Sealyham Terrier Guide

Terrier Dog Breeds

The Sealyham terrier is a short-legged terrier, slightly longer than it is tall. Its body is strong, short-coupled and substantial, allowing for plenty of flexibility. This combination of short legs with a strong and flexible body allows the Sealyham to maneuver in tight quarters. Its weather-resistant coat consists of a soft, dense undercoat and a hard, wiry outer coat. This is a keen, alert and determined breed and should look the part.

One of the calmer terriers, the Sealyham is nonetheless ready for action, always happy to investigate, dig or give chase. It is often aggressive toward other dogs or pets. It is a well-mannered house dog but needs some daily exercise. It is reserved with strangers, but devoted to its family. It is stubborn and independent. It digs and barks.

AKC RANKING 144

FAMILY terrier

AREA OF ORIGIN Wales

DATE OF ORIGIN 1800s

ORIGINAL FUNCTION badger, otter, and fox hunting

TODAY'S FUNCTION earthdog trials

AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 10.5 Weight: 23-24

AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 10.5 Weight: 18-22

OTHER NAME none

Energy level Low energy

Exercise needs Low

Playfullness Not very playful

Affection level Moderately affectionate

Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly

Friendliness toward other pets Friendly

Friendliness toward strangers Friendly

Ease of training Easy to train

Watchdog ability High

Protection ability Not very protective

Grooming needs Moderate maintenance

Cold tolerance Medium tolerance

Heat tolerance Medium tolerance

The Sealyham's exercise needs are not too demanding, consisting of a short to moderate walk or game session every day. If allowed off leash, it should be in a safe area because it may tend to follow its nose. This breed is suited for indoor life, preferably with yard access, although it can live in an apartment. Its wire coat needs combing two to three times weekly, plus shaping every three months. Shaping for pets is by clipping, and for show dogs by stripping.
• Major concerns: none
• Minor concerns: retinal dysplasia, lens luxation
• Occasionally seen: deafness
• Suggested tests: eye
• Life span: 11 – 13 years
Although some evidence exists of a small, white, long-backed terrier imported into Wales in the 15th century, the documented history of the Sealyham begins only in the mid-1800s. The only reason the earlier observation receives some credence is that the originator of the breed, Capt. John Edwardes of Sealyham, was a descendant of the family said to have imported the particular dog centuries earlier. Regardless, Capt. Edwardes worked from 1850 to 1891 to develop the breed now known as the Sealyham terrier. The breeds that went into its makeup are a mystery; some suggest that the Dandie Dinmont terrier may have played a role. Whatever the ingredients, the result was a plucky terrier that soon gained notoriety for its ability to face badgers, otters and foxes. Its smart appearance made it a dog show natural, and it first entered the show ring in 1903. The AKC recognized the Sealyham in 1911. Demand for these terriers quickly grew, especially because they were still exceptional hunting dogs as well as extremely competitive show dogs. Today the breed's popularity has waned somewhat, but the Sealyham still retains its dual abilities to excel in both ring and field.