About Sealyham Terriers
The Sealyham Terrier is the creation of an eccentric sportsman, named John Owen Tucker Edwardes. He was born in 1808 and died in 1891. His aim was to establish a specific strain of working terrier, with particular prowess in quarrying badger, otter and fox. Therefore, the required qualities were gameness and endurance with as much substance as could be encompasses in the small, quick dog needed to dig and battle underground. It is thought that the groundwork of these characteristics was laid in about 1848, and the development was over a period of almost 40 years.
The breed was so named because Captain Edwardes resided at Sealyham, a small country mansion between Haverfordwest and Fishguard Harbour. Today the mansion is an “Outdoor Pursuits Centre” but the owner has a real interest in Sealyhams and is developing a museum about the breed there.
The precise material from which Captain establishes the Sealyham Terrier is not really know, but whatever his crosses, he surely founded one of the best of all terrier breeds. It was not however until after the First World War that the Sealyham really got a firm hold on the public’s imagination, but by the early 1920’s it had reached a high in popularity.
The breed has had its Royal admirers in the past, the late HRH Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowden was at one time the owner of a number of Sealyhams. She remained an Honorary Life Member of the Sealyham Terrier Breeders Association until her death in 2003. It was also noted that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II did often have her sisters Sealyham out on walks.
The Sealyham of today is chiefly a companion, but if given the chance will still show its qualities as a working terrier. He is friendly and outgoing, yet a good “house dog”, a watch dog with a big bark. He will either be a family dog or a “one person’s dog”. He is easily trained but like most terriers will definitely try to be the boss, he is active, lively and makes an intelligent and loving companion. With care, attention and training the Sealyham will often live to the age of 12 to 15 years, usually remaining active to the end.
Sealyhams of today are perhaps a little more glamorous than the Sealyham of the past, with having more furnishings they need regular coat care. They can be classified as a “high maintenance” breed, compared with some other long coated breeds. They require a thorough brushing and combing at least every other day to keep them free of knots and matts. Because they a quite low to ground they naturally pick up dirt and mud in bad weather. This means they will require immediate and careful drying when they return home. They do not shed, and therefore the dead hair must be removed, this is called stripping. Alternatively, many of today’s pet Sealyhams are clipped into shape resembling a Sealyham; obviously they lose the weather resistance of the coat. A nicely trimmed Sealyham is very eye catching and will be noticed by everyone.
They love walks and can take as little or a lot of exercise once they are grown up. The General appearance is that of a freely moving and active dog, presenting a picture of great substance in a small compass. In temperament, it is alert and fearless, but of friendly disposition.