Welsh Springer Spaniel
Country of Origin: Wales
Height: Males 18 to 19 inches, females 17 to 18 inches
Weight: 35 to 45 pounds
Coat: Straight, flat, soft, silky, waterproof, weatherproof; moderate feathering
Colors: Rich red and white; any pattern is acceptable
Registries (With Group): AKC (Sporting); UKC (Gun Dog)
Origin and History
This distinctive Welsh breed harks back to the red-and-white hunting dogs who populated the British Isles for millennia. He shares his history with his close relatives, the English Cocker Spaniel and English Springer Spaniel. At one time all of the spaniels were called simply "cockers" or "cocking spaniels," and they were interbred for the sole purpose of achieving a hardy, close-working gundog. Eventually, the springers and cockers were separated, and from there the Welsh and English breeds were further differentiated. In the 1900s, the Welsh Springer Spaniel and English Springer Spaniel were delineated into separate breeds.
The Welsh Springer differs from the English Springer in size, appearance, and coloring. He is shorter, has smaller-sized but higher-set ears, a more tapered head, and the hallmark red-and-white coat. There is no exaggeration in his feathering, as there can be in the English Springer and American Cocker Spaniels.
A natural flushing spaniel, the Welsh Springer is a keen and tireless worker and is particularly good in water.
The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a good-natured companion who is amenable to spending his time equally in the great outdoors and curled up by the fire. He retains the hunting instincts that have been bred into him for centuries—bird sense that finds, springs, and retrieves game. He has plenty of stamina and can stay out all day, yet when he comes inside with his family, he is quick to settle down.
For a Welsh Springer Spaniel to be truly happy, he'll need to get out into the great outdoors as much as possible. He is a natural explorer, curious and enthusiastic about the world around him. If he isn't able to satisfy these desires outside, he may resort to destructive behaviors indoors.
The Welsh Springer Spaniel's silky coat looks its best with regular attention. That means brushing and combing every few days—especially where there is some feathering, like on the ears, chest, and legs.
The average life span of the Welsh Springer is 12 to 15 years.
The Welsh Springer Spaniel shares the tractable nature of springers and cockers in general, so he is an agreeable dog to train. Bred to work closely to a hunter, the Welsh Springer has a strong desire to please, which can keep him focused on the lesson at hand. With proper handling, the Welsh Springer excels at tracking, hunting, retrieving, and other sports and games.
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