For many years this attractive breed of Terriers has been carefully bred by a small group of British sportsmen who have cherished them for their admirable working qualities, and have never been interested in the fads or the mandates of the bench show world. It may be stated without fear of contradiction that no breed is better adapted to go to earth, and that, pound for pound, they represent as much determination and dead game courage as any dog that lives.
A few years ago a number of prominent bench show fanciers became interested in the breed and brought them to the notice of the public. Since then they have enjoyed considerable vogue on both sides of the water, for they are sporty little propositions and the most entertaining and useful of companions.
The standard is as follows:
The Sealyham should be the embodiment of power and determination in a Terrier. Of extraordinary substance for its size, yet free from clumsiness. The ideal being the combination of the Dandie Dinmont with a Bull Terrier of twenty pounds; otherwise any resemblance to a Fox Terrier in either make, shape, character, or expression should be heavily penalized.
HEAD.-The skull unusually wide between the ears (this being a characteristic of both the Dandie and the Bull Terrier), slightly rounded and domed, with practically no stop, and a slight indentation running down between the brows. Long, powerful level jaws, wider and heavier than in a Fox Terrier, the upper finishing in a large, black nose with wide nostrils.
BODY.-Comparatively short between back of neck and set-on of tail, but of good length from the junction of the humerous and shoulder blades to the back of the hindquarters, thus giving great flexibility. Very deep, well ribbed up, with comparatively wide front; the chest well let down between the forelegs, giving large heart and lung room, the latter being very important for a dog that has to stay long underground.
COAT.-Dense overcoat, the top being hard and wiry, considerably longer than that which a Wirehaired Fox Terrier is shown with, especially on head, throat, and neck.
EARS.-Of medium size, set on low, and carried closely against the cheek. This is a very important point, as high-setting and forward carriage gives a Fox Terrier character and expression, and is usually indicative of that blood.
HINDQUARTERS.-Wide and massive, with strong second thighs and backs extremely well bent. LEGS.-Short, heavily boned, the forelegs as straight as is consistent with the body, being well let down between them.
FEET.-Of medium size, round, with thick pads, and very strong nails. The fore feet being larger, though not quite so long as the hind.
EYES.-Set somewhat wide apart, of medium size, and very dark.
TEETH.-Strong, large, and square, the canines fitting closely between each other. Undershot or much overshot jaws should be a disqualification.
NECK.-Of medium length, but extremely strong and muscular.
TAIL.-Docked and carried gaily.
COLOR.-All white, or white with lemon, tan, brindle, or badger-pied markings on head and ears. (Black is objectionable, even on head and ears; a large black spot on the body should almost be a disqualification as showing Fox Terrier blood.)
SIZE.-Dogs between nine inches and twelve inches at the shoulder; bitches somewhat smaller. Weight being no criterion, as a thirteen-inch dog might weigh only fourteen pounds and a ten-inch twenty-four pounds.