Originally published in the AKC GAZETTE – November 2022, 2014
Welsh Wag - November 2014
Because of our love for the breed and desire to keep the breed out of the hands of disreputable breeders, Welsh Terrier fanciers have protected the breed by keeping it out of the public eye. We have been exceptionally careful to prevent Welsh from being in great demand; therefore, we may have inadvertently discouraged the promotion of our wonderful breed to the point that few people are even aware that the breed exists or that a Welsh might be exactly what they are looking for.
Welsh Terriers make great companions and superior house pets. They are wonderful dogs for apartment dwellers because of their size. Welsh can be picked up and carried in elevators, while big dogs need to be on the floor, which may be intimidating to other people and dogs in crowded spaces. They can be paper trained as well as trained to “go” outdoors, so bad weather needn’t be a problem. Welsh do quite well with two or three walks a day, plus “potty” walks. No need to walk or run for miles each day. Their crates fit nicely in a corner of the kitchen or bedroom. Properly trained, they needn’t be barkers. Yes, when they are at dog shows, like most terriers they bark at dogs going by their crates, but in home situations most Welsh are fairly quiet. When they do bark, the bark sounds like a much bigger dog, a plus in an apartment complex.
In a suburban setting and with a fenced yard, Welsh are the ideal house dog. They love older children, can be trained to get along with other dogs, and usually will even tolerate cats they are raised with. Limited shedding (no dog is free from shedding unless he is completely bald) and easy maintenance are more pluses. Brush dogs and cut nails weekly, have him professionally clipped and bathed every ten to twelve weeks, and that is all the routine grooming he will require. Welsh usually are very healthy and handle cold as well as hot weather quite well. The average lifespan is twelve to fourteen years, with many living longer.
We promote the breed by taking our dogs to obedience classes and showing the rest of the world that terriers are indeed trainable. It’s always nice (although it doesn’t happen regularly) to get a first in an obedience trial full of border collies, Tervurens, Golden Retrievers and other “trainable” breeds. More people inquire about Welsh Terriers when they see them at obedience trials than they do when they watch them at conformation shows. If you train your dogs in public areas (always on leash, please) you will get a chance to discuss the breed with many people, so always carry your business card when you go out with the dog. Of course, we need to tell prospective owners that the intelligence and activity level of the dogs require training in order to live happily with them.
Older dogs make fine companions for many older people who couldn’t cope with a puppy. If our breeding stock is well raised and trained, placement of 4-8 year old dogs is not difficult and is a plus for everybody. Many of my older dogs go to homes where the people started with a puppy thirty years ago, but, now on their third one, have decided that an older dog would be better this time. These people and their dogs are the greatest sales people for the breed. Always keep in touch with them and let them know when there is an older dog available. Chances are they have a friend who has fallen in love with their dog and wants one of their own.
Promoting the breed doesn’t mean being careless about placing your puppies. There is a fine line between having people know about how desirable Welsh Terriers are and creating such demand that the disreputable breeders become involved producing Welsh Terriers as just another commodity.
Welsh Terrier Club of America
AKC Gazette – November 2022, 2014
Welsh Terrier Column
Reprinted from the AKC Gazette