Discover Dogs Information Leaflet
THE SEALYHAM TERRIER
IF YOU ARE THINKING OF BUYING A SEALYHAM
Please buy from a Breeder, names and addresses of the Club Secretary’s who can help are below.
Midland Sealyham Terrier Club Sealyham Terrier Club
Mrs Denise Bettis Mrs Janet Wonnacott
May Tree Cottage “Headlands”
Pound Lane South Hook Road
Nr. Kidderminster Milford Haven
Worcs. DY14 9RD Pembs SA37 3RU
01299 266380 01646 698786
Sealyham Terrier Breeders Assoc. Rescue
Miss Lisa Hampson Mrs Margaret Longmate
50 Cornwall Drive “ Amaryllis”
Newsprings Rise Road
Lancs. BL9 9PD Yorks, HU11 5BH
0161 7633552 01964 562525
THE SEALYHAM TERRIER
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 publics 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 ll 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.
ORIGIN & CHARACTER
Some hundred years ago terriers were used to go to earth and work with hounds. Captain Edwardes, a keen sportsman, who lived on the estate of Sealyham between Haverfordwest and Fishguard, S. Wales, bred to stabilise the type of terrier required for this work. one essential was pluck. We read that any dog that could not face up to its quarry was shot. The dogs had to low to the ground, not too big, but strongly made, as they were used to go to earth for fox and badger or any other rodent. They were predominantly white as it was said that otherwise there could be a danger of the hounds mistaking the terrier for vermin I doubt if this was the true reason for their colour as any dog
emerging from an earth would hardly appear white and in any case the hounds would know the terrier in their pack. In the early days the Sealyham, that took its name from its place of origin, was a queer looking dog of very mixed type and cannot be compared in looks to the smart little dogs we see today.
From old records we learn that the following breeds all went into the making of the Sealyham: the Welsh Corgi for size, length of back and lowness to the ground, the Cheshire Terrier (now extinct), which was a kind of small white Bull Terrier, for colour, tenacity of purpose and gameness. The Dandie Dinmont was used to introduce strength of jaw and lowness to the ground, while the Fox Terrier gave the double weather resisting coat, and the West Highland White Terrier kept the size small and implanted more firmly the white colour. It is interesting to note that the corgi was the only non-terrier breed used. The other breeds would have all displayed great worrying ability and gameness which were essential for Captain Edwardes' purpose. Even today some Sealyham show physical signs of their forebears, i.e. the uneven topline of the Dandie Dinmont, the narrower front and length of the leg of the Fox Terrier, and the short back of the West Highland White.Whether in fact all the above mentioned breeds were used is open to question. The actual origin appears to be of little importance provided it is always borne in mind that the Sealyham was undoubtedly evolved as a sporting dog of great courage and that it had to be sufficiently flexible and of any size to go to ground. It was frequently used in Badger digging and was required to give tongue and tell the diggers where the badger was. The Sealyham was not required to kill the Badger (in fact I doubt if it could as the badger is bigger than the dog) but to prevent it going up another earth pending the arrival of the diggers. An earth is not wide and the badger works very fast so the Sealyham had to be very quick, supple and active. Badger digging is almost a sport of the past, but the breed is often used for ratting and rabbiting and is a keen and effective worker. Any breed should be capable of carrying out the work for which it was evolved. If it cannot do this is raison d'etre is lost. I am confident that the high standard of conformation can be maintained, at the same time fostering the keen sporting instinct by giving our dogs the opportunity to use these instinct whenever possible.
It would be a thousand pities if a breed with such a gay, fearless character should be allowed to deteriorate into purely a show automanition. There are those who maintain that the working and showing sides cannot be combined, but it should be possible to retain the correct temperament along with a sound active dog of good type sufficiently pleasing to the eye tow in in the show ring The breed was recognised by the Kennel Club in 1910 in which year classes were first scheduled at the Ladies Association Show. During the 1914-18 war very little Breeding was done, but in the 1920's the Sealyham rapidly gained in popularity came too quickly and those wishing to cash in on this phase did not pay sufficient attention to temperaments. Since the end of the Second World War it most certainly is not true to say that the Sealyham is of doubtful temper, but criticism still occasionally sticks. The breed has gone on from strength to strength, although at the time of writing it has, along with most other terriers breeds, lost some of its popularity. It is now scheduled at many all-breed Championship Shows. Competition is strong enough to make showing interesting and win worthwhile. A number of Sealyhams have won the terrier group and have been made Best in Show at all-breed Championship Shows. There is a steady is a high and the modern specimen is more uniform in type and more pleasing to the eye than its forebears The present day breeder is deeply indebted to the earlier breeders who by their hard work, enthusiasm and knowledge, helped to evolve the Sealyham as we know it today. Of the very earliest enthusiasts, Captain Edwardes, the founder of the breed, Lord Kensington and Mr Fred Lewis must rank high. These three were largely responsible for bringing the Sealyham before the public prior to the breed by stamping in the type that was required. These dogs were Huntsman and Peer Gynt. With the desired type they also produced faults, which to a great extent have been eliminated by intelligent breeding, through bad mouths, 'Chippendale' fronts and soft coats still crop up from time to time. Between the two world wars there were many well-known kennels that all have left their mark on the breed. Many of these notable breeders employed professional handlers who selected promising youngsters, kennelled, trained and prepared them for show, usually had great success. In those more affluent days there was a wide choice of first class dogs so that breeding good, stock was perhaps easier than it is today, when the breed has become less popular and the selection of the stud dogs is very limited. Few people now are in a financial position to keep many dogs. Another factor was that the over-riding desire to win and make money out of dogs was almost unheard of. Stock was ruthlessly culled and so the standard of the breed steadily improved Nancy H Binley (1983)
PREPARING A SEALYHAM FOR SHOW
By Biddy Postgate and Jean Melbourne
Electric clippers with interchangeable blades.
No. 10 & No. 7 Oster blades or equivalent or Haupner Hand Clippers 2 1/2 cm.
Serrated Stripping knife ( Magnet Knife)
Spratts Duplex knife. 1 Steel comb. 1 Fine comb (no 6).
1pair hairdressing scissors, 1 pair thinning scissors. Nail Clippers.
Powdered Chalk (Calcium Carbonate). Chalk Block
paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.
The top coat should be hand stripped about 8—10 weeks prior to the show. This is done by removing the long hair from the coat using the fore-finger and thumb, after rubbing a little chalk into the coat. This will make the hair easier to grip. The hair should be taken out at weekly intervals so as to promote continuous growth of new wiry hair.
About five days before the show, depending on the thickness of the coat, the top coat should be trimmed from back of the head to the tail, the hair on the neck made as short as possible using the finger and thumb, and blended into the longer hair over the withers and along the back where the hair should be about 1—11/2 “ long. (Run the fingers through the coat in the opposite direction to the hair growth, and the hair should come up to the first joint of the middle finger). A fine comb (No.6) run through the coat once a week will remove any unwanted dead hair and undercoat.
The ears should be clipped inside and outside the ear flap with either an electric clipper No. 10 blade or a hand clipper. The edges of the ear can then be trimmed with a pair of scissors.
A line should be taken from halfway along the bottom of the eye, under the jaw to the same position under the opposite eye. All hair in front of this is left. Take a line from the outer corner of each eye to the top of each ear with the clippers and a No7 blade.
Do not clip up any further than this line.
Clip up from the breast bone to the back of each ear fold and to the point of each shoulder, do not clip too far back. If hand clippers are to be used this should be done about 7– 10 days before the show, otherwise about 5 days with electric clippers depending on the rate of growth. ( each dog is different).
The top of the head should be trimmed as close as possible using a serrated stripping knife. The long hair over the eyebrows and whiskers can then be combed forward, then standing behind the dogs head, the eyebrows can be cut into shape by trimming them along the line of the head with scissors so that the dogs eyes can be seen from the side. Avoid cutting them too short and giving the dog Scottie expression.
Facing the dog, any excess hair over the eyebrows can then be thinned out using a Duplex knife. Where the hair on the top of the head meets the clipped part at the side, can now be blended using a Duplex knife.
The hair behind the forelegs. At the point of the shoulder and elbows should be shortened using thinning scissors to about halfway down the leg and the inside of the front leg from the pastern joint to the foot. The foreleg should appear straight from the front and side. Level off any long hairs on the feathering with a Duplex knife and trim carefully round the feet with scissors obtaining a neat round appearance. The long hair on the breast bone can now be blended in.
The hair at the side of the ribs should be blended in with the top coat.
The hair on the hind legs should be thinned out overall to give a rounded appearance to the hindquarters. Trim any long hair from the hocks and cut round the feet with scissors.
H. The area under the tail should be clippered using a No. 10 blade and slightly up the back of the tail.
The hair on the front of the tail should be kept short.
The day before the show the dog should be bathed everywhere except the top coat. Towel dry the dog and when it is still damp, comb out, then dry thoroughly. The nails can now be cut also hair growing between the pads. The art of successful trimming lies in bringing about the apparent merging of the long into short coat without showing any lines of demarcation.
Study the type of dog you are trimming and try to minimise his faults and bring out his good points.
© PUBLICATION OF THE MIDLAND SEALYHAM TERRIER CLUB