Welsh Terrier Club of America, Inc.

Breed Information

Where Does the Welsh Terrier Come From?

All written history of Wales includes dogs as to their type, their merit and their monetary worth. Dogs were listed in the laws of the land 1,000 years ago. In 1450, a Welsh bard (poet) referred specifically to "a good black and red terrier." However, it was not until 1850 that pedigrees were kept and five years later the breed was named Welsh Terriers. They were shown for the first time as such in Caernarfon, Wales in 1885 (the same year the first pair arrived on these shores). In 1886, the first Welsh Terrier Club was formed. In 1900, the Welsh Terrier Club of America was founded. Records don't indicate how many WTs there were at the time, but approximately 50 per month are now registered with the American Kennel Club. The WTCA is a member club of the AKC, and has their Annual Meeting and Specialty Show in Pennsylvania early in October each year.

What Is a Welsh Terrier?

First of all, they are your basic black-and-tan terrier. A sturdy, relatively calm terrier with a steady temperament. However, a Welsh is a terrier and not calm in comparison to a hound or sporting type dog. Both males and females may be aggressive towards other dogs and animals - they were bred to control vermin - and their definition of vermin may be your adored cat! He comes in only the one color combination. His ears are naturally folded. His tail was docked soon after birth. He's a "no-frills" dog of about twenty pounds. The Welshman's coat is dense and wirey to keep him waterproof, with a woolly undercoat for insulation. He's basically a tan dog with a black "jacket"! The puppies are often fuzzy or fluffy, with a lot more black. (They are born almost entirely black) The puppy coat does shed and is removed by plucking or clipping. The adult coat does not shed unless it is not cared for, so he needs plenty of brushing to remove the dead hair, but very little bathing. The longer hair on his face and legs is called his "furnishings" and these need to be combed.

How do puppy buyers determine if they are getting a quality puppy?

Where does a quality pet come from?

An excellent way to evaluate the quality of the puppy is to evaluate the source. Be prepared to walk away, regardless of how cute the puppies are. Don't take your children on the first visit as they will make it harder for you to refuse to buy if the breeder doesn't meet your standards.

The usual options are:

Pet Shop, Dealer or Commercial Kennel - These outlets rely heavily on impulse buying, which is a poor way to choose an addition to your family. Pups are bred and raised as a cash crop to become merchandise sold for a high profit. This high profit is possible because little has been put into the care of these pups or their mother. The purpose of a commercial breeder is to breed dogs for profit. Little or no attention is paid to the genetic health, temperament and appearance of the dogs used as breeding stock. Commercial sources rarely accept responsibility for the puppy after it is sold.

Backyard or Casual Breeder - Usually this is the person who owns a Welsh and thinks it would be "fun" to have puppies or that it would be a great experience for the children. Perhaps it's an effort to recoup the original cost of the dog. Usually these breeders know little of the breed's history or standard and still less about grooming and care. They are not aware of breed concerns or health issues. Like commercial breeders, casual backyard breeders make little or no investment in their breeding stock. Their goal is to produce pups and, when the "fun" is over, sell them quickly. The backyard breeder's responsibility to the puppy also ends when the puppy is sold.

Quality Hobby Breeder - The very best choice for a quality pup. Breeding a quality puppy is a serious labor of love, dedication and responsibility. The quality puppy is the result of the breeder's love of dogs a dedication to the breed and a responsibility to the dogs the breeder has produced for as long as they live. The quality puppy comes from a breeder who acknowledges responsibility for every puppy produced. A quality pet starts with a careful breeding program in which the characteristics and temperaments of the puppy's ancestors are known to the breeder. Animals being bred undergo careful evaluation and medical screening. A quality breeder tries to produce a pet who is as close as possible to the breed standard (the blueprint of what a Welsh should be). Once the puppies are born, the quality pet is the result of careful socialization and human bonding by the breeder. A well socialized, "people-oriented" pup is the result of positive contact with humans from the first days of its life. Since puppies learn a tremendous amount from their mother, the temperament and socialization of the dam is of primary importance to the personality of the pup.

