The Welsh Springer Spaniel is an efficient gun dog, bred primarily for flushing or retrieving game. Besides its silky red and white coat that gives it an attractive appearance, the other features include a well-built squarish body, rounded head, square-shaped muzzle, hazel or brown-colored oval eyes, and an elevated tail. Its attractive traits and pleasant disposition make it a preferred choice in-house pet for many.
|Other names||Welsh Springer, Welsh Starter, Welsh Cocker Spaniel|
|Coat||Waterproof, straight, flat and soft|
|Color||Red and white|
|Lifespan/ Life Expectancy||12-15 years|
|Weight||Male: 40 – 55 pounds Female: 35-50 pounds|
|Litter size||4 – 8 puppies|
|Behavioral Characteristics||Playful, enthusiastic, affectionate, loyal, independent and sometimes reserved|
|Good with children||Yes|
|Climate compatibility||Can bear all climates because of their weatherproof and waterproof coat|
|Barking||Low (only when required)|
|Shedding (Does it shed)||Seasonally|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/Information||FCI, CKC, ANKC, AKC, NZKC, KC, UKC|
|Country||Wales, United Kingdom|
Though the exact origin of this breed remains untraced, dogs bearing a resemblance with them also having a red and white coat could be found in pictures as well as prints of the olden times. This breed had an unique hunting style that involved springing the hidden game from its hideouts and bringing it to their masters. They were previously known as Welsh Spaniel and Welsh Cocker and were even added to Kennel Club’s studbook by the name of Cocker spaniel. In fact, Cocker Spaniel actually did not refer to a particular breed but rather indicated the size of the canines. Being a favorite hunting dog during the 1700s, they made appearance in dog shows alongside the English Springer Spaniel, with their colors being different. It was not much popular in the 19th century, but the initiatives taken by a certain breeder named A.T.Williams helped them in attaining fame. He owned a Welsh Springer Spaniel named Corrin, which was the first of this breed to be photographed and even one of the main stud dogs for this breed.
After the First World War, their numbers declined in the United Kingdom, with breeders taking initiatives in re-developing this breed in between the 1920s and 1930s. In the year 1923, the Welsh Springer Spaniel Club in the UK had been formed, with efforts being made to increase their registrations. However, all their records perished in the Second World War after there was an air raid. Apart from the United Kingdom, the breed was also imported to the United States, Canada, and Australia. However, their numbers at present remain extremely low. In fact, in 2016, the total registered Welsh Springer Spaniels were as low as 299, qualifying them to be included in Vulnerable Native Breed list of the Kennel Club.
This active, energetic breed enjoys bonding with members of its family but can be aloof or wary about confronting strangers. The very sight of an unknown face makes the dog bark to alert its master. However, their shy nature prevents them from emerging as excellent guard dogs. They even share a pleasant demeanor with children mainly if they are brought up with them. The Welsh Springer Spaniel also gets along well with pets of the family but needs to be kept away from birds, because of their inherent chasing instinct. Though not as outgoing as the English Springer Spaniel, this breed is a lot more independent, headstrong and impulsive. They are great observers and love looking out of the window and keeping a watch on things going around. They have an above-average intelligence level but can get easily distracted.
Because of their impulsive and headstrong nature, training the Welsh Springer Spaniel can be a bit challenging, requiring a firm trainer who can handle it tactfully.
Feed the Welsh Springer Spaniel with 1.5-2.5 cup dry dog food on a regular basis.