Welsh Springer Spaniel

This member of the Spaniel family is an ancient breed. Find out some background information on what makes the Welsh Springer such an exceptional dog!

Adorable welsh springer spaniel dog breed outdoor

Height: 17-19 inches
Weight: 16-20 kilos
Welsh Springer Spaniel Lifespan: 12-15 years
Pedigree? (registered with the KC?): Yes, this breed is registered with the Kennel Club

Positives and Negatives

Find out the pros and cons related to the Welsh Springer Spaniel below:

Pros:

  • Adaptable, good for apartment living
  • Great watchdogs
  • Used as a service dog
  • Low drooler

Cons:

  • Highly sensitive
  • Tendency to bark
  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • Regular shedder

Overview

Welsh Springer Spaniels strike a great balance between being the perfect family pet and also a working/service dog. It’s their adaptability that makes them so ideal. This canine can happily live in either a country or town lifestyle. Apartments are also a suitable choice, as long as the dog’s exercise needs are being met.

Naturally, this pooch is sensitive. Raise your voice at this dog and they won’t take it very well. They’re deeply attached to their owners and hate being left alone. Sure a couple of hours isn’t an issue, but if you leave this dog by themselves repetitively, separation anxiety is a possibility.

Adorable cute welsh springer spaniel, active happy healthy dog playing outside

A medium to large-sized garden is essential for this dog, especially if you live in a flat. They love to explore, digging holes in the garden, using their nose to smell any new scents. Be sure they are completely closed in. This dog is a wanderer and won’t hesitate to go off on an exploration!

This pooch is exceptional all round! They’re friendly, great swimmers, great runners, fantastic at dog sports which is why they excel in competitions. Overall they can make a great worker or family pet.

History

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is the oldest of British Spaniels and is listed under the category of gundog. The breed was developed in Wales and is thought to date back to the 13th century. The oldest records of the breed go back to the 1500s. Welsh Springers are believed to originate from the Iberian Peninsula hunting dogs.

Welsh literature dating back to the Middle Ages features talk of a red and white hunting dog. The red and white coloring is a clear feature of the breed. Many believe this is either the exact dog or ancestor of the Welsh Springer. Nobles were very fond of this breed in the 1700s until they were replaced by the English Cocker Spaniel.

In the early 1900s, Welsh Springers were finally distinguished as their own breed from the English Cocker Spaniel. This canine was almost lost after the devastation of World War I. It was the breeding of unregistered Welsh Springer Spaniels that created the dog we know and love today.

This pooch is one of the rarer members of Spaniel, but they aren’t a vulnerable breed. Their cousins the English Cocker Spaniels are much more popular. It was only until the early 1900s did Welsh Springers pick up in noticeability.  The first-ever picture taken was of a show champion dog called Corrin owned by a Mr. Williams in 1903.

Welsh Springers were used to flush birds into the fields and retrieve the game shot down by their owners. Working life is something Welsh Springers are still used for to this day. An exceptional sense of smell is why these canines are used as sniffer dogs. Mostly for police and agencies such as the border force in the UK.

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Personality

Welsh Springer Spaniel Temperament:

Welsh Springer Spaniels have a unique personality. Friendly, energetic, intelligent, independent, friendly, and loving, these are all traits of the Welsh Spaniel. When their mind focuses on something nothing will stop them from getting the job done!

Their ability to balance working and home life make them great for a number of different owners. Multiple purposes can be found for the Welsh Springer. Aggression and nervousness are not at all common with this pooch.

Are Welsh Springer Spaniels Good With Strangers?

The breed tends to be rather reserved with strangers. They won’t show signs of affection to those they don’t know. Welsh Springer Spaniels make excellent watchdogs and will always keep you alert to anything out of the ordinary.

Cute dog welsh springer spaniel eats raw bone barf

Are Welsh Springer Spaniels Good With Children?

Children make a great match for the Welsh Spaniel. They’re playful and love the extra love and attention they receive from kids. A Welsh Springer could spend hours playing with them! Yet they also have a gentle and caring side, making them an ideal family pet.