A quality puppy comes from a quality breeder.

How does a puppy buyer identify a quality breeder?

Deal directly with the breeder, not with a middleman, a broker or a pet store. A quality breeder will only sell directly to the new owner and does not deal through middlemen or brokers. A quality breeder will not allow the resale of his puppies through a third party. A quality breeder will be happy to show you the mother of the litter. Occasionally a breeder may have a puppy from a bitch that he has bred and sold or from a stud dog he owns, in which case the mother may not be present. A quality breeder breeds only the best dogs. This is why most dogs used in his breeding program are Champions - a Champion is not merely a "show dog" but, most importantly, a dog who has proven itself to be an outstanding example of the breed in temperament and structure and is worthy to be bred.

A quality breeder is concerned about the future of the breed and the future of the puppies he breeds. A quality breeder will ask many questions about you and your lifestyle to determine if a Welsh is a suitable pet for you and will ask to meet you in person, when at all practical, before making a commitment on a pup. A quality breeder will only sell puppies under a contract limiting their use for breeding by means of AKC Limited Registration, co-ownership contracts and/or spay/neuter agreements. A quality breeder will require, as a condition of sale, that all animals that are not part of a responsible breeding program be spayed or neutered.

A quality breeder will make sure that you are aware of the pros and cons of Welsh ownership as well as the grooming requirements. He will provide written material about the needs and development of the puppy. A quality breeder is available to help with any questions or problems that may arise. A quality breeder is a member of the Welsh Terrier Club of America and has signed the Club's Code of Ethics. Quality breeders acknowledge responsibility for every puppy they produce for the life of the dog and stand behind every dog they breed.

Quality Welsh breeders are hobby breeders who may have one or two litters a year so you may have to wait for your puppy. A QUALITY PUPPY IS WORTH THE WAIT. BUYER BEWARE. Never be in a hurry. There is a responsible breeder out there with a puppy for you. Wait until you find him/her. The best rule of thumb is: MEET THE BREEDER, SEE THE MOTHER, AND SEE THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH THE PUPPY HAS BEEN RAISED. Beware of the term "champion lines". Beware of claims of "home raised" or "privately bred" pups unless you can see for yourself where the pups were born and raised. Beware of the seller who claims to be selling a litter for a "friend" or "relative". Commercial breeders frequently send "litter lots" on consignment to middlemen who, in turn, sell the pups from their homes. Beware of the seller who is unwilling to give the registered names and AKC numbers of the sire and dam of the litter. Beware of the seller who is unwilling to provide the name and address of the breeder of the puppies or will provide them only when you buy the puppy. Beware of the seller who does not have a copy of the puppy's pedigree for your inspection prior to buying the puppy. Beware of claims such as "uncompromisingly clear of inherited diseases" or "proven clear" or "guaranteed clear" of inherited diseases since there is no way to prove these claims. Beware of "guarantees" - most genetic problems do not appear until a dog is over two years old. The best guarantee of a healthy dog is a careful, well-planned breeding program.


Additional Information

Buy from a responsible breeder

National Animal Poison Control Center

Net Vet - Veterinary Resources & The Electronic Zoo

Dog Owners Guide - Information for  Pet, Obedience & Show

Wales / Cymru - Land of Inspiration - The Welsh Tourist Board

"Welsh-L" is a large, moderated list populated by pet owners and some WTCA members. It is both a social and informative group, with many messages each day. WTCA adds this link as a service to the larger Welsh Terrier public.
Welsh-L is not owned, controlled or overseen in any way by WTCA.
For information contact: welshterrier@yahoogroups.com

The Welsh Terrier Club of America wishes to thank Bardi McLennan for the information related to the Welsh Terrier. In addition we wish to express our appreciation to the Scottish Terrier Club of America and the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America for allowing us to use their copyright protected material on this page.

The pictures used on this page are the copyright © protected property of their owners and photographers.


Please report any broken links to wtcawebdesign@hughes.net
Copyright © 1996 - 2017 by the Welsh Terrier Club of America, Inc.
Page Last Updated: February 18, 2017