A happy Pembroke Welsh Corgi sitting on the moors looking directly at the camera patiently waiting for a treato!

Welsh Dog Breeds

8 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

Doggy member Grogu, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi sat on the frosty grass on an early morning walk

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.

Doggy member Moose, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi sitting with one ear flopped and the other standing tall on his head!

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

Doggy members Mr Pip and Joe, the Welsh Springer Spaniels sitting next to one another on a woodland pathway

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!

Welsh Terrier

Doggy members Rocky and Mabel, the Welsh Terriers both sat looking intently at the camera

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).

Sealyham Terrier

Doggy members Rolo and Monty, the Sealyham Terriers at the woodland park in a shady spot with the sun beaming through the trees in the background

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.

Welsh Sheepdog

Doggy member Erza, the Welsh Collie sitting in the kitchen with her head tilted and her bright blue eyes staring directly at the camera

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.

Breed Guides

Crossbreed Dog Breeds

Irish Dog Breeds

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Rare Dog Breeds

Royal Dog Breeds

Scottish Dog Breeds

Welsh Dog Breeds

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