Welsh Springer Spaniel

Breed Group: Sporting

Temperament and Behavior

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is an active breed eager to participate in all family activities. They get along reasonably with other dogs and most other pets. But it is children they have a special affinity for. Their typical reservation with strangers is normally overcome with an introduction. Although active indoors, outdoors is where the Welsh Springer Spaniel is most energetic making it easy to meet their above average need for exercise. Their average playfulness is sufficient for all but the most athletic children. They bark more than average. But this tendency results in a better than average watchdog and, even though sometimes leery of strangers, a dog with average guard dog abilities who will defend his family if pushed.

Physical Characteristics

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a compact, medium-sized dog. Smaller and lighter than the English Springer but taller and larger than the English Cocker Spaniel, they stand 17-19 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 35-45 pounds. Its silky dark red and white coat is straight or slightly wavy, with feathering on the chest, undersides, legs, and tail and weatherproof. They are average shedders. Keeping its silky coat from matting is relatively easy with moderate brushing. Trimming any extra long hair every few months is also recommended. The breed prefers moderate temperatures.

Trainer's Notes

Welsh Springer Spaniels need early socialization that exposes them to new people and noises to avoid shyness. They are a “soft” emotionally sensitive dog that, with mild training methods, learns quickly and is eager to please. However, because they are easily distracted training sessions frequently need to be cut short. They need early training that is gentle and positive, to develop good habits and become obedient. Submissive urination during times of excitement or anxiety can be a problem in young dogs. They make a good choice for an active family of first-time dog owners.

Photo by Udo Tjalsma available from Public Domain
Welsh Springer Spaniel

Welsh Springer Spaniel


The Welsh Springer is generally a healthy breed. They are effected by few diseases and the diseases they do have occur at low frequencies. Between 12% and 13% are bothered by Hip Dysplasia and another between 10% and 11% have problems with Hypothyroidism. Only a few have problems with Elbow Dysplasia, Epilepsy, and Cataracts. Similar to other dogs with large, heavy, drooping ears, they are prone to ear infections. Their average lifespan is typically between 12 and 15 years.


The Welsh Springer Spaniel ranks 124th in popularity among the breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club. There are about 250 animals registered in a typical year.

Breed History

The earliest mention of a dog identified as a Welsh Springer Spaniel is in Welsh law from about 1300. But there is a dispute about this dog being a forebearer of today’s breed. As there is evidence that the Welsh Springer Spaniel developed in parallel with the English Springer Spaniel, possibly as a result of crosses with the Clumber Spaniel. Its name derived from the fact that the breed is talented at finding and “springing” hidden game toward a net or for retrieval by a falcon. As the Welsh Springer Spaniel gained popularity in the late 1800s in America with the American Kennel Club officially recognizing the breed in 1906. They have retained their stature as an all-purpose all-terrain hunter with a keen nose that can either flush or retrieve over both land and in water.

Additional Information

The national (US) breed club is the Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America.

Is A Welsh Springer Spaniel THE BEST Dog For YOU?

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