The Welsh Springer Spaniel, also known as the Welsh Springer or the Welshie, is an active hunting dog with a loyal and agreeable personality. He is built to work hard all day long and has an intelligent and kind expression. Here are seven fascinating facts about this compact breed with the gorgeous red and white coat.
1. The Welsh Springer is not a variant of the English Springer Spaniel. In fact, they are two different breeds. The Welshie’s head is unique, with a slightly domed skull and a straight muzzle, and doesn’t look like the head of other spaniels. The Welsh Springer Spaniel gets his name from his hunting style rather than his relationship to other breeds.
2. The Welsh Springer was developed for a specific hunting purpose before the invention and use of guns. His job was to find game hidden under cover, such as rabbit, partridge, or pheasant, and flush it out toward the hunter’s net or up into the air where it could be caught by the hunter’s falcon. The dogs needed to work in rough terrain, including brush thickets, marshland, rocky hills, and deeply plowed furrows, so they had to be sturdy while still being quick and agile.
3. These dogs were expected to work long hours, day after day, covering vast distances in extreme weather conditions. They were bred for endurance and stamina and to have a love of their job. The environment they hunted in also required that Welsh Springers be good swimmers. That ability, along with their great nose and slightly webbed feet, makes them good water dogs and retrievers, as well.
4. The Welshie’s rich red-and-white coat is soft, silky, and dense. Any pattern is acceptable within those two colors, and any white area may contain red ticking. The protective coat is virtually self-cleaning because it’s waterproof, thorn proof, and weatherproof. It requires only routine brushing and some light trimming.
5. These are gentle dogs that prefer to be in the company of their human family. They are known to shadow their people, following them from room to room. They can be reserved with people they don’t know, so don’t expect displays of affection with strangers. On the other hand, they shouldn’t show signs of shyness or be unfriendly. Proper early socialization will help your Welsh Springer feel relaxed around all people.
6. The Welsh Springer is a very intelligent dog with a desire to please his owners. He also has a good sense of humor. They can sometimes show a stubborn streak, so be patient and start your training early. If you are looking for a dog that can impress in the show ring, hunt hard all day long, and snuggle with you on the couch in the evening, consider the Welsh Springer Spaniel.