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Sealyham Terrier: A Guide to This Rare and Lovable Breed - PawSafe

Sealyham Terrier: A Guide to This Rare and Lovable Breed

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

Sealyham Terrier

Dive into the world of the Sealyham Terrier, a dog breed that epitomizes the term “small but mighty.” With its distinctive appearance and spirited personality, the Sealyham Terrier has charmed dog lovers around the globe. Originating from Wales, this breed was once renowned for its prowess in hunting and is now celebrated as a loyal and quirky companion.

Whether you’re intrigued by its history, curious about its characteristics, or considering bringing one into your home, this article will guide you through the enchanting journey of getting to know the Sealyham Terrier as one of the rarest Terriers of England & Wales. Join us as we explore the unique qualities that make this breed a hidden gem in the canine world.

Before you google search where to get a Sealyham terrier, we have researched and compiled well-thought-out information on all you need to know about this amazing breed. Always make sure to do full research on any breed to make sure they fit your lifestyle before searching for “Sealyham Terrier Puppy For Sale.”

Despite their small size, Sealyham Terriers are known for their courage and determination. They are intelligent dogs that are eager to please their owners. They are also known for their loyalty and affectionate nature.

Sealyham Terriers require regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. They are stubborn and require consistent training, which ensures they are well-behaved and obedient. Ensure you use the same commands and words when interacting with your dog.

Their distinctive appearance, long, white, wiry coat and bushy eyebrows, and lively and affectionate personality make them a charming companion for those who appreciate their unique qualities.

History & Origins of the Sealyham Terrier

A white Sealyham Terrier with a brown ear facing camera on grass

The Sealyham Terrier is a Welsh breed developed in the mid-1800s by Captain John Edwardes of Sealyham House in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Their name in Welsh is Daeargi Sealyham. The breed was created by crossing several working terrier breeds, including the Dandie Dinmont, the West Highland White, the Wire Fox, and the Bull Terrier. The goal was to create a small, tenacious dog that could hunt badgers, foxes, and otters in the Welsh countryside.

The Sealyham Terrier quickly gained popularity among the Welsh gentry and aristocracy as a working dog and a companion. The breed was recognized by the Kennel Club in 1911, and its popularity spread to other parts of the world, including the United States, where the American Kennel Club later recognized it in the same year.

During the early 20th century, the Sealyham Terrier was a favorite of celebrities and royalty, including Elizabeth Taylor, Alfred Hitchcock, and Queen Elizabeth II. However, the breed’s popularity declined after World War II, and today it is considered a rare breed. In 2008, only 43 Sealyham Terrier puppies were registered with the Kennel Club in the United Kingdom. Despite its declining popularity, the Sealyham Terrier remains a beloved breed among its enthusiasts.

Why are Sealyham Terriers Rare?

Sealyham Terriers, once exceedingly popular, are now a rare dog breed, with only a few hundred puppies registered each year. In fact, some sources claim they are as rare as a tiger and one of the most vulnerable dog breeds. The extremely small population of Sealies has led to a problem in genetic diversity.

There are several reasons why Sealyham Terriers are rare:

1. Historical Decline in Popularity

Sealyham Terriers were once a popular dog breed, especially in the United Kingdom. However, their popularity declined in the mid-20th century, and they have never regained their former popularity. This decline in popularity has contributed to their rarity.

2. Small Breeding Population

Sealyham Terriers have a relatively small breeding population, which makes it challenging to maintain genetic diversity and avoid inbreeding. This can lead to health problems and reduced fertility, further increasing their rarity.

3. High Cost

Sealyham Terriers are a relatively expensive dog breed, making them inaccessible to many potential owners. The cost of breeding, raising, and caring for Sealyham Terriers can also be high, limiting the number of breeders and further contributing to their rarity.

4. Challenges in Breeding

Breeding Sealyham Terriers can be challenging, as they are prone to several health issues, including deafness, eye problems, and skin allergies. These health issues can make it difficult to produce healthy puppies, which can further contribute to their rarity.

Revival of the Sealyham Terrier Breed: A Spotlight Triumph at Crufts

The Sealyham Terrier, a breed teetering on the brink of extinction, recently basked in a moment of unexpected limelight, giving hope to enthusiasts of this charming canine variety. Charmin, a striking Sealyham Terrier, confidently trotted into the spotlight, clinching the esteemed “Best in Show ” title at the globally-renowned Crufts dog show, as detailed in a Birmingham Mail article

This significant win not only celebrates the individual merits of Charmin but also thrusts the entire breed into a well-deserved public view, potentially igniting interest among dog lovers and breeders alike. 

