Welsh Terrier

Last updated October 2009

A breed standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance including the correct colour of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.

From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Breed Watch information related to this breed for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure. However, if a dog possesses a feature, characteristic or colour described as highly undesirable, it must not be rewarded in the show ring.

General appearance

Smart, workmanlike, well balanced and compact.


Affectionate, obedient and easily controlled.


Happy and volatile, rarely of shy nature. Game and fearless but definitely not aggressive although at all times able to hold his own when necessary.

Head and skull

Flat, of moderate width between ears. Jaws powerful, clean cut, rather deep and punishing. Stop not too defined, medium length from stop to end of nose. Nose black.


Relatively small, dark, expression indicative of temperament. A round, full eye undesirable.


V-shaped, small, leathers not too thin, set on fairly high, carried forward and close to cheek.


Jaws strong with perfect, regular scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.


Moderate length and thickness, slightly arched and sloping gracefully into shoulders.


Shoulders long, sloping and well set back. Legs straight and muscular, possessing ample bone, with upright and powerful pasterns.


Back short and well ribbed up, loin strong, good depth and moderate width of chest.


Strong, thighs muscular, of good length, with hocks well bent, well let down and with ample bone.


Small, round and cat-like.


Previously customarily docked.

Docked: Well set on. Carried erect but not too gaily.

Undocked: Well set on. Carried erect but not too gaily. In overall balance with the rest of dog.


Forelegs and hindlegs carried straight forward and parallel. Elbows move perpendicular to body, working free of sides, stifles turning neither in nor out.


Wiry, hard, very close and abundant. Single coat undesirable.


Black and tan for preference, or black grizzle and tan, free from black pencilling on toes. Black below hocks most undesirable.


Height at shoulder not exceeding 39 cms (15½ ins). Weight: 9-9.5 kgs (20-21 lbs).


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

*Note for prospective puppy buyers

Size – The Kennel Club breed standard is a guide and description of the ideal for the breed; the size as described does not imply that a dog will match the measurements given (height or weight). A dog might be larger or smaller than the size measurements stated in the breed standard.