If you’re hungry for a “true terrier”, the Sealyham will surely appease your appetite. Hailing from Wales, this is a plucky terrier that excels in earthdog trials, the show ring, and at his favorite pastime – as a cherished family companion. This is a dog breed well suited to families with well-behaved children, seniors and couples alike. Sealyhams don’t require a lot of exercise or room, making them suitable for city apartment living. They’re calm and friendly dogs who are welcoming of other family pets, other dogs and strangers, making them one of the more “polite” dog breeds.
Sealyham Terrier History
The result of crossing West Highland White Terriers, Bull Terriers, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, and the Wirehaired Fox Terrier, the Sealyham Terrier was created for the purpose of hunting badger, fox, and other small game. He was originally bred in Wales, at the estate of Captain John Edwards; the name of the estate was Sealy Ham, hence this spunky little terrier’s name. While no one can be for certain when the first official Sealyham came to be, his origins date back to somewhere between 1850 and 1891. It wouldn’t be until 1911 however, before the breed was recognized by The Kennel Club in England, or the American Kennel Club (AKC) in the United States.
Bred specifically to hunt badger, fox and other burrowing creatures, the Sealyham had to have several certain qualities: he had to be small in build, so that he might fit down the burrows after the quarry, and yet the Sealyham had to have the strength and courage to face a ferocious cornered animal. Additionally, it became a desired trait that the Sealyham was mostly white, so that he was easily distinguishable from the prey down in the hole. Even this lively terrier’s tail was of special note – well joined and strong, it was short yet long enough to serve as an effective handle to haul him back out of the hole if need be.
Sealyham Terrier Appearance
The Sealyham is a well balanced, squarely built little dog. As tall as he is long, he is short but athletic, and anything but cowardly. An adult Sealyham should stand about 10 1/2 inches tall at the shoulder and should weigh no more than 24 pounds. They have a very proud and regal bearing, yet are commonly referred to as the clowns of the terrier world.
Predominately white, the Sealyham Terrier was bred with very little color, so that he could be seen and told apart from his quarry. Today, they maintain this lack of coloring, with only limited markings permissible on the head of these plucky dogs. Badger spots over one or both eyes, or markings on the ears are permissible in black, badger, lemon or tan. Pure white Sealyham Terriers are also acceptable.
Sealyham Terrier Temperament
Known for his clown-like personality, the Sealyham is a very likable follow who enjoys human companionship. Typical of terriers, they often think that they’re big dogs, not realizing that they’re stuck in a little body. Needless to say, this can lead to trouble when he tries to take on a dog three times as big as himself.
Sealyham Terrier Exercise Info
Fortunately, with those short little legs, the Sealyham doesn’t require a great deal of exercise. This does not mean however, that he does not need any exercise at all – in fact, the Sealyham should be taken out for at least one brisk walk every day. Failure to do so can often lead to such things as obesity or destructive behavior, should your Sealyham puppy become bored and decide to entertain himself. Usually, a good walk in the evening or a rousing team of thatch at the local dog park will do him nicely.
Sealyham Terrier Grooming Info
While he’s certainly not high maintenance like some of the other breeds, the Sealyham’s coat will still require a comb through at least once, if not twice, a week and he will need a monthly trip to the groomer, in order to keep his coat nicely trimmed.
Your Sealyham puppy should do well with one bath per month, or more frequently if you notice him getting dirty. Careful attention should also be paid to this little dogs’ ears – due to the fact that they fold over, it’s more likely that this breed will get ear infections due to this reason, so remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Checking as Sealyham puppy’s ears regularly can help you detect any abnormalities, such as an odor or discharge.
Sealyham Terrier Training Info
Like most members of the terrier family, the Sealyham can tend to be a somewhat independent thinker and has a strong tendency to be easily distracted. Highly intelligent, they process information quickly and tend to be curious about everything that goes on around them. Trying to train them takes patience and consistency, and it’s best advised to start them off with puppy obedience courses, to help you and your Sealyham puppy better understand one another, as well as helping to socialize him with other dogs. Just take your time and use positive reinforcement to encourage him to behave in the manner you prefer. He’ll soon catch on!
Sealyham Terrier Health Info
Unlike many purebred dogs, the Sealyham is surprisingly healthy and free from major genetic concerns. They do, on occasion, suffer from cataracts, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) or other afflictions of the eye, and some can be more prone to allergies and skin conditions than others.
All in all, however, this is a relatively healthy and robust breed.
Sealyham Terrier Right Breed Info
The Sealyham is not one of the more popular breeds of dog in the world, and yet they are known to make exceptional pets. Said to be a big dog with short legs, he is an affectionate companion and loves time with his humans. In fact, failing to provide him with such can lead to destructive behavior.
If you’re looking for a healthy and congenial dog, the Sealy may be the perfect dog for you, but be warned: they do take a lot of consistency and training to get them to behave properly and they do not respond well to loud voices or violence. Additionally, the Sealyham does need a fair amount of exercise to keep him entertained.
For those who aren’t afraid of making a commitment to their wonderful Sealyhams will find that these spunky little dogs thrive on attention – the more you give them, the move you’ll receive in return.
More Information about the Sealyham Terrier Dog Breed
Sealyham Terrier on Wikipedia