HomeNewsDec 1, Sealyham Terrier: How Much Do You Know About this Breed?

    Dec 1, Sealyham Terrier: How Much Do You Know About this Breed?

    The Sealyham Terrier   by Janice Jones 
    |Last Updated 12-1-2022

    Originally developed to hunt badger, otter, and fox in the
    1800s, the Sealyham Terrier has nearly disappeared in the 21st

    Considered almost extinct in
    the U.K., this alert, cheerful, fearless terrier is more calm and laid-back
    than most other terriers.  They are quiet
    indoors but make excellent watchdogs.

    Being relatively friendly, they won’t provide
    much in the way of protection, but will try their best if the need arose.

    The Sealyham Terrier or Sealies as they are often called.Sealies as they are often called.

    Sealies, as they are often nicknamed, are
    lovable and loyal, but have a dominant personality that requires an
    active, consistent owner willing to assume
    the alpha role. 

    They are adaptable and
    will equally enjoy a brisk walk or a nap in front of the television. 
    They do have a
    high energy level, but most of that energy can be worked out through
    daily walks, and play sessions. 

    If not given an outlet for their
    energy, you
    might find they discover their own particular pastime, Terriers like to dig and chase.  They do not do well
    off leash as they have a high prey drive that will set into motion
    should a squirrel or rabbit happen to cross their path. A fenced in area is also a must.

    They make excellent
    family pets.  They are good with
    children, especially older, respectful kids and their devotion is real.

    they are a sturdy breed, they can handle some rough play, but it is always
    advisable to supervise any transactions between children and dogs.   

    They do
    fairly well with other pets, if socialized
    and trained at an early age, but small pocket type pets may be in trouble due
    to that strong prey drive. 

    Their ability to adapt makes them a good candidate for
    apartment living, but they also do just fine in a suburban home or in a rural

    They tend to run, so a securely fenced area is necessary to keep them safe. 

    They are not a breed that you can
    reliably leave off leash. 

    They have a short, sturdy, body, longer than they are tall.

    Sealyham Terrier HeadClose up of a Sealyham Terrier Head

    Photo Wikipedia Commons

    They have a long, broad, powerful head and
    their body is flexible enough to maneuver in tight quarters. 

    Typical of most terriers, they have a weather
    resistant coat that consists of a soft,
    dense undercoat and a hard, wiry outer

    Shedding is minimal and the coat
    does require clipping or stripping in addition to regular brushing and combing.

    With all their positive traits, it is odd that they have
    fallen so out of favor.  Once a very
    popular breed, they are now ranked at 163rd in popularity out of 178
    recognized breeds with the American Kennel Club, even though they have been recognized since 1911.

    Quick Facts

    Other Names Used:  Sealies

    Affiliation:  AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI, KC, NZKC, UKC (Terrier)


         Height:  10-12 in (25-30 cm)

         Weight:  18-20 lb (8-9 kg)

    Coat Type:  Double coated with a thick undercoat and hard, wiry outer coat

    Colors: White with the following markings:

    Country of Origin:  Wales

    Activity Level:  Moderate

    Life Expectancy:  11-14 years

    Good with Children:  Yes

    Good with other pets: OK with other dogs if socialized early

    Sealyham Terrier Show DogSealyham Terrier Show Dog


    Some breeds
    date back to antiquity, but the Sealyham Terrier can trace his roots to 1850
    because it is at this point and onward through 1891, Captain John Edwards of
    Sealyham Estate, Haverfordwest,
    Wales began to develop the breed. 

    He was
    interested in producing a terrier that could hunt badgers, foxes, and otters.  The breeds
    used to create the Sealyham is a mystery,
    but some suggest that the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier, English
    White Terrier and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi may have played a role. 

    Edwards wanted a dog that had a wiry coat that could withstand the elements, a dog with a strong jaw that could catch prey, and white coat which could be easily recognizable.   Not only did he produce a great working dog, but the dog’s appearance was a hit in the show ring as well.

    The breed gained popularity in England because of their ability to face badgers, otters, and foxes.  They were shown for the first time in 1903 and people soon discovered that their smart appearance made them a hit in the show ring as well as the field. 

    The Sealyham Terrier Club was created in 1908 and the breed was recognized in 1911 by the Kennel Club in Great Britain and the American Kennel Club. 

    The American
    Sealyham Terrier Club was formed in 1913. 

    After World War I,
    the breed’s popularity grew.  Interest in
    the breed grew primarily in the early Hollywood film industry. 

    Many well-known actors including Humphrey
    Bogart, Bette Davies, Elizabeth Taylor and writer, Agatha Christie owned

    One of the more famous Sealyham Terriers
    was owned by Alfred Hitchcock, who used him in his film, Suspicion.  Sealyham Terriers
    can also be seen at the start of his 1963 movie, The Birds. 

    The first Sealyham
    Terrier to win Best in Show at Westminister was Ch. Barberryhill Bootlegger, in
    1924.  “Bootlegger” was just one of many
    dog names created by owners during the time of Prohibition.  Guess who Bootlegger’s sire was?  “Gin Ricky.”

    In the 1960s,
    Maurice Sendak, the well-known children’s author featured his own Sealyham
    Terrier, Jennie in his book, Higglety
    Pigglety Pop.

    Not only were they
    a hit in the United States, but they were also
    equally popular on the other side of the Atlantic with the British Royal

    King George V owned one named
    Jack and Princess Margaret had a couple of Sealies
    named Pippin and Johnny.

    Their popularity continued to soar through the first
    part of the twentieth century, but by the 21st century, they were considered to be a rare
    breed throughout the world. 


    Sealyham Terrier Puppy with Badger MarkingsSealyham Terrier Puppy with Badger Markings

    Dog Breed Ratings Got You a Little Confused?
    Here’s a little help in understanding them

    • Playfulness:   Most Playful = 5    Least Playful = 1
    • Affection:  Most Affectionate = 5   Least Affectionate = 1
    • Friendliness Towards Strangers: Most Friendly = 5  Least = 1
    • Good With Children:  Great= 5    Not Good with Children = 1
    • Good With Dogs:  Great = 5   Not Good Around Dogs = 1
    • Good With First Time Owners:  Fine=5  Not Appropriate = 1
    • Exercise Required:  Extensive Daily Exercise = 1  Minimal = 1
    • Ease of Training:  Very Easy = 5     Difficult = 1
    • Watch Dog:  Excellent Watch Dog = 5  Minimal = 1
    • Grooming:  Time Consuming = 5   Minimal = 1
    • Shedding:  Heavy Shedder = 5     Minimal = 1
    • Cold Tolerance:  Well Tolerated = 5   Poor Tolerance = 1
    • Heat Tolerance:  Well Tolerated = 5  Poor Tolerance = 1

    Sealyham Terriers love to be around people, but they are one
    breed that will do well if left alone for periods of time.  They are totally devoted to their families
    and love playing with children.  Still
    friendly, they are more reserved around strangers. 

    They have big personalities that are all
    ready for an adventure, whether it is investigating a new smell, digging or
    chasing something that moves. 

    They were
    once a working breed, ridding their owner
    of vermin and hunting fox and otter. 
    Today, they are a companion breed, but their earlier instincts have not
    died.  No mouse or rat is safe in a home
    occupied by a Sealy. 

    While not as feisty as most terriers, they are still
    independent and self-willed.  This independent, stubborn streak makes it difficult
    to train them. 

    Housetraining may be an
    issue.  A consistent schedule is
    important and many people report that crate training makes the housebreaking
    task much easier.   

    Early training and socialization are important in this breed and a positive,
    friendly approach to learning commands and manners is crucial. 

    Terriers tend to be strong-willed and will
    take over the household if given the chance. 
    They also do not take well to harsh discipline methods. 

    If a Sealy thinks he’s been unfairly
    punished, he is likely to let you know in the form of a growl or nip. The ideal
    owner will be firm but kind.  Patience and
    consistency are the keys to having a well-trained terrier. 

