Breed: Welsh Terrier
Temperament: Lively, boisterous
Lifespan: 10-12 years
Recommended for: Families
Maybe you can’t sing like Bryn Terfel but you can own a Welsh dog! Another of those gingery, scruffy breeds from the old country is still rare but gaining popularity among Australian dog owners.
The Welsh Terrier is smaller than the better known Airedale but retains great presence and energy. They stand around 36-39cm (14-15") and weigh 9-10kg (20-21lb), with a lean build and wiry coat in black and tan, or black, grizzle and tan.
A true terrier, the Welsh is lively, inquisitive, always ready for a game, and unable to resist a chase! The temperament needs to be amenable as the coat does require some regular attention.
Australian breeders say the Welsh Terrier is a hardy breed with few hereditary problems. The soft ears fold down and must be cleaned regularly as the moist, airless canals are perfect grounds for bacterial growth if neglected.
Puppies are born black with 3-6 per litter. Colours begin to come through at 3-4 months. There are few whelping problems reported.
A small, neat dog which should be a good watchdog, without shedding copious amounts of hair on clothes and furniture.
Space & exercise
Secure fencing is essential with a terrier, they are, after all, earth dogs developed for digging and the Welsh Terrier is no different. Equally, they thrill to a chase so should be kept on a leash outside the property if only for their own safety – cars are invisible to terriers intent on fun. A daily walk will keep the dog healthy and socialised.
Exhibition Welsh Terriers will have their coats stripped (pulled) out twice a year to allow the new, coloured coat to show through. Pets are mostly clipped to maintain the neat but whiskery appearance, as the wiry coat doesn’t easily shed its old hair.
Aside from the clipping, every dog needs a thorough brush each week to remove knots, leaves and twigs caught up in the wiry coat.
Welsh Terriers are probably easier to train than many other terrier breeds, although persistence is needed and breeders say they respond best to stimulating techniques – in other words, make training a game!
Aside from their appealing image, Welsh Terriers are best suited to people with the time to attend to the regular grooming and clipping necessary, as well as a responsible attitude to training and containing their pet. An outgoing pet for families with children, they may suffer loneliness (and destructive behaviour) if left alone for long hours each day.
To find up-to-date contacts for breeders, contact the following organisations.
Phone: 1300 728 022 (NSW only) or (02) 9834 3022
Fax: (02) 9834 3872
Phone: (03) 9788 2500
Fax: (03) 9788 2599
Phone: (02) 6241 4404 – Fax: (02) 6241 1129.
Phone: (08) 9455 1188
Fax: (08) 9455 1190
Phone: (08) 8349 4797
Canine Control Council of Queensland
Phone: (07) 3252 2661
Fax: (07) 3252 3864
Tasmanian Canine Association
Phone: (03) 6272 9443
Fax: (03) 6273 0844
Phone: (08) 8984 3570
Fax: (08) 8984 3409