AKC Dog Breeds: Welsh Springer Spaniel

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Sporting Group
Height: 16-19 inches   Weight: 35-45 pounds  Color: black/white, chocolate/white, red/white, slate, lilac/white,
sable/white, tri-color, saddle pattern, blue merle, red merle, sable merle

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a dog of distinct variety and ancient origin, who derives his name from his hunting style and not his relationship to other breeds. The Welsh Springer spaniel have been used for many years in hunting games, and because of this, they have been well-loved by sports enthusiasts and hunting game fanatics. A wide range of abilities and talents can be imparted to this dog including sprinting and brisk walking. Typically referred to as the "Welshie", this hardy gun dog was developed in Wales. Favored by wealthy Englishmen as an all-purpose hunting dog, this breed excelled in water and land for use with all types of game. The Welsh Springer Spaniel derived their name from their style of hunting, "springing" in the air to flush out game ahead of their hunting companion. The breed was registered with the AKC in 1914.

General Appearance

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a compact, medium-sized dog with a silky dark red & white coat. The hair is straight or slightly wavy, flat, and medium-length with feathering on the chest, undersides, legs, and tail. The head is slightly rounded and the muzzle is fairly square. The longish pendant ears are fringed with hair somewhat like a setter's. The eyes are either hazel or dark-colored. The Welsh Springer is a bit smaller and lighter than the English Springer, and a bit taller and larger than the English Cocker Spaniel.


The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a very sociable, cheerful, and friendly creature. This is a dog that makes for a great family pet and companion, suiting both the experienced and the inexperienced dog owner. These dogs are highly intelligent, quick to learn, responsive, and eager to please, all of which adds up to easier training. They are good natured dogs, with plenty of loyalty, affection, and love to give. The Welsh Springer Spaniel loves to be around his family, and enjoys interactive play and activity. He is a tactile dog, and is fully of sloppy licks and kisses for his loved ones. This is not a dog for those that want an aloof pet, or for those with little time to dedicate to their pet. The Welsh Springer Spaniel is very attentive, but also very sensitive, so training methods must always be calm and positive. The Welsh Springer Spaniel does not like to be handled roughly, and although he gets along well with kids care should be taken with smaller, boisterous children. Some younger Welsh Springer Spaniels can wet themselves from excitement, stress, or nerves. These dogs are reserved when it comes to strangers, and will generally bark to raise the alarm if anything seems amiss, making them effective watchdogs. The Welsh Springer Spaniel gets along well with other pets. In order to instill confidence early socialization is recommended with the Welsh Springer Spaniel. This is the perfect pet for an active person or family, with plenty of love and devotion to give back to their pet.


The Welsh Springer Spaniel requires regular brushing with a stiff bristle brush. Special care must be given during shedding. Bathing or dry shampooing should only be done when necessary. It is important to regularly check and clean the ears. The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a medium shedder, and therefore may not suit those that suffer from allergies.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
The Welsh Springer Spaniel is almost always a strong and fit dog, but sometimes it may experience hip dysplasia, illnesses of the eyes and for those with huge ears, they can acquire various ear problems. The most typical lifespan of this dog is estimated at 12 to 14 years. Some Welsh Springer spaniels are also prone to epilepsy.

Activity Level

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is highly energetic and lively. They require a tremendous amount of exercise off the leash, and prefer a large yard or open space. This breed will do okay in an apartment provided they are sufficiently exercised. They are fairly active indoors and benefit from play sessions. The Welsh Springer Spaniel excels in tracking, hunting, retrieving, and swimming. If this breed is not properly exercised on a consistent basis they will become bored, lazy, and overweight.


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