Wales has a long history of producing reliable, strong working dogs. This is no surprise because Wales itself has a very long history as a human habitat. It was continuously inhabited by people from a prehistoric age. Some of the most popular dog breeds today came from this region. Thus, we proudly present you with an article about Welsh dog names.
Modern humans have been living in Wales for more than 30,000 years. In the early period, they were hunters and gatherers, but during the Neolithic revolution, some 6,000 years ago, they became farmers. This shift in lifestyle called for big changes—one of which was keeping a steady number of herding and guard dogs. That’s why most of the breeds originating from Wales have a very long history, and these dogs deserve to have equally profound names.
In this article, we are going to tell you a bit about Welsh dog breeds and why they are so special. Then we’ll give you a comprehensive list of Welsh dog names, divided into categories by gender.
Welsh Dog Breeds
If you got yourself a pup, it may not be easy trying to find the perfect name for them because they probably haven’t exhibited any defining character traits yet. But no worries, because you can read up about the common character traits associated with each particular breed.
#1: The Black and Tan Terrier
Although this breed is now extinct, it played an important part in forming a breed now known as the Welsh Terrier. This dog was a huge part of the Welsh national heritage and had a turbulent history.
During the late 19th century, the English Kennel Club decided to grab everything worth grabbing and dubbed this pooch the «Old English Broken-Haired Black and Tan.” Welsh people were having none of that and, quickly, a “terrier war” broke out. The good old Black and Tan was the sole victim of this fight, unfortunately.
#2: The Welsh Terrier
On the other hand, something good came out of all the confusion and conflict—the Welsh Terrier was born from the ashes. The breed was standardized and finally earned its place in official registers.
These pooches are as “terrierish” as possible. Very lively and active, bouncy and playful, but when it comes to defending their pack and territory, they have the heart of a lion.
Attitude is their middle name, and this statement shouldn’t be taken lightly. Whoever tried to play mental tug-of-war with the Welsh Terrier lost disgracefully. Don’t be fooled by their small size, either. This dog needs a lot of exercises and will happily be your jogging or cycling companion.
#3: The Cardigan Welsh Corgi
This is one of the oldest breeds on the British Isles. Corgis have been used for centuries for herding.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi are widely known today and very popular because of their loyalty and versatility. Hardly any other breed has such an optimistic and intelligent nature!
Fun fact—the name Corgi comes from Welsh words “cor” and “gi,” meaning “dwarf dog.” It is believed that the Corgis have lived with humans since 2000 B.C.
#4: The Pembroke Welsh Corgi
A close relative of the aforementioned breed. In fact, all Corgis and Dachshunds share the same ancestry, called the Teckel dog family. This is a family of short-legged dogs made for herding and hunting. This breed is also the favorite of Queen Elizabeth II, and for a good reason.
Pembroke Welsh Corgis are extremely intelligent, hardworking, loyal to the death, and they have a mighty bark. Oh, and we forgot to mention that they are insanely cute!
#5: The Welsh Sheepdog
This is a Collie-type breed that has been used for herding and hunting for centuries. The Welsh Sheepdog is very intelligent, independent, and active to the point of being a handful (some would say, just like their human counterparts).
This is a breed made for working around the clock. So, if you want to keep them as pets, make sure you can provide your dog with plenty of physical and mental exercise. And when we say plenty, we mean at least two hours a day, every day. These dogs are very intensive and need to work in order to not become destructive.
#6: The Welsh Springer Spaniel
The Welsh Springer Spaniel is also an old breed. Dogs that are similar in color and other characteristics to this breed have been described in the 16th-century writings, but it is speculated that this breed is much older than that.
Although this is a working breed just like all others, Springer Spaniels have a more mellow nature and are very gentle with their human family. They are known to bond with one human to whom they express great love and affection.
But don’t be fooled by its gentle appearance—this breed needs a lot of exercise, playtime, and training, just like all traditionally stubborn Welsh breeds.
Welsh Names for Male Dogs
Now that we have introduced you to the history and rich heritage of Welsh dog breeds, let us give you a list of amazing names for your pooch. Whether you are an owner of one of the breeds mentioned in the previous paragraph or just mesmerized by Welsh history, we are sure you’ll find a perfect moniker somewhere in here. Here’s our list of Welsh names for male dogs.
- Arawn. One of the kings of the otherworldly kingdom, and a friend of Pwyll. If you have two Corgis who are best friends forever, this is a good pair of names. Plus, any Welsh breed would be a good match for this moniker. It means “wilderness,” and as we have already mentioned in the breeds section, all Welsh dogs are highly energetic and rambunctious.
- Bledig or Bleddyn. This name means «wolf-like.»
- Bran. Inspired by a hero called Brân the Blessed. He was not only a king and a giant, but also an epic badass and a joker. In fact, even after his heroic death, his head continued to entertain his fellow warriors by talking to them and telling jokes. We know—mythology can be a bit weird. This is a great name for a dog that is brave, jolly, and loyal. Apart from being the name of a mythical hero, Bran means «raven,» so it’s a perfect name for a black dog.
- Brychan. Meaning «spotted,» it would be a good choice for the Cardigan Welsh Corgi or another breed with spots of freckles.
- Cadell. A name worthy of a brave dog; it means «the battle spirit.»
