Breed: Gun dog
Height: Male: 18-19 inches, Female: 17-18 inches
Weight: Male: 40-45 pounds, Female: 35-40 pounds
Coat: Soft, feathery
The Welsh Springer Spaniel, also known as the Welsh Springer or Welshie, is a member of the Gun dog or Sporting group. Hailing from Wales and West of England, the Welsh Springer Spaniel’s history dates back to the seventeenth century. Welshie, formerly known as the Welsh Cocker, was extensively used for the purpose of hunting, shepherding and cattle droving. Dogs used for the hunt belonged to the Land Spaniel or the Water Spaniel category. As a Land Spaniel, this highly intelligent and easily trained dog worked as a flushing spaniel to find and spring at rabbits, birds and other small animals. Welsh Springers are very obedient dogs and make for great house pets. They are never aggressive and can be used as guard dogs as well. The Welshies are very active, sporty and energetic, thanks to their hunting background. Known for their great stamina, Welshies can work for hours on end. They need plenty of outdoor activity and exercise to keep fit and stay contented. To know more on this breed of dogs, read on.
Although the date of origin of this breed of Spaniel is little known, history traces its existence even before the year 1600. Welsh Springer Spaniel, a native dog of Wales, was primarily used for cattle driving and shepherding. However, there was a time when this dog was used to spring game, originally for hunters using falcons. Welsh Springer Spaniel was probably the result of cross breeding between Welsh Sheepdog and the Corgi. The Welsh Springer was relatively unknown during the beginning of the 19th century, and it was only popular in the east of England and Scotland where the breed was used as gun dogs for breeding. Welsh Springer Spaniel, due to their versatile abilities and hunting skills, became prime candidates for worldwide ownership and by the 19th and 20th centuries, the dogs were exported to countries like America, India and Australia. Formerly known as Welsh Cockers, these breed of spaniels was recognized by the American Kennel Club in the year 1906.
The Welsh Springer Spaniel is an ancient and distinct breed of dog that derives its name purely because of its hunting flair more than anything else. This attractive looking, medium-sized dog, with a compact built was purely suited for hard work and revered for its endurance. This breed of dog wears an intelligent countenance and its dangling ears just add to its brilliant features. The coat of the Welsh Springer Spaniel is brightly hued, straight and silky, and has feathering on the chest and legs region. The red and white coat is what gives Welsh Springer Spaniel its outstanding status. Being a hunting dog, the dogs are usually hard muscled. Their coat is naturally straight, flat, and soft to touch. It is weatherproof and gives protection from all kinds of thorn and brush. The back of the legs, chest, and underside of the body are feathered, and the ears and tail are lightly feathered.
The Welsh Springer Spaniel is an active, faithful, and loving breed of dogs, though some might be reserved with strangers. However, they are never timid, shy, or unfriendly. They are amiable and are much loved by kids because of their friendly disposition. Welshies are very clingy toward their owners, due to which they are often nicknamed as 'velcro dogs'. Welsh Springer Spaniel is fast learner, but can get absent minded, if something attractive catches its fancy. With correct training, they can become very obedient dogs. Since the Welsh are working dogs, they need plenty of exercise to stay fit and happy. Without adequate exercise, a dog may become bored and design its own (usually destructive) means of keeping busy, often to its owner's displeasure.
Welsh Springer Spaniels are especially prone to cataracts, epilepsy, glaucoma, HD, PRA, seizures, and thyroid problems.
Welsh Springer Spaniel have lovely feathery coat, which requires two or three times of brushing every week, to keep it looking silky and in good condition. Special attention should be given to ears since these dogs are prone to ear infection. The toes should be regularly trimmed. Since these dogs are medium shedders, occasional grooming will be sufficient.