Understanding Your Welsh Terrier – The Independent Sweetie

The Welsh Terrier is a happy dog that was bred to hunt on its own. These dogs are brave and intelligent, and they are very determined.

Their strong personalities go back to the days of hunting badgers, foxes, and otters, and they love to have a job, even if that means playing fetch.

Welshies are medium sized dogs that are independent and spirited. They need socialization and training early on to temper their independent and strong-willed natures.

You need to provide both physical and mental stimulation for your Welshie, but they are delightful family pets if you have the patience for them.

Summary of Welsh Terrier

PersonalityIndependent Problem Solvers that love a challenge
Size20 pounds
Life Expectancy10-14 years
Exercise RequirementsMedium to Active- Daily walks required
Grooming RequirementsMinor shedding. Regular daily grooming and stripping a few times a year.
Good With Children?Yes, they make great family dogs
Health ChallengesNo major health issues. Some may develop hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, allergies, or Glaucoma.
Easy to TrainYes. Highly Intelligent and enjoy a challenge

The Welsh Terrier is an independent and assertive dog that was bred to hunt alone for otters, badgers, and foxes.

They developed a keen instinct for drawing out animals and chasing them down, and this shows today in the traits of this breed.

You need to train these dogs from the beginning, and it may take some time.

Welsh Terriers have a lot of energy, and they are problem solvers. You should give your dog plenty of opportunities to exercise every day with fun challenges to encourage their discovery behavior.

This type of breed should not be left home alone for extended periods of time.

If you do, he could become bored and find something unproductive to do, which may include chewing your furniture and other belongings.

You should plan to let Welsh Terriers exercise at least an hour every day, and they love to go for hikes or long walks.

They will still have energy to spare and be up for a game of fetch later.

They can play a bit rough, so its good to teach this breed early on the appropriate time and place for play, or it could end up tearing through the house whenever it gets excited.

Welsh Terriers love children, and they make great family dogs. You should be careful if your kids are under six years old because these dogs can be a bit rough in their play, and may knock a little kid over, especially when excited.

When you train your Welshie, you need to remember that they have intelligent and active minds, so repetitive training techniques will become boring quickly.

Find fun and creative ways to teach this breed, and it will learn faster. You will even find that they are very talented and enjoy tricks and jumps.

These dogs can live in the city or the country, but they will bark at strange noises or intruders.

They do best in a house with a fenced yard, and they need exercise no matter where they live. They do love to dig, so leaving them outside in the yard unattended may come with unintended consequences for your rose garden.

They are tough and hardy, but they should live with the family in the house.

Welsh Terriers do not need constant attention, but they enjoy being around people all the time.

They are affectionate and playful, and they are a wonderful addition to the family. Just don’t expect this dog to sleep in the corner all day.

More than likely she will be right in the middle of everything that goes on in the home.

This breed does not shed a lot, so they are good for people who do not tolerate shedding well.

They do need to be brushed and groomed regularly, and they should be stripped a few times a year.

Pet Highlights and Facts

Here are some highlights and facts about the Welsh Terrier:

  • Welsh Terriers are medium sized dogs that have a lot of energy. They require exercise for at least an hour a day.
  • Welsh Terriers are fiercely independent, making them more challenging to train. You need to start young and keep going. They are great dogs, but you need to work with them, not against them.
  • Welsh Terriers do not respond well to harsh discipline. You should use the positive reward method and offer treats, extra playtime, and praise. Even so, you will need to be creative and mix it up, as their intelligence causes them to become bored easily.
  • You need to brush this breed weekly and shed it twice a year by stripping.
  • Welsh Terriers love children and are great family dogs for an active family.
  • Welsh Terriers love to climb up onto high places such as tables and chairs.
  • Welsh Terriers should be socialized from a young age. They are very independent and strong-willed, and you want them to get used to other animals early on.
  • Welsies stand 14 to 15.5 inches at the shoulder.
  • They will weigh around 20 pounds fully grown.
  • Welsh Terriers have a life expectancy of 10 to 14 years.