- Cadoc. This name can work for both males and females. It means «battle.»
- Cai. This word means «Lord.»
- Cari. A name for a loyal dog who never leaves your side. It means «to love or care.»
- Cynfor. This Welsh word means «a great chief.» Is your dog the boss of the household?
- Dyl. Meaning «the great sea.»
- Glyn. This word means “valley.” It is a suitable name for a shepherd dog, because there is nothing more beautiful than watching a shepherd dog run through a meadow.
- Gwern. The only son of Branwen and her husband, Matholwch. This young boy tries his best to bring peace to everyone but suffers a bitter destiny. His uncle, Branwen’s half-brother Efnysien, threw him into the fire.
- Gwydion. He was a magician and a trickster. This is the perfect name for a dog that always gets himself into trouble.
- Hafgan. He was one of the kings of the otherworldly realm. In fact, he is the one Pwyll killed in the name of Arawn. Although Hafgan was mostly portrayed just as an enemy of Arawn, in a couple of instances, it was obvious that he was actually a really cool dude.
- Lludd and Llefelys. Lludd was a king of Britain, and his brother Llefelys was a ruler in France. Lludd was under constant terror of the three supernatural menaces: a demonic tribe who hears everything, two dragons fighting and terrifying the locals, and a mysterious creature who stole the provisions. Lludd asked his brother for help, and Llefelys came rushing to support his fight. He made a potion which destroyed the demon tribe, got the dragons drunk and buried them in the area now known as North Wales, and caught the pesky wizard who was stealing from Lludd. Great names for two Welsh Terrier brothers, don’t you think?
- Llŷr. Llŷr was the father of Bran the Blessed and his siblings. Although he is one of the most important progenitors in the myths, not much is known about him. It is speculated that this is because he was actually the impersonation of a deity (“ler” means “the sea”).
- Maddox. Meaning “champion.”
- Manawydan. The brother of Bran the Blessed, Manawydan was his court counselor. They went to war together to save their sister and Manawydan was one of seven survivors. He is a loyal brother and son, and a good friend. This is a great name for a dog with a heart of gold.
- Pryderi. This child’s life was not without drama. He was stolen by a monster as a baby, which resulted in his mother being accused of infanticide. Fortunately, the child was saved and eventually returned to the parents.
- Pwyll. The first hero to be mentioned in the Mabinogion. He was the prince of Dyfed. One day, during hunting, he managed to anger Arawn, the lord of the Other World. In order to even things out, they exchanged roles for a year. During this time, Pwyll managed to defeat Arawn’s archenemy and earned his favor. This endeavor made him a legendary hero.
- Terrwyn. Meaning «brave,» it’s a perfect moniker for a guard or hunting dog.
- Vala. Meaning «the chosen one.» Obviously a perfect name for any pooch, because he is a chosen one for you. This name can also be given to female dogs.
Welsh Names for Female Dogs
Welsh people have a strong connection with their dogs. Surely, the times have changed, and dogs are not used only for work these days, but the tradition of human-canine friendship is as strong as ever.
Here are some of the most popular names for female dogs in Wales. We’ve gathered only the sweetest and most beautiful names for your loving pooch.
- Adara. A lovely girl name for a zealous bird chaser because it means “the birdcatcher.”
- Alwyn. This name means «the blessed one» in Welsh.
- Branwen. She was the sister of Bran the Blessed. Alas, her destiny was not as adventurous and bright as that of her brother’s. She was mistreated by her husband and witnessed the death of her only child. After all the misery that she went through, she died of a broken heart when her brother was killed.
- Cigfa. Pryderi’s wife. There is not much about her in the writings except that she was a true royal and a bit of a snob. If you have a girl that acts like the queen herself, this name might be a good choice.
- Dai. In Welsh, it means «to shine.» A beautiful short name for a female.
- Dwyn. A lovely moniker for a sweet girl; it means “pleasant, holy.»
- Eira. Meaning «snow,» this is a perfect moniker for an all-white dog.
- Gawen. If, by some miracle, you have a Welsh dog which is naturally well mannered and restrained, this is a perfect name because it means «courteous.»
- Glenda. This word means «good-natured, kind.» It’s a lovely name for a female shepherd dog.
- Hefin. This is a wonderful name for a gentle and optimistic girl. In Welsh, it means «summer.»
- Rhiannon. Once Pwyll returned to this realm, he encountered a gorgeous maiden, riding a horse so fast no one could catch up with her. In despair, Pwyll called for her, and after she finally stopped, she revealed her name and her intention to marry him over her betrothed one. After a lot of trickery and drama, they did get married, giving birth to Pryderi.
- Tegan. A unisex name meaning “a loved one or a dear one.”
We hope this article helped to inspire you to find a perfect name for your dog. Every dog is a good candidate for a beautiful Welsh name, but you get bonus points if you decided to name a Welsh breed in accordance with tradition. Make sure to choose a name which suits your dog’s character and appearance, and you’ll never look back.
Let us know which name you chose for your dog from the list above! If you ended up choosing a name not from this list, share it with us as well. We look forward to hearing from you in the comments section below. If you’re still looking for the perfect name, check out our article on Corgi dog names. There are many great Welsh names in there too.