The Sealyham Terrier is a short-legged terrier, slightly longer than they are tall. Their body is strong, short-coupled, and substantial, allowing for plenty of flexibility. This combination of short legs with a strong and flexible body allows the Sealyham to maneuver in tight quarters. Their weather-resistant coat consists of a soft, dense undercoat and a hard, wiry outer coat. This is a keen, alert, and determined breed and they often look the part.
Although some evidence exists of a small, white, long-backed terrier imported into Wales in the fifteenth century, the documented history of the Sealyham begins only in the mid 1800s. The only reason the earlier observation receives some credence is that the originator of the breed, Captain John Edwardes of Sealyham House in Pembrokeshire, was a descendant of the family said to have imported the particular dog centuries earlier.
Regardless, Captain Edwardes worked from 1850 to 1891 to develop the breed now known as the Sealyham Terrier. The breeds that went into their makeup are a mystery; some suggest that the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier, English White Terrier, and Pembroke Welsh Corgi may have played a role. Whatever the ingredients, the result was a plucky terrier that soon gained notoriety. The AKC recognized the Sealyham in 1911.
Demand for these terriers quickly grew, especially because they were still exceptional hunting dogs as well as status symbols. Today the breed’s popularity has waned somewhat, but the Sealyham still retains their many great characteristics.
One of the calmer terriers, the Sealyham is nonetheless ready for action, always happy to investigate, dig, or give chase. They are generally friendly, playful, and outgoing. The Sealyham Terrier can be reserved with strangers, but devoted to their family. They can be stubborn, independent, and can dig if bored.
The Sealyham’s exercise needs are not too demanding, consisting of a short to moderate walk or game session every day. If off leash, this needs to be in a fenced in yard or area because Sealyham Terriers may tend to follow their nose. This breed is suited for apartment life, preferably with yard access. Their wire coat needs combing two to three times weekly, plus grooming every three months. Dirt shows up on their white coats!