Welsh Springer Spaniel

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by Geoffrey English

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is an all purpose hunting dog bred for endurance on the field. The breed has a weatherproof coat that makes ideal for hunting, flushing and retrieving small upland game. Welsh Springer Spaniels are affectionate dogs that will bond strongly with their family. Their coat requires minimum maintenance with a stiff bristle brush.

  • Height: 16 to 19 inches
  • Weight: 35 to 45 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years.

Welsh Springer Spaniels used for hunting tend to be smaller than the show variety and their ears are not as long.

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a compact, medium sized dog who’s length should be slightly greater than its height. The head is somewhat rounded, the eyes are either hazel or dark colored and the muzzle is square. The long pendant ears are fringed with hair. The tail is customarily docked and the dew claws are removed.

The white and reddish brown coat is straight or slightly wavy, medium length with feathering on the chest, undersides, legs, and tail. Any color pattern is acceptable and white areas may be flecked with red. The Welsh Springer Spaniel’s coat is weatherproof and gives protection thick brush and cold temperatures.

Using in the Field

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a compact dog ideal for tracking small game and flushing out upland birds. In addition, this all around hunting dog can be taught to retrieve on land and in the water. The Welsh Springer Spaniel has great stamina for working in all kinds of weather and on difficult terrain. These dogs are excellent at tracking, hunting and retrieving but will not point.

The breed is intelligent but has an independent streak that can be interpreted as being deaf to commands, and the dog has a tendency to wander particularly while in an environment full of distractions. Constant training will be needed to maintain discipline with these lively dogs.
photo courtesy of sirispj

At Home

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is independent and less outgoing than other Springer Spaniels. They tend to bond intensely with their human families and get along fine with other pets and children. They can be sensitive somewhat reserved with strangers so early socialization is needed to prevent these dogs from becoming timid. They can be protective and make fine watchdogs.

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a very lively dog and will need plenty of exercise and chances to run off leash. Without proper exercise they can become bored and overweight. Be mindful that these are dogs bred for hunting and they must be trained to recall and not to wander. Welsh Springer Spaniels have a weather proof coat that needs little maintenance and will be comfortable in hot or cold weather.

The History

The Welsh Springer Spaniel has previously been known as the Welsh Spaniel, and then Welsh Cocker Spaniel. Some dog breed experts claim that the Welsh Springer Spaniel shares the same ancestry as the Brittany Spaniel. Until 1902, the Welsh Springer Spaniel and the English Springer Spaniel were considered to be the same breed. Since it was declared a separate breed, the Welsh Springer Spaniel has been popular as a hunting dog and show dog.


Geoffrey English is the founder of GundogsOnline.com, the Internet’s premiere online magazine dedicated to gun dogs.

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About Author

Devoted pet owner and now, devoted pet editor, Judi spent her time working in traditional offices, keeping the books and the day-to-day operations organized. Taking her dog to work every day for over a decade never seemed odd. Neither did having an office cat. She knows what it's like to train a new puppy and she's experienced the heartache of losing beloved companions.

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