The Welsh Hillman is an extinct breed of herding dogs that lived in Wales, United Kingdom until the late 20th century. These large-sized dogs were used fro droving and herding livestock.

The Welsh Hillman had a white chest, pricked ears, long and slender limbs. They had white fur in their chest, legs, and the tip of their tails.

Origin & History

The Welsh Hillman breed is believed to have descended from the ancient Welsh herding dogs. Ancestors claim that this breed is a descendent of the ‘Welsh Wolfhounds’ or ‘Old Gellgi’ that was used about 1,000 years ago. Moreover, some even claim that these dogs were later crossed with North African herding breeds.

Welsh Hillman is thought to be the descendant of the Welsh Wolfhounds,

How Did the Welsh Hillman Become Extinct?

The Welsh Hillman became extinct in the late 20th century due to a lack of use and preservation. In 1948, the breed was declared to be nearly extinct after which it was rarely used as a herding dog. The last known dog of this breed named ‘Jess’ was purchased in 1974 from a hill farm near Hay-on-Wye.

Jess was bought by the famous author and broadcaster Jeanine McMullen. However, she spayed her dog before realizing that the breed was on the verge of disappearance. As she needed only one dog, she spayed it without any idea. Jess passed away somewhere around 1990 and the breed got extinction.

Temperament, Behavior, & Personality

The Welsh Hillman had an affectionate, intelligent, and active temperament. As they were bred for hunting, they were trained on how to behave around sheep and cattle.

The Welsh Hillman dogs were so brave and energetic that they would never back off from protecting the livestock from wild animals. Also, they could take the livestock to herd and bring back them safely all by themselves.

Was Welsh Hillman A Child-Friendly Breed?

Yes, the Welsh Hillman was a very child-friendly dog breed. Like other Welsh herding dogs, these gentle dogs knew how to behave around children. Once bonded closely, these dogs would easily spend the whole day playing with kids. Because of their herding instinct, they acted very protectively of their little friends. Hence, they were perfectly fit for families with children.

Some Interesting Facts

  • The Welsh Hillman is the oldest Welsh sheepdog breed.
  • These dogs were occasionally seen in blue merle body coat.
  • The ancient Welsh people described this breed as fast and fearless.
The Welsh Hillman became extinct somewhere in the 1990s.


The Welsh Hillman was found in the following four colors:

  • Light Fawn
  • Sandy
  • Red-Gold


The height of the Welsh Hillman ranged somewhere between 20-22 inches (51-56 cm) whereas they weighed about 35-55 pounds (16-25 kg).


On average, a mother Welsh Hllman dog used to give birth to 3-10 puppies at a time.

Similar Dog Breeds

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