Sealyham Terrier

AKC Terrier Group


Photo Copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

Photo Copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

The Sealyham Terrier was originally developed in Wales in the mid-1800s by Captain John Edwardes. Although Edwardes kept no breeding records, sources believe the Sealyham was produced from crosses between the Corgi, Dandie Dinmont, West Highland White, Wirehaired Fox Terrier, Bull Terrier, and perhaps even some hounds. The Sealyham was named after the estate of the breed’s creator. Like many other long, low terriers, the Sealyham was used to hunt den animals such as fox, badger, and otter. Captain Edwardes tested all puppies and allowed only the game, valiant pups to live, shooting the rest. His foundation stock was very tough indeed. Today’s Sealyham temperament is quite a bit mellower. The Sealyham has become mostly a companion dog, though he still makes a good ratter.


The Sealyham is a strong white terrier with a long, broad head, slightly domed skull, powerful jaws, and bushy eyebrows, mustache, and beard. The topline should be level. It is short-legged, slightly longer than tall. The dark eyes are oval. The nose is black. The broad ears are folded level with the top of the head. The chest is deep and lowered well between the legs. The docked tail is carried straight up. The harsh, wiry coat comes in white, with or without lemon, tan, or badger markings on the head and ears.

Key Facts

  • Height:  Averages 10 1/2 in.
  • Size:  Small
  • Weight:  Averages 23 lbs.
  • Availability:  Very difficult to find
  • Talents:  Hunting, tracking, earthdog, and watchdog


Good for older owners because the breed isn’t demanding or rowdy. The coat needs regular attention. Likes to dig and bark. The bark is surprisingly loud for a small dog. Prone to deafness. Check parents and litter by making noises and trying to attract their attention. If in doubt, have the puppies BAER tested. Some bloodlines are prone to skin and back problems, and glaucoma. Does not do well in very hot conditions.


Loyal, loving, and independent. Spirited, cheerful, and fun-loving. Brave and bold. Not as rowdy as some of the other terrier breeds. Can be quite willful. Needs firm training. Can be very combative with other dogs.


  • Children:  Best with older, considerate children
  • Friendliness:  Reserved with strangers
  • Trainability:  Slightly difficult to train
  • Independence:  Fairly independent
  • Dominance:  High
  • Other Pets:  Generally good with other pets
  • Combativeness:  Very dog-aggressive
  • Noise:  Likes to bark
  • Indoors:  Relatively active indoors
  • Owner:  Good for novice owners


  • Grooming:  Regular grooming needed
  • Trimming and Stripping:  Professional trimming or stripping needed
  • Coat:  Medium-long coat
  • Shedding:  Very light
  • Docking:  The tail is customarily docked
  • Exercise:  Moderate exercise needed
  • Jogging:  A poor jogging companion
  • Apartments:  Good for apartment living
  • Outdoor Space:  Does all right without a yard
  • Climate:  Does well in all climates
  • Longevity:  Long (15 or more years)

Useful Links

AKC® Sealyham Terrier Breed Standard

Sealyham Terrier Breed Club

Search for a Breeder

Rescue Organizations

Books about the Sealyham Terrier

Sealyham Terrier Gifts