    Grooming the Sealyham Terrier

    Sealyham Terrier

    Sealies have a long, weather resistant coat that consists of a dense, soft inner layer and a harder, wiry
    outer coat. 

    They do not shed very much
    so brushing and combing are essential to prevent mats from forming. 

    Brushing 3 times a week with a pin brush
    and/or combing with a stainless steel comb will prevent mats from forming. 

    The beard gets dirty quickly so it should be combed
    daily to remove any food debris from mealtime. 

    The coat will also need to be clipped or
    professionally striped.  Hand stripping
    involves pulling out dead hair a little bit at a time using a stripping

    Clipping softens the coat which is fine for a pet who spends most of their
    time indoors and doesn’t require that harsh weather resistant outer layer. 

    pet owners opt for the clipping method as it is easier and cheaper.  All of these services can be done by a
    professional groomer or the owner can learn to do them on their own. 

    Beyond coat care, the
    rest is essential to all dogs.  Their nails will need to be trimmed about
    every 2 to 3 weeks and their teeth should be brushed as frequently as is

    Health Concerns

    The Sealyham Terrier is a very healthy breed with few genetic problems

    This is a very healthy breed with few breed specific genetic
    problems. The life expectancy for this breed is 11-14 years, but some have been
    known to live as old as 18 years old.   

    But will all dogs, Sealies develop some issues? 
    Most will not, but it is good to know what has been identified for the
    breed so you can become familiar should a problem arise.  If genetic tests are available, it is also important to ask your breeder which clearances she has done with the breeding dogs.

    Lens Luxation

    lens of the eye becomes displaced when the fibers holding it in place
    begin to weaken.

    First, the lens moves from its normal position (subluxation).  Then, if
    the fibers break the lens slips back
    inside the eye.  

    the lens moves back, it will block the
    flow of fluid in the eye and cause the pressure to rise resulting in
    damaging the optic nerve. 

    If the optic
    nerve is damaged, then vision is impaired and eventually lost
    altogether. Symptoms
    can include excessive pus-like matter in
    the eyes, pain, and changes in the appearance of the eye. 

    Medication or
    surgery may be an option, but
    in severe cases, the eye may need to be removed.  There is now a
    breed-specific DNA test that can be done on the adults to check for this

    This can come on suddenly, so knowing what to expect ahead of time is important so you can take immediate action.

    Retinal Dysplasia

    This developmental malformation of the retina is usually mild with little
    loss of vision.  It usually poses no problem in the dog, but
    affected dogs should not be bred. 
    Breeding dogs can be checked by a veterinary ophthalmologist.


    • Calmer than most terriers
    • Doesn’t require a lot of exercises
    • Affectionate, loyal, happy
    • Good with children


    • Extremely rare, expect to spend a lot of time finding one
    • Digging and Chasing are two common behaviors
    • Stubborn, independent, and hard to train

    Pin for Future Reference

    Two Sealyham Terrier puppies are shown on this pin image

    References and Further Reading

    You might like these

    • 14 Favorite Small Lap Dogs

      What are the best lap dogs? Here are 14 small breed dogs that have been bred for generations to be your cuddle bud

    • Best Small Dogs For Apartments

      Best small dogs for apartments – friendly, relatively quiet, clean and moderate to low energy dogs. Find out who made our list.

    Does This Article Deserve Your Thumbs Up?

    We always appreciate your support and encouragement.  Your thumbs up means so much to us.  Please like this article.

    If you find this page or any page on Small Dog Place Helpful, or Useful in anyway, I’d love it if you would click the small heart found on the bottom right of each page.

    You can also share or bookmark this page — just click on the:

    10 Mistakes People Make When Choosing a Dog Breed

    Free Monthly Newsletter

    Sign Up for Our Free Newsletter and get our Free Gift to You.

    my  E-book, The Top 10 Mistakes People Make When Choosing a Dog (and how to avoid them)

    This article was originally published by Read the original article here.

    Must Read