If you're looking for a smaller terrier that's larger than a toy yet still easy to pick up, consider the Lakeland or the Welsh. While these two dogs are similar in size and appearance, there are some differences between them. Both are relatively uncommon in the United States.
The Welsh terrier weighs only 20 pounds when full-grown, standing between 15 and 15.5 inches high at the shoulder. Males are larger than females. The Lakeland terrier is slightly smaller, weighing about 17 pounds at maturity and standing about 14.5 inches tall at the shoulder.
While both breeds may appear as black and tan, those are the only permissible colors for the Welsh terrier, according to American Kennel Club standards, while the Lakeland standard allows more variety. The Welsh terrier looks like a smaller version of the Airedale, a more familiar breed for most people. His back is black, while the head, legs and fore and hindquarters are tan. The Lakeland may be solid black, dark gray, wheaten, red and brown. His back may be black, with the same parts of the body a different shade as in the Welsh, but the color is more of a gold or wheaten shade.
A terrier is a terrier -- bred to hunt varmints. In this case, the Lakeland's original purpose was to kill foxes and the Welsh terrier's to do in foxes, otters and badgers. While both breeds may include cats in the prey division, Lakelands tend to get along better with other dogs than the Welsh terrier. As the Welsh Terrier Club of America points out, both males and females may become aggressive with other animals. Welsh terriers may not take easily to housebreaking. If you have children, plan to have children or have kids frequently visiting, the Lakeland is probably the better choice. He's a charming, active dog who enjoys family life with kids who know how to treat dogs.
Both breeds have wiry coats requiring brushing two or three times a week. Comb out your Welsh's facial hair a couple of times a week to keep him from looking scraggly. He needs his coat stripped or clipped a few times a year. The Lakeland also need regular brushing. Take him to the groomers about every three months to have his hair clipped and shaped to maintain the classic terrier outline.
- American Kennel Club: Get to Know the Welsh Terrier
- American Kennel Club: Get to Know the Lakeland Terrier
- Welsh Terrier Club of America: Breed Information
- United States Lakeland Terrier Club: An Introduction to Owning A Lakeland Terrier
- Petfinder: Adopt a Welsh Terrier
- Petfinder: Adopt a Lakeland Terrier