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  • Temperament: Happy, Reserved, Upbeat
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 123 of 192
  • Height: 18-19 inches (male), 17-18 inches (female)
  • Weight: 40-55 pounds (male), 35-50 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Group: Sporting Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Welsh Springer Spaniel

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is an attractive dog of handy size, exhibiting substance without coarseness. He is compact, not leggy, obviously built for hard work and endurance. The Welsh Springer Spaniel gives the impression of length due to obliquely angled forequarters and well developed hindquarters. Being a hunting dog, he should be shown in hard muscled working condition. His coat should not be so excessive as to hinder his work as an active flushing spaniel, but should be thick enough to protect him from heavy cover and weather.

HEAD

The Welsh Springer Spaniel head is unique and should in no way approximate that of other spaniel breeds. Its overall balance is of primary importance. Head is in proportion to body, never so broad as to appear coarse nor so narrow as to appear racy. The skull is of medium length, slightly domed, with a clearly defined stop. It is well chiseled below the eyes. The top plane of the skull is very slightly divergent from that of the muzzle, but with no tendency toward a down-faced appearance. A short chubby head is most objectionable. Eyes should be oval in shape, dark to medium brown in color with a soft expression. Preference is for a darker eye though lighter shades of brown are acceptable. Yellow or mean-looking eyes are to be heavily penalized. Medium in size, they are neither prominent, nor sunken, nor do they show haw. Eye rims are tight and dark pigmentation is preferred. Ears are set on approximately at eye level and hang close to the cheeks. Comparatively small, the leather does not reach to the nose. Gradually narrowing toward the tip, they are shaped somewhat like a vine leaf and are lightly feathered.

BODY

The neck is long and slightly arched, clean in throat, and set into long, sloping shoulders. Topline is level. The loin is slightly arched, muscular, and close-coupled. The croup is very slightly rounded, never steep nor falling off. The topline in combination with proper angulation fore and aft presents a silhouette that appears rectangular. The chest is well developed and muscular with a prominent forechest, the ribs well sprung and the brisket reaching to the elbows.

FOREQUARTERS

The shoulder blade and upper arm are approximately equal in length. The upper arm is set well back, joining the shoulder blade with sufficient angulation to place the elbow beneath the highest point of the shoulder blade when standing. The forearms are of medium length, straight and moderately feathered.

COAT

The coat is naturally straight flat and soft to the touch, never wiry or wavy. It is sufficiently dense to be waterproof, thornproof, and weatherproof. The back of the forelegs, the hind legs above the hocks, chest and underside of the body are moderately feathered. The ears and tail are lightly feathered. Coat so excessive as to be a hindrance in the field is to be discouraged. Obvious barbering is to be avoided as well.

HINDQUARTERS

The hindquarters must be strong, muscular, and well boned, but not coarse. When viewed in profile the thighs should be wide and the second thighs well developed. The angulation of the pelvis and femur corresponds to that of the shoulder and upper arm. Bend of stifle is moderate.

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welsh springer spaniel illustration

About the Welsh Springer Spaniel

Standing between 17 and 19 inches at the shoulder, Welshies are described by their fans as being of “handy size”: bigger and stronger than Cocker Spaniels but smaller than English Springers.

Welshies have two hallmarks that distinguish them from other spaniels: A uniquely tapered head and an eye-catching coat of bold red and white patterns. The beautiful coat isn’t just ornamental—it’s a waterproof, weatherproof, and thornproