The Welsh Sheepdog is pretty diverse in the appearance. It is because they were never bred for the appearance, but rather for performance. Because of thet, two Welsh Sheepdogs can have different color, body build or size. But most common you will find them in tricolor, blue and white, black and white, blue, red or roan color. The Welsh Sheepdog can be both – rough or smooth coated.
This is a naturally strong dog with athletic body. You can tell on the first sight that this is a collie type of a dog. They have long muzzle and ears are usually folded forwards and rounded padded paws which enables them to travel in a diverse terrain. They can have eyes in a blue color, but most often they have brown or amber eyes.
The Welsh Sheepdog tends to be a well proportioned dog with long strong legs. The size can vary quite a lot, but commonly it is between 15-19 inches, which is 38-48 cm and weight between 26-45 pounds, which is 12-21 kg. The females are naturally little bit smaller than males.
This is a tireless hard worker. Most often, they are used for herding sheeps, but they can also herd other animals like goats, cattle or even horses. In the past, they were also used as drover dogs. This dog can work by itself, thanks to its independence. They have sharp eyes and it is a very alert breed, so they can make good watchdogs as well.
If you want to have obedient and happy Welsh Sheepdog the exercise is a must. If you are using the dog for herding, than it is perfect, but if you have a Welsh Sheepdog as a family dog, than a lot of additional exercise is needed. And because of their intelligence, mental stimulation is a must as well. These dogs can be trained to perform a lot of tricks and commands and they are great adepts for various dog sports like agility, flyball, obedience, herding or tracking trials.
This is a good companion dog and they tend to create very strong bond with its owner and family. They posses very loyal, devoted and little bit protective nature. They are always ready for a good playtime or any kind of an adventure, so they are a perfect fit for an active family.
This dog is sometimes confused with the Border Collie, but it is a different breed. They are heavier and they have wider muzzle, broader chest and longer legs. But the main difference is in the way they herd. The Border Collie is a so called strong eyed dog which means that they are fixing the stock with their gaze. The Welsh Sheepdog is so called loose-eyed dog that is very aware of what's going on in a much wider perspective. BTW, the cross between these two dogs is called Welsh Collie.
The original Welsh herding dog breeds have very ancient history and it is almost impossible to track it down, because almost a very little is known about their mysterious origin. They were mentioned in Welsh manuscripts dating back over 800 years. In their past they were used as skilled herders and drover dogs. 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 and it is believed that these dogs were ancestors of today Welsh Sheepdog.
The Welsh Sheepdog Society was formed in 1997 with a goal to preserve the Welsh Sheepdog. It was needed, because the numbers of Welsh Sheepdog shrinked. It was because of the big popularity of Border Collies and because of crossbreeding these two dogs together. It is the aim of the Society to develop the purity of the strain.
Health and grooming
If we are not talking about the exercise, the maintenance of Welsh Sheepdog is not hard. They require weekly brushing to keep the coat in good condition and to prevent matting. They do not need much bathing and they can keep themselves relatively clean bythemselves. Other than that you should regularly check their eyes and ears for possible infection and clean them if needed.
This is usually very healthy dog breed with average lifespan between 13-15 years. They can suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia, ear infection or progressive retinal atrophy.