Welsh Hound – General Description
The Welsh Hound (Bytheuad) is a breed of hunting dog of the foxhound type, indigenous to Wales.
Classification and Standards
- UKC Scenthound Group
Character & Temperament
The Welsh Hound has been kept as a hunting dog for many hundreds of years, living and hunting in packs. It is adapted to hunting in rocky and mountainous terrain in its native Wales. The different traits of the Welsh Hound make it unsuitable to hunt other parts of the United Kingdom due to the proximity to the road and railway line. A ban on hunting would have a catastrophic effect on the Welsh Hound since it has been bred to hunt the Welsh hills since the immemorial. Welsh Hounds tend to be slower than English hounds so they are not typically used for drag hunting. When trained, Welsh Hounds are very obedient and must be immediately responsive to the huntsman’s commands. Because of its irrepressible hunting instincts, the Welsh Hound is completely unsuitable as a pet. 
The Welsh Hound is a native breed to the British Isles, and has descended from the Segussi breed of rough coated hound which existed in northern Europe in Roman times. From medieval times through the early part of the twentieth century,the bards, which always held a special place in Welsh society, sang odes to the hounds often naming individual hounds, all praising their qualities. “The ancient laws of Wales codified during the reign of Hywel Dda (942 – 948 AD) gives the value of the Welsh Hound as 240 pence trained, 120 pence untrained. By comparison a sound pack horse was valued at the same time as 120 pence.”
The Welsh Hound is registered with The Welsh Hound Association, which has been keeping the breed’s stud book since 1922, and maintaining the breed as purebred since 1928. The association was formed “for the purpose of preserving and promoting the Welsh Fox Hound as a specific British breed”. The Welsh Hound was recognized by the United Kennel Club on January 1, 2006.
Since the outlawing of hunting with dogs in Great Britain, various clubs have been offering registration for the Welsh Hound as a rare breed pet.
Size & Appearance
Coat is hard and wiry, red with white patches. Similar in appearance to the (English) Foxhound. Height : 24 in/61 cm Weight : 75 lb/34kg.
Health & Maintenance
No unusual health problems or claims of extraordinary health have been documented for the Welsh Hound.
- http://www.defra.gov.uk/rural/hunting/inquiry/evidence/welshhoundsubmission.htm Submission to the Committee of Inquiry into Hunting with Dogs from The Welsh Hound Association, February 2000
- Dogs Of All Nations (1915, San Francisco) By Walter Esplin Mason, p. 35
- W. E. Mason – Dogs of all Nations [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The Welsh Hound is also known as the Welsh Foxhound and Welsh Bytheuad. It is an ancient breed, thought to be descended from the extinct Celtic Hound and the old Staghound. Organized Hunts have kept well-known packs of pure Welsh Hounds for nearly 200 years.
The Welsh Hound was recognized by the United Kennel Club January 1, 2006.
The typical Welsh Hound is a low-scenting dog, with good shoulders, and a talkative, “loud” bark, being a prerequisite of hunting in the windy Welsh hillsides.
Sturdy, independent hunters, self-reliant in the rugged and rocky Welsh hills. Intelligent, loyal and happy.
TEETH – The Welsh Hound has a complete set of evenly spaced, white teeth meeting in a scissors bite.
SKULL – The skull is slightly domed at the occiput. The cranium is broad and full. The stop is moderately defined.
MUZZLE – The straight, square cut muzzle is of fair length.
EARS – The long ears are set on moderately low, are almost absent of any erectile power, and set close to the head.
The neck is long, slightly arched and well developed without being coarse.
The long, well-sloped shoulders are well clothed with muscle, especially at the points, without being heavy.
FORELEGS – The forearm is long and muscular, but free from fat or lumber. The well-let-down elbows are set quite straight, and turn neither in nor out. The forelegs are long, straight and well boned down to the feet. The pasterns are strong.
The chest is deep and the ribs are well sprung. The back is broad and level and there is a slight rise over the strong loin.
The hindquarters are powerful and muscular.
HIND LEGS – The hind legs are well boned down to the feet. There is moderate turn of stifle. The hocks are well let down.
Round, tight, strong and well padded.
Well set on high, carried gaily but never curled over the back.
Rough and dense; of medium length. Occasionally smooth.
Black, fawn, red, tan, white and mixed.
HEIGHT & WEIGHT
Height: 24 inches.
Weight: 70 to 75 pounds
Free striding and tireless, with the ability to gallop. Strong drive from behind with no tendency to roll.
- Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.
- Viciousness or extreme shyness.
- Undershot bite.
- Overshot bite.
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