Choosing a Welsh Springer Spaniel

The Welsh springer spaniel is a little smaller and lighter than their cousin the English springer spaniel. A red and white beauty, this dog is a good hunter but tends to wander is not constantly trained.

History and Origin

Spaniels and cockers are an ancient group of breeds probably used as gun dogs as early as the 14th century. Over time and with careful breeding, the spaniels and cockers were divided into separate breeds. Eventually the spaniels were divided into land and water spaniels. As the turn of the century approached, the spaniel became more refined and slowly developed and split into the Welsh springer spaniel and the English springer spaniel.

The Welsh springer hails from Wales, as the name suggests. As a specific breed, their history can be traced back as far as the 1700s. In the early 1900s, the British Kennel Club recognized the Welsh springer as a separate breed, a red and white springer.

As an avid gun dog, the primary purpose of the springer spaniels was to "spring" the quarry from their hiding places. By springing the game, it made hunting easier and more productive for the hunter. The Welsh springer spaniels are considered good hunting dogs that retrieve well in undergrowth and marshland. They work well on land as well as water.

The Welsh springer spaniel was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1906 as a member of the sporting group.

Appearance and Size

The Welsh springer spaniel is a medium sized dog with long hanging ears with fringe. The hair coat is medium in length, smooth, thick and waterproof with feathers. The breed standard calls for a docked tail. The hair coat is a rich red and white color.

Compared to the English springer spaniel, the Welsh spaniel is smaller and lighter.

The adult Welsh springer spaniel stands 16 to 19 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 35 to 45 pounds.


The Welsh springer spaniel is intelligent, active and energetic. A faithful and loyal companion, they do not do well as a guard dog but will alert the family when strangers approach. When compared to the English springer spaniel, the Welsh springer is a little more reserved around strangers. Due to their need for activity, Welsh springer spaniels make excellent companions for active children.

Home and Family Relations

The Welsh springer spaniel is a good family pet and does well with children but can be reserved with strangers. Some can be timid and should be well socialized early in life. The Welsh springer spaniel is an active dog and does best if given a large secure area to exercise but can do well in an apartment if taken on several long walks a day.


A versatile breed, these dogs do well with training. They are eager and quick learners but can be headstrong. Some have a tendency to wander too far during the hunt and need to be consistently trained. Their primary love is to hunt and find game. For this reason, they do best when the training involves the sport of hunting.

Special Concerns

The Welsh springer spaniel loves activity and exercise, the breed does not do well if confined for prolonged periods of time. They can become destructive if left to their own devices. Obesity can be a problem if not allowed to exercise.

To keep their hair coat free of mats and tangles, daily grooming is necessary.

Common Diseases and Disorders

The Welsh springer spaniel is a hardy dog but a few disorders have been reported. These include:

Epilepsy is a disorder characterized by seizures.

Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint that leads to arthritis.

In addition, the Welsh springer spaniel is prone to entropion, a disorder of the eyelids that cause them to curl inward, resulting in the eyelashes scratches the surface of the eye.

The average lifespan of the Welsh springer spaniel is 12 to 15 years.

We realize that each dog is unique and may display other characteristics. This profile provides generally accepted breed information only.