The Welsh Collie (also known as Welsh Sheepdog) is a highly intelligent breed, almost similar in intelligence to the Border Collie of Scotland. For centuries, this breed has been working side by side with shepherds in the remote mountainous regions of Wales where it originated, to flock sheep and other livestock. Although as intelligent as the Border Collie, the Welsh Collie has a distinct technique of herding sheep, unlike the Border Collie that directly stares on the flock. The Welsh Collie is a loose-eyed worker, meaning it does not fix its eye directly on the flock. One similarity in herding style though, is that it is able to work independently without human command.
The Welsh Collie is a well-balanced breed, always on high alert ready to take command from its owner. It has a broad head with a very distinct stop and a tapering muzzle tipped by a black, brown or slate coloured nose. The head is paired with oval shaped eyes that boast an alert and intelligent gaze. Typical eye colour is brown but blue merles can have one or both blue eyes. The medium-sized ears are pricked, but usually folded at the tip and carried erect or semi-erect. The teeth form a perfect scissor bite. The muscular neck is slightly arched and is wider at the shoulder than at the nape. Strong bones support the well-muscled front and hind legs. The deep chest has well-sprung ribs with muscular loins. The tail is usually carried low with a slight curve and carries it raised over the back when excited. Coat varies from long to short and smooth with dense softer undercoat. Colours include black, black-and-tan, red, blue merle or roan with or without white markings.
It is purely a working breed so there is no standard height. The approximate height is 46 cm while the weight can vary from the lighter 16 kg of northern Wales to the bulkier 18 to 20 kg variety of southern Wales.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The Welsh Collie was traditionally used to move livestock over long distances, taking cattle and sheep to markets in Wales and Britain. However, it’s true origin is shrouded in obscurity much like any other ancient breeds. It is thought that the Welsh Collie may have come from the Gellgi or “covert hound”, an indigenous herding dog of Wales which is mentioned in manuscripts relating to Welsh Law some 800 years ago. This local dog would have had the role of both herding animals and as guard dog. In its role as a droving dog, the Welsh farm dog was fundamental in helping the cattle and sheep owner in driving the flock for hundreds of miles from the remote areas of Wales to the markets in England. It played an important role in keeping the herds calm in the open countryside and safe from wild animals. By the 1940s, this group of purebred native Welsh sheepdog was on the verge of extinction as a result of cross breeding. There is no historical record of its genealogy so the only suggestion of breed purity is its “Welsh” manner of working. The Welsh Collie that we now have is mostly descended from the old Black-and-Tan sheepdog with a mix of the now extinct sable or blue-merle Welsh Hillman, the shaggy Old Welsh Grey and working Border Collie.
The Welsh Collie is a true working breed similar to the collies found in Scotland and Britain. It has a strong guarding instinct and a natural working practice to circle a large horde of livestock. It is a loose-eyed worker unlike the fix-eye manner of working found in Border Collies. It is a very capable dog which can work independently or under the command of its owner. Being a high energy dog, it is happier when working, so it is best suited to an environment where it can practice its native herding instinct. It is usually wary around strangers but will not typically show any aggressive behaviour and would rather keep its distance.
The Welsh Collie is a very intelligent breed of working dog and is highly trainable. Being a working breed, it can compete in dog sports such as agility trials, obedience, flyball, tracking and herding events. It is not a dog for first-time pet owners since it requires someone who can handle and train it with such familiarity as to make the dog truly happy. Puppies should be socialized and trained at an early age to curb their strong herding instinct if it should be kept as a pet. Short but interesting training sessions will keep the puppy focused. Positive reinforcement from a firm but gentle hand is the best training method for this breed.
The smooth or rough double coat requires regular grooming to keep the hair healthy and the skin free from allergies. Trimming or stripping is not required for the Welsh Collie. It is a moderate shedder so routine brushing is advisable.
The average lifespan of a Welsh Collie is between 12 and 15 years. It is a generally hardy breed, owing to its lineage as a sheepdog. It requires a good quality diet to stay healthy. Health issues (if any) are still somewhat hard to pinpoint because the Welsh Sheepdog Society was only formed in 1997 and only a handful of puppies have been registered. The main focus is to make the Welsh Collie remain a pure and healthy breed through strict breeding program regulations.
The Welsh Collie requires an adequate amount of exercise and mental stimulation on a daily basis. It is not an animal that will suit an apartment life. It will be better off in a home with a large estate such as farmlands where it can live an active, outdoor life.
This breed has a high herding instinct and will typically display herding behaviour even in a home environment so it is not a highly advisable breed to a family with small children and/or small animals. However, they will do well in an environment with older children who know how to behave around dogs. The Welsh Collie is a bit wary around strangers and other unfamiliar dogs but once it gets to know the scent, it will get on quite well with other pets.