Welsh Terriers Are Best for Active People

Welsh Terriers can live in apartments as long as they get enough exercise every day. They do best in a house with lots of room outside to run around. You will need to walk this dog regularly as well.

These dogs are great family dogs, and they love children. They are protective, and will bark when they hear a noise. They will warn you of guests or intruders, or even just the mail man.

Welsh Terriers are incredibly independent and intelligent, and they can require a great deal of patience when training.

They take a lot of time, and they are not the best dogs for an inexperienced owner. If you have not had a dog before, this might not be the best choice for a first dog.

Welsh Terriers do not need the kind of hands on attention that other dogs need, but they do need stimulation.

They may not get separation anxiety, but they will find a way to entertain themselves if they become bored, which may include destructive behavior and chewing.

They are ok being home alone but don’t expect them to sleep all day. Be prepared to have activities and treats setup to occupy their time.

Welsh Terriers are wonderful pets as long as you appreciate their energy and independence.

If these are not qualities that you actively want in a dog, you should look at other breeds.

Origins and History of Welsh Terriers


Welsh Terriers originated in Wales as well as other parts of England as far back as the 2800s. They were originally breed and used to hunt foxes, otters, and badgers.

They were very good at chasing these predators out from holes in the ground and hunting them through woods.

The Kennel Club of England first recognized this breed in 1885, with Welsh Terriers coming to the United States in 1888.

In 1901, they were common in the United States. They are great companions and pets, but their independent and strong-willed nature make them better suited for experienced dog owners.

Breed Size

The Welsh Terrier is a medium sized dog, standing 14 to 15.5 inches at the shoulder with the females being smaller than the males.

These dogs weigh around 20 pounds, but it can vary. The weight should be proportionate to the height for these dogs.


The Welsh Terrier has a very independent personality. This is a wonderful characteristic that also makes these dogs more challenging to have.

They are intelligent and cheerful, and they really enjoy their playtime. They are loyal and energetic, and they truly love their families.

Welsh Terriers love kids, and they are always the center of attention in the family. They are funny and friendlier than other terrier breeds, and they are really a lot of fun to own.

They are natural problem solvers, always loving a challenge. Welsh Terriers will keep you on your toes.

The independent nature of this breed can make them difficult to train, and it will require patience. It is best to provide fun and creative opportunities for these active dogs.

You should start training as early as possible and socialize them as well. They love people, and they will be more comfortable if they are exposed to different settings and people early on in life.

When you choose your puppy, you should observe at least one of its parents to understand his or her temperament. You want to view them being friendly with and relaxed in nature.

Upon choosing, you will want a puppy that is friendly and curious. This type of behavior displayed will grow into an even tempered dog.

Taking your puppy out for regular walks will encourage them to interact with new sights, sounds, and people. This is a great way to get your puppy socialized and less afraid of new things later on.

Welsh Terriers are a true terrier breed with lots and lots of energy. Plan for this dog to entertain you often, but make sure that you provide many opportunities for him to get his energy out.

Health and Life Expectancy

Welsh Terriers are generally healthy dogs, but there are a few conditions that they are more likely to develop than another breed.

Your Welshie may not ever develop one of these conditions, but you should educate yourself so that you will recognize the symptoms if one arises.

You should make sure that your breeder has health certificates and has screened the parents for these conditions, including hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand’s disease. As well as eye screenings.

Hip Dysplasia:

Welsh Terriers are less likely than other breeds to develop this condition, but it is a possibility.

The hip is a ball and socket joint, and when dogs develop this condition, the ball, which is at the end of the femur, doesn’t fit into the socket, or the hip, properly. Instead of sliding back and forth smoothly, the ball and the socket rub against each other, which can lead to arthritis and loss of function of this joint.

Hip dysplasia is hereditary, and certain types of exercise and obesity can make it worse. You should make sure that your dog eats a balanced diet and gets exercise every day.

If your dog develops arthritis, glucosamine can help to reduce inflammation. You can get it from your vet or buy treats with glucosamine or chondroitin in them.

