Sealyham Terrier: Outgoing Dog

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
The Sealyham Terrier is a small dog with a fantastic personality. Did you know that they can live up to 14 years? Here is more on this outdoing canine.
Dog Breed Group:
Terrier Dogs
Up to 10 inches tall at the shoulder
22 to 24 pounds
Life Span:
12 to 14 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

Sealyham Terrier is an outgoing and alert dog, with a great sense of humor. This is one of the most dynamic dogs from the Terrier group.

Here is everything that you should know about this exciting small dog.

Quick Facts

Real name: Sealyham Terrier
Other names: Welsh Border Terrier, Cowley Terrier
Origin: Wales
Breed type: Terrier Group
Weight: Male 9 kilograms (20 lb), Female 8 kilograms (18 lb)
Height: 12 inches (30 cm)
Lifespan: 12 – 14 years
Litter size: 3-6 puppies
Color: White
Coat: Double

Sealyham Terrier History

The Sealyham Terrier was developed in Wales. John Tucker-Edwardes, who lived on an estate called Sealyham in Pembrokeshire, Wales, developed the Sealyham Terrier.

The father of the breed, John Edwardes, had no record on the breed, but the experts believe that this small dog is initially a mixed breed. Although there are no breeding records, experts believe that Edwardes used the Wire Fox Terrier, the West Highland White Terrier, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, and the now-extinct English White Terrier to create this breed.

According to various records, Edwardes was an avid sportsman and a real outdoor lover, which is why he wanted to create a breed perfect for badger digging and otter hunting. This dog might be small, but he is a real hunter.

Don’t let the size fool you, because Sealyhams are still used today to hunt in small game, such as pheasants and rabbits. Sealyhams are also very good at controlling pests like rats, similar skills to cats.

Edwardes wanted a new breed, that will support his Otterhound pack, to keep otters out. So he wanted them to be compact size, but also strong and tough enough to dig.

It’s still unknown how Edwardes achieved to create his breed, who is a fearless, active, hard worker with excellent hunting skills and is a great companion.

The breed was developed between 1850 and 1891, while the first Sealyham Terrier club was created in 1908; the Kennel Club officially recognized the breed in 1911.

In modern history, this dog has enjoyed significant popularity. Actually, the Sealyham Terrier reached peak popularity between World War I and World War II.

Famous people such as Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, and Alfred Hitchcock were Sealyham owners and lovers. This breed was also popular with British Royalty in the mid-20th century. The current Queen Elizabeth’s mother and sister, Princess Margaret, had two Sealyhams.

Sealyham Terrier Physical Appearance

This is a small dog with a sturdy body and a powerful personality. Sealyhams’s have a small and short body, which is perfectly balanced. Jaws is powerful for a small-size dog, while cheeks are flat and smoothly formed.

The nose is always black with large nostrils. Head is long and powerful, without coarseness. Ribs are well sprung while the shoulders are well laid back and powerful, but not over-muscled.

Forelegs are strong, with good bone, while hind legs are longer than forelegs, and not so heavily boned. Toes are pointed straight, while feet are large but compact.

The coat is always white, double, and soft. The coat is weather-resisting and hard. In competitions, a curly or silky coat can be a bad fault. Hindquarters are powerful.

Sealyham Terrier Personality

Sealyhams are real terriers, meaning that they are playful and self-assured. They are more mellow than other terrier breeds, but it is really easy to live with them.

They are friendly and outgoing, but they are also small alert dogs. They can be reserved toward strangers, but they are excellent watchdogs with an impressive bark. They will always respond well to positive training techniques.

Since they are highly intelligent, they will learn quality as long as training is supported by positive reinforcement. They are also very proud dogs, and they will always see them as a proud family member.

They will demand you treat them as equals. Of course, like any other dog breed, this dog needs early socialization, and the proper environment to become a well-rounded dog.

Sealyham Terrier Training

Sealys require a firm, but never harsh training technique.

Early socialization is the key when you want to have a well-behaved Sealys. They react perfectly to positive reinforcement training based on treats.

