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The Sealyham Terrier

The first Sealyham Terrier's club was created in 1908 and the breed was officially recognised in 1910. The Sealyham Terrier was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1919. Sealyham Terriers are today found mainly in the UK and South Africa.

The Sealyham was once one of the more popular terriers and one of the best known Welsh breeds. Today, however, it is distinctly rare considered by the (British) Kennel Club as amongst the most endangered native breeds.

The Sealyham Terrier is a dog breed, one of many Terrier breeds. The Sealyham Terrier originates from Wales and was bred by crossing Basset Hounds, Bull Terriers, the Fox Terrier, the West Highland White Terrier, and the Dandie Dinmont Terrier.

The Sealyham Terrier derives its name from Sealyham, Haverfordwest, Wales, the estate of Captain John Edwards, who developed a strain of dogs noted for their prowess in quarrying small game. He crossed the various breeds and tested the offspring, culling those who did not prove game. The Sealyham Terrier is an intelligent and charming dog, although it can be stubborn and very terrier-like at times. The Sealyham was very popular in the 1920's, rather like the West Highland Terrier is today. The Sealyham is extremely good with children, and make wonderfull loyal pets.

A POTTED HISTORY OF THE SEALYHAM TERRIER

The Sealyham Terrier is a native Welsh breed that was created through the efforts of Captain John Tucker Edwardes of the Sealyham Estate, from which the breed takes its name, in Pembrokeshire, West Wales in the mid 1800’s.

Captain Edwardes was a soldier and sportsman. He retired in 1848 at the age of 40. He spent a lot of his retirement hunting around his home, the local game being fox, badger, otter and polecat. For this he used Otterhounds in packs and the small local terriers. These terriers didn’t suit Captain Edwardes for many reasons. The terrier he wanted should be a small short-legged active dog capable of entering earth, with a powerful jaw. He also desired the terrier to be mainly white, as coloured specimens were prone to be worried by the hounds that they worked with.

Between 1850 and 1891 he developed a strain of Terrier noted for its ability in quarrying badger, otter, and fox. After Captain Edwardes' died in 1891, the Sealyham Terrier went into decline but in 1903 Captain Edwardes’ sister-in-law, also of Sealyham, made an effort to revive the breed and offered prizes at the Haverfordwest Dog Show. The breed went on to become hugely popular as a companion in the 1920’s and 1930’s but today it is one of the UK’s rarest breeds.

In 1908 the Sealyham Terrier Club was formed and the breed was recognised by the Kennel Club in 1910. The breed’s first Champion was St Brides Demon, made up in 1911. In 1912 the Sealyham Terrier Breeders and Badger Digging Association was formed to promote and protect the working instincts of the breed.

In its early days the breed grew very quickly in popularity. At some of the very early shows entries were in the hundreds. At one show held at Slade, Pembrokeshire in 1914, called the ‘Pembrokeshire Hunt Hound Puppy and Sealyham Terrier Show’ there were 19 classes scheduled, which attracted an entry of 600 dogs with 71 in the Open Dog Class and 64 in the Open Bitch Class! That entry was a record and has never been equalled.

In more recent times however the breed has seen a massive decline in its numbers and is now on the Kennel Club’s Vulnerable Native Breeds list. The breed has a small dedicated band of breeders and exhibitors though and can still challenge the numerically stronger breeds in the terrier group competition at dog shows.

Breed Clubs and Societies

This breed of dog is a 'Vulnerable Native Breed'.

 

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Sealyham Breed Standard