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, who had always held a special place in Welsh society, sang odes to the hounds, often naming individual hounds, and praising their qualities. "The ancient laws of Wales codified during the reign of Hywel Dda (942 – 948 AD) give 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 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 for hunting in other parts of the United Kingdom due to the proximity of roads and railway lines. A ban on hunting would have a catasrophic effect on the Welsh Hound since it has been bred to hunt amid 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 are expected to 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 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.