This handy breed is one of the smartest of guards and companions, and particularly keen on anything in the vermin line. They are indigenous to the country whose name they bear, and are undoubtedly of considerable antiquity and have been bred true to type for the last thirty years. At one time they were exhibited as old English broken-haired Terriers, and at another time certain fanciers attempted crossing with the wire-haired fox terrier, with the object of securing longer heads. The Welsh Terrier Club, however, took a very strong position against cross-bred dogs and refused to recognize any dogs whose pedigrees were not pure Welsh. Thereby they have succeeded admirably in preserving all of the older characteristics of the breed.
There is no better working terrier than the Welshman. They are not quarrelsome, show very little jealousy, can be kenneled and exercised together better than any other breed, and as a breed are dead game. They are not so easily aroused or excited as fox terriers or an Irishman, but once get them started and they are afraid of nothing on earth and will go through to the finish. They are splendid water dogs, very affectionate companions, and no better guards nor more capable assistants to the gun will be found in the terrier family.
The Welsh Terrier in appearance is a small, beautifully proportioned, and useful dog of about twenty pounds weight, with a sporty look and a keen, intelligent, lively disposition. They should have straight forelegs and cat-like feet. Their heads are shorter than either the Fox Terrier, the Irish Terrier, or Airedale, but as a rule they run truer in coat and color.
The chief points to look for in the selection of Welsh Terrier puppies at from two to four months old are almost identical with those detailed for Wire-haired Fox Terriers, with the variation of color.
The following is the standard description adopted by the Welsh Terrier Club since the year 1886: HEAD.-The skull should be flat and rather wider between the ears than the Wire-haired Fox Terrier. The jaw should be powerful, clean-cut, rather deeper, and more punishing, giving the head a more masculine appearance than that usually seen on a Fox Terrier. Stop not too defined; fair length from stop to end of nose, the latter being of a black color.
EARS.-The ‘ear should be V-shaped, small, not too thin, set on fairly high, carried forward and close to the cheek.
EYES.–The eye should be small, not being too deeply set in or protruding out of skull; of a dark color, expressive and indicating abundant pluck.
NECK. -The neck should be of moderate length and thickness, slightly arched, and sloping gracefully into the shoulders.
BODY.-The back should be short and well ribbed up, the loin strong, good depth, and moderate width of chest. The shoulders should be long, sloping, and well set back. The hindquarters should be strong, thighs muscular, and of good length, with the hocks moderately straight, well let down, and fair amount of bone. The stern should be set on moderately high, but not too gaily carried.
LEGS AND FEET.-The legs should be straight and muscular, possessing fair amount of bone, with upright and powerful pasterns. The feet should be small, round, and cat-like.
COAT.-The coat should be wiry, hard, very close, and abundant.
COLOR.-The color should be black-and-tan, or black grizzle-and-tan, free from black penciling on toes.
SIZE.-The height at shoulder should be 15 inches for dogs; bitches proportionately less. Twenty pounds shall be considered a fair average weight in working condition, but this may vary a pound or so either way.