A big dog in a small dogs body, the Sealyham terrier weights from eighteen to twenty-five pounds and stands from ten to twelve inches high at the shoulder. A white or yellowish white dog with markings on the ears and head, the Sealyham has a long, double, weatherproof coat that is coarse, hard, and bristly while its undercoat is dense and soft. With thick brows and whiskers, a large black nose, and alert, bright, little dark eyes, the Sealyham terriers have a look of mightiness and distinction.
The short, stocky little Sealyhams have wide ears that form triangles, a muscular, long neck, and an upright, short, docked tail. With muscular, powerful short hind legs and straight front legs, the Sealyham can run exceptionally fast surprising people with their speed and agility.
Sealyham Terriers are minimal shedders and have medium-long, weather resistant double coats that are wiry, coarse, bristly and hard, while the undercoat is very soft and dense. Compared to the rest of the Sealyhams coat, the hair on their muzzle and face is very long. Their coats are pure white or a yellowish white with some dogs having tan, lemon, or badger markings on their ears and head.
In 1848, Captain John Edwards of the Sealyham estate in Haverfordwest, Wales, developed the Sealyham terriers as a fox, otter, badger and other vermin-hunting dogs. Although he kept no records, they believe the original terriers developed through crossing breeds such as the Corgi, Wirehaired Fox terrier, West Highland terrier, Basset of Flanders, and the Dandie Dinmont. The Sealyhams first time in the show ring was 1903 in Wales and then in 1908, the first Sealyham Terrier Club formed. Two years later England’s Kennel Club officially recognized the breed and in 1911, the American Kennel Club.
Sealyham Terriers are very popular show dogs but not with the general public because they are a rare dog breed.
Determined, brave little dogs, Sealyham terriers are spirited, independent, affectionate, loving, loyal animals with a mind of their own. Although a happy, cheerful small dog, Sealyhams, like many other terriers, are sometimes willful, dominant, aggressive, and stubborn.
Socialization and training at a young age is important for this breed. For a person looking for a dog that loves entertaining and doing tricks, the dominant, sometimes stubborn Sealyham terrier is probably the wrong choice. An inner trait of this hunting breed is a tendency to snap or growl when something bothers or provokes them. They are good with older children and usually other pets but can be dog aggressive, especially with same sex dogs, so it is extremely important for socialization and obedience training at a very young age.
Well-trained Sealyham Terriers are faithful, loyal, loving, affectionate pets that are happy being an important part of the family.
A hardy, healthy breed of dog that does not contract diseases and illnesses like some dog breeds, the Sealyham terrier may have health issues such as eye problems, deafness, or skin allergies. Lens luxation is a serious eye disease that usually appears in dogs three years or older. It is important for Sealyham owners to know the possible symptoms of Lens Luxation because once suspected, diagnosis and treatment usually must occur within a few days to save the dogs’ eye. Call your veterinarian if you see symptoms such as excessive pus-like discharge in the corner of the dogs’ eye or the dog displays signs of discomfort or pain in the eye.
To prevent matting, brush the Sealyham terrier twice a week and trim or clip their coat every couple of months to keep it free of mats. For show dogs, these terriers require professional stripping and trimming.
Brush the dog’s teeth a minimum of three times a week using dog toothpaste, which comes in many flavors dogs seem to enjoy. Brushing helps remove bacteria and tartar buildup. Always keep the Sealyhams nails short to prevent them from catching and ripping or scratching anyone. Usually trimming the nails monthly is sufficient but if you hear the dog click when he walks, the nails are too long. Use a pair of dog nail clippers available at any pet store and remove only the top portion or tip of the nail. Clean your Sealyham terrier’s ears using a cotton ball with baby oil. Never go very far into the ear and wipe around the outer ear to remove any dirt and debris. Bathe your dog only when necessary using a good quality, mild dog shampoo and conditioner or dry shampoo. Remove any excess hair from between the Sealyhams paw pads. If you are nervous about grooming your Sealyham terrier, several classes are available to teach people how to groom their dogs properly or have your Sealyham groomed professionally.
The Sealyham terrier is a low energy dog inside the house and medium energy dog outside. It loves energetic play sessions and activities with their family outside. Inside the house, the Sealyham terrier is often relaxed and rather calm. They enjoy daily walks and make an excellent walking companion but must always be on a sturdy leash, as Sealyham’s will normally run after almost anything that moves. A secure fenced yard allows the dog freedom and a safe place to have a good romp.
Sealyhams are sometimes difficult and a challenge to train but do learn quickly, although they seem to enjoy trying to undermine authority. Obedience training and early socialization are important using positive training techniques such as praise, food treats and consistent, fair, firm direction. Never tease or use physical punishment as this just makes the dog more stubborn and difficult to train.