Country of OriginWales
Nicknames and Other NamesWT
Old English Terrier
Black and Tan Terrier
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypePurebred
GroupTerrier Group
Bred ForHunting fox, rodents and badger
Life Span12-15 years
Ideal WeightMale: 20 pounds
Female: slightly smaller
Ideal HeightMale: 15 inches
Female: slightly smaller
Fur TypeWiry, hard, dense
Common ColorsBlack and Tan, Back Grizzle and Tan,
Grizzle and Tan
AvailabilityCommonly available
AchievementsFeatured in movies and shows
Suitable for ApartmentsYes
Used in World WarNo
Most Similar ToAiredale Terrier

The Welsh Terrier, which is also known as the Old English Terrier and the Black-and-Tan Wire Haired Terrier is a small to medium-sized dog. They are very adaptable dogs and do well in an apartment. However, regular exercise is needed to keep themselves fit and healthy.

The Welsh Terrier is a sturdy, rugged, compact dog with a coat that is of wire-textured. The head is rectangular with a slightly long muzzle. The ears are small, carried forward close to the cheek and the eyes are small, almond-shaped. The front legs are straight and the hindquarters are strong, muscular with well developed second thighs.

Origin and History

The Welsh Terrier was originated in Wales as a hunting dog that used to hunt foxes, otters, vermin, and badgers. They were believed to be developed somewhere in the 1700s.

In 1888, Prescott Lawrence first brought Welsh Terrier to the United States and showed them at the Westminster Kennel Club show. It is also known as the oldest existing dog breed in the United Kingdom and is at the verge of extinction.

Welsh Terriers standing
Picture of Welsh Terriers.
Image Source: AKC

The American Kennel Club recognized Welsh Terrier in 1888 as a member of the Sporting Group. The Welsh Terrier Club of America was established in 1990.

Is Welsh Terrier Child-Friendly?

The Welsh Terrier get well with children and can make a great playmate for them as they are an active dog who loves to play. They are tolerant of kids rough behavior, so they get along with children of any age.

Although they are a child-friendly dog, you should teach your kids to approach them and behave around them.

Welsh Terrier is child friendly
Welsh Terrier cuddling and playing with a boy.
Image Source: Instagram-@srbelt

Temperament, Behavior, and Personality

Temperament: The Welsh Terrier is of friendly and spirited temperament. They are active, loyal, and affectionate with the family members, so does great as a family companion. They love to be involved in family activities and wants to help in household chores.

Behavior: The Welsh Terrier is very fond and attached to its family, especially with one particular person. Therefore, if they are left alone for a long period of time, they can get separation anxiety and can be depressed. So, it is not best to leave your Welsh Terrier alone for a long period of time.

Personality: The Welsh Terrier has a smart personality which tends to catch on new commands and tricks quickly. Therefore, training is not hard for them. They are wary of strangers and will bark to warn you if they see some unfamiliar person approaching the house. So, they can be taken as a great watchdog.


The Welsh Terrier is a smart dog that learns any new commands fast. But Due to their independent nature, they and can be stubborn sometimes. Therefore, they need a firm and consistent training where they see you as its leader. Rewards them with lots of delicious treats and vocal praises. A gentle pat on the back will also motivate and encourage them.


  • The Welsh Terrier ranks 111 of 193 American Kennel Club registered breeds.
  • At first, the Welsh Terrier was called Black-and-Tan Wire Haired Terrier and Old English Terrier.
  • Caroline Kennedy, who was the daughter of President John F and the first lady Jackie Kennedy owned a Welsh Terrier.

Health Issues

General HealthHealthy
Common Health IssuesSkin Irritation, Bloat, Hypothyroidism, Cataracts
Vaccination RequiredCanine Distemper, Canine Parainfluenza,
Kennel Cough, Canine Parvovirus,
Canine Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Rabies
SheddingNone to Minimal
DroolingLow Drooler
GroomingAdvance Grooming Required
Weight Gain PotentialAverage
Separation AnxietyModerate Chance
AllergiesSkin Allergy
Diets and SupplementsProtein: 18%
Fat: 5%
Omega-3 and 6 Fatty Acids

The Welsh Terrier is generally a healthy breed with a life expectancy of 12-15 years. In these years, they can face some possible health condition that is explained below:

  • Hypothyroidism: It is a condition that is caused when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones. It causes epilepsy, loss of hair, lameness, and so on. However, you can treat it by thyroid pills medications and proper diet.
  • Allergies: Your Welsh Terrier may be prone to certain allergies like food allergies, contact allergies, and inhalant allergies. It is caused by certain food, air, dust, smokes, or some foreign particles. It can be treated by knowing what caused the allergy and making your dog stay away from it.


The Welsh Terrier comes in following colors according to the American Kennel Club:

  • Black & Tan
  • Grizzle & Tan
  • Black Grizzle & Tan


Height and Size: The average height of the male Welsh Terrier is 15 inches and the female is slightly smaller. The average weight is around 20 pounds.

Cost: The average cost of the Welsh Terrier is between $800-$1200 USD.

Similar Breeds to Welsh Terrier

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