Welsh Hillmans are extinct herding dog breeds that were found in Wales and the United Kingdom up until late 20th Century. These dogs, which were large in size, were used to drool and herd livestock.

Welsh Hillmans have a white chest and ears pricked, with long, thin limbs. Their chests, legs and tips of their tails were covered in white fur.

Origin & History

Welsh Hillman is thought to descend from ancient Welsh herding dog breeds. Ancestors claim that this breed is a descendent of the ‘Welsh Wolfhounds’ or ‘Old Gellgi’ that was used about 1,000 years ago. Some claim these dogs have been crossed with North African Herding Breeds.

Welsh Hillman is thought to be the descendant of the Welsh Wolfhounds - Uncovering the Lost History of the Welsh Hillman Dog
Welsh Hillmans are thought to descend from the Welsh Wolfhounds.

How did the Welsh Hillman become extinct?

Welsh Hillmans became extinct at the end of 20th century because they were not used and preserved. The breed became nearly extinct in 1948. It was then rarely used to herd sheep. The last known dog of this breed named ‘Jess’ was purchased in 1974 from a hill farm near Hay-on-Wye.

Jess is bought by a well-known author and broadcaster Jeanine McMullen. But she had her dog spayed before noticing that the breed is on the brink of extinction. Because she only wanted one dog, Jess spayed her without knowing. Jess died in 1990, and this breed was wiped out.

Temperament, Behavior, & Personality

Welsh Hillmans had a friendly, active and intelligent temperament. They were originally bred to hunt, so they had to be trained how they should behave with sheep and cows.

Welsh Hillman Dogs were so energetic and brave that they wouldn’t stop protecting livestock against wild animals. The dogs could herd the animals and return them to their owners safely.

Welsh Hillman – A child-friendly breed?

The Welsh Hillman is a dog that was very friendly to children. As with other Welsh Herding Dogs, these gentle breeds knew how to act around kids. After bonding closely with the children, they would happily spend all day playing. Due to their strong herding instincts, these dogs are extremely protective towards their young friends. Thus, they are perfect for households with young children.

Here are some interesting facts

  • Welsh Hillmans is one of the oldest Welsh breeds.
  • The blue merle color was sometimes seen on these dogs.
  • Ancient Welshmen described this breed of dog as fearless and fast.
The Welsh Hillman became extinct somewhere in the 1990s - Uncovering the Lost History of the Welsh Hillman Dog
In the early 1990s, it is believed that the Welsh Hillman has disappeared.


Welsh Hillman is available in four colours:

  • Light Fawn
  • Sandy
  • Red-Gold

The Size

Welsh Hillmen range in height from 20-22 inches (51 to 56 cm), and weigh between 35-55 pounds (16-25 kilograms).


In average, the mother Welsh Hllman used to have 3-10 pups at one time.

Similar Dog Breeds

  • Welsh Sheepdog
  • Old Welsh Sheepdog
  • Welsh Terrier
  • Border Collie