Welsh Terrier is a black-backed breed of burrowing dogs that resemble miniature copies of Airedale Terriers.
The Welsh Terrier is a temperamental extrovert, “obsessed” with hunting and outdoor games. Despite the modest size of the breed, its representatives are literally charged with courage and courage, which is why it is extremely undesirable to let them off the leash on busy streets and in the field of view of larger dogs. And the welsh know what real friendship is. Therefore, do not hope that you will so easily be able to get rid of the signs of attention and manifestations of the pet’s feelings – these shaggy rascals have an incredible amount of ways to make contact and share their own experiences with the owner.
The pedigree of the breed goes back to the 17th century when wire-haired black and tan terriers roamed the fields of English Wales. Initially, cocky, ringing dogs were bred by farmers who needed compact animals that combined the “qualifications” of guards and rat-catchers, but at the same time content with a ladle of liquid soup. Subsequently, the Welsh dogs “spun off” several new breed lines, including the Welsh family.
Over time, the genus of the Old English Black and Tan Terrier died out, giving way to more tenacious and agile descendants. Perhaps that is why, from the middle of the 19th century, increased attention was paid to “pumping” the external and working qualities of Welsh terriers – by 1886 the breed already had its own standard, and pages in herd books, and a club of admirers. The descendants of the Welsh rat catchers came to Russia after the Great Patriotic War, but they did not arouse professional interest among dog breeders. As a result, the shaggy “emigrants” lived ordinary, unremarkable lives of pets, who did not leave behind purebred offspring.
Really breeding welsh terriers in the USSR began in the 70s, when breeding individuals were brought to the country from abroad. At that time, the domestic livestock came from foreign producers Glai-Erik, Axel, Glory-Mersey, and Judita-Jojo, so soon the breeders faced a shortage of fresh genes – all the animals mated by Soviet breeders were closely related to each other. Fortunately, already in the 80s, the problem was solved by importing pedigree Welsh terriers from Sweden, Germany, and Finland, which significantly improved the external indicators of Russian breed lines.
At the first acquaintance with the Welsh, I really want to write him down as a relative of the Airedale Terrier – the same shaggy rectangular muzzle, the same coarse hair on the body, and the same hunting bearing. In fact, the only common ancestor among the breeds is the Old English Black and Tan Terrier. At the same time, representatives of both families were never crossed among themselves, not to mention working specializations, which are completely different for the Welsh and the Airedale. In particular, the welsh terrier has always been “sharpened” for burrow hunting, while its competitor from Yorkshire was more often practiced in catching river otters.
Welsh terriers have a flattened, moderately wide skull, a harmoniously developed, but not excessively long muzzle, and an emphasized smooth stop.
Strong, strong teeth close in a scissor bite. The massive, well-defined jaws are characterized by good depth.
The nose is neat, painted in a uniform black tone.
Welsh terriers are characterized by small almond-shaped eyes without obvious bulge and roundness.
The welsh have elegant, high-set ears: medium-sized, regular V-shaped, close to the temples.
The neck of the Welsh Terrier has a slight graceful curve and merges smoothly into the shoulders. The neck muscles are well developed, but not overly developed.
The Welsh Terrier is a compact dog. The back of the animal is short, with a strong loin; the chest is moderately wide and deep.
The welsh have strong, even legs with low hock joints, which provide the animal with a free, energetic reach and linearity of movement. The shoulder blades of the dog are long, strongly laid back; The pasterns are strong and straight, and the elbows move freely along the body. The hind legs look massive due to the muscular elongated thighs, while the paws have a miniature cat shape.
Historically, welsh, like all burrowing terriers, had their tail docked. Today, this procedure is prohibited by European associations, therefore, modern representatives of the breed have tails set high in normal length, carried vertically (the so-called cheerful tail is considered a defect). If the tail is docked, which is still found in Russia, its tip should not be higher than the occipital protuberance of the pet.
The slightly disheveled “coat” of the Welsh Terrier consists of an undercoat and a wiry, coarse awn. At the same time, the layer of wool is very dense, not lagging behind the body of the animal.
The Welsh Terrier can be black and tan or must have a black grizzly and tan coat. At the same time, black markings on the toes are prohibited, and a black color below the hocks of the dog is also not desirable.
The disadvantages of the exterior include too large dimensions (height above 39 cm at the withers), hawk paws, anatomical deviations from the standard (long/sloping croup, abdomen, weak withers, etc.). The ban on exhibiting in the ring applies to welsh terriers with cryptorchidism, depigmented lobes, lips, and eyelids, atypical colors and structure of the coat, as well as cowardly and overly aggressive dogs.
Welsh is perhaps one of the most “terrier” representatives of its group. Infinitely expressive, reckless, and about other animals also incredibly daring, this comrade wants to keep up always and everywhere. Having acquired a breed for home keeping, you should not succumb to its hunting past: Welsh Terriers do not rush at children and do not show aggression towards adults. The only thing you need to get used to is the waywardness of a moving dog. The real Welsh Terrier has its own vision of any everyday situation and its own system of judgments, so it can be difficult to convince him.
The breed cannot imagine life without close contact with the owner. To be more precise, the Welsh are generally ready not to part with the owner for days: a terrier who rests his head on a slipper or a man’s leg and falls asleep in this position is a completely ordinary picture. By the way, if you dream of a pet that can “mimic” the color of the wallpaper, you will definitely not be on your way with Welsh Terriers, because you can always see and hear them in your apartment. And it is also difficult to hide anything from the welsh, therefore, having acquired a representative of this family, prepare to be “under the hood” of the pet every minute.
The Welsh Terrier does not get along with other dogs: this is a fact to be accepted. In addition, he is the greatest provocateur, who knows how to arouse hostile interest from shepherds, wolfhounds, and other large tribesmen famous for their ferocity. However, the dog behaves no better with small representatives of the fauna – cats, hamsters, and rats, seeing the welsh, scatter at a jet speed. The Welsh Terrier loves to arrange tough fights with creatures even slightly inferior to him in size.
A modern purebred Welsh Terrier is almost always a gamer. Do not think that you have completed the mission by taking the dog outside and making him run after the ball. Upon returning home, the shaggy Meteor will continue to demand a new portion of entertainment. He does this not impudently, but in the manner characteristic of terriers, that is, every minute waiting for the owner who is distracted from business and reminding him of his own existence. Toys scattered around the house are another clever way to trap a person in their net. As soon as you kick the squeaker that has turned under your foot, the welsh will regard the sound made by the toy as a signal for action, and then you will not be able to get away from the game.
The Internet is full of funny videos, the heroes of which are terriers, including coffee makers, brushing dust from furniture and polishing shoes to a shine. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that such shows are months, if not years, of hard work. In ordinary life, welsh, like all representatives of the terrier group, are not eager to learn and do not tolerate if they are forced to acquire knowledge. Therefore, the only way to get your dog interested in training is to put it into play form. The main thing is that the four-legged prankster does not see through the trick and does not guess that serious work lies behind the alleged entertainment. Positive incentives can work wonders too. Welsh terriers are susceptible to praise, and they are easy to seduce with a treat.
In raising a puppy, you must adhere to moderate hardness. From the first days of being in the house, the baby must understand the system of prohibitions and strictly follow it in the future. At first, the Welsh Terrier will try to defend his own rights. For example, he will whine resentfully when he cannot lie on the bed, or he will begin to hypnotize every piece that a person puts into his mouth with a glance. It is important not to be led on provocations and not to meet the dog’s weaknesses. Any permissive action for an animal is identical to a small victory that should be consolidated. As a result: today you fished out a piece of meat for the Welsh from your own plate, and tomorrow the pet will jump on your lap to take the treat from the table on its own.
Train your puppy to come up on demand in time. By three or four months, the welsh terrier must respond to the call of the owner, and the animal can be controlled either by the standard command “Come to me!” Or by simply pronouncing the nickname. However, it is not worth abusing trust, therefore if the animal is guilty, calling him for punishment is a gross mistake. Welsh is an intelligent creature and will quickly figure out what awaits him in such cases, so next time he will either skillfully play deafness or hide from punishment.
If the Welsh Terrier began to creep towards dominance, they must be abruptly but harmlessly stopped. For example, if the dog decided to grumble in response to demands or after the command “Sit!” abruptly breaks off, you can shake it well or press it with your hand to the floor.
Important! Do not follow fashion trends and do not train Welsh with an electric collar. This is a very painful accessory for the animal, which in the future can harm the already sensitive neck of the Welsh Terrier.
To train the welsh to the toilet, take him for a walk more often. Puppies cannot and cannot endure for a long time, so it is important to have time to take the baby out before he has time to make a puddle (right after sleeping or eating). If the ward did not hold out for the walk and left waste products on the floor, do not scold or spank him. The puppy will decide that going to the toilet in your presence is the height of bad manners and next time he will relieve himself in a secluded corner of the apartment. In general, with age, Welsh terriers quickly realize that it is more convenient to satisfy their toilet needs on the street and are looking forward to their next walk.
It is better to train your pet in the ring in secluded places where there are no dogs and other people. This will make it easier for the welsh terrier to concentrate on the commands. Usually, training starts with running (commands “Lynx!”, “Work!”). If the animal moves incorrectly and goes to a gallop, it should be pulled back (command “No!”). From straight movements, you can move on to running in a circle, which is a more difficult action. The commands “Ring!”, “Inspection!”, “Teeth!” are introduced after the welsh terrier has learned to move at a correct trot.
In Russian realities, you can successfully walk a fox with a Welsh. The breed is distinguished by good malice and violently attacks the beast in the burrow. However, it is better not to count on lightning success, since seasoned foxes can lead the dog by the nose for a long time, winding through underground tunnels. It usually takes several hours for a Welsh Terrier to wear down a red cheat and drive it out under a shot. The process is especially delayed if the hole is old and branched.
The situation is even more complicated with badger burrows, which are sometimes occupied by fox families. It can be difficult for a welsh to navigate in this semblance of the Parisian catacombs, and often, having been active for several hours, the dog loses interest in the enemy. That is why, when buying a puppy for hunting purposes, it is important to ask the seller how high the degree of viscosity is in the parents of the baby. This quality, like malice towards the beast, is inherited and even an experienced pro will not be able to raise it just like that.
In Europe and America, classic hunting is not favored, preferring to replace it with bloodless entertainment. For example, in the USA, welsh terriers are used in such a sport as barn hunt (from the English barn hunt – barn hunting). The essence of the attraction is to imitate hunting actions with the help of a maze built of straw bales, in which cages with rats are placed. A Welsh terrier launched into a burrow is obliged to find rodents in the shortest possible time and inform the owner about it.
At the moment, Barnhart is recognized as an official sport by several cynological associations. In addition, it does not establish class boundaries for participants (both show pets and pet-class welsh can compete). In Russia, such “quests” are not yet widespread, although some pioneers have already built straw labyrinths on their personal plots, where welsh terriers and their relatives are successfully trained.
A Welsh terrier puppy is a small energizer with an unquenchable passion for pranks and destruction, so before transporting your baby to a new home, take care of purchasing space constraints. This can be dog cages, indoor aviaries, and other structures that do not allow the animal to get out of the designated area. Of course, a pet should not sit for days in this semblance of a camera, but, leaving home even for a short period, it is wiser to protect the welsh terrier from himself, limiting the range of movement.
It is better to use old textiles as bedding in the cage, rather than newspapers, which the Welsh can chew for fun. On hot summer days, Welsh Terriers are not averse to freshening up in the pond, so if there is no one nearby, you can arrange an artificial pool for the dog in the yard by filling a flat, shallow container with water.
Take care of buying the right collar and leash and take the Welsh out into the busy streets where other dogs meet, in full walking gear. Remember that Welsh Terriers react very violently to even a minor provocation from four-legged pets. When keeping a dog in the yard of a private house, choose a fence responsibly. The Welsh Terrier is extremely jumpy, not to mention that this comrade manages to dig under the fence in a matter of minutes.
Conditional molting is something that happens to Welsh terriers twice a year. The breed does not fully shed its hair, therefore, for the cover to be renewed, the owner will have to do trimming (hair pinching) or entrust the process to an experienced groomer. The first trimmings begin at puppyhood: at three to four months, it is time for a Welsh to be taught to calmly endure an unpleasant procedure for him. If you plan to polish yourself, buy a groomer tool: knives with frequent, medium, and coarse notches, nutcrackers, and other auxiliary little things, including brushes and collars.
Before pinching the Welsh Terrier, it is necessary to comb along with the growth of the coat and against it, along the way taking apart the mats, if any. In addition, you will have to prepare for the fact that a stunning result will not work right away. Keep in mind that a truly spectacular awn will grow after a few trimmings. At the same time, at first, Welsh Terriers have to flaunt almost naked, since, during the first pinch of wool, all dead hair to the undercoat has to be removed, which exposes the skin. Puppies and juveniles may have another problem – the spine on the neck and chest that does not want to shed. It is not recommended to be zealous and try to rip the fur in such cases. Just comb these parts of the body daily and wait for the hair to begin to die off by itself.
Beginning fans of the breed at the first tweaks are better guided by grooming schemes that are easy to find on the Internet. They clearly illustrate how to correctly grip the coat and in what sequence to trim parts of the dog’s body. For example, before the show, the legs of the wives rarely pinch to the undercoat, since the limbs of the show individuals must look like columns, otherwise, the mark in the ring will be lowered.
Important! Show dogs are plucked a couple of months before entering the ring, and this requires a special, more thorough trimming. If you are not yet able to properly “cultivate” the welsh, it is better to entrust the show pinch to the groomer, having carefully studied his portfolio.
Taking care of the ears, eyes, and mouth of a Welsh Terrier is not difficult, but necessary. The most important thing is a timely examination of the organs of hearing and vision, as well as their hygiene. The wax from the ear funnel is removed with a clean cloth dipped in hydrogen peroxide, chlorhexidine, or miramistin. Dust lumps from the eyes in the morning can be removed with a clean napkin, and once a week it is useful to wipe the mucous membrane of the eyelids with cold tea or chamomile broth. About once every three days, you will have to arm yourself with a toothbrush and toothpaste for dogs to clean the pet’s mouth. This process is simple, given that veterinary pastes do not foam and after them, you do not need to rinse the welsh mouth with water.
Usually mixed and dry types of the feeding of dogs are preferred by breeders who regularly celebrate at international exhibitions – being in field conditions, feeding a pet with natural food becomes troublesome. On the contrary, breeders of working lines prefer animal proteins, cereals, and fresh vegetables to industrial “drying”.
The traditional adult Welsh Terrier menu consists of lean meat, tripe, and offal, which are added to buckwheat and rice porridge cooked in broth. Fillets of ocean fish also add a pleasant variety to the diet, like fermented milk products, but such delights should not appear in a dog’s bowl every day.
Pumpkin and carrots seasoned with unrefined vegetable oil are used as vitamin supplements. Welsh Terriers love such salads if they are accustomed to them from an early age. Some individuals prefer heat-treated vegetables or sauerkraut – this is normal and acceptable. The main thing is not to try to replace animal protein with vegetable fiber.
Kelp, fucus, and fish oil, which have no contraindications and are well tolerated by the dog’s digestion, can become an equivalent replacement for industrial mineral complexes. Homemade rye croutons or dried fruits are perfect as treats that reward the animal for success in learning and training. The main thing is that the latter is not from a store where such products contain killer doses of dyes, sugar, and preservatives.
The average Welsh lives up to 12-14 years old. Serious hereditary diseases have not been identified in the breed, except perhaps for joint dysplasia, which is less common in shaggy “natives” of Wales than in larger dogs. Among the typical ailments of Welsh terriers, experts note atopic skin diseases, which can provoke an unbalanced diet, hypothyroidism, and epilepsy. In some individuals, eye diseases may occur – glaucoma, dislocation of the lens.
How to choose a puppy?
- Choose active, curious medium-sized puppies. Too small or large welsh is not the most enviable product.
- If you are looking for an animal with show and breeding potential, give preference to grown-up individuals, since even a psychic cannot predict the show career of a two-month-old puppy.
- Pay attention to the body condition of the litter. Welsh terriers should be neither thin nor well-fed.
- Ask what diplomas the progeny have. As a rule, parents with developed working (hunting) qualities have children with similar talents.
- There should be no white spots on the coat of a Welsh terrier. If the seller offers a welsh with a white blaze or a mark on the chest, assuring that there is nothing to worry about for pet category animals, do not fall for persuasion and refuse to buy.
- Check what vaccinations the puppies received and what they eat. Responsible breeders feed their wards with natural or super premium-class “drying”. If, while walking around the kennel, you come across a Pedigri bag, do not expect to buy a healthy Welsh terrier here.