Though she's closely related to her English Springer cousin, the Welsh Springer Spaniel is her own dog. (As far as breeds go, anyway. Wales as a country is more complicated.) That gorgeous white and red coat, a slightly smaller frame, and a tad more chill personality set this breed apart from English Springer Spaniels. The Welshie, as she's known to her fans, is an all-terrain, all-weather canine. She's kind of the Ford F-150 of dogs.
Originally from Wales, this medium-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 35-55 pounds and lives an average of 12-15 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Sporting group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Retrieving
Breed Group: Sporting
Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Bark Factor: Moderate
AKC RANKING 116
FAMILY gundog, spaniel
AREA OF ORIGIN Wales
DATE OF ORIGIN 1600s
ORIGINAL FUNCTION bird flushing and retrieving
TODAY'S FUNCTION bird flushing and retrieving
AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 18-19 Weight: 35-50
AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 17-18 Weight: 35-50
OTHER NAME none
Energy level Medium energy
Exercise needs Medium
Playfullness Moderately playful
Affection level Moderately affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Very friendly
Friendliness toward strangers Shy
Ease of training Moderately easy to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Not very protective
Grooming needs Moderate maintenance
Cold tolerance Medium tolerance
Heat tolerance Medium tolerance
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A WELSH SPRINGER SPANIEL'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Welsh Springer Spaniels are exactly the kind of dog you want to come home to after you've had a bad day. They're upbeat, cheerful, and family-oriented — the best part of their day is you walking through the door. They get along well with kids and are well-suited to playing with little ones: they're small enough not to accidentally squash a toddler, but sturdy enough not to get squashed, either. That said, it's always best to supervise play between any and all canine and human kids. Welshies can be a bit reserved with strangers.
WHAT IS WELSH SPRINGER SPANIEL BEHAVIOR LIKE?
Welsh Springer Spaniels are curious and busy dogs. This is a very active breed who loves being outdoors — and especially in the water. Her feet are slightly webbed; her coat is waterproof, thornproof, and weatherproof. Their endurance, drive, and brilliant noses make them powerful and formidable hunting dogs. Welsh Springer Spaniels make eager retrievers and water dogs.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A WELSH SPRINGER SPANIEL?
Though she can be a wee bit stubborn, all this dog wants is to make you happy. Welsh Springer Spaniels are very biddable dogs. How well she behaves around the house is going to be a direct reflection of whether she's gotten enough exercise that day. If she's run and played enough, your Welshie will be a pleasant and even-tempered housemate. Be patient and consistent while training this furry, feathered friend. Reward good behaviors with treats and praise.
Keep in mind that your Welsh Springer Spaniel comes from generations of hunting stock. She'll never lose the urge to chase birds. Off-leash play outside a well-fenced, traffic-free area is not advisable.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO WELSH SPRINGER SPANIELS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
This breed has a feathered, flat coat with distinctive red and white coloring. Welsh Springer Spaniels are seasonal shedders who require occasional grooming. Plan to brush your Welshie at least once a week to prevent mats and tangles. Bathe as needed.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO WELSH SPRINGER SPANIELS HAVE?
As a breed, Welsh Springer Spaniels are generally healthy. Some are susceptible to elbow and hip dysplasia, eye disease, or autoimmune disorders.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE WELSH SPRINGER SPANIELS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club doesn't list Welsh Springer Spaniels among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.
Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies. You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after you've been playing outside.
WHAT IS A WELSH SPRINGER SPANIEL'S BEST DAY?
Welsh Springer Spaniels want to be with you as much as caninely possible. She'd love a long hike to the local pond, and a chance to splash after the ducks. Just be sure this happens in an enclosed area.
SHOULD I ADOPT A WELSH SPRINGER SPANIEL?
Welsh Springer Spaniels are fantastic dogs for folks who want a doggy shadow. They're equally well suited to warm and cold climates. They do require fairly consistent grooming, but won't need much beyond regular brushing. Welshies are gentle, devoted, and loving. Treat this dog right and she'll follow you to the ends of the earth.
Have you decided that a Welsh Springer Spaniel is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.