Welsh Springer Spaniel general features, temperament, health

Welsh Springer Spaniel dog breed photo

FCI # 126, Origin: Great Britain, Group 8.2 Flushing Dogs

Height: 17-19 in, Weight: 35-45 pounds

Grooming: Medium, Shedding: Medium, Coat: Long, silky, straight or slightly wavy coat.

Color: white with red markings.

Ease of training: High, Energy level: High, Span of life: 12-14 years.

Breed: This is perhaps the oldest of breeds of Spaniels, that was ever bred in Great Britain. It is believed that already the writers of the Roman Empire in their works were telling about these very special dogs, but actually there are no evidences, that it was a question about this particular breed, because those authors did not provide us with any information about the dog's color.

The ancestors of most modern Spaniels were helping people in search of the game on the coasts of Britain, Cornwall, Wales, Scotland and Ireland in the Mesolithic time. By the year 250 BC the ancestor of a Wales Springer Spaniel was an agassinian hunting dog, which belonged to the ancient tribes of the Britons, who inhabited the territory of Britain, conquered by Romans at that time. In the evidences of that time we now can meet the descriptions of hunting with this dog: the ancient Spaniel was raising a game with the flush, as the Springers do now.

The Roman historian Apia is mentioning this dog as well. In the time of a Renaissance, the upland Spaniel - a dog of the white color with red markings in a type of a modern Welsh Springer Spaniel - has been used to search for a game on the hunt with falcons, as well as on the hunting with bows and rifles. At the tapestries of that time, it is common to see a dog, by the exterior and color very similar to the modern Welsh Springer Spaniel.

In the XVIII century British artists often depicted in their paintings a white Spaniel with red markings. The fanciers of the breed are quite sure that their posture, color and exterior are the same as in the Welsh Springer as we know him now. Already in those years he has gained a great popularity in England and became a favorite hunting dog of many wealthy people.

Nevertheless, to the XIX century the breed was pushed away by the Spaniels, who were white with black or liver markings. At that time the popularity of a Welsh Spaniel fell, this dogs were bred mainly in South Wales only.

Welsh Springer Spaniel dog breeds

Purposeful selection, entered into practice as a result of the spread of Darwin's theory, eventually led to the fact that in Victorian England again appeared the white Spaniels with red spots. Emphasis was placed on breeding dogs with a certain color, resulting in the popularity of the breed, that was increased again. English Kennel Club was founded in 1873. At the first exhibition, organized by the Club, together with the other Spaniels were shown the white-and-red ones. Both: the Welsh Spaniel and English Spaniel were shown in one group, because they differed only by color. Over time, they were separated into two different breeds.

Obviously, the Welsh Springer Spaniel came to America in the late XIX century, as the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1906. The first dog named Faircroft Bob was registered in 1914, and another five dogs came after him. However, in the period 1926 - 1948 the American Kennel Club did not register a single Welsh Spaniel. Many people believe that by the end of World War II in the United States there was no Welsh Springer Spaniels left. Imported dogs have changed the situation, and in 1949 there were registered eleven dogs. The American Welsh Springer Spaniel Club was organized in 1961.

Recognition of the Welsh Springer Spaniel as a breed occurred in 1902 with the help of "The Kennel Club Committee."

Nowadays the Welsh Springer Spaniels are quite popular in most of the Europian countries: many Welsh Springers are registered in Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and France. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the breeders are especially watching the preservation of the excellent hunting abilities of this wonderful dogs.

General Features: Hardy and sturdy - Welsh Springer Spaniel has a very well balanced, compact built. The head is slightly domed, with a clear transition from the forehead to muzzle. The proportional, slightly stretched body is strong and muscular. The coat of a Welsh Springer Spaniel is straight, lying close to the body, silky to the touch. The coat may be straight or wavy, but never curly. In Welsh Springer Spaniels there is only one color allowed: white with the bright red markings.

Tail of a Welsh Springer Spaniel is set low, never rising above the back line, usually docked (except for those countries, where docking is not allowed). The head is of a moderate length, proportional to the body, with a slightly domed forehead. Muzzle of a Welsh Springer Spaniel is of medium length, straight, slightly squared. Nose is of a solid black or brown color, nostrils are well developed. Ears of a Welsh Springer Spaniel are set low and hang tightly adhering to the cheeks. They are relatively small, gradually tapering to the end, recalling the form of a wine leaf. Welsch Springer Spaniel is a symmetrical, compact, strong, very lively and agile dog, adapted to a long and strenuous work that requires a great stamina. Normally this dogs are showing a great excitement and passion in their work.

Temperament: For all Spaniel fanciers the Welsh Springer Spaniel will become a perfect companion and a real member of a family. It is always very obvious, that Welsh Springer is attracting attention of dog lovers form the moment he appears somewhere.

It happens pretty often, that the future owners, looking for their breed of dogs, decide to purchase the Welsh Springer Spaniel puppy just because they like the picture of this dog, that they have seen somewhere, without even meeting this breed personally. But in most of the cases, even of those people no one felt sorry for such a choice. Maybe this lovely dog has some magical powers to attract the future owner and to surprise him.

This impressive representative of a Spaniels family always becomes a perfect companion dog, no matter if your Welsh Springer is a male or a female. And this is just the way it suppose to be with the real Spaniel.

Welsh Springer Spaniel breed photo

The desire of a Welsh Springer Spaniel for a communication has no limits. He will make a perfect pet for a communicative owner, and by this feature the Welsh Springer is reminiscent of a child. At any given moment he is ready to play, creating the most funny and enjoyable games himself.

In the training of a Welsh Springer under certain circumstances there might be some difficulties. This Spaniel is incredibly smart, but very often he would try to refuse from performing owner's command or snick away from doing some things, that are requested by the owner. Sometimes it seems, that he believes, that there is no need for him to perform those commands, that he already studied. Looks like he is trying to tell his owner: 'Hey, we know this already, right? Let's move on!". At this moments the Welsh Springer may become clownish and he will use all his charms, to skip executing the command - he may try to call his owner for a game, jumping around him, bringing him toys and balls. So it is good to remember, that the Welsh Springer Spaniel needs a firm but gentle owner, who will be able to make his training just one big attractive game.

Welsh Springer is a well balanced dog with the personality of a child, and he would expect the same attitude from his beloved owner. It does not mean, that Welsh Springer may not appear to be sad sometimes or in a bad mood. This dog does not tolerate any nervousness or irritation, the Welsh Springer is not the best choice for those, who can not remain calm in solving the problems. Actually, this kind of owners are not good for any dog - not only a Spaniel, but we always have to remember, that our Spaniels are especially sensitive creatures.

Firm persistent training is very important for the Welsh Springer Spaniel. But in the same time the owner of this dog must remember - Welsh is not a German Shepherd - this dog has a certain personality - a spirit of a hunting Spaniel - and in case you wish to see your Welsh Springer loyal and happy, you will have to respect it. He will not just perform the command blindly - he must understand, what is requested from him. If the training is too tough - it will disappoint your Welsh Springer. From the other side, each mistake of yours the Welsh Springer Spaniel will try to use for his advantage (and sometimes this will be a great disadvantage for the training).

The Welsh springer Spaniel was bred as a working dog. And he is able to work a lot and with the great willing for that, always demonstrating an amazing diligence. In the forest, in the field and in the water - everywhere the Spaniel feels himself "at home". It is also good to remember, that the Welsh Springer belongs to the hunting dogs, that are raising the game, so many of this Spaniels have a natural habit to leave marks everywhere they go.

Welsh Springer Spaniel is a great swimmer, a smart and hardworking dog. He is ready to work all day in the impenetrable thickets and swamps, and he is very loyal to his owner. He has excellent instincts, allowing him to use his best qualities when hunting any game. Well trained Welsh Springer Spaniel would not give a quarter to any other hunting gun dog.This is a wonderful home companion, a dog of medium size - bigger than a Cocker, but smaller than the English Springer Spaniel. Many Welsh Springers make a good watchdogs and in the same time they are very affectionate with children and other pets in the house.Welsh Springer Spaniel can live just fine in the city apartment, but in this case he will need a certain amount of physical and mental exercises to keep his mind busy.

Health problems: Some Welsh Springer Spaniels are prone to hip dysplasia and epilepsy. Due to the shape of their ears, some Welsh Springer Spaniels may have different ear infections.

Do You Want to Get This Dog Breed for Free ?