Welsh Sheepdog

Home > Dog Breeds > Welsh Sheepdog
26-42 lbs
15-18"
Wales, England
Welsh Collie, Ci Defaid Cymreig

The Welsh Sheepdog is a hard working breed that is capable of taking the initiative and making decisions during herding, as well as accepting direction from their master. This dog loves to work, they adore being active and doing something useful. If you are considering a Welsh Sheepdog as a pet, be aware they need an active family as they can become bored and hard to manage in small living spaces such as an apartment - especially if they are left alone a lot. They can become quite a vocal dog, voicing their unhappiness to the world. A large back yard or country living is more suited to their nature. Valued for their herding and work ethic, they are bred more for this than their appearance. As a result, the Welsh Sheepdog can vary a lot in size and color. This dog doesn't 'eyeball' the stock, they control them by moving back and forth and has a higher stance when herding than the Border Collie. Loyal, intelligent and gentle with children as well as being protective, this attractive dog makes a great family member for the active family, or a helpful farm hand.

Purpose
Herding and Guarding
Date of Origin
18th Century
Ancestry
Old Welsh Grey, Black and Tan Sheepdog, Sable or Blue Merle Hillman

Welsh Sheepdog Health

Average Size
Male Welsh Sheepdog size stats
Height: 15-19 inches Weight: 30-45 lbs
Female Welsh Sheepdog size stats
Height: 15-18 inches Weight: 26-42 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip And Elbow Dysplasia
Minor Concerns
  • Ear Infections
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA)
Occasional Tests
  • Ear Examination
  • Regular Full Physical Examination By Veterinarian
  • Ophthalmological Examination
  • Eye Examinations (both internal as well as external)
  • Hip and Elbow X-rays

Welsh Sheepdog Breed History

The past of the Welsh Sheepdog is shrouded in mystery as little is known about this unique dog. They were mentioned in Welsh manuscripts dating back over 800 years alluding to their dedication to work with the herds from morning to night. During the British agricultural evolution starting in the 1800's, farmers valued a good dog that was capable of moving stock over wild, open country. These dogs herded and protected the stock, often working as a group of dogs and drovers. This ability was vital for the early farmers for their livelihood of the drovers and the owners back in Wales. Tales of these early herding dogs mention the ability of just a few men and their dogs to move over 300 or more cattle at a time to English trading markets. It was from these early herding dogs that the modern Welsh Sheepdog evolved. The early 1900’s saw the beginning of Sheepdog trials as a way to let the breeds compete against each other to measure the dog's overall ability. Sadly, no historic breeding records of the Welsh Sheepdog were kept, so the purity of their line was in question. In 1997, The Welsh Sheepdog Society formed with the objective to preserve and promote the Welsh breed in its working context. The eventual decline in droving, plus the Border Collie's excellence at sheepdog trials, led to a reduction in the Welsh Sheepdog's popularity. The Welsh Sheepdog is acknowledged as a versatile breed, and it is still a distinct entity with talents and ability that can be traced back to its ancestors.

Welsh Sheepdog Breed Appearance

The Welsh Sheepdog is a medium sized dog, with a well proportioned body and solid build. They tend to have a boxy proportion with long strong legs. Rounded padded paws enable them to travel in a diverse landscape. The Welsh Sheepdog or Welsh Collie as they are also known, have a lovely expressive face. Their heads are a wedge shape, with a long pointed muzzle. The ears on the Welsh Sheepdog are alert and pointed, held high or may have a small fold forwards. This dog has been valued more for what they can do, rather than their aesthetic appeal; therefore, their coat can be either short or long, often with a dense undercoat, and they come in the black, tan, red or blue merle colors with white accents on the body or face. Their eyes are often blue when they are young, then with some dogs they change to a warm brown at a more mature age . The blue eyed dog is a distinctive looking dog with their strikingly clear gaze. Their eagerness to please and their passion to work makes this dog a true working dog.

Eye Color Possibilities
blue Welsh Sheepdog eyes
Blue
brown Welsh Sheepdog eyes
Brown
amber Welsh Sheepdog eyes
Amber
Nose Color Possibilities
black Welsh Sheepdog nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
white Welsh Sheepdog coat
White
blue Welsh Sheepdog coat
Blue
red Welsh Sheepdog coat
Red
pied Welsh Sheepdog coat
Pied
black Welsh Sheepdog coat
Black
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Welsh Sheepdog straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Welsh Sheepdog Breed Maintenance

The Welsh Sheepdog is a working dog; they love to be given a job to do and just want to get on with it. They don't have time for grooming, being impatient to get going; therefore require little more than a good weekly brushing to prevent matting of the coat, especially on the long haired variety. This dog doesn't require bathing, especially if it is a working dog, as they tend to take care of themselves. The damp grass, showers of rain, and traipsing through streams will take care of the coat. If you do have to bathe them to get rid of dirt and mud, use a very mild dog shampoo to protect the natural oils in the coat that help them to deal with the inclement weather. You should check any working dog for parasites such as ticks or fleas, especially around the ears. Wipe gently within the inner ear to prevent build up of dirt and wax that may cause inflammation. Whether a pet or a working dog, they should be trained to sit quietly and have their teeth brushed and their toenails clipped. Then release this eager beaver so they can race back to work or indulge in a game.

Brushes for Welsh Sheepdog
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Deshedder
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Welsh Sheepdog requires monthly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Welsh Sheepdog Temperament

The Welsh Sheepdog is a busy, active dog who also makes an ideal guard dog - nothing gets past this sharp eyed alert dog. This dog will bark at intruders but is generally welcoming to those that they know. They have a mind of their own and are best when they are given a job to do. Bred to herd and protect flocks or sheep or cattle over long distances, this dog is no slouch when it comes to the fitness stakes. They will run all day if they have to. The Welsh Sheepdog is independent and intelligent, and they are very easy to train, responding to a master who is both fair and firm yet not harsh.  They are good with children and other pets, although they may try to herd them! Whereas the Border Collie fixes the stock they herds through their gaze, the Welsh Sheepdog herds and directs their stock. One advantage they have over other types of working dogs is that they are a bit more laid back and can switch off once the work day is done. Ideal as a companion, herding dog or guard dog - they are loyal, devoted and protective of their family. Given plenty of mental and physical stimulation, this dog is a joy to own. They can become excessive barkers if bored. Good looking, gentle, protective and playful, the Welsh Sheepdog is an underrated companion and work dog.

Welsh Sheepdog Activity Requirements

The Welsh Sheepdog is a working dog through and through. They are at their best when they have a job to do. Pure energy courses through their veins and for this reason they are best in a country setting where they can work the land or at least be taken for long country walks. Because of their willingness to please, they are ideal dogs to train. They take direction well to kind, but firm management and have the ability to make decisions for themselves if their owner is not around. The Welsh Sheepdog can be a bit strong willed and opinionated and is best with an experienced owner who can handle this dog. Without direction, this dog can become willful and full of self importance. Keep a lid on that energy in a fair, yet firm way. They would love to run beside you or your bike, walk for hours regardless of the weather, and are very adept at gently rounding up your children! Their kind nature makes them ideal for a family, but again, keep this dog busy so they can be at their best. 

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
16 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
120 minutes

Welsh Sheepdog Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3 cups
Daily Cost
$1.2 - $1.4
Monthly Cost
$34 - $45

Welsh Sheepdog Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Welsh Sheepdog size stats at six months
Height: 11 inches Weight: 11 lbs
Female Welsh Sheepdog size stats at six months
Height: 11 inches Weight: 10 lbs
12 Months
Male Welsh Sheepdog size stats at 12 months
Height: 14 inches Weight: 21 lbs
Female Welsh Sheepdog size stats at 12 months
Height: 13 inches Weight: 21 lbs
18 Months
Male Welsh Sheepdog size stats at 18 months
Height: 17 inches Weight: 40 lbs
Female Welsh Sheepdog size stats at 18 months
Height: 16 inches Weight: 36 lbs

Welsh Sheepdog Owner Experiences

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd