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A breed standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament, and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be mindful of features which could be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.

NZKC - Breed Standard - Welsh Terrier - Terrier

Welsh Terrier


Group: Terrier
Size: medium
Lifespan: 12-14 years
Exercise: moderate
Grooming: high
Trainability: very hard
Watchdog ability: very high
Protection ability: very low
Area of Origin: Wales
Date of Origin: 1700’s
Other Names: none
Original Function: Otter, fox, badger, and rat hunting
The Welsh Terrier was originally developed in Wales to hunt otter, fox and badger in their dens and also to hunt with hounds in packs. The breed was probably an offshoot of the old British Black & Tan Terrier, and one of only two terrier breeds native to Wales. For sometime it had existed as the old Reddish-Black Wirehaired Terrier. Today's Welsh Terrier is primarily a companion dog, but still retains his hunting ability. Some of the Welsh Terrier’s talents include: hunting, tracking, watchdogging, agility, and performing tricks.
This curious and playful dog is also intelligent and affectionate. Welsh Terriers are patient and do well with children. They enjoy swimming, playing and digging. Happy and spunky, Welsh Terriers do best with a young active family whose activities matches its level of activeness.
The Welsh Terrier needs a moderate walk on leash every day or an invigorating play session. If allowed to run off leash, it should be in a safe area because it tends to hunt. The Welsh can live happily outdoors during nice weather, but it should sleep inside in cold weather. It does best when allowed access to house and yard. Its wiry jacket needs combing two to three times weekly, plus shaping every three months. Shaping for pets is by clipping, and for show dogs is by stripping. The ears of puppies may need to be trained in order to ensure proper adult shape.

Official Breed Standard

The Welsh Terrier is of a gay, volatile disposition and is rarely of a shy nature. He is affectionate, obedient and easily controlled, thus making him an eminently suitable dog for town life. His size and colour render him ideal as a house dog, as the former point is in his favour where accommodation is limited, whilst the latter feature precludes the necessity for frequent washing as in the case of a white terrier. He is game and fearless, but definitely not of a pugnacious disposition, although at all times able to hold his own when necessary. He is ideally constituted to be a perfect town or country companion. Welsh Terriers are normally hardy and of robust constitution and need no pampering, whilst as working terriers they are second to none, being easily trained to all sorts of game and vermin to work with gun or ferrets and are generally found to be capital water dogs.

Head and Skull:
The skull should be flat and rather wider between the ears than the Wire-Haired Fox Terrier. The jaw should be powerful, clean cut, rather deeper and more punishing - giving the head a more masculine appearance than that usually seen on a Fox Terrier. Stop not too defined, fair length from stop to end of nose, the latter being of a black colour.

Should be small, well set in, of a dark colour, expressive and indicating abundant keenness. A round full eye is undesirable.

Should be V-shaped, small, not too thin, set on fairly high, carried forward and close to the cheek.

Should be level with strong teeth.

The neck should be of moderate length and thickness, slightly arched and sloping gracefully into the shoulders.

The shoulders should be long, sloping and well set back. The legs should be straight and muscular, possessing ample bone, with upright and powerful pasterns.

The back should be short and well-ribbed up, the loin strong, good depth and moderate width of chest.

Should be strong, thighs muscular and of good length, with the hocks well bent, well let down and with ample bone.

The feet should be small, round and cat-like.

Customarily docked. The tail should be well set on, but not too gaily carried.

Should be wiry, hard, very close and abundant. A single coat is undesirable.

The colour should be black and tan for preference, or black grizzle and tan, free from black pencilling on toes. Black below the hocks is a fault.

Weight and Size:
The height at shoulder should not exceed 39.3 cm (15.5 in), 9 to 9.5 kg (20 to 21 lb) shall be considered a fair average weight in working condition.

A white, cherry or spotted nose. Prick, tulip or rose ears. An appreciable amount of black below the hocks.

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

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