Sealyham Terrier

The Sealyham Terrier, often referred to affectionately as the “Sealy,” is a gorgeous little terrier known for profuse hair around the forehead and legs. Their hairdos in the show ring are not all that set this breed apart. They have a particularly convenient size, falling somewhere in between a small and medium sized dog. They are loving with their families, and less rowdy indoors than some other terriers. Read more to learn about the Sealyham Terrier.

Description of the Sealyham Terrier

These dogs are quite beautiful, being mostly white. They also sometimes have beautiful markings of badger, lemon, tan, and more. When groomed for the show ring, they bear a huge, fluffy crown. Although they are on the larger side of their small dog designation, the Sealyham Terrier stands quite low to the ground. Their hair falls around their legs in a soft, white curtain.

Despite their glamorous looks, these dogs were bred as hunters. They were meant to do battle with otters, which wreaked havoc for farmers in Wales. The Sealy had to be quite tenacious to deal with their opponents’ sharp teeth!

Today, the Sealyham Terrier retains the cheeky terrier personality. However, they are calmer than some small dogs indoors, and enjoy social settings, especially with their owners.

Life Expectancy and Size

This breed is technically defined as a small dog. They are quite short, but they are sturdy and in no way fragile. Sealies generally stand between 10 and 11 inches tall, and weigh between 23 and 24 pounds.

These dogs usually live between 12 and 14 years. Health issues tend to be minor for this breed. Of course, maintaining their fitness and weight will help them live longer and happier lives.

Protective Ability

This breed is no one’s first choice as a guard dog. They are quite small, and although they are tenacious, a burglar’s first instinct may be to laugh at their fluffy locks!

Still, they can make surprisingly effective watchdogs. The traditional terrier spirit is alive and well in the Sealyham. They will alert their owners to every new sight and sound. Plus, their bark is surprisingly deep for such a small dog.


The Sealyham Terrier is a typical terrier when it comes to training – smart but independent. They tend to be some of the more independently minded dogs around.

Training the Sealy works best when approached in a very positive manner. These are proud and sensitive dogs. Any harsh words will quickly shut the Sealy down. They will simply not deal with negative owners that try to force the issue. This breed can be pushy, and try to test owners that do not behave consistently. Boundaries should be drawn in a firm, but kind manner.

Rather, rewards-based mechanisms are quite effective. Treats are a great way to convince these dogs to try new things. Of course, they should be fed in moderation.

Energy Level

It’s easy to think that these dogs are quiet little lap dogs. They are so pretty, after all!

However, remember that they are terriers. Sealies are fairly high energy. They can easily become stir-crazy when under-stimulated. It is important to supply them with some physical activity so that they do not vent their energy at inopportune times around the house.

What Living with a Sealyham Terrier is Like

For many people, the Sealyham Terrier is the perfect package: a nice, tempered version of a terrier. They provide all of the fun and activity of the typical terrier, but tend to be less rowdy indoors, and are arguably easier to manage.

That doesn’t mean that they’re all peaches and cream. The Sealy can be a proud and independent dog. Although they are very trainable, these dogs are best suited to a consistent owner. When taught how to behave, they are very loving towards their families. Early socialization can help them be friendlier with strangers.

The Sealy is fairly healthy. Moderate exercise will help them to stay healthy and better behaved indoors.

Care of the Sealyham Terrier

This breed is a good choice for owners that want a hardy small dog. Although their coats can require extra care for the show ring, pet Sealies can be surprisingly low maintenance.

Environmental Needs

The Sealyham Terrier has a lot of hair. This means that they can overheat in extreme temperatures. It is important to keep plentiful water and shade available. Otherwise, they are fairly tolerant of a wide variety of temperatures. Their soft hair tends to mat, so they are not as weather resistant as some breeds.

Exercise Needs

Although the Sealy is an energetic breed, they are not so difficult to exercise. They do best with a safe, enclosed yard. When they have the space, they are often able to exercise themselves. This breed enjoys running about and playing with their humans too!

Regular walks are also appreciated. This will ensure that they receive directed activity, and get all their excess energy out. Their legs aren’t as long as some other terriers, so they may not be able to keep up on long runs or bike rides.

These dogs will let you know if they are not getting enough exercise. They can become quite the little terrors when they do not receive enough activity – think lots of barking and digging!

Shedding and Grooming

This breed is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they barely shed. On the other, their coats can be quite difficult to maintain. The Sealy’s white coat can be prone to grass stains. Baths can help, but be careful to keep them sporadic and use veterinarian recommended shampoo to avoid skin irritation.

Their coats also mat quite easily. They should be brushed at least a few times a week to avoid excessive tangles. Periodic clipping will also be necessary.

Ideal Home Environment

This breed is great for a home that appreciates the terrier tenacity, but wants a dog that also enjoys hanging out with the family. An ideal owner can handle the Sealyham Terrier’s independent personality.

They may not be well suited for families with small children, because they do not tolerate teasing well. Their short legs are surprisingly powerful, but still may not be able to keep up with extremely athletic owners.

Families will also have to deal with a high maintenance coat. On the plus side, there’s no shedding to deal with, so they could be great for people with allergies.

Health Concerns

Thankfully, this breed is quite healthy. Generally, their biggest health concerns are not life-threatening. Many Sealies have to deal with allergies, especially of the skin. Some also have problems with ear or eye infections, especially when their coats are kept long.

Behavior Problems

Like most terriers, the Sealy can simply have too much energy for his own good. They can become destructive or bothersome if they don’t have an outlet for their energy.

This breed also has some trouble with guarding food. It is important to stop this behavior while these dogs are young.