Welsh Dog Breeds8 December 2022
There are some wonderful Welsh dog breeds. They are firm favourites not just in Wales, but expanding to Hollywood and even Buckingham Palace. With all the breeds having previously been used for hunting, herding or pest control, they are all intelligent, energetic and protective.
Pembroke and Cardigan Corgis
First up is the Pembroke and Cardigan Corgis. You probably know of the Corgi as they are potentially the most well known of the Welsh breeds. They were a favourite of the Queen and the internet can’t get enough of their cute appearance and quirky personalities.
There are varying stories of how Corgis came to be in Wales but it is believed that Pembroke Corgis came over with Flemish weavers in the 10th century, while Cardigan Corgis arrived with Norse settlers. They even appear in mythology, as legend has it that fairies would use Corgis to pull their carts and ride them into battle.
Originally used to herd cattle, they now make great companions for families as they are sociable, cuddly and playful whilst also being smart and obedient. Despite their small stature, they are known to be great guard dogs with a ‘big dog bark’.
Welsh Springer Spaniel
Next up, we have the Welsh Springer Spaniel. These gundogs are energetic, sociable and smart. They are ideal for owners who lead active lives and can offer plenty of quality time. They thrive on human contact and can become very attached to their owners, but with training from an early age and lots of socialisation, you can avoid them becoming too codependent.
The Welsh Springer Spaniel was incredibly popular in the 18th century but their existence predates this by two centuries. They appear in paintings dating back to the 16th century, sitting at their masters' sides!
The Welsh Terrier is a classic Welsh breed. Originating in Wales, these boisterous dogs are bred to hunt and these hunting tendencies still run deep. They are known to chase small animals whenever they have the chance including squirrels, rabbits and cats.
Despite their sometimes boisterous nature, they are also intelligent and friendly with a steady temperament. Just like with the Welsh Springer and so many other breeds, early training and socialisation are key. They make lovely family pets who just want to protect you (but may occasionally dig up your garden).
On to the rarest breed on this list: the Sealyham Terrier, who are listed as a Vulnerable Native Breed by the Kennel Club.
Developed as the perfect hunting dog in the mid-19th century by Captain John Edwardes of Sealyham House in Pembrokeshire, they were originally used as pest control and would hunt small game like badgers on Captain Edwardes’ estate. They grew in popularity after when Hollywood stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis and Alfred Hitchcock owned them.
They are ideal as a family or working dog as they are less demanding than other working breeds. They are highly adaptable and can be content in the countryside or city. They love human company and form deep bonds with their owners but they can also be left alone for small periods of time without becoming restless.
Finally, we have to talk about the Welsh Sheepdog, also known as the Welsh Collie. The biggest dog on our list who are attempting to make a come back in Wales.
After being in existence in some form for 800 years as droving dogs, they have slowly been replaced by Border Collies. Recently there has been an attempt by the Welsh Sheepdog Society to ‘conserve and protect the traditional breed of indigenous Welsh Sheepdog’.
They are highly independent and energetic which requires an assertive owner and lots of exercise. Equally, they are incredibly loyal and affectionate and like to have a home with an owner who is home most of the time and can give them plenty of affection and exercise throughout the day. They are taller, broader and stronger than the standard Border Collie and are less sensitive which means they often don’t require as strict a routine.
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