What Does The Sealyham Terrier Look Like?

Sealies are small dogs with a sturdy build. They have a well proportioned body with a relatively broad head and a black nose and dark almond shaped eyes. Their ears are small and and are set moderately low and close to the head. Some people may confuse a Sealyham Terrier with white Scottish Terrier or even a Wheaten Terrier.

How Big Does a Full-Grown Sealyham Terrier Get?

The Sealyham Terrier is a small to medium-sized dog breed. According to the breed standard, the ideal height for a Sealyham Terrier is around 10 to 12 inches at the shoulder and weighs around 20 to 24 lbs. However, their overall growth depends on diet, health, and genetics.

Sealyham Terrier Coat & Colors

The Sealyham Terrier has a weather-resistant double coat that protects them from harsh elements. The outer coat is wiry and challenging, while the undercoat is soft and dense. The coat comes in various colors white with lemon, blue, badger pied, brown and black markings on the head, usually around the ears.

To maintain the Sealyham Terrier’s coat, use a quality dog shampoo to keep them clean, soft, and shiny. Invest also in a dog cologne to keep their coat smelling nice and to avoid unnecessary wash. They should be brushed at least once weekly to remove loose hair and prevent matting. They require occasional trimming and stripping to maintain the texture of their coat.

How Much Does A Sealyham Terrier Puppy Cost?

Puppy Cost: The Sealyham Terrier, a rare and distinctive breed, carries a price tag that reflects its uniqueness. Depending on the breeder’s reputation, location, and the puppy’s lineage, prices can range significantly. On average, a Sealyham Terrier puppy may cost between $1,500 and $2,500.

Prospective owners should prioritize finding a reputable breeder who conducts health screenings and provides a supportive start for the puppies. This initial investment ensures that you’re bringing home a healthy, well-socialized companion.

Temperament and Personality

Wet Sealyham Terrier dog standing by a lake

Sealyham Terriers are known for their charming and well-adjusted personalities. They are friendly and affectionate dogs that love to be around people. They are also known to be independent, sassy, feisty, and stubborn, which can make training challenging.

Regarding exercise, Sealyham Terriers have moderate energy levels and require daily walks and playtime. These dogs enjoy hiking, agility training, and playing fetch. It is crucial to ensure that Sealyham Terriers get enough exercise to prevent obesity and other health issues.

However, with proper training and socialization at an early stage, Sealyham Terriers can be well-behaved and obedient as adults. They are intelligent dogs who love learning new things and are eager to please their owners. Sealyham Terriers are fearless and vocal and will not back down from a challenge, which can make them excellent watchdogs.

Health Concerns in Sealyham Terriers

A white Sealyham Terrier with black background

Sealyham Terriers are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they are prone to certain health issues. Owners need to be aware of these potential health concerns so they can take steps to prevent or manage them.

Common Health Issues

  • Allergies: Sealyham Terriers can develop allergies to food, pollen, or other environmental factors. Symptoms include itching, scratching, and skin irritations. Allergies can be managed through medication and avoidance of trigger factors.
  • Eye Problems: Sealyham Terriers are prone to several eye conditions, including cataracts, glaucoma, and progressive retinal atrophy. Regular eye exams by a veterinarian can help detect and treat these issues early. The Sealy Health Guard always warns about lens luxation and recommends many genetic tests before breeding.
  • Hip Dysplasia: This is a genetic condition in which the hip joint does not develop properly, leading to arthritis and lameness. Look out for signs like limping in your dog to get ahead of this condition. Sealyham Terriers should have their hips evaluated by a veterinarian before breeding.
  • Skin Problems: Sealyham Terriers have sensitive skin prone to bacterial or fungal infections. Regular grooming and skin checks can help prevent and manage skin issues.
  • Obesity: Sealyham Terriers are prone to obesity, which can lead to various health issues. Owners should monitor their dog’s diet and exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Degenerative Myelopathy: Research shows that this neurological disease is extremely common in Sealyham terriers, and breeders should always test their dogs for the gene before breeding.
  • Dental Care: Sealyham Terriers can develop dental problems like gum disease and tooth decay. Consider a quality dog mouthwash to prevent and eliminate plaque building and bad odor.

By being aware of these potential health concerns and taking proactive steps to prevent and manage them, owners can help ensure their Sealyham Terrier lives long and healthy.

How Long Does The Sealyham Terrier Live?

The Sealyham Terrier is known for its robust health and spirited disposition, qualities that contribute to its impressive lifespan. Typically, a Sealyham Terrier can enjoy a long life of 12 to 15 years.

How To Groom A Sealyham Terrier


Sealyham Terriers have a wiry, double-layered coat that requires daily brushing to prevent matting and tangling. Use a slicker brush or a pin brush to remove loose hair and dirt from the coat. Start at the head and work down to the tail, brushing toward the hair growth. Be sure to brush the hair on the legs and underbelly as well. Use a lint roller afterward to pick up all the dirt and fur from the floor.


Sealyham Terriers should be bathed every 4-6 weeks to keep their coat clean and healthy. To maintain the Sealyham Terrier’s coat, use a quality dog shampoo to keep them clean, soft, and shiny. Rinse thoroughly and towel dry. Avoid using a hair dryer, as it can damage the coat. Invest also in a dog cologne to keep their coat smelling nice and to avoid unnecessary wash.


Sealyham Terriers require regular trimming to maintain their distinctive look. Use scissors or clippers to trim the hair around the ears, feet, and tail. Be careful not to cut the hair too short, as it can take a long time to grow back.

Nail Care

Sealyham Terriers have small, compact feet with solid nails. Trim the nails every 4-6 weeks to prevent them from getting too long and causing discomfort. Use a sharp pair of dog nail clippers and be careful not to cut the quick, which is the pink part of the nail that contains blood vessels.

Teeth Cleaning

Sealyham Terriers are prone to dental problems, so cleaning their teeth regularly is essential. Use a dog toothbrush and toothpaste to brush their teeth at least once a week. You can also give them dental chews or toys to help keep their teeth clean.

Training and Exercise Needs

Sealyham Terriers are intelligent and independent dogs that require early socialization and obedience training to prevent behavioral issues. Like all dogs, they respond well to positive reinforcement, and harsh training methods should be avoided. Consistency and patience are key when training a Sealyham Terrier.

When training a Sealyham Terrier, their strong prey drive must be kept in mind. These dogs were originally bred to hunt small game and may tend to chase after small animals. It is important to keep them on a leash or in a securely fenced area to prevent them from running off after prey.

Are Sealyham Terriers good with kids?

Sealyham Terriers are known for their friendly and affectionate personalities. They are generally good with children when properly trained, but like with any breed, it is essential to supervise interactions between dogs and children to ensure safety.

However, it is important to note that Sealyham Terriers can be stubborn and independent, sometimes leading to training challenges. It is important to establish clear boundaries and rules with your dog to ensure they understand their role in the family dynamic.

Sealyham Terriers and Other Pets

Sealyham Terriers can get along well with other pets, but early socialization is necessary to avoid any potential conflicts. Here are some tips on how to introduce your Sealyham Terrier to other pets:

  • Training: Training your Sealyham Terrier can help prevent any potential conflict with other pets. Teach them basic commands such as “sit” and “stay” to help them stay calm in different situations.
  • Introduce them slowly: When introducing your Sealyham Terrier to a new pet, it is important to take things slowly. Allow them to sniff and get used to each other’s presence before allowing them to interact more closely.
  • Supervise interactions: Always supervise interactions between your Sealyham Terrier and other pets. This will help prevent any potential conflicts and ensure that everyone stays safe.
  • Positive reinforcement: Use positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior. Reward your Sealyham Terrier for being calm and gentle around other pets.
  • Consider the other pet’s personality: Consider the personality of the other pet when introducing them to your Sealyham Terrier. Some pets may be more aggressive or territorial than others, so it is important to be aware of this and take appropriate precautions.

Dietary Needs

A balanced diet rich in nutrients is essential for Sealyham Terrier growth and development.

Protein is a crucial component of a Sealyham Terrier’s diet as it helps to build and repair muscle tissue. High-quality animal-based protein sources such as chicken, beef, and fish are recommended. However, it is important to avoid feeding them large amounts of protein as it can lead to obesity. Studies show that older dogs need more protein than younger ones to avoid early mortality, provided their liver and kidneys are functioning correctly.

Carbohydrates are also important as they provide energy. Complex carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, and oats are recommended over simple carbohydrates such as sugar and white bread.

Sealyham Terriers also require a certain amount of fat in their diet to maintain healthy skin and coat. Healthy fats such as fish and flaxseed can be added to their diet to ensure they receive enough essential fatty acids. It is known that fats also add a pleasing taste and texture to your dog’s meal, improving their consumption.

Overall, a balanced diet rich in nutrients and tailored to a Sealyham Terrier’s specific needs is essential for their health and well-being.

Where to Get a Sealyham Terrier

If you’re interested in getting a Sealyham Terrier, a few options are available. Because of their rarity, the best step is to contact the Sealyham Terrier Club of America to find dogs for adoption or reputable and ethical breeders.


A Sealyham Terrier puppy sitting in leaves

One option is to purchase a Sealyham Terrier from a reputable breeder. It’s important to research and find a breeder who is knowledgeable about the breed and follows ethical breeding practices.

When choosing a breeder, it’s important to ask questions about the health and temperament of the puppies and the parents’ health and genetic testing. A good breeder will happily answer any questions and provide references from previous puppy buyers.

Rescue Organizations

Another option is to adopt a Sealyham Terrier from a rescue organization. Several rescue organizations specialize in Sealyham Terriers, and they often have dogs of various ages available for adoption.

Adopting a dog from a rescue organization is a great way to give a dog a second chance at a happy life. It’s important to ask questions about the dog’s history and temperament to ensure they fit your family well.

Sealyham Terrier Rescue Organizations

Sealyham Terriers are a rare breed and can be difficult to find in rescue organizations. However, a few organizations still specialize in rescuing and rehoming Sealyham Terriers.

United States

  • Sealyham Terrier Rescue: This organization is dedicated to rescuing and rehoming Sealyham Terriers in the United States. They have a network of volunteers who work tirelessly to find loving homes for these dogs. They also provide education and support to owners struggling with their Sealyham Terriers.

United Kingdom

  • National Sealyham Terrier Rescue: This UK-based organization works closely with other rescue organizations to ensure these dogs find loving homes. They also provide education and support to owners struggling with their Sealyham Terriers.

If you are interested in adopting a Sealyham Terrier, it is recommended to contact these organizations to inquire about availability and adoption requirements.

Pet Stores

It’s not recommended to purchase a Sealyham Terrier from a pet store. Many pet stores get their puppies from puppy mills known for poor breeding practices and inhumane conditions. It’s important to avoid supporting these types of operations by not purchasing puppies from pet stores.

Best Names for a Sealyham Terrier

Choosing a name for your Sealyham Terrier can be an exciting task. However, selecting a name that fits your new furry friend’s personality can also be challenging. Here are some suggestions for the best names for a Sealyham Terrier:

Traditional Names

Sealyham Terriers have a rich history, and many traditional names reflect their Welsh heritage. Here are some classic Welsh names that could suit your new pup:

  • Dylan;
  • Gwyn;
  • Llewellyn;
  • Rhys; and
  • Tegan.

Unique Names

If you are looking for something a little more unique, here are some suggestions:

  • Biscuit;
  • Cinnamon;
  • Doodle;
  • Gizmo; and
  • Muffin.

Pop Culture Names

Are you a fan of movies or TV shows? Consider naming your Sealyham Terrier after a character from your favorite film or series. Here are some ideas:

  • Arya (Game of Thrones);
  • Chewie (Star Wars);
  • Dobby (Harry Potter);
  • Gandalf (Lord of the Rings); and
  • Yoda (Star Wars).

Food-Inspired Names

If you are a foodie, why not name your Sealyham Terrier after your favorite snack or dish? Here are some suggestions:

  • Bagel;
  • Biscotti;
  • Caramel;
  • Latte; and
  • Sushi.

In conclusion, there are many great names to choose from when naming your Sealyham Terrier. Whether you prefer traditional names, unique names, pop culture names, or food-inspired names, there is sure to be a name that fits your new pup’s personality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Sealyham Terriers hypoallergenic?

Sealyham Terriers are not considered hypoallergenic. They do shed, albeit minimally. However, their wiry coat does not trap allergens like dander and dust as much as other breeds, making them a better option for people with allergies.

Do Sealyham Terriers bark?

Sealyham Terriers are known to be vocal dogs and can bark excessively if not appropriately trained. They love to bark at noises outside, or for attention when they want something. However, they can learn to control their barking with proper training and socialization.

Do Sealyham Terriers Shed?

Sealyham Terriers do shed, but their wiry coat sheds minimally. Regular grooming and brushing can help keep shedding under control.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Sealyham Terriers are a unique and charming breed that makes excellent companions for the right owner. While they may not be the best choice for families with young children or other pets, they are loyal, affectionate, and playful with their human family members.

One thing to remember when considering a Sealyham Terrier is their grooming needs. Regular brushing and grooming are essential to maintain their distinctive coat and prevent matting. They also require regular exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.

Meet Your Experts

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Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.