Make sure that you don’t overdo with treats because obesity in dogs is a growing problem. Make sure that you expose your Sealy puppy to new people, smells, and areas from day one. This is the only way to induce proper socialization. If you are welcoming a senior dog into your home, make sure that the environment is safe.

Have the right toys to keep your dog entertained indoors, and have a proper training gear. If you think that training a dog is too much for you, think about puppy classes or joined classes with your dog in a dog school.

Since this dog can be vocal, it can be tricky having them in an apartment, so treat this state from day one. Learn what to do if your dog barks a lot. When in a walk, always keep your dog on a leash.

Sealyham Terrier Exercise

Sealyham Terrier is a small dog who loves to run. That being said, you can expect to spend a significant amount of time outdoors. They can overheat in hot and humid weather, so be careful during the summertime.

Like with any other breed, it would be best to walk your dog (during the summertime) early morning and in the evening. This is an all-white dog, so grass stains are common.

It may be needed from time to time to wash furniture. Always encourage your Sealyham Terrier to exercise, so he can be moderately tired, but not exhausted. No dog can handle too much physical activity.

Still, having an active outdoor dog means calmer dog in the house.

Sealyham Terrier Grooming

You can expect frequent grooming with this breed. This may be a small dog, but you will have to invest a significant amount of time to keep his coat and hair healthy and clean.

Don’t forget that they are always white, so on rainy days, you will have to clean him more after walks. So, how often should you groom your Sealyham Terrier? Every two or three days, because they tend to mat easily.

Interestingly, the coat doesn’t shed but must be hand-stipped or clipped on a regular basis. They are usually kept trimmed short, which makes care even easier.

For Sealyhams in show coat, washing at least the furnishings frequently is a must. When it comes to bathing, do it only when you have to, because dogs’ skin is different than humans so if you overdo you can make a problem.

Keep the ears and eyes clean. Trim nails as suggested by your veterinarian.

Check gums every week, because teeth are telling how healthy dog really is. The rest is regular grooming, like cleaning with wipe paws after a walk, respecting the vaccination schedule, and so on.

Sealyham Terrier Health

In general, this is a healthy breed. If you provide high-quality food, often veterinarian check-ups, and a healthy level of training and exercise you can expect to see your Sealyham Terrier reaching its old days.

Still, just like any other dog breed, Sealyham can be prone to certain diseases. There are several genetic eye diseases that potential sires and dams should be tested before breeding.

It is always handy to check the American Sealyham Terrier Club for detailed information in breed health. Furthermore, non-genetic eye conditions such as infections and tearing can occur because of the breed’s long eyebrows.

With that in mind, always check with your veterinarian and then your groomer if you should think about a shorter eyebrow. Also, ear infection can occur due to the weight and the position of the ears.

However, if you maintain to keep the ears clean, you should prevent any trouble. Also, you are responsible for your dog’s weight.

Obesity in dogs is a rising problem, so make sure that your small Sealyham doesn’t eat too much and that he spends enough time outdoor.

Recommended Health Test

  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • PLL DNA Test

Sealyham Terrier Nutrition

When it comes to raising a healthy Sealyham Terrier, nutrition plays a huge role.

Make sure that you feed your Sealyham Terrier based on his age. Puppy food goes to puppies, while the food for adult dogs goes to adult dog and senior dogs if it’s noted as such.

Simple said any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age. If you want your Sealyham Terrier to compete in dog shows, make sure that you avoid food containing extra dye, because dye tends to stain beards and many even color the urine.

As you may guess, it can leave hair yellowish. Again, some dogs are prone to being overweight, so always care about dog’s calorie consumption and weight level.

Treats are important when it comes to training, but giving too much can cause obesity. Furthermore, learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not.

If you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet, make sure that you talk with your veterinarian. Make sure that fresh water is available at all times, and have a separate dog bowl for food.

The Bottom Line

The Sealyham Terrier is a real spirited dog, with a big personality, and a great sense of humor. This dog loves spending time with his owners and is a real couch potato when he isn’t outside playing.

If you want a breed that is playful, intelligent, and vocal from time to time this just might be the dog for you.

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