Sealyham Terrier

Type: Terrier

Height: 10 - 12 inches.

Weight: 18 - 25 lbs.

Life Span: 12 - 14 years.

Litter Size: 3 - 6 puppies.

Country of Origin: Wales

Activity: Indoors - Low. Outdoors - Medium.

Watch-dog: High. Sealyham Terriers are rather alert and will let their owners know if anything unusual is going on.

Guard-dog: Low


Description: The Sealyham Terrier is the embodiment of power and determination, ever keen and alert, yet free from clumsiness. Resembling the wire fox terrier, they are playful, with an eager to please, outgoing, friendly attitude. They also have their own sense of humor and like many terriers make delightful companions. Rather aggressive in the past, Sealyham Terriers have mellowed out into a hardworking, robust, and resilient breed. They can be willful and stubborn but they are loyal to their family. Making a tireless companion, Sealyham Terriers are sometimes known as the couch potato as they require less exercise than most terriers. On the other hand, however, if the Sealyham sees another animal it will most likely go after it. They were bred to hunt badgers, foxes, skunks and other prey, and therefore have a strong hunting urge. Sealyham Terriers can be rather bossy, and therefore should be trained to know who or what they can and cannot go after. They do not require a large amount of space, as they are short and stocky. They have rather long bodies, a long face, and a stubby tail that can be docked. Their ears are level with the rest of their head and form triangles. They come in mostly white, with lemon, brown, blue or badger pied markings on the head and ears. Sealyham Terriers are relatively long-lived animals, and require a firm owner who will not spoil them.

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Colors: All white, or white with lemon, brown, blue or badger pied markings on head and ears, much black or heavy ticking undesirable.

Coat: Long, hard and wiry, with a weather-resistant undercoat.

Temperament: Sealyham Terriers are strong-willed, active, fun-loving, and bright. They can be bossy and independent, but are game and hardy. Sealyhams need firm and experienced handling. They are hardworking, resilient and robust. They are sturdy dogs, but have been known to be rather lazy inside the house. They get along with children, but are unafraid of a fight with another animal. They are quite alert, confident and intelligent.

With Children: Yes, if positive contact is provided with children when they are young.

With Pets: May have scrapes with their fellow dog and they needs to be socialized at a young age to get along well with cats.

Special Skills: Hunting dog and companion.

Care and Training: Groom Sealyham Terriers twice a week to prevent matting. Hand stripping is required for showing. They need occasional trimming and plucking. Exercise daily on a lead as they enjoy a good long walk. They can become overweight if not exercised consistently. Do not let them off the leash when outside of their yard, as they like to wander. Sealyham Terriers learn easily but will try to undermine your authority from time to time. Be consistent in your training. Do not spoil them as that will cause them to be a bossy, nippy dog. Positive, consistent and firm training is required for a complacent Sealyham.

Learning Rate: High. Obedience - Low. Problem Solving - Low.

Special Needs: Attention, socialization, firm but positive training, a fenced yard and a leash.

Living Environment: Sealyham Terriers do well in an apartment, in the country or a home with a backyard as long as exercise is provided daily. Keep in mind they are a dog that requires constant attention. The best owner for this breed would be a patient, terrier-experienced owner living in either the city, suburbs or country. This breed is very adaptable to new situations.

Health Issues: Eye problems, skin allergies, and deafness.

History: The Sealyham Terrier has a rather abusive past. Developed in the late nineteenth century, a man named Captain Edwardes who lived at his estate of Sealyham in Pembrokeshire set out to create "the perfect terrier". He wanted a plucky, tenacious, game dog who would hunt badgers, skunks and otters by sight and scent. He started out with the Welsh Corgi, and added Dandie Dinmont Terrier. He then crossed the Cheshire Terrier, the Fox Terrier and The West Highland White Terrier. It is said that Edwardes let tenant farmers raise his Sealyham pups. Edwardes would make the puppies pass two tests in order to live and continue the breed he was looking for. After a while of the puppies hunting vermin and rats on the farms, Edwardes would show up with a shotgun and two of the most antagonistic dogs, and if the young pup did not stand up to these dogs Edwardes would end their life there. If the pups did pass the test and did stand their ground, Edwardes let them go back to their previous work for a few more months until they were about a year old. When he returned to them at 10 to 12 months, he would leave an angry skunk in the yard for the dogs to find. If they eagerly went after the skunk underground, they were kept. If they were faint of heart, Edwardes once again brought his shotgun. It is also said that if they could face down a badger or fox, the farmers would earn extra pay from Edwardes. Needless to say, the breed turned into a very game, tenacious and aggressive breed. After Edwardes' death and supposed success of "the perfect terrier", another man took over development of the breed and is credited with being the "father of the breed", even though Edwardes began the event. Fred Lewis promoted the Sealyham Terrier and developed it further, as well as began the first Sealyham Terrier Club in 1908. In 1911 the breed was recognized by both the American and British Kennel Clubs. Today the breed's popularity has been overtaken by its very similar cousin, the West Highland White Terrier. It is still seen in shows around the world, however.

First Registered by the AKC: 1911

AKC Group: Terrier Group

Class: Terrier

Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 3), KC(GB), UKC