Are Welsh Springer Spaniels Ok With Other Dogs?

Yes, this canine gets along well with other dogs. Sometimes they interact and play other times they just tolerate them! They can also live with other smaller animals including cats. Maybe best to keep a bird away from the home, they may still view this as prey.

Exercise

An incredibly active dog, the Welsh Springer Spaniel will need more than 2 hours of exercise each day. This level of commitment can’t be met by all. Welsh Spaniel puppies may need a little longer. Take them out for one long run then split the other times into separate walking intervals.

Noisy and destructive behavior will occur if their needs aren’t met. Working breeds, like the Welsh Springer, will need mental stimulation. They are incredibly smart and excel when they have a task that needs completing. Dogs like this one can spend all day out in the field!

Adorable cute welsh springer spaniel, active happy healthy dog playing outside

This dog will happily suit an active family. You will find an outstanding jogging partner, with better stamina than yourself! Welsh Springers need long runs. Get a ball launcher, take them to a large open space and let your pooch retrieve the ball from great distances to help tire them out.

Be sure you have the time to dedicate to this pooch before purchasing or rehoming a Welsh Springer Spaniel puppy. This dog is not suitable if you don’t have consistent time to spend looking after them.

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Health

Check out the Welsh Springer Spaniels breed-related health conditions:

  • Hip Dysplasia- Pain, inflammation, swelling, and lameness occur as a result of poor hip development. Arthritis will soon follow.
  • Elbow Dysplasia- Again the above symptoms also occur in elbow dysplasia due to poor development. Arthritis will also follow.
  • Autoimmune Thyroiditis A chronic disease that sees the hormones and thyroid glands as an attack. Antibodies are formed to destroy the ‘attack’ thus instead depleting thyroid cells.
  • Glaucoma- The build-up of fluid and pressure causes damage to the retina and optic nerve. It will eventually lead to blindness.
  • Cataracts- A ‘cloudiness’ over the lens of the dog’s eye causes blurry vision. If it is small it won’t cause a problem but it will cause blindness if it gets any bigger.
  • Epilepsy- The most common neurological disorder in dogs is called epilepsy. An abnormality of the brain causes unprovoked seizures.
  • Entropion- The eyelid rolls inwards causing the eyelash to scratch the surface of the cornea. This causes ulcers, pain, and pigmentation development which could possibly cause an issue with vision.

Intelligence & Training

Welsh Spaniels have an exceptional level of intelligence so are naturally easy to train. Of course, it won’t be completely simple but it definitely is easier compared to other breeds.

Remember this breed is sensitive. Harsh training techniques will see your dog quickly lose interest. It will also make them upset and possibly resentful. You don’t want the dog to be put off and nervous for training when it’s meant to be a bonding experience!

Over excitement can be an issue with the Welsh Springer. Be sure to work on training techniques that can help calm your dog down. Puppy training classes are best to combat this if you feel you need some help. If you do choose a professional, try find one who is an expert at training gundogs.

Obedience training is one of the most important methods for the Welsh Spaniel. It shouldn’t be your main focus but once mastered you can then factor in some proactive training.

Welsh Spaniels adapt very well to training so make it enjoyable. Every time they correctly complete a task give them rewards and praise. They adore this! Exercise your dog before any training sessions so they don’t have any pent up energy inside.

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Grooming

Welsh Spaniels love being outdoors! They make great swimmers and won’t be afraid to dive straight through mud. This is why grooming can be a bit of a nightmare in the rainier seasons. Aim to brush through their fur once each day to remove any mats and tangles. Spray water or leave in conditioner to help soften and remove these.

Adorable cute welsh springer spaniel in spring, active happy healthy dog playing outside

If a knot is too big then it might need cutting out. Cut following the length of hair rather than against it. This will make the cut less noticeable. Welsh Spaniels do need a trim every once in a while so use some thinning scissors to clear the ears and head of any overgrown fur.

The neck and chin should also be trimmed. This area on your dog tends to get a little smelly. Again the scissors should be used to cut the fur in between the paw pads and around the anus. When trimming the body use blade size #7 or #5.

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