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History The Sealyham Terrier is a rare breed developed in the 19th century by Captain John Edwards, a breeder from Haverfordwest, Wales. His goal was to create a breed capable of hunting a wide variety of game, from badgers and hares to otters and foxes. The resulting dog had to be strong and hardy, but small enough to dig into small quarries. The Sealyham Terrier is a mix of the bull terrier, basset hound, fox terrier, Dandie Dimont terrier, and West Highland White Terrier. The breed is named after Edwards’ estate, where he did most of his work.
The Sealyham Terrier soon became known for its excellent working ability. Before long, it had replaced other terriers in homes and was being shown in dog shows within and outside Wales. The breed was recognized by The Kennel Club in the United Kingdom and the American Kennel Club in 1911.
Appearance The Sealyham Terrier has a double coat consisting of a thick, soft undercoat and a rough, wiry overcoat. The hair is considerably longer at the muzzle, forming a beard similar to that of the Schnauzer. The head is dome-shaped with large, round eyes and a powerful square jaw. The ears are somewhat protrude on both sides and are folded forward. The legs are short but strong and well-muscled.
Colours The coat should be all white or yellowish white. Markings in tan, lemon, or badger are allowed on the ears and head.
Temperament Sealyhams have been described as having the perfect mix of courage and cheerfulness. Although not as lively as other terriers, they are very high-spirited and fun to have around. They are quite affectionate with their family, particularly children, but may be a little reserved around strangers. They can also be aggressive to other pets. Sealyhams like to bark and will often announce visitors, an excellent trait for owners looking for a watchdog.
Weight Both males and females stand about 10 ½ inches at withers and weigh 23 to 24 pounds.
Problems The Sealyham Terrier is a fairly sound breed with no major genetic problems. However, some lines have a high incidence of Scottie cramp, a muscle disorder that affects a dog’s movement. Excess weight can put pressure on their short legs. Other common conditions are flea allergies, skin infection, and Von Willebrand disease, a bleeding disorder.
Living Conditions The Sealyham is small enough to live in an apartment, but being an energetic breed, it’s best to have at least a small yard where it can run free once in a while. They aren’t very active indoors, but they can get restless or even destructive when left alone for too long. Sealyhams prefer cool climates and should be kept cool in hot seasons.
Requirements Sealyhams are a low-energy breed, but they need plenty of exercise for two reasons—one, to keep their weight in check; and two, to prevent behavioral problems. They should be taken on a brisk walk or jog at least once a day, and allowed to play to their hearts’ content. Born to work in the wild, Sealyhams are happiest when they have something to do, as long as it isn’t too tiring.
Training Requirements This breed can be very strong-willed and may be hard to train. Obedience training is a must since these dogs tend to be stubborn and independent. Firm and consistent methods usually work best. Owners should avoid raising their voices as Sealyhams can be rather sensitive. Watchdog training isn’t necessary; these dogs are instinctively protective.
Life Expectancy Sealyham Terriers live an average of 13 to 15 years, sometimes more.
Grooming This is a rather high-maintenance breed. Professional stripping or trimming is necessary to keep the coat’s natural shape. Sealyhams don’t shed much, but the coat should be brushed every other day to prevent tangling and matting.
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