When it's not a border collie... (Welsh sheepdogs!)

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by Laurelin, May 3, 2012.

  1. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Okay so funny/slightly embarrassing story. My agility trainer usually brings two of her dogs to class with her. One is a small, petite, smooth black and white BC girl. The other is a dog that looks like a larger sized rough coated tricolor split face border collie. I just realized TODAY (after 9 weeks) that he's actually not a border collie at all. (That's the good thing about reading your trainer's website I guess.) Embarrassing: 1) BCs are one of my favorite breeds. You'd think I'd recognize when a dog is or isn't a BC. 2) I've met 4 of this dog's relatives, including it's dam and two littermates. It never ever occurred to me that he was a Welshie. Ah well...

    Anyways, I've been doing some research because I've loved all 5 I've met. They seem so great and fun and athletic. From my reading they are supposed to be more independent and vocal than BCs. They also are loose eyed dogs, unlike BCs, used to herd pretty much anything. Some Welsh sheepdogs back sheep like koolies and kelpies do. They come in smooth and rough and pretty much any color. The breed almost went extinct and was absorbed into BCs as they gained more popularity but they have recently made a Welsh sheepdog club and are working on keeping the Welsh dogs a separate strain.

    Good references:
    http://www.lasrocosa.com/aussiehistory1.html
    http://www.gis.net/~shepdog/BC_Museum/Permanent/AdelineJones/WelshSheepDog.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welsh_Sheepdog
    http://www.herdingontheweb.com/welsh.htm
    http://www.welshsheepdogsociety.com/

    I thought the herding breed enthusiasts might find them interesting. Unfortunately it seems like it is almost impossible to get one unless you live in Wales and have a farm. It seems like a lot of the breed people are against them becoming pet and sports dogs. It's a shame, the ones I'm around are just fabulous sports dogs and very even tempered.
     
  2. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    So where did your trainer get the one she has then? Someone breeding them near you?
     
  3. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    There is speculation that Aussies have quite a bit of Welsh to them, particularly Welsh Bab-Tails.
     
  4. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Yep, there's a lady that brought hers here when they moved to the US. I don't know if they really breed often or just the one litter but all their puppies ended up going to flyball and dog sports people. I met the first 3 years ago at my old sports club. 4 are on the local flyball team I tried out a few times. And now my agility trainer has one. Very cool dogs.

    ETA: Of course since all the ones I have met are closely related no telling if it's the breed or if it's the family of dogs around here that I like.
     
  5. SarahHound

    SarahHound New Member

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    They do look quite similar though! I've only met one Welsh Sheepdog, and he was in Wales, so a true Welshman! He was lovely.
     
  6. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    Well..... duh, course they're amazeballs... they're Welsh ;)

    They're also very uncommon... hardly a breed, more a type.

    As someone who is soon to move to rural mid-Wales, I can say I have never met one (knowingly). When I see one, I'll make sure to let you know.

    eta, my partner knows a lot of the old farmers, I'll ask him to ask. I really do have my doubt as a "breed". Wales is friggin tiny, and as a girl who grew up watching one man and his dog, they look like you're bog standard working collie to me (i know people will not agree with this).
     
  7. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I know there are some people that think of them as a strain of working BC native to Wales but from what I can tell they don't work very similarly. I've never seen it in person of course but they don't do the crouching and eye of a BC.

    In sports I can't really tell a difference at all between the two.

    I do think they're more of a type but I think BCs are also a type too. I was wondering if you guys in the UK see them more often.
     
  8. Whisper

    Whisper Kaleidoscopic Eye

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    I've been doing research on extinct dog breeds, and of course there are a lot of collie types that have ceased to be their own breeds but make up the breeds we have. Anyway, through that I've heard a lot mention about Welsh Sheepdogs. I find them fascinating, and whether like Dizzy said, they are a type, or a breed, I've been wanting to meet one!
     
  9. SarahHound

    SarahHound New Member

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    In Wales on farms, there's likely a lot. Tavvy, the only Welshy I have ever met, was a working dog although when I met him he was 16 and long retired! He was 'replaced' by a BC and she was much smaller and finer than him.

    I think most of the farmers in the UK, even the Welsh ones, will use collies these days. I'm in a rural farming area in Scotland, and I've never seen anything but collies working the sheep.
     
  10. vandog

    vandog Merlie Girlie!

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    I can give you the name of a breeder in OK than moved from Wales to the US - she brought a few along with her.
     
  11. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    By the first link or so, I thought they resembled Aussies more than Border Collies.

    This may be a bit of a stupid question, but how are they different than Border collies?

    It always fascinating to me to see the different herding dogs that look similar, but to see how they really are different.

    And maybe this should be a different thread, but...

    Border Collies - crouching, use eyes a lot, gathering dog, more on the serious side temperament wise, not huge barkers.

    Koolies - seem to be much more upright workers, a lot of eye not common for the breed (?), works by standing on -backing- the sheep (?), more on the 'happy-go-lucky' side temperament wise, likes to talk.

    Aussies - more of an 'all round farm' type help, more of goofy/happy/silly side temperament wise, not sure of the upright vs. crouch style since the few I have seen have been both, not much eye.

    Maybe this should just be a new thread, LOL. Would be interesting, everyone answer the same questions for the breed they're in to.
     
  12. Whisper

    Whisper Kaleidoscopic Eye

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    Jen, I've only read a little about them, but what I know is that they don't really have a "specialty" like BCs with sheep. They have a wider variety of animals they herd. They're also more like Aussies in the way that they don't have a "hard eye" and they use their bodies more.
     
  13. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    It's probably the same lady I've met, but if you don't mind PMing me that's good too.

    Jen, I don't know totally. In a sports setting they act very similar to me from the few I've seen.

    Working they are supposed to be a loose eyed herder. No crouch, no eye. They also are not just sheep herders, they herd everything. They head and drive (or the resources I see say some dogs head and some drive within the breed). I've also read that some Welsh sheepdogs back sheep like a koolie. The BC museum link has a good article with pictures of a Welsh sheepdog working stock.

    The Welsh sheepdogs I've seen are very much more border collie like than Aussie like when it comes to SPORTS. Working though I'd think they'd work more like an Aussie or Koolie.
     
  14. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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  15. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    Oh, those are cool! Thanks! Yeah, wow, they definitely look like Koolies in regards to work (from the little, sadly, I've seen of Koolies working).

    And I must say, the middle dog is absolutely beast. Working so close is a huge amount of pressure on the dog, and the dog shows no hesitation, no fear, complete control.

    What is their temperament? Happy, serious, bouncy?
     
  16. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    The ones I know seem more towards the serious side though maybe not as serious as a BC. Definitely not bouncy like an Aussie but not so blatantly intense like a BC.
     

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