Are you the right owner for a cute though sometimes stubborn terrier breed? We are talking about the Sealyham terrier which originated in Great Britain and soon captured hearts all around the world. The breed has existed through two very unkind World Wars and, although rare in the United States, is slowly rising in popularity outside of its home country. Let us study the characteristics of this cute terrier breed.
Cool facts about the Sealyham Terrier
- The origin of the breed can be accredited to an eccentric though active sportsman named Captain John Edwardes, who first created these dogs in 1850. He lived in the south of Wales near Fishguard. Today, Capt. Edwardes is famous in dogdom as the only sole creator of a dog breed. Unfortunately, he also took the secret of how he created the Sealyham terrier with him to his grave. After his death, his daughter took over the running of the kennels.
- It is speculated that Edwardes may have used the Dandie dinmont terrier and the Welsh corgi for creating the Sealyham terrier.
- Sealyham terriers were bred specifically to go after badgers, rodents, foxes, and other animals that were a nuisance to country life.
- When the First World War broke out, the breeding programs for all dog breeds were discontinued. However, by 1920, the breeding of Sealyams re-started. Soon, they came to the United States in 1911 and the American Sealyham Terrier Club was established in 1913.
- Today, Sealyham terriers compete in many dog shows worldwide and many have won major awards in conformation shows in the UK and USA.
Sealyhams are small dogs with white fur. They are short-legged and with long backs. They have tilted ears and dense hair on the bridge of the nose. The medium coat comes in white with fawn, bluish, or badger markings.
- Height and weight of male Sealyham terriers – Less than 32 cm and 9 kilos.
- Height and weight of female Sealyham terriers – Less than 32 cm and 8 kilos.
He may not even come up to your knees, but this is a powerful dog in a small package. Do not, for once, let the size of the Sealyham terrier fool you; he is a brave little dog with tons of personality. And he will keep himself busy. If you have a yard, he will be in it chasing squirrels. Your Sealy will love to guard your property and he is a loyal little pet that is fiercely protective of his family members.
Sealyham terriers may not always get along well with other dogs and household pets. They are usually good with children however you must always socialize them properly from an early age. Sealyhams are dignified little terriers and they won’t like it if children try to ride them like a pony or pull them by the ears. So always monitor little kids around the pet and teach them to give the dog his space.
Sealys tend to have a stubborn streak and an independent nature which could make training difficult. That is why he needs a patient, experienced master who has handled dogs before. If you are looking for a sedentary lap-dog, the Sealy will disappoint you, for he is a masculine dog that is curious, alert, and energetic. He is a dog that does not know shyness or timidity and he loves to keep himself active and busy.
Where to find a Sealyham Terrier
Before looking for a breeder, you could try adopting a Sealyham terrier rescue dog. Contact a dog shelter near you or speak to a vet who can guide you. Adoption can help save a dog from overcrowded shelters and rescue homes with terrible conditions.
Since this is a rare breed, it may be difficult to find Sealyham terrier rescue dogs. In such a case, you must find an ethical, knowledgeable, and a kind-hearted Sealyham terrier breeder. The best place to start your search is the website of the American Sealyham Terrier Club where you can shortlist a couple of Sealyham terrier breeders near you. If possible, visit their kennels and ask to meet their dogs. This will help you get a sense of their temperament. Ask the breeder several questions about the breed’s health, diet, and other aspects of living with a Sealy. The average price of a Sealyham terrier can range from $1000 to $2000 depending on the breeder and the puppy’s pedigree.
Training your Sealyham Terrier
If you have adopted a house-trained Sealyham terrier, lucky you! You are off the hook! But if you have a rescue dog that has spent a major part of his life in a shelter without any proper house-training then do not expect him to suddenly unlearn all that he has learned so far. There is a huge difference between training a puppy and training an adult dog. A young puppy is like a sponge and he will soon absorb all that you have to teach him.
Always start with housetraining. Newspaper training works best especially if you live in an apartment without easy access to the outdoors. Teach your pet to ‘go’ on the newspaper in the balcony. If you have a yard, teach your pet to eliminate on a bare piece of the earth under a tree. Dogs are tactility-oriented which means that they respond to the surface on which they are allowed to eliminate.
Young puppies need to ‘go’ several times a day: first thing upon waking up, last thing before bed, and within 15 minutes after meals. This can require some planning, especially if you are working full time or if your Sealy will be home alone. Arrange for a pet sitter or neighbor to help you out.
Other forms of training include obedience training for which there are professional trainers and puppy classes. These will teach your dog basic commands like coming when called, fetching stuff, etc.
Never shout or scold your Sealy; they are sensitive dogs and nothing good ever comes out of shouting and screaming at pets. Be patient, be consistent, and be gentle. These things will surely give you a dog that you and other people will love!
Sealyham terriers are active and energetic dogs that need to be walked at least twice a day. You can also encourage kids to play with your pet inside a fenced yard. A well-exercised pet is a happy pet while a bored pet is bound to get into mischief.
Grooming your Sealy
As desirable as a Sealyham terrier may sound for a pet; this is a breed having stringent grooming needs. First of all, they are white dogs. White dogs accumulate dirt quickly. Secondly, he is a terrier which means he is bound to dig – a lot! And that means he will accumulate even more dirt. Thirdly, this is a double-coated breed. So you can expect a lot of shedding. Be prepared to brush your dog daily and bathe him at least once every 15 days; and on rainy days when your pet has accumulated a ton of dirt on his coat.
Other aspects of grooming include checking his ears regularly, clipping the toenails once every few weeks, cleaning his eyes, and brushing his teeth daily.
The eyes and ears are the two most critical features of the Sealyham terrier as far as the health issues are concerned. So always get your Sealy from a reputed breeder to rule out these genetic conditions. Lens luxation or PLL is a major concern in Sealyham terriers. All in all, like most terrier breeds, these are hardy dogs with an average lifespan of 12-16 years.