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Breed Profile: Sealyham Terrier

The Sealyham Terrier was developed in the 19th century on the estate of Captain John Edwards in Pembrokeshire, Wales. The Basset Hound, Bull Terrier, Fox Terrier, West Highland White Terrier and the Dandie Dinmont Terrier were crossed to create the breed. These dogs were bred to hunt otters, badgers, and foxes; today the Sealyham Terrier is primarily a companion dog and is a popular show dog.

The Sealyham was once one of the more popular terriers and one of the best known Welsh breeds. Today, however, The Kennel Club (UK) lists the Sealyham as amongst the most endangered native breeds

The Sealyham Terrier is a small, independent and undemanding dog, determined, alert, and wilful. They can be very strong minded and stubborn making training challenging and will therefore require a confident and experienced owner who can provide firm and consistent training. They are intelligent and are quick learners, so with the right owner training will be less challenging.

These dogs enjoy digging, have a loud bark, and can be possessive over their food and belongings, they are better suited to life around adults and older children as they don’t enjoy being teased or handled in a rough manor.

Sealyham Terriers are loyal and devoted when it comes to their families. They are not overly active, but do enjoy regular walks. These are adaptable dogs that will be happy living in an apartment as well as a house. His loud bark and devotion to his family makes the Sealyham Terrier an effective watchdog. Early socialization is advisable with other animals as they can easily enter into quarrels with other dogs.

The Sealyham terrier’s grooming requirements can be quite extensive as they need to have his coat brushed two or three times per week. For hygiene reasons their beard should be cleaned on a daily basis. Every few months their coat may need to be clipped, or hand stripped in the case of a show. With proper grooming these dogs are low shedders, and may therefore be suitable for allergy sufferers.

Physical Characteristics

General Appearance

Free-moving, active, balanced and of great substance. General outline should be oblong.


Sturdy, game and workmanlike.


Alert and fearless but of friendly disposition.

Head and Skull

Skull slightly domed and wide between ears. Cheek bones not prominent. Square, powerful and long jaw. Black nose.


Dark, well set, round, of medium size. Dark, pigmented eye rims preferred.


Medium- sized, slightly rounded at tip and carried at side of cheek.


Teeth level and strong with canines fitting well into each other and long for size of dog. Jaws strong with regular scissor bite.


Fairly long, thick and muscular on well laid shoulders.


Forelegs short, strong and as straight as possible consistent with chest being well let down. Point of shoulder in line with point of elbow which should be close to side of chest.


Medium in length, level and flexible with ribs well sprung. Chest broad and deep, well let down between forelegs.


Notably powerful for size of dog. Thighs deep and muscular with well bent stifle. Hocks strong, well bent and parallel to each other.


Round with thick pads. Feet pointing directly forward.


Previously customarily docked. Undocked: Medium length of tail to give a general balance to the dog. Thick at root and tapering towards tip. Ideally carried erect,


Brisk and vigorous with plenty of drive


Long, hard and wiry topcoat with weather-resistant undercoat.


All white or white with lemon, brown, blue or badger pied markings on head and ears.


Height should not exceed 31 cm (12 ins) at shoulder. Ideal weight: dogs approximately 9 kg (20 lbs); bitches approximately 8 kg (18 lbs).