The Welsh Terrier
|Weight||10 Kg (approx)|
|Life Span||15-16 Years (approx)|
Groomed for show the Welsh is a stunning square black and tan dog with a tan whiskery chin and nose and standing on strong thickly coated tan legs while the black saddle is short and shiny. He has a long strong head and neck, short strong back, high placed tail and strong well angulated legs. In a full coat that is kept tidy he is something of a bear with a big hairy head and body appearing not to have the long head and neck. Because of the harshness of the Welsh coat it is more manageable than the Airedale even when in a full coat.
Because a dog which in many ways resembled a Welsh Terrier existed in Wales over 600 years ago the early history is vague and relies on early art rather than written history. A small terrier in Wales was well known for its ratting ability as well as being able to hunt up a rabbit stew prior to 1700. About then this same terrier was seen about at Welsh shows and agricultural events. By the 1850’s the terrier had its English name, Black and Tan Wire Haired Terrier and its Welsh name….The Welsh Terrier! While the Welsh evolved rather than being created like its big cousin The Airedale, its evolution saw prick ears become the wonderfully expressive broken ear we see today, its richness of coat strengthen, its tail sit right up on the back, straighten its top line and shorten its back. A fortunate side benefit of the non shedding coat is it being almost unknown in the world of canine allergies.
Wonderful even temperament needing strong management when young. Benefits greatly from being exposed to the main street coffee shops, people and animals from a young age. Good behaviour management techniques of positive and negative reinforcers are a necessity with the Welsh Terrier (especially the male). They then develop into a most affable, loving family companion. Better introduced to children as a trained adult and not recommended for the family where any member will not be able to help with the consistency of training. They love to play and hunt and will keep strays out of the garden.
Care / Grooming
A family pet is best electrically clipped at least once a year. The more he is brushed and combed the less likely the need for trimming. Keeping nails short, between and inside pads trimmed and (now that we have long tails) the bottom trimmed are good maintenance tasks. For showing a real art is required to be learned as the coat is never clipped but hand stripped in stages to create the show coat. Pet owners sometimes prefer to learn the rudiments of this and not have their dogs clipped.
A very robust breed many of whom are known to go throughout life only seeing a vet for mandatory immunizations. However, there is a list of ailments unknown to most breeders but appearing in breed literature. Skin allergies seem to appear in some homes and although probably genetically linked seem to be brought on by environmental factors. While not common this can be a real pest. Dermoids have very rarely been known to breeders and can be recognized and remediated prior to sale. In the USA Cataracts have been reported but to date not so in Australia. Like people and all animals some Welsh Terriers have died from cancers etc. but probably snake bite, snail bait and motor cars are bigger problems.