Sealyham Terrier

A rare, curious and hardworking little dog

Sealyham Terrier

Rare and unique, the Sealyham Terrier, also known as the "Sealy," is a curious, affectionate, hardworking little dog, with an independent spirit and profound loyalty. Somewhat more mellow than most Terriers, the Sealyham Terrier can be reserved with strangers, well-behaved with pets, and utterly devoted to you. This little dog, in fact, can even be a bit of a clown – all in fun – with the typical "scruffy" appearance of the Terrier, but with a snowy white color that exudes a bit of refinement, as well.


Descended from the West Highland White Terrier, the Sealyham Terrier came into existence in the 19th century when British sportsmen were in competition to develop dogs that were perfectly suited to their preferred mode of hunting. One of these developers was a Capt. John Edwardes of Haverfordwest, Wales. From 1850 to 1891, he worked on developing a breed that would hunt fox, otter, and badger. The breed he was working on was to be small enough that it could easily go into a fox den or badger sett. It was also to be white so that hunting hounds would not mistake the dogs for prey.

The breeds used to develop the Sealyham Terrier might have included Cheshire Terriers, which is a now extinct type of Bull Terrier, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Fox Terriers, and, as previously mentioned, West Highland White Terriers. The resulting breed, Sealyham Terrier, was named after Edwardes' estate.

In 1911, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the Sealyham Terrier as part of its Terrier Group. While once popular, the Sealyham Terrier is now rare, and ranks 163rd among breeds at the AKC.


Small but strong, the Sealyham Terrier weighs about 23 to 24 pounds in adulthood and stands 10 and a half inches at the shoulder in adulthood. Female Sealyham Terriers usually weigh less, but the actual height should stay consistent; this is especially important if you're going to show your pet.

The coat is a weather-resistant, medium-long double coat, with a soft, dense undercoat and a wiry, hard overcoat. Sealyham Terriers also have long thick beards covering their muzzles. Most Sealyham Terriers are all white, but can have tan, lemon, or badger markings on the head and ears.


This is a dog who loves to be with you, but is agreeable and calm enough to tolerate isolation perfectly well alone – and this independent little dog won't mind one bit. Even though this Terrier will be completely devoted to you, this dog in effect delivers the best of both worlds, since it is not one of those dogs who can't be left alone without fear of destroying something because it is depressed. That simply won't happen with this breed.

Personable and gregarious with those it knows, this dog loves to entertain and be the clown. Although suspicious of strangers at first, this dog will make friends with anyone once you've given the okay.

In addition to its natural companionship traits, this breed is also still a working dog. If you have a need for vermin control, Sealyham Terriers are experts. Although trained to hunt, they also serve as excellent ratters or mousers. You’ll never need to worry about your garden's contents being destroyed by moles or rabbits, for example, because this dog will "earn its keep” in a way few dogs these days do.

However, your dog's real gift is its tender interaction with you. One owner described his Sealyham Terrier like this: "They make great companions, and the way they bond with their owners is almost magical… they'll do anything to please you."

But a word to the wise, this is still a headstrong Terrier that needs to be trained and socialized properly. Sealyham Terriers respond well to formal training, and it's a good idea to get your puppy into "puppy kindergarten" by the time it is about two months old. If you wait until your puppy is six months old, you may have a difficult or impossible task of training this dog. Terriers are dogs with minds of their own, and although the Sealyham Terrier is less "arrogant" than most Terriers, your dog will be independent enough that you’ll need to have a firm (and gentle) hand when you train.

Proper Environment

The Sealyham Terrier is pretty much an "anything goes" dog when it comes to environment. Although your pet will need a brisk walk at least once a day, you can keep your pet in an apartment or any confined, relatively small space without any difficulty. This breed also gets along well with other animals, including dogs, as long as they are introduced while your dog is still a puppy. However, be aware that “prey” animals like rabbits and birds could be vulnerable around your Sealyham Terrier.


Sealyham Terriers are healthy by nature, although they can be prone to allergies, and to "primary lens luxation," which is an eye disorder. The eyes' lenses become dislodged and require surgery. Thanks to the development of a DNA test, this disorder can be detected through a genetic marker. Your breeder should have tested its dogs for the gene before use in breeding programs. The American Sealyham Terrier Club has a registry, called the SIGHT Registry, developed to track Sealyham Terrier eye health, and has also developed a new registry called the Sealyham Terrier Guard. Breeders – and owners – can register their dogs free of charge and track health information that's relevant to any particular dog. The information on the site is verified by having users send specific veterinary information for each dog to the webmaster. In addition, the American Sealyham Terrier Club belongs to the Canine Health Information Center, which is sponsored by the AKC and Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).

Besides these noted health difficulties, Sealyham Terriers live long, healthy lives, with an average life expectancy of 15 years.


The Sealyham Terrier has a double coat that is long and weather-resistant. It doesn't shed to any great degree but requires clipping or stripping on a regular basis. You should also brush or comb with a slicker brush, stainless steel "Greyhound" brand comb or pin brush regularly, and comb the beard daily so that it stays clean. This is fur that tends to mat, so make sure to brush or comb all the way down to the skin. If you plan to show your pet, you'll need to hand strip the coat; if you'll simply keep your dog as a pet, you can simply clip regularly to prevent matting and minimize shedding.

Finally, trim nails as needed, every week or two, and brush its teeth as often as your agreeable pet will let you (once a day to twice a week) with vet-approved "doggie toothpaste" to prevent dental problems and freshen breath.


Sealyham Terrier.

Retrieved July 5, 2015.

Sealyham Terrier.

Retrieved July 5, 2015.

Sealyham Terrier Dog Breed.

Retrieved July 5, 2015.

Sealyham Terrier.

Retrieved July 5, 2015.

The American Sealyham Terrier Club.

Retrieved July 5, 2015.

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