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Welsh Springer Spaniel

 Photo of Welsh Springer Spaniel
Photo: courtesy of Trudy Short

Welsh Springer Spaniel Books

Group: Gundog - Breed Standard


The breed obviously originated in Wales and was first recognised by The Kennel Club in 1902, but it is unknown exactly how old the breed is. However, a painting by Van Dyck in 1680 depicts a dog which looks like very much like a Welsh Springer Spaniel, and it is obviously a very ancient and distinct breed of pure origin. They were originally bred for, and indeed still used for, flushing game for the hunter to despatch.


Approximate height: dogs 48 cms (19 ins) at withers; bitches 46 cms (18 ins) at withers.

A compact and symmetrical dog which is not leggy and obviously built for hard work and endurance. The length of head is proportionate, being slightly domed with a clearly defined stop and well chiselled below the eyes. A medium length muzzle which is straight and fairly square with well developed nostrils. The ears are set moderately low, hanging close to the cheeks. The body length of body should be proportionate to the length of leg and is strong and muscular, with a deep brisket, well sprung ribs. The loin is slightly arched and muscular and the dog is well coupled. Strong and muscular hindquarters are wide and fully developed with a second thigh. The hind legs are well boned, with hocks well let down and moderately angled stifles. The feed are cat-like, firm and round with thick pads. The tail is usually docked, set low and never carried above the level of the back. Their movement has a smooth, powerful action which covers the ground well and has plenty of drive from the rear. Their coat is straight or flat, dense and silky in texture. Their ears and tail are lightly feathered, while the fore and hind legs, above the hocks, are moderately feathered. Their colour is a rich red on white background.


They are a merry, affectionate dog, always active and full of energy. They are generally friendly and outgoing with everybody they meet, and tend to make excellent pets. They love all the family, not tending to relate to merely one member. They are very good with children, however, as with all animals, children must be taught to respect dogs.

Breed Health

In general they are a healthy breed providing they are well cared for. Research is currently going on for epilepsy and glaucoma and most breeders score the hips in connection with hip dysplasia. The breed average hip score is currently 19. The average life span of a Welsh Springer Spaniel is 12-13 years.

Breed Care

The Welsh Springer Spaniel doesn't need any special grooming and a regular brush will suffice. However, sometimes they can benefit from having their feet and necks tidied up by a bit of trimming. They moult seasonally, and lose a small amount of hair throughout the year. However, the hairs do not stick to carpets and furniture and are easily hoovered up.


Being an active working dog, the Welsh Springer Spaniel requires a fair amount of exercise each day. They love to run free and hunt and really require at least ? to 1 hour every day.


As a breed they learn very quickly, but they forget just as quick! The best method of training is to always be consistent, to keep calm and have patience, once they understand what you want they should remember it. Dogs tend to be far more obedient and willing to please than bitches, who obey commands, but only if it suits them! See our books on training

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Last link added: 12 Mar, 2008