Dogs often begin to present symptoms of hip dysplasia early on, but it can appear later in life. The important thing is to know what to look for so that you will pick up on it at any age:

  • Decrease in activity
  • Decrease in range of motion in hind legs
  • Difficulty standing, jumping, climbing stairs, or running
  • Hind leg lameness
  • Bunny hop-like gait
  • Loss of thigh muscle mass
  • Excessive shoulder muscles to make up for hind end lack of function
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Stiffness


This condition occurs in the thyroid gland. It can lead to other conditions, such as hair loss, obesity, epilepsy, lethargy, and other skin related afflictions. It can be treated with diet and medication.


There are three types of allergies, including food allergies, contact allergies, and inhalant allergies.

Food allergies are caused by allergies to different foods. Contact allergies are the result of contact with substances such as chemicals and dog shampoos that lead to a reaction, and inhalant allergies are the result of pollen, dust, or mildew.

Dogs usually react with a skin problem rather than sneezing as humans do. Your dog can be treated for any of these types of allergies with methods that may include changes in environment, diet, and medications.


Epilepsy is a neurological condition that can be inherited. It presents as seizures, which can be terrifying to watch. However, there are treatments for this condition, so you need to work with your vet for a solution.


This disease causes pressure on the eyes because the eye fluids do not drain normally. It results in damage to the optic nerve and leads to loss of vision as well as blindness.

You will notice that the eye might begin to look cloudy or blue, which is a sign that there is something wrong. Most dogs adjust to vision loss and live a happy life, but there are treatment options and surgery available.

Life Expectancy:

Welsh Terriers have a life expectancy of between 10 and 14 years.

Welsh Terrier Care

The Welsh Terrier is a perfect medium sized dog with a lot of energy and a very independent nature. This dog needs a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. You will need to exercise your Welshie at least an hour every day or broken up into different 15-20 time frame.

Welsh Terriers can be challenging to train because they are so strong-willed. You should definitely start training and socialization early, and you will need to find creative ways to make it interesting for this breed.

They get bored easily, and the repetition style training that may work on some other breeds will not always work with these dogs. They are above average intelligence and often times can surprise you with their cunning nature.

Welsh Terriers have a lot of energy and can play rough. You will need to teach them not to play in the house if you want them to limit their play to the outdoors.

They are great with children and will enjoy playing outside with them. You should not leave this dog alone outdoors because she might possibly dig holes all over your yard, or worse yet, she might even dig under the fence and escape.

Welsh Terriers can learn to get along with other dogs if you socialize them from an early age.

They were bred to be loners, so it doesn’t come naturally, but they can get along well with other dogs if they learn early on.

You need to brush Welsh Terriers regularly because they have a double coat- a soft undercoat that doesn’t shed much, and a more wiry outer coat that needs regular brushing. They will need to be shed twice a year by stripping the undercoat.

In addition, you should clip their nails once or twice a month, and you will need to brush their teeth regularly. If you start these chores early on, they become very easy to perform.

Welsh Terriers require a diet of high-quality dog food, and you should make sure that it has nutrients, vitamins, and minerals in it. When you feed a higher quality dog food, you will be able to feed less of it.

Do not feed your Welsh Terrier people’s scrap foods because it can become overweight. People’s food is not made for the dietary needs of the Welsh Terrier. That said, you can make a raw diet at home, but you should consult your vet for advice.

Welsh Terriers are great watchdogs because they will bark at strange noises and intruders.

They are too friendly to offer real protection, but they will let you know if someone is there. If you leave these dogs alone for too much time, they may pick up a barking habit, which could annoy your neighbors.

It is very important to prepare for your Welsh Terrier to come home. If you choose this breed, you will get a fun-loving, energetic dog that is full of personality.

These dogs can be a handful for an inexperienced dog owner, but for the right person, they are delightful. You should plan to spend a lot of time with this dog and train it well.


You should feed your Welsh Terrier ¾ cup to 1 cup of high-quality dog food each day. It is best to split this food into two meals, one in the morning and one at night.

The exact amount you feed will depend on several factors, including your dog’s age, energy level, stage of life, and body type. Dogs generally have three stages, which are puppy, adult, and senior.

In addition to providing essential vitamins and minerals for your dog, a high-quality dog food also goes further. Your dog will need to eat less of it for the same nutrition.

You should not feed your Welsh Terrier people’s food because it can gain too much weight and become obese, which leads to a whole host of other problems. If you want to check your dog’s weight, you can feel its ribs. You should be able to feel the ribs, but not see them.

It is always a good idea to measure the right amount of food for your Welsh Terrier and split it into two meals. You will know exactly how much it is eating. It might be tempting to leave food out all the time, but this is not a good idea because you can’t control how much it is eating. If you have other problems down the road, being able to rely on your dog’s eating schedule will benefit you.

Coat and Grooming

The Welsh Terrier has a double coat. The outer coat is there to protect it from the weather and predators, and it is a hard wiry coat.

The undercoat is soft and furry. They only come in black and tan. They do not shed, but you need to brush this dog at least once a week, and preferably more. You can clip this breed to make it easier.

You will need to strip the dog a few times a year because of the undercoat. Again, clipping can be done in place of this. This process removes dead and loose hair so that it won’t matt under the outer coat.

You should brush your Welsh Terrier’s teeth at least two or three times a week to control plaque and tartar buildup. This will help to prevent infections and gum disease.

In addition, you will need to clip your dog’s nails once or twice a month. If you can hear the nails clicking on the floor when it walks, you know it is time to clip them.

With Welsh Terriers, you need to check their ears for infections and clean them every week. You only need to clean the outer ear canal to help prevent infections.

You should start grooming your Welsh Terrier from a young age so that this is a simple process. Be sure to praise your dog as you groom it, and this will help to make it easier to go to the vet or take your dog to a professional groomer if you decide to do that later.

Children and Other Pets

Welsh Terriers love children, and they will enjoy playing with them in the yard and curling up with them in front of the TV. You should always supervise younger children under the age of six around this breed because the dog can get overly excited.

Make sure that you teach your kids how to interact appropriately with dogs; they should not pull the dog’s tail or ears, nor should they bother the dog when it is eating or sleeping.

Welsh Terriers are good with other dogs if they are socialized early on. They are not good in homes with other small pets because they have a strong chase and hunt instinct that may come out with these types of animals.

They can live with a cat, especially if they are introduced to cats when they are young. However, they will chase cats as they will other animals, so keep them on a leash when they are outdoors.

These dogs are great family dogs for an active family that has time to keep up with the dog’s needs.

It is very important to socialize them and make sure that they are familiar with other animals and people from a very early age.

Rescue Groups

Although Welsh Terriers are great dogs that are a lot of fun for active families, people sometimes bring this breed home without having any idea of what they are getting into.

As a result, there are often Welsh Terriers that go abandoned, neglected, surrendered, or abused.

Rescue groups that have formed to help Welsh Terriers find forever homes work tirelessly to make sure that any of these dogs get the care that they need. When people give them up, the rescue will screen and find the right situation for each dog.

The Welsh Terrier Club of America is the official club for the Welsh Terrier, and they have resources that point people to dogs in need. They have volunteers throughout the country, and will provide you with contacts in an area close to you.

If you think that a Welsh Terrier might be the dog for your family, you can contact this organization, and they will teach you everything you need to know about owning this breed.

Adopting a rescue dog is a great idea if you want a Welsh Terrier that is older. This can be a great idea because these dogs are often full of personality and eager to please. If you are looking for a rescue Welsh Terrier, please contact them.

There are also many active rescue groups that deal with more than one breed, and you might find a Welsh Terrier there as well.

You should learn as much as possible about Welsh Terriers before you decide to get one. They are wonderful family dogs, but they require a bit more work than another breed. If you do not have time to spend with a dog, this might now be the right dog for you.

Welsh Terriers are loyal, independent, funny, and intelligent, and for the right family, they are a tremendous source of companionship and entertainment.

You will not have as good of an experience with the breed if you are away from home a lot of the day because even though they are independent and less needy than other breeds, they might become bored and tear up your house.

Choosing a dog is a huge commitment, so make sure that you educate yourself to ensure that you can provide everything that your new dog needs.

Best of luck with your new pup!

-The GoTerrier Team

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