Welsh Springer Spaniel
Country of origin:
Life span (years):
rich red and white only
FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR, CKC
Good with kids:
The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a moderate-sized dog with excellent and various hunting qualities. This energetic brisk dog can be an essential assistant for hunters and loving steadfast friend for everyone who prefers active life.
The Welsh Springer Spaniel is believed to have appeared long time ago, about 250 BC. The forebear of this breed is known as the Agassian hunting dog bred by tribes of Briton, which populated at that time England.
The Welsh Springer Spaniel was named so because of its manner of hunting, when the dog springs at game in order to flush it. Initially the breed was named the Welsh Spaniel or the Welsh Cocker.
Throughout the XIV-XVII centuries the look-alike dog had been used for chase. The images of those dogs are found on many gobelins of that time. Actually the conformation of these antique canines changed very little since so it bears striking resemblance to today’s Welsh Springer Spaniel. At that time the breed was very popular, it became the main hunting dog of wealthy people.
Afterwards, by the XIX century Welsh Springers lost their popularity. People began to use another Spaniel instead of them. More specifically majority of hunters switched to the black-and-white and the liver-and-white spaniels. The dog had been bred in South Wales mainly.
During the Queen Victoria epoch this breed gained anew its popularity. At that time at Dog Shows the Welsh Springer Spaniel was represented in the same group as the English Springer Spaniel. In 1902 the Welsh Springer was registered by the British Kennel Club as a separate breed.
American breeders purchased their first Welsh Springers at the end of the XIX century. The breed became very popular in the USA and in 1906 it was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) but it wasn’t until 1914 when its first specimen was registered with this canine organization.
The World Wars’ aftermaths were devastating for the breeding of the Welsh Springer Spaniel, particularly in the territory of the United States. The breed practically vanished completely in America. Fortunately new arrived dogs from Britain and other European countries saved the breed from extinction in the USA. In 1961 the Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America was created.
Modern Welsh Springer Spaniel is still widely used for hunting in water as well as on land. Its sharp scent and sight makes it suitable for quarrying any kind of waterfowl or small game. This even-tempered and playful dog has also potential of becoming a lovable family pet. Unfortunately it hasn’t yet gained any noticeable popularity in this role in the United States and in European countries.
The Welsh Springer Spaniel is good-natured and rather sociable, but it is independent too. This dog definitely shares buoyant nature of its English kindred and absolutely loves spending time in vigorous games of all sorts. Severe separation anxiety can be frequently met in its specimens that’s why they do best in large active families where the dog won’t suffer from lack of attention. Be aware that this spaniel is highly prone to destructive behavior if it feels itself unloved or uncared. However these dogs are very staunch to their masters. They treat children fondly especially if they grow up together.
The Welsh Springer Spaniel is watchful, aloof and wary towards people it does not know. It should be properly and early socialized to prevent timidity. In most cases the Welsh Springer Spaniel will warn its masters that some stranger is coming nearer to the house so it can be charged with the responsibilities of a watcher. At the same time it’s too bashful and kind to make a trustworthy guardian.
Usually the Welsh Springer Spaniel treats other pets friendly. This dog enjoys living with one or several canine companions and tolerates unfamiliar dogs as long as they don’t act aggressively. But it is essential to remember that it is a retriever, so it may take birds for a prey. This also means that it must always stay leashed while in a public place. Nonetheless timely socialization can guarantee its peaceful cohabitation with an individual cat and other domestic animals.
There is a list of some illnesses that the Welsh Springer Spaniel is prone to:
• canine hip dysplasia;
• otitis externa.
Grooming for the Welsh Springer Spaniel is not too labour-intensive. You need to brush the dog several times a week to prevent forming of tangles. The brushing could be done daily when it sheds. Bathing should not be frequent. The advisable frequency of bathing will largely depend on the activity level of your pet.
You must pay especial attention to your pet’s ears. It is important to examine them carefully and clean them not less than once a week. For keeping the dog’s oral hygiene you should brush its teeth two or three times a week. Remember to clip the dog’s nails every month or at least every other month.
The Welsh Springer Spaniel is very clever, full of enthusiasm and a fast learner. But it has independent nature too. Furthermore there is strong wilful streak in the character of this dog so its learning can become fairly challengeable at times. These dogs require firm training. You must show true leadership; otherwise your pet may not obey your commands at all.
Plan to store sizeable amount of the dogs’ favourite food to stimulate its interest, make training sessions short and fun, don’t stint your praise and your efforts will pay off. Nevertheless this breed can’t stand harsh methods of training. Hence it is essential to be persistent but patient, not raise your voice.
The Welsh Springer Spaniel is an enduring dog with a great amount of energy. It requires lots of daily physical load. It loves walking for a long time, running, retrieving and also swimming. It is necessary to spend at least one hour a day on your pets’ exercises.
If the Welsh Springer Spaniel does not get sufficient output of its energy, it becomes lazy that can lead to obesity of the dog. Moreover it can display various behavioural problems.