, set on fairly high, carried forward and close to cheek.

Moderate length and thickness, slightly arched and sloping gracefully into shoulders.

Back : Short.
Loin : Strong.
Chest : Good depth and moderate width. Well ribbed up.

Customarily docked.
Docked : Well set on. Carried erect but not curved over the back.
Undocked : Well set on. Carried erect but not curved over the back. In overall balance with the rest of dog.

Forequarters : legs straight and muscular, possessing ample bone.
Shoulders : Long, sloping and well set back.
Pasterns : Upright and powerful.
Hindquarters : Strong.
Thighs : Muscular, of good length.
Hocks : Well bent, well let down and with ample bone.
FEET Small, round and cat-like.

Fore-and hindlegs carried straight forward and parallel. Elbows move perpendicular to body, working free of sides, stifles turning neither in nor out.

Wiry, hard, very close and abundant. Single coat undesirable.

Black and tan for preference, or black grizzle and tan, free from black pencilling on toes. Black below hocks most undesirable.

Height at shoulders not exceeding 39 cm (15 1/2 ins.).
Weight : 9-9,5 kg (20-21 lbs).

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.

N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
This amended breed standard will become effective from April 2004.


We can often hear or read the following words about the Welsh Terrier: little Airedale, two-colour foxterrier, same like Lakeland Terrier.
For the first view it is not always easy to catch the differences , particularly for the uninitiated eyes. In many cases it depends on the groomers' skills and knowledge, therefore it is not enough speaking about different breeds, we should consider the different trimming styles, cuts.
In all probability, the mentioned breeds must have had the same forefather, only the local expectations and in case of Airedale the different target were the reasons to separate those breeds. But it happened on one island 100 years ago. The easiest way to distinguish the Welsh from Airedale to compare the sizes. Airedale is much bigger and its head and body has a different proportion. The Airedale is a large breed with more bones and the height is 56-61 cm.
The easiest way to explain the differences between the similar size and type of coat breeds is to draw them. Just the outlines.
First step is to get one Welsh Terrier.
What shall we do to convert it for Foxterrier?
At first shortern the back, than change the set of tail to a more steeper one. Pull out the angultion behind, alter the grooming method. Stretch the neck a little bit and it will be more graceful in this case. And now the main point is: the head. This is the most important in case of the three breeds. The foxterrier's head is the finest and narrowest. Let's lengthen it a bit. Proportion of cranial / facial skulls is 50:50. For the Welsh is 45:55. The ears are smaller and settled high, fit to over the eyes. Let's change the overal elegance, fineness with modifying the curve and deepness of chest.
There are 10 important points, which shows the differences between the Welsh and wire-foxterrier (apart of color of course).

Let's play with Lakeland Terrier too!
Lengthen the loins a little bit. After that change the set and curve of the neck. The Lakeland differs from the Welsh in head-coat. Proportion of its head is 50:50% like the fox terrier's head but the full length of the head is smaller to the body than fox or Welsh head has. Lakeland's ears are between the Welsh and Foxterrier's ears. The Welsh's ears are slightly heavy; Foxterrier's ears are slightly light.
Do not forget the difference of color. While the Welsh has only one color, the Lakeland has black and tan, blue and tan, red, wheaten, red grizzle, liver, blue or black.
I hope this simple exercise will help you to see the differences between these breeds.