Back to all breeds
Welsh Terrier
Characteristics, History, and Health

Welsh Terrier

The Welsh Terrier originated in Wales, UK, as its name suggests. The breed is an old one, tracing its roots back to the early 19th century. These dogs were initially developed for hunting fox, badger, and otter. They are closely related to the Old English Black and Tan Terrier, which is now extinct, but served as the progenitor for many modern terrier breeds.

Main Info
Alternate Names
Old English Terrier, Black & Tan Wire Haired Terrier, Welshie
Life Expectancy
12-15 years
Average Male Height
15 inches
Average Female Height
Under 15 inches
Average Male Weight
20 pounds
Average Female Weight
Under 20 pounds
Coat Length
Coat Type
Double, Wiry
Coat Colors
Black & Tan, Black Grizzle & Tan, Grizzle & Tan
Coat Pattern

Genetic Predispositions and Health

Welsh Terriers can be susceptible to primary lens luxation, glaucoma, allergies, hypothyroidism, and epilepsy. Genetic predisposition to these conditions does not mean that all Welsh Terriers will get any or all of these diseases, but it's important to be aware of them if considering this breed. Genetic screening can assist wih proactive care, as well as help breeders identify affected and carrier dogs.

Personality and Behavior

Welsh Terriers are known for their lively and friendly nature. They are intelligent, confident, and can be stubborn at times. This breed is generally good with children and can get along well with other dogs if properly socialized. Their high energy levels require regular exercise to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.

While they are known for their independence, Welsh Terriers are also quite affectionate and enjoy being part of the family activities. They can be wary of strangers and make excellent watchdogs. Training a Welsh Terrier requires patience and consistency due to their stubborn streak.

Fun Facts

Despite being a small dog, the Welsh Terrier is a surprisingly good swimmer, thanks to its original role hunting otters.

Welsh Terriers have a long history in the show ring, with a Welsh Terrier named "Charlie" winning the Westminster Dog Show in 1944.

Welsh Terriers are sometimes referred to as the "Welshie" or simply the "Welsh" for short.