Sealyham Terrier

Country of origin:
Great Britain
Height (cm):
max 31
Weight (kg):
Life span (years):
white, white with lemon, brown, blue or badger pied markings on head and ears
Hair length:
Recognized by:
FCI code:
Good with kids:
Pros Cons
  • good for a novice owner
  • great hunter
  • good watchdog
  • sheds very little
  • stubborn
  • requires sufficient amount of daily exercises
  • aggressive towards other dogs

The Sealyham Terrier is a cheerful, easy-going hunting dog with inquisitive mind and docile demeanour. This breed was fairly newly invented in England to hunt otters, badgers, and foxes. Nowadays it serves generally as a devoted and affectionate companion dog and it can be recommended for a novice owner.

The Sealyham Terrier owes its creation to Captain John Edwards of Haverfordwest, Wales, who contributed more than 40 years of his life, from 1850 to 1891, for refining a line of dogs for hunting badger, otter, and fox. The dog was named after Sealyham, the estate of Captain Edwards. He didn’t keep any records so it remains pure speculation as to what breeds he used in his breeding process. However one can make several very probable suggestions. The strong probability holds that the Sealyham Terrier is related to the Welsh Corgi, the Cheshire Terrier, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, the Fox Terrier, and the West Highland White Terrier.

The Sealyham Terrier suited perfectly for hunting foxes and various vermin since this small and agile dog could easily penetrate into their narrow burrows and drive them out. Then awaiting hounds were supposed to put down escaping animal herewith the white coloration of the breed wouldn’t allow it to be mistaken for a prey. In the beginning of the XX century the dog gained much following in its homeland but not as a hunting dog. It proved to be unbelievingly successful in the role of a show dog. For the first time it participated in the show ring in 1903 and since then it won numerous awards and championships.

In present days the Sealyham Terrier mostly enjoys life of a family pet but it is also occasionally used as an effective vermin eradicator. Nevertheless it remains rather rare and it’s included in the list of Vulnerable Native Breeds (breeds with its homeland in England that its native kennel club has recognised as having 300 or less dogs registered per year). The Sealyham Terrier was completely approved by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1911, shortly after it was initially brought to this country.

The Sealyham Terrier does perfectly well in a home environment due to its flexibility and excellent communicative skill. This frisky dog retains much of its playfulness even in its old age. It will definitely become a child’s favourite because of its adventurous spirit and natural inquisitiveness. However its resilient demeanour makes it too energetic for young children. This mainly biddable and kind dog will become an exceptional companion animal for the elderly.

It’s apt to act suspiciously in front of strange people and it won’t appreciate if they’d like to pet it. The Sealyham Terrier needs to be taught the proper behavioural patterns in order to become the full-fledged member of society. It can be turned into a reasonable watch dog with its essential alertness and curios mind. It has proved to be a very mediocre guard dog since it lacks natural aggression and necessary size.

The Sealyham Terrier usually demonstrates aggression towards unfamiliar dogs, particularly of the same sex. This courageous animal will never back down if it has been provoked to confrontation and will fight much larger and stronger adversary with stubborn irreconcilability. That’s why its owner should always keep it on a leash and closely supervise the initial meeting of two strange dogs. The dog has a tendency to possessiveness issue and can become snappy if someone tries to take away its food or toys. The Sealyham Terrier possesses remarkably high prey drive so no small family pets can be totally safe around it. However, the dog will most likely make friends with a home cat if they have been reared together.

Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• eyes problems;
• congential deafness;
• patellar luxation;
• intervertebral or disk disease;
• canine hip dysplasia;
• skin allergies.

The Sealyham Terrier possesses gorgeous, weather-resistant double coat that needs to be attended on a regular basis. The brushing procedures should be conducted a few times per week with a slicker brush or a pin brush. The dense beard of the dog requires daily brushing to maintain it clean and neat.

If you have acquired your dog for a show ring then you will need to have it stripped by a professional groomer two or three times per year. Otherwise it will be quite sufficient to clip it from time to time in order to keep the amount of dog’s hair in your home at bay. Actually the Sealyham Terrier sheds minimum to no hair and it can be recommended for allergic sufferers.

The combination of obstinate demeanour and desire for independence makes the training of the Sealyham Terrier quite a challenge. The trainer should always perceived by the dog as standing at least one stage above in the pack order, which means he should have confident and strong personality of a leader.

The dog is very quick in sensing weakness in its handler and in this case it will constantly try to take over control demonstrating disobedience and wilful behaviour. The best way to stimulate the Sealyham Terrier to work is to use plentiful of food treats and mild encouragement. Negative reinforcement will only aggravate the natural tendency of this dog to stubbornness.

The Sealyham Terrier is much less energetic than other types of Terriers. Its exercise regimen should include daily long walk and it should be occasionally permitted to run freely in a safely enclosed area. The dog is keen on digging so make sure to keep it away from your flowerbed. It usually behaves fairly relaxed indoors and enjoys sitting on your laps.

The Sealyham Terrier will be completely happy if taken to a hunt but it will be almost equally satisfied if its owner takes some time to play ball with it. Thanks to its excellent adaptability and modest size it will do fine in an apartment settings as well as in rural surroundings as long as its exercise needs are met.