• Welsh Collie Breed
  • Welsh Collie Dog Breed
  • Welsh Collies
  • Welsh Collie Dog
  • Welsh Collie in Great Britain
  • Welsh Collies in the UK
  • Welsh Collie in the UK
  • Welsh Collie Dogs
  • Welsh Collie
  • Welsh Collies in Great Britain
Exercise Level:
Barking Level:
Good with Children:
Good with other pets:
Height: 65 - 72cm M | 62 - 68cm F
Weight: 30 - 50kg M | 30 - 50kg F
Life Expectancy: 9 - 13 Years

Searching for a Welsh Collie?


The Welsh Collie is believed to have emerged in the 19th century. It is a “true” working dog that is native to Wales, which makes it a rather rare breed. Very intelligent, highly active, and supremely trainable, the Welsh Collie shares many similarities with the Border Collie. Its main distinction is that its manner of working is “loose-eyed.” Whilst the Border Collie works with its eyes fixed on the flock it is herding, the Welsh Collie shifts about without losing its focus on the task at hand. 

The Welsh Collie has a double coat that does not need trimming but needs to be groomed regularly. Its medium-sized body is rangier than the Border Collie. As it is a high-energy breed with a strong herding instinct, the Welsh Collie is not suitable for first-time owners and families living in apartments. It is more content when in a working environment, unlike the Border Collie.

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It is not known exactly how the Welsh Collie came about and what its canine ancestor is. It has been speculated that this breed originated from the Gellgi (“covert hound”), which is a herding and hunting dog endemic to Wales. Herding dogs in Wales date back to 800 years, as documented in centuries-old records. They were very valuable as they not only helped drive livestock for hundreds of miles but also protected them and their owners.
Although there were many varieties of herding dogs native to Wales, the working breeds dwindled to just 3 by the 1940s. Cross breeding nearly wiped out all of them, with the Welsh Hillman and the Black-and-Tan Sheepdog, which are among the oldest breeds, barely hanging on for survival.

The Welsh Collie, as we know it, is a combination of the sable Welsh Hillman, the Black-and-Tan Sheepdog, the Border Collie, and the Old Welsh Grey. In 1997, the Welsh Sheepdog Society was launched in order to preserve these Welsh working breeds. However, considering the Welsh Collie has been bred with many other sheep dog breeds, only one identifying characteristic is used to judge whether a dog is a genuine Welsh Collie. And that is the “loose eye” working style. Currently, The Kennel Club still has not acknowledged the Welsh Collie as a breed of its own.

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Appearance and Grooming

The Welsh Collie’s height ranges from 45 cm to 55 cm, whilst its weight is between 13-20 kg. The ones in northern Wales are said to be lighter (16 kg) whilst the ones in the south are heftier (up to 20 kg).  

With a medium-sized body longer and leaner than that of a Border Collie, the Welsh Collie moves with grace and balance. Compared to its cousin, it has a wider muzzle and chest. Its strong mouth houses a set of teeth with a perfect scissor bite. It has a muscular set of legs that can cover a considerable distance with each stride. The paws are oval and decked with short nails.  Its tail is moderately long and is carried low, ending in a slight curl.  

There are two types of coats among the Welsh Collies – rough and longish or short and smooth. Both types are double coated to protect the dog from the cold and wind. Although the Border Collie comes in a variety of colours and patterns, the most common are merle, black and white, and red and white. The third variety is said to be the marking pattern of the Welsh Sheepogs of days past. If there is any white in the dog’s coat, it never is the dominating colour.  

The Welsh Collie’s coat should be regularly groomed (weekly) to keep it in good condition and prevent allergies.

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Temperament and Intelligence

As a true working breed, the Welsh Collie is at its element in a working environment, herding and driving livestock. It has a high energy, great intelligence, excellent stamina and agility, and keen alertness. It is great at taking instructions from its master, but it is also capable of making decisions independently. It has such a strong will that it can manoeuvre a thousand-pound cow on its own or drive jammed sheep out of a pen by running across their backs.  

Although the Welsh Collie may be cautious with strangers, it usually does not become aggressive and would rather keep its distance.  

With its strong herding drive and high energy, the Welsh Collie will not do well being kept merely as a pet. Its need for high activity and mental challenge also does not make this independent breed a good fit for first-time owners and families with young children. In fact, the Welsh Sheepdog Society will only provide this breed to working farms. However, it is very loyal to its master and is naturally protective of its household.

