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Sealyham Terrier

The Sealyham Terrier is a robust, rectangular built dog, slightly longer than they are tall with a long, harsh wire coat. The ears are attractively dropped forwards and when stripped and tidy, they feature an appealing beard and eyebrow combination that gives them a workmanlike appearance. 

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Some training required
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys walking an hour a day
  • Small dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Very vocal dog
  • Guard dog. Barks and alerts
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12 – 14 years
Weight:  9kg for males and 8kg for females 
Height:  31cm 
Colours:  White or white with coloured markings usually found over the ears/eyes and around the tail
Size:  Small
UK Kennel Club Groups: Terrier 


Family-friendly: 4/5
Exercise needs: 4/5
Easy to train: 3/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 4/5
Energy level: 4/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 4/5


Full of character, the Sealyham is a ‘gentleman’ (in the personable yet slightly disreputable sense), game and fearless but loving and friendly towards those they know. Alert and quick witted, they will bark to attract attention, and are unlikely to hold back should another dog pick a quarrel! They make an excellent companion for those who understand terriers and how to get the best out of them! 

History and Origins

The Sealyham Terrier with their characterful appearance, is a working terrier, bred to go after otter, fox and badger and to quote a breed enthusiast ‘give as good as he got, or even better’!

Quite a recent breed, the Sealyham Terrier takes their name from Sealy Ham Mansion, in Pembrokeshire, south-west Wales. There in the 19th Century, Captain John Tucker-Edwardes decided to perfect his own line of working terrier. It is thought that the Captain used a variety of existing breeds including the Corgi, West Highland White Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier, Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Dandie Dinmont and the Cheshire Terrier in order to get the courageous, assertive and fearless dog he wanted. 

Unfortunately, the Captain kept no records but it seems he only kept those dogs who worked well alongside his Otterhound pack, and culled those who didn’t come up to his demanding standards. After his death in 1891, their numbers declined until in 1908 a group of terrier enthusiasts (including members of the Tucker-Edwardes family) laid the foundations for the breed club - which was followed by The Sealyham Terrier and Badger Digging Association which was founded in 1912. 

 Since this time the breed has changed so much that it’s unlikely Captain John would recognise his breed today. The Sealyham Terrier has become both heavier and more docile and is one of the friendliest of the terrier dog breeds. 

Did You Know?

  • Whilst many terriers can claim to exist due to the whims and desires of the noble classes, the Sealyham Terrier can lay claim to some very interesting human ancestry indeed! Their founder, Captain John Tucker-Edwardes was descended from the 16th century Admiral Thomas Tucker R.N., who it is claimed killed the famous Pirate Blackbeard. Whether that is true or not, he did go on to capture various Spanish ships laden with rich cargoes, meaning either he was a privateer (legal pirate) or simply a pirate himself! 
  • Subsequently, the Sealyham has been owned by a very long line of royals and film-stars, including the Queen Mother, and Alfred Hitchcock. Hitchcock and two of his Sealyham’s had a cameo role in his 1963 film ‘The Birds’. 
Dog with red collar looking out the window
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