Welsh Springer Spaniel Breed Guide

Welsh Springer Spaniels are medium-sized dogs with distinctive red and white coats that are soft and naturally flat. Their coat is dense enough to be waterproof, weatherproof, and thornproof, and any pattern is acceptable. These dogs have slightly webbed feet and relatively small ears. Their eyes are oval, dark, and medium in size. Welsh Springer Spaniels measure 17 to 19 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 35 to 55 pounds.

Active, loyal, and affectionate, the Welsh Springer Spaniel is a devoted family member and makes a great companion animal for active households with children.

Loyal and active, Welsh Springer Spaniels are excellent companions for families, hunters, and anyone interested in a "Velcro" dog that prefers being with family more than anything else. These dogs have an even disposition, but they can be stubborn, too. They need training early in life and should get daily exercise to keep behavioral problems at bay.

Welsh Springer Spaniels are not a variety of the English Springer Spaniel; they are a distinct breed with a distinct appearance, including an iconic red and white coat and webbed feet.

Active, loyal, and affectionate, the Welsh Springer Spaniel is a devoted family member and makes a great companion animal for active households with children. These dogs are also good hunting and hiking buddies. They tend to be warm and loving with family, playful with children, and reserved with unfamiliar people. They are not typically shy, timid, or aggressive.

These little dogs have an easygoing nature with a protective streak. This makes them good watchdogs. The breed is known for acting clingy, though, and is sometimes referred to as being like Velcro. Anyone looking for an independent breed should think twice before adopting or purchasing a Welsh Springer Spaniel.

Welsh Springer Spaniels need a lot of hard exercise. This can come in the form of long leash walks, strenuous games in a fenced yard, or an opportunity to run free in a safe environment. Wearing these dogs out will relax them and make them slightly less clingy. Even on good days, though, they want to be the center of attention and prefer their family stays in sight.

Welsh Springer Spaniels are a generally healthy breed, but this is not a guarantee that any individual dog will be free of genetic illness or other health problems. Purchasing or adopting a Welsh Springer Spaniel puppy from a reputable source known for keeping detailed medical and family histories is a good first step in ensuring a healthy adult dog.

Congenital hip dysplasia, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, otitis externa, and elbow dysplasia are all seen more often in Welsh Springer Spaniels than in some other breeds. Additionally, the breed is prone to developing certain eye conditions, including glaucoma, hereditary cataracts, entropion, and progressive retinal atrophy. Some of these are treatable, while others lead to permanent blindness.

Routine veterinary checkups, a healthy diet, daily exercise, and standard canine vaccinations help Welsh Springer Spaniels reach an old age of 15 years.

Known to have a strong stubborn side, the Welsh Springer Spaniel needs an experienced owner who can provide consistent, firm, and fair training. Positive reinforcement techniques, including praise, play, and food rewards, are a good way to motivate the breed. Force, harsh criticism, yelling, and punishment are not effective training methods with this breed and may cause a total shut down and tune out during sessions.

Smart and quick to learn, the Welsh Springer Spaniel bores quickly and is excellent at remembering lessons. For this reason, it is best to keep training sessions short and interesting. An emphasis should be placed on engaging the breed through fun games.

These dogs are protective and devoted. They can become very clingy without proper socialization from an early age. A second dog will provide much-needed company and serve as an outlet for the Welsh Springer Spaniel's affection. A professional should handle severe separation anxiety.

Welsh Springer Spaniels are fairly easy to groom and need brushing only a couple of times each week to maintain coat health and appearance. A thorough combing should be done after hunting to remove tangles and debris. An occasional scissoring is also necessary to neaten stragglers, and the breed's toe hair should also be trimmed. These dogs tend to shed during the spring and fall, and brushing may need to increase in frequency during these times. A slicker brush and stainless steel Greyhound comb are good tools to keep on hand.

Bathing the Welsh Springer Spaniel should only be done as needed to remove dirty, sticky, or stinky substances from the coat or skin. A gentle dog shampoo will clean the coat without drying it or causing skin irritation, and a thorough rinsing is always important.

Weekly ear examinations should be performed to look for accumulated ear wax and signs of infection, such as swelling, redness, odor, or discharge. The nails need trimming every week or two, and a daily brushing with a canine toothpaste and toothbrush will protect the teeth and gums while freshening the breath.

Not much is known about the breed's origin, but the Welsh Springer Spaniel is a very old breed with ancestors reaching back to Roman Britain. Welsh Springer Spaniels, or dogs very similar to them, were depicted in Renaissance tapestries. Also, the breed was mentioned in some of the earliest records of the Laws of Wales, dating all the way back to 1300.

These dogs were originally bred to spring game into the air before use of the gun. They were very popular among nobles during the 1700s, but the English Springer Spaniel eventually replaced the breed in popularity. It was only due to the hard work of a small group of breeders that the Welsh Springer Spaniel did not become extinct.

The breed finally made its way to the United States, but it did not find much support. In fact, it may have completely vanished from American soil by the end of World War II. After 11 Welsh Springer Spaniels were imported in 1949, the breed once again became established in the United States.

The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Welsh Springer Spaniel in 1914.