Socialising a Welsh Collie at a very early age helps restrain its herding instinct. Positive reinforcement training done firmly but gently also helps a Welsh Collie pup shape up to become a well-adjusted pet.

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Nutrition and Feeding

A Welsh collie’s body is built for speed and activity, which means the dog’s diet should be high in protein to support his muscles and fuel his physical activities throughout the day. A Welsh collie puppy roughly needs 22 per cent of protein daily, whilst an adult Welsh collie needs around 18 per cent of protein every day. The Welsh collie also needs calcium and vitamin D to strengthen his bones and joints. Carbohydrates are also essential in a Welsh collie’s diet.

The Welsh collie is an extremely active dog breed. Thus, his food should be of high-quality and designed to fit his age, energy level, breed, and size. This is to make sure that his daily nutritional needs are met. You can ask help from the vet to list down excellent-quality dog food for your Welsh collie.

Avoid buying commercial dog food. Although it is more affordable, its quality may be subpar and it cannot replenish the nutrients that your dog lost in a day. Some commercial dog food brands also contain harmful ingredients such as preservatives, which can endanger your Welsh collie’s health.

The Welsh collie, due to his high energy and activity, should be fed twice a day. A Welsh collie puppy is to be given nutritious, high-quality diet three to four times daily. The portion should be in accordance to his age and build, ranging from 153 grams to 257 grams for a pup between two and twelve months old.

An adult Welsh collie weighing 13 kg can be given 178–234 grams of food a day, in accordance to his activity level. For a Welsh collie that weighs 18 kg, 214–282 grams is the recommended range.

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Health and Exercise

On average, the Welsh Collie can live from 12 to 15 years. Whilst it is a sturdy breed, it is not immune to health concerns. However, as the documentation of the breed has only begun in 1997, congenital or hereditary risks have not yet been determined. As such, it is recommended that the dogs used to breed the Welsh Collie be checked beforehand to ensure the purity and health of the breed.

The following are the conditions that have so far been linked to the Welsh Collie, usually observed in older dogs:

  • Cataract
  • Fading puppy syndrome
  • Cancer (certain types)  
  • Progressive retinal atrophy  

As mentioned, the Welsh Collie needs more exercise than some other breeds to keep it stimulated and happy. About 2 hours of activity daily is the minimum, and more is ideal. However, Welsh Collie puppies need not be exercised as much as their bones are still developing. 

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Cost of Ownership

If you are interested in buying a Welsh Collie, expect to go on a waiting list as this breed in rare in the UK. The price for a well-bred pedigree puppy is anything from £500 upwards. You also need to factor in pet insurance if you want to offset some expenses on health emergencies and accidents. Insuring a Welsh Collie will set you back a monthly premium of £21 for a basic cover and £42 for a lifetime cover. These prices depend on your dog’s age, health, where you are in the UK, and whether it has pre-existing conditions.

Good nutrition is important in maintaining your dog’s health and minimising visits to the vet. Feeding your dog high quality dog food can set you back another £40-£50 a month. Routine checks with preventive care including vaccinations, boosters, neutering or spaying, can cost £1000 annually. This does not include major treatments and confinement in case of health emergencies.

You also need to factor in the basic accessories and equipment that can cost up to £200 initially. These include food bowls, collars, leads, bed, grooming kit, and toys. On average, caring and raising a Welsh Collie will cost £70 to £100 a month.

Welsh Collie Breed Highlights

  • The sturdy Welsh Collie is a true working dog at its happiest in a working environment. 
  • This breed is highly intelligent and active, as well as a natural protector and a loyal companion.  
  • As an independent breed, this dog can think on the fly and make decisions on its own. However, it can also take instructions from its master. 
  • The Welsh Collie’s grooming needs are minimal due to its easy-to-groom double coat. 
  • Due to its need to be kept busy and mentally challenged, this breed is best suited for experienced owners with no young children. Urban living and being kept merely as a pet would be difficult for this breed since it wants to stay active. 
  • The Welsh Collie is at its element in a farm or with owners who engage in a lot of activity (mountaineers or regular dog show competitors). 
Welsh Collie

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The information, including measurements, prices and other estimates, on this page is provided for general reference purposes only.

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