I am not a expert in Welsh terriers by any stretch of the
imagination. This FAQ is a collection of my personal beliefs about
Welsh terriers. I hope my thoughts will be helpful to you. If you see
any errors please bring them to my attention. This FAQ covers a
small fraction of information regarding Welsh terriers and does not
cover the history or general appearance of the Welsh terrier. Please
see other Welsh terrier FAQs for more information, such as the links
included below. |
AKC's welsh terrier page
FAQ covering the history and general information about the Welsh terrier
Is The Welsh Terrier Right For YouOne person's delight may infuriate another. All breeds have different characteristics. It is both yours and the dog's best interest to know what things are going to drive you crazy (massive shedding, drooling, yapping). What things are you willing to provide the dog with, exercise, grooming or training. Some breeds are higher maintenance than others. Pick a dog that you can live with for 10 to 15 years. All dogs, purebred or mixed are wonderful in their own ways and all give companionship and love. So read on and see if the welsh terrier is for you.
Welsh Terrier TraitsMy Welsh terrier's antics make me smile and laugh. Welsh can be such clowns. I think the Welsh terriers motto is "Have Fun!". They are such happy little dogs that want to have fun and if you don't provide it they will. It is amazing how inventive they can be. Terriers will demand attention, but also love to go off and do their own thing. They love people, but they have lot of other interests too. The welsh may demand attention but not incessantly. I like it when my dog can amuse themselves and be independent, and then come cuddle with me or demand a game of tug.
IndependentWelsh terriers are independent dogs. This can make training harder because they are not hanging on your every word. They have their own minds and they use them.
IntelligentWelsh terriers are usually very intelligent. They learn very quickly and sometimes will outsmart you. They also like to change the rules. So in obedience they may do the exercise correctly or add their own twist to it. Earthdog trials is where my welsh terrier really shows his intelligence. He first finds the prey the easiest and fastest way, then when that doesn't work, he quickly catches on to the rules of the game.
Strong WilledWelsh terriers can be strong willed. They need clear limits and someone who will make them behave. If you are very permissive and let bad behaviors slide, the Welsh terrier will walk all over you. You need to be firm, mean what you say and back it up. But you should never be nasty or harsh with a welsh terrier. You need to believe you are the leader, and what you say goes. Dogs love having a leader, not being the leader. Dogs believe the leader provides the food, decides where to go, settles disputes, and protects the pack. Most dogs need a humans help just to go outside. To feel responsible but have no control or power is a very stressful situation for anyone.
ExerciseWelsh terriers are active dogs and love to play. My welsh terrier loves to retrieve. My other terriers tended to play keep away. My Welsh terrier adores squeaky toys, and 'tug' is also another favorite game. They need daily walks and playtime. You will also experience 'tail tuck runs' or 'zoomies'. This is when the terrier tucks his tail and runs as fast as he can around the yard or in the house sometimes ricocheting off furniture. 'Zoomies' are hysterical to watch. When Welsh terriers play, you may see the 'butt slam'. This is where they swing their body around so their butt slams into another dog. I have never seen another breed do this, but have heard several people mention that their welsh does this, and of course my welsh too.
A Little AltitudeWelsh terriers tend to love high places. Many owners occasionally have found their dog up on kitchen and dining room tables. A very different centerpiece. If you have a picnic table in the backyard, expect to see your welsh terrier on it. They are very agile. My welsh terrier loves to jump straight up and down when he is excited. He can get to the height of my head and I'm 5'4". One welsh terrier owner had problems with her dog getting on the roof. Welsh terriers can be great at agility, they have a blast on all of the obstacles. Training a welsh terrier for agility isn't hard, but because of their inventiveness can very amusing, although it may not win ribbons. Although a welsh terrier did win the world championship in the mini division a year ago.
Water AnticsSome welsh terriers love water and others will have nothing to do with it. Some welsh terriers like to dig in their water bowls, getting water everywhere. My welsh terrier loves to swim and when he overheats he will soak his front feet in the water bowl. Welsh terriers do not seem to tolerate extreme temperatures very well.
Other AnimalsWelsh terriers were bred to be hunters. There main purpose was to 'go to ground,' this means they had to have the courage to follow dangerous prey into a confined area. This courage and determination that was bred into the Welsh terrier is still strong today. The earthdog trials prove that fact. Because of their strong prey drive Welsh terriers tend to go after rodents and squirrels with a vengeance. Having a hamster in the house is usually not a good idea when you have a terrier. Terriers will need a training to be able to coexist with cats. It is better to start off with a puppy if you have a cat.
ChildrenWelsh terriers are good with children if the children are good with them. No dog does well with teasing and tormenting, and the welsh terrier is no exception. With their high energy they have no problem keeping up with the kids.
Welsh Terrier ActivitiesWelsh terriers do all sort of things. There is a search and rescue welsh, therapy welsh, agility welsh, obedience welsh and flyball. My welsh terrier comes from a long line of tracking and obedience welsh terriers. And don't forget earthdog which they are naturals at. I have even heard of a welsh terrier herding, although I think that is a special case. Welsh terriers remind me of a saying, " When they are good they are very very good and when they are bad they are horrible." If you have the time and the patience you can teach a welsh terrier to do anything. And with their zest for life they will do it with style and energy.
Training the Welsh TerrierA welsh terrier will test and question the limits. They are not blindly obedient, but a thinking dog. Terriers were bred to work independently and think for themselves. Welsh terriers are not known to be obedient dogs. The reason for this is because traditional training methods bore the living daylights out of the terrier. When a terrier is bored, he will find something fun to do, and it is not going to be 'sit' for the zillionth time. Welsh terriers can be very inventive. When you train your terrier, you must create the desire for your terrier to please and obey you. The terrier's free thinking is a trait I really love. Blind obedience tends to drive me crazy, which is one reason I love terriers so much.
Training with a terrier can be interesting. You have to be more exciting then your surroundings. That's why clicker training is great with terriers. Here is a short explanation of clicker training and some great links to other clicker training sites.
Grooming the Welsh TerrierThe Welsh terrier has to be groomed every six to eight weeks. All dogs will need their nails cut regularly, teeth brushed and ears cleaned. The Welsh terrier wire haired coat sheds very little, about what a person does. Therefore, the welsh terrier wire coat needs to be clipped or hand-striped. Cymro Kennels has a great page that describes how to clip a welsh terrier. If you are going to have a groomer clip your dog I suggest you print out the instructions, otherwise your welsh terrier will probable come out looking like a schnauzer. If the groomer refuses to follow the directions, you may want to get another groomer. See my grooming page for more information regarding grooming.
Welsh Terrier HealthWelsh terriers tend to be very healthy. There are problems of glaucoma and skin allergies, but on the whole they are very healthy.
Buying a Welsh TerrierYou have done your research and have decided that the welsh terrier is the dog for you. Now, the question is "Where do you find a welsh terrier?" You soon find that this is not an easy question.
PriceOne important question is "How much does a Welsh terrier cost?" Expect to pay anywhere from $600 to $1000 dollars for a welsh terrier puppy from a reputable breeder in the US. And yes, I'm talking about a pet quality welsh terrier puppy. If you cannot afford the price of a puppy you may want to look into getting an adult welsh terrier from rescue or a breeder may have a retired show dog that they want to go to a good home. And do not not forget the cost of owning a dog, vet's fees, food, crate, leash, collar, toys, the list goes on and on.
Please do not buy from a pet store. Most of those puppies come from puppy mills. Please buy from a reputable breeder.
AvailabilityAs with any breed that is not very common you run into the problem of availability. There just are not that many around. It make take you some time to find a breeder and then you will probably have to wait until the litter is born. The same can be true in rescue.
Locating Breeders/RescueFinding a welsh terrier breeder in your area can be a difficult. The Welsh Terrier club of America provides a starting point. The WTCA has a web site, http://clubs.akc.org/wtca/, where you can get a referral list of welsh terrier breeders across the US. You can get lots of great information from these breeders. And if they do not have a dog for you they may be able to direct you to someone who may. Please read the etiquette section. These people are very busy and because they are contact points they have to field a lot of calls. So please be considerate.
Another good way is to go to a dog show and talk to people who are showing welsh terriers. To find a dog show near you, go to the American Kennel Club's web site to look one up. AKC's web site's URL is http://www.akc.org If there are not any welsh terriers being shown that day, talk to other terrier handlers and they may know of some welsh terrier people. Always remember to talk to the handlers after they are finished in the show ring.
To get in contact with Welsh terrier Rescue look at their web page. http://www.wtcares.org/ They can then direct you to the rescue contact person in your area.
EtiquetteExpect to answer a lot of questions about yourself, your family, and your living conditions. Most breeders want their puppies to go to good 'forever' homes. They have found that certain situations lead to people getting rid of their pets. And ask any rescue person and they can tell you lots of silly reasons why people give up their dogs. Reputable breeders do not want their dogs ending up at a shelter or worse. If for some reason you find you cannot keep your welsh terrier, contact your breeder. Most reputable breeders will take a dog back regardless of the dog's age or health. So you can easily see why breeders want to be very careful about placing their puppies. And breeders care a lot about their puppies and a christmas card and pictures are always appreciated. They love to know how their puppies are doing.
Most reputable breeders are small hobby breeders. This means they show and breed dogs as a hobby. Therefore, they have regular jobs to support themselves and their families. So you must be considerate of their time. When calling a breeder long distance, leave a message that they can call you collect or call back later. They may field a lot of calls about welsh terriers and long distance charges can add up fast. Don't forget to include as much information about yourself and your situation as you can. This goes for emails too. A short curt question of "do u have puppies?" is not going to get answered. Also, please use correct punctuation and don't shorten words like 'you' to 'u'. With the internet and the ease of email, breeders can get bombarded with email and phone calls. They are busy people and answering emails and phone calls takes up a lot of time. So please, keep that in mind.
Good luck with your new dog, whatever breed you decide on.
Tail wags from Hoover