Welsh Terrier – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
What makes Welsh Terries so popular? How difficult is it to groom this breed? Discover answers to these questions and much in this guide. Read on.
Dog Breed Group:
Terrier Dogs
14 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder
Up to 20 pounds
Life Span:
10 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?

Welsh Terrier is a compact dog of unusual appearance. They are well-built and are best known for their graceful walk and easy run.

This breed is native to Wales, hence the name. Ever since they were bred, they were sporting dogs.

This is something to think about when thinking about welcoming this breed into your home.

The Welsh Terrier is one of the best sporting dogs alive. They are active, alert, and always ready for a long hike or a fast run.

This is a great dog for an active family or individuals with a strong link with the outdoors. In the dog park, the Welsh Terrier is most likely to be the most active one.

They were bred to chase, to run, and to monitor which is why it’s important to keep them on the leash whenever you are in the walk.

When there isn’t a job to be done, they prefer staying in with their humans. Spending time with their humans is in their genes.

They are affectionate and real dog shadows who will follow you around no matter what.

They also have fairly long legs which makes them one of the tallest breeds within the canine world. Read on for more on the breed.

Quick Facts

Real name: Welsh Terrier
Other names: Welshi, WT
Origin: Wales
Breed type: Terrier Dogs
Weight: Up to 20 pounds
Height: 14 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder
Lifespan: 10 to 14 years
Litter Size: 4 – 5 puppies
Color: Commonly black/grizzle and tan
Coat: Harsh and short outercoat with dense undercoat

Welsh Terrier History

The Welsh Terrier is originally from Wales, hence the name. They were originally bred to hunt foxes, rodents, and badgers.

Did you know that this wiry dog is the oldest existing dog breed in the UK?

Thanks to their qualities, they moved fast from being a working dog to being a full-time companion and later on a show dog.

During the 19th century, they were in danger of dying out. At one moment, there were only 300 Wesh Terriers registered annually.

Welsh Terrier Physical Appearance

Welsh Terriers are compact dogs of the power stand.

They have a famous wire-textured coat and docked tail. This is a long-legged terrier who loves to run.

Overall movement should be effortless. Females are slightly smaller than males are, with males commonly standing 15 inches at the withers. They have a rectangular head, small eyes of dark brown color, and V-shaped ears.

Their neck is of moderate length, while the body shows good substance. Their coat is hard, wiry, and dense. They also have an undercoat that is short and soft.

As for the color they have a black jacket, while the rest of the body is usually deep reddish. The overall movement should be straight, free, and effortless.

Welsh Terrier Personality

Welsh Terriers are intelligent dogs who love spending time with their people.

They love fun moments and a lot of love and affection. These dogs are energetic and will demand proper training and exercise time. They are very outgoing and extremely friendly.

Plus, they do love to move a lot, which makes them great travel companions. Once they burn off their energy, they will love to cuddle on the sofa with you.

An extra treat for a nicely performed trick is always a plus. They will love children of any age, but they must know how to behave around dogs.

Children tend to see them as moving toys, which is why accidents happen. That being said, children must know not to pull a dog’s ears, nose, or tail.

They should also know not to disturb them while they are eating, sleeping, playing with their toys, or just resting in their crate.

Children must know that dogs are highly territorial beings.

Welsh Terrier Training

Training should start as soon as you bring your Welsh Terrier home.

To get the maximum out of training sessions, you should make training fun, engaging, and packed with treats.

No dog should ever experience any harsh training methods. Every training session should be based on positive training methods and with nice treats.

Dogs thrive on reward-based training. Just like the rest of the terriers, the Welsh Terrier will be stubborn and try to get things his way.

This is why an experienced dog owner is recommended. They will try to test the owner’s dominance and may show some sign of demanding behavior.

However, with the right amount of patience, energy, and training tricks, training should be overall a smooth process.

Welsh Terrier Exercise Needs

Exercise is what keeps dogs active and healthy.

A simple walk around the block may be enough for some breeds, while others need hours-long running sessions to make them tired.

As for the Welsh Terries, an hour of exercise daily, next to regular walks, is a must. Otherwise, this dog will become bored and eventually destructive.

Destructive behavior in a dog is something that no owner wants to experience.

Are you an early morning runner? If so, this breed will be more than happy to join you.

Learn how to run safely with your dog and how to protect his joints as much as possible.

These energetic dogs have a high prey drive and may easily wander. This is the may reason why they should always be walked on a leash.

Welsh Terriers are also great hiking partners.

Welsh Terrier Grooming

Do you what grooming actually is?
Do you know that grooming is a set of different jobs that keeps your Welsh Terrier neat?

Professional dog groomers will provide a set of actions to keep your dog clean and shiny.

Grooming includes the following:

  • Brushing once to twice per week
  • Monthly nail trim
  • Bathe time when needed
  • Paw care, especially in the winter
  • Gums check
  • Eye check for any eye discharge

To keep your Welsh Terrier debris-free, you should provide regular brushing. Their coat requires frequent hand stripping and regular brushing.

For the rest of the grooming practice, use the right grooming tools.

Just like in every job, it’s imperative to use the right tool – it just makes everything much easier and faster.

If hand stripping is too much work for you can think about hiring a professional dog groomer.

Welsh Terrier Health

Welsh Terriers are active dogs who thrive on high-quality food and excellent care.

Still, no matter how amazing care and support the environment you may provide, they can get sick. This means that certain health issues may appear in Welsh Terriers from time to time. This is along with living breed, and if you Welsh Terrier manages to avoid any serious conditions, you can expect him to live up to 14 years.

In terms of health conditions, you can see in this breed minor health problems like lens luxation and glaucoma.

You may expect various allergies and seizures, while veterinarians and lovers of the breed recommend eye tests.

Like with any other breed, if you provide high-quality food they should thrive.

Next to proper nutrition, provide regular exercise and proper grooming, and your Welsh terrier will reach his senior years without major issues.

Is Welsh Terrier For You?

Getting a dog is such a serious decision. Caring and providing for another living being is a gesture worth respect. However, before you run and bring the Welsh Terrier home, do your research first.

  • Can you provide for this breed?
  • Do you mind having regular brushing sessions?
  • Is providing high-quality food an issue?
  • Is having a daily walk, even when it rains, trouble for you or not?
  • Are you ready to commit to your dog?

Unplanned things happen in life all the time.

Even the best dog owners are forced to give their pets away, for numerous reasons. This is why you should always think about adoption as well.

Checking your local animal shelter can take a lot of stress out from your shoulders.

Did you know that even purebred dogs can be found in animal shelters? Maybe your Welsh Terrier is somewhere sitting alone and waiting for you to pick him up… Think about it.

Plus, adopting a dog is such a humane to do.

Welsh Terriers are great dogs who those who love a small-size-look Airedale, a dog with great watching skills, and isn’t strong-minded like terriers usually are.

On the other hand, if you find it difficult to deal with terrier temperament (after all, they will have a big of terrier in them), possible aggression toward other animals (especially chicken, due to their chasing instincts), and digging holes this breed may not be the right for you.

Popular Welsh Terrier Comparisons

Compare Dog Breeds: