5 Popular Welsh Dog Breeds

These dog breeds are all native to Cymru

Pembroke Welsh Corgi standing on a log in autumn leaves

Elfin Fox / 97 Images / Pixabay

When you think of Welsh dog breeds, it's likely that the Pembroke Corgi, with their large ears and fluffy butts, springs to mind! There are, however, several other popular breeds that hail from this part of the United Kingdom.

We have outlined five of them, along with details of their history and what makes them an appealing choice for potential owners.

  • 01 of 05

    Pembroke Welsh Corgi

    Pembroke Welsh Corgi lying on sand on a beach

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    Of the two Corgi types, the Pembroke is the most popular. They're in the top 20 breeds ranked by the AKC, and many have garnered large followings on Instagram.

    The Pembroke Corgi has been part of Welsh history for over 1,000 years. They were developed as versatile herding, guarding and companion dogs. Their modern-day popularity can be largely attributed to Queen Elizabeth II. She's an avid enthusiast of the breed, and they have received much media attention as a result.

    Despite their short legs and squat appearance, Pembroke Corgis are an energetic breed and this, combined with their smarts, means they often make good dog sports competitors.

    They can be wary of strangers and are sometimes territorial. This means early, appropriate and ongoing socialization is needed to prevent them becoming too guarded with people or other dogs. They can be prolific shedders, so you'll want to have a good de-shedding tool, like a FURminator, to hand.

    Pembrokes are also very food orientated, so care must be taken not to overfeed them. If they become overweight, it can put additional strain on their long backs, which are already more prone to strain.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 10 to 12 inches

    Weight: 24 to 30 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: A long, low-set dog with short, muscular legs, a stubby tail and erect pointy ears; medium length double coat in black and tan, red, sable, or fawn (all colors are typically seen with white markings)

  • 02 of 05

    Welsh Springer Spaniel

    Welsh Springer Spaniel in standing in water

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    Welsh Springer Spaniels are close relatives of the more popular English Springer Spaniel. The distinctive red and white Welsh Springer was developed specifically during the 18th century by the countries gentry as hunting dogs for on their estates. They're enthusiastic, driven, strong swimmers and have keen noses.

    Despite being less well-known than some of their Spaniel relatives, they can still make great family dogs for those leading an active, outdoors lifestyle. You'll just need to make sure they get lots of exercise and enrichment, and they could be rather bouncy for a family with young children.

    Welshies form strong attachments to their people, so would suit a household where they'll have company for much of the day to prevent separation anxiety from developing.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 17 to 19 inches

    Weight: 35 to 55 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Medium-sized dog, tapered head and muscular and athletic body; they have a soft, straight, flat coat, with some feathering and in red with white markings

  • 03 of 05

    Cardigan Welsh Corgi

    Welsh Cardigan Corgi on rocks at a beach

    FatFairfax / Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.


    The Cardigan Welsh Corgi isn't as well known as their Pembroke relatives, but they were also developed for their herding and guarding qualities, in the coastal Cardiganshire region of the country.

    Unlike the Pembroke, the Cardigan has a long, full tail. They're also bigger and heavier set and come in more coat colors.

    Cardigans are affectionate and playful with their families, but they can be prolific alert barkers and wary around strangers. They are, however, clever and food-orientated dogs and should respond well to any positive reinforcement training methods you put into place to prevent these traits from becoming a problem.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 10.5 to 12.5 inches

    Weight: 25 to 38 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: A low-set, deep-chested, sturdily built dog with a full, brush-like tail and large, erect ears; has a medium-length, dense, water-resistant double coat which comes in Red, sable, brindle, black or blue merle, with or without white markings on the neck, chest, legs, muzzle, tail and face

  • 04 of 05

    Welsh Terrier

    Welsh Terrier standing on grass

    Capture Light / Getty Images

    The Welsh Terrier is a very old terrier breed that rose in popularity during the 18th century in their native country. Known for being versatile, tenacious, determined vermin catchers, they were popular with hunters and farmers in the rugged Welsh countryside.

    These little dogs have big, spunky personalities and, for this reason, they won't be the best choice for a novice dog owner, unless you're up for a challenge and will be dedicated to training.

    They are energetic, assertive, independent and playful, and these traits need channelling appropriately in terms of exercise and enrichment. They also have a high prey drive and may not be suited to living with small furries. You'll likel have to put the work in when it comes to achieving a solid recall.

    Breed Overview

    Height: Around 15 inches

    Weight: Around 20 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Hardy small-medium sized dog with folded ears and a distinct beard; they have a dense, hard and wiry coat, with a soft and short undercoat with tan and black markings, but shading can vary

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Sealyham Terrier

    Sealyham Terrier in forest shrubs

    Okforlicz / Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license


    Sealyhams, although once very popular, are now one of the rarest of all the terrier breeds.

    They were developed in the 19th century by the wealthy estate owner of Sealyham House in Wales. He wanted a small, tenacious, hardy dog that could support his established pack of Otterhounds in flushing out otters from their riverside lairs. The otters were considered a pest as they depleted the rivers of fish.

    Their popularity soared in the United States in the mid-20th century and a number of Hollywood celebrities, like Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant, were Sealy owners. Over the years, however, their popularity has inexplicably diminished, meaning they're now classed as an endangered native breed.

    Despite this, they're known for being an affectionate, playful, low-energy terrier with a low shedding coat. They do have the typical terrier stubbornness, though, and they can be prone to guarding traits and displaying a high prey drive.

    Breed Overview

    Height: Around 10.5 inches

    Weight: 21 to 24 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Small, muscular, sturdy and low-set, with a broad head and full beard; they have a soft, thick undercoat and hard wiry topcoat which usually comes in all white or with lemon. tan or badger markings around the ears and face

Although they all have their own unique characteristics, most of the breeds on this list have strong working drives and tend to be energetic. They'll be best suited to homes that enjoy leading an active lifestyle.

Before you make a decision on offering a home to any dog, you should always do your research to consider if your lifestyle is right for the breed in question. Also, take the time to find a reputable breeder or rescue organization.