The Welsh Sheepdog has historically been more of a variety than a breed. There is now a focus on keeping the stock pure to preserve these indigenous dogs.
Illustration courtesy of the Swedish Kennel Club
About this Breed
The Welsh Sheepdog, also called the Welsh Collie, has historically been more of a variety (landrace) than a breed, although there are now people focusing on keeping the stock pure to preserve these indigenous dogs. Though the popularity of the Welsh Sheepdog has waned in Wales as shepherds have started to use the Border Collie instead, the Welsh Sheepdog is still used and bred for its original purpose. It is distinct in appearance and personality as well as in herding style.
The Welsh Sheepdog comes in many colors, including red, black, black and tan, and merle. They have have short or long fur, and their ears can be erect or semi-erect. The Welsh Sheepdog was bred primarily for working ability rather than appearance— something that remains true to this day.
As a true working dog, the Welsh Sheepdog needs to have a job to do. These dogs will not be content as couch potatoes. While bred for herding, the Welsh Collie also enjoys activities such as agility, and obedience. They’re exceptionally intelligent, and can also be trained to help their owners as service dogs. This dog is best suited to rural life, and would not be recommended for city-living. While they have the drive to work, the Welsh Sheepdog also enjoys being included in family activities and they can bond closely with their people. However, caution should be taken in introducing a Welsh Collie into a home with children, as their herding instincts may cause them to try to round up youngsters.
Due to their intelligence and drive, Welsh Sheepdogs are very trainable. They don’t do well with harsh corrections, but using positive reinforcement is typically all the training needed for them to pick up on what their owner is asking. As a herding dog, the Welsh Sheepdog was bred to think independently, so that should be taken into consideration with their training.
Welsh Sheepdogs on Embark
Explore some Embark dogs that share Welsh Sheepdog ancestry.