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September 28, 2013

Meet the Breed: The Welsh Springer Spaniel

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Overview:

  • Height: 16"- 19”
  • Weight: 35-45 pounds
  • Historical function: Hunting, retrieving
  • Modern function: Companion, hunting
  • AKC classification: Sporting Group

Physical Characteristics:

The Welsh Springer Spaniel, or Welshie, is a sturdy, medium-sized working dog. They are slightly smaller than the English Springer Spaniel and less leggy than a Brittany Spaniel. The profile is rectangular in appearance with the length being slightly longer than the height at the withers. The head is slightly domed and well proportioned to the body. The muzzle is slightly squared and about the same length as the skull. The nose may be black or brown. The ears are long, pendulous, fringed with hair and set at eye level. The teeth meet in a level or scissors bite. The topline is even. The tail is usually docked in the U.S. The distinctive red and white coat is thick enough to protect the dog from the elements and underbrush. 

History of the Breed:

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is an ancient breed named for their hunting ability of springing prey from the brush into nets or to falcons, a hunting style developed before the invention of guns. Though the Welsh Springer is a distant cousin of the English Springer/Cocker, the Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America states that the breed is pure, having developed in the isolation of Wales over centuries. 

Temperament:

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a friendly, lively dog that is known for being great with children. While intelligent and generally easy to get along with, they also can be headstrong. As a sporting breed, this dog needs regular exercise to demonstrate their best behavior; otherwise, they may appear hyper. They are moderately active indoors and can do okay without a yard with adequate exercise, but a yard is preferable. Their energy level is lower than their English Springer Spaniel cousins. Welshies are generally good with other household pets. They enjoy being part of family activities. Socialize when young to prevent timidity with strangers. 

  • Best suited for: Active families, hunters. 
  • Preferred living conditions: This active, social dog prefers being in the middle of family activities.  

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: This average-shedding breed is easy to brush. More brushing is required during the shedding season. Bathe or dry shampoo occasionally. Check the ears regularly.
  • Exercise needs: Daily walk and regular play to keep this pup happy and healthy.
  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years.
  • Health concerns: May be prone to hip dysplasia, epilepsy and entropion. 

Breed Club Links: Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America, Inc.

BaxterBoo.com Perfect Pairings: Longshots Launch Set Dog Toy - Purple Duck

Have any stories about a Welsh Springer Spaniel? Please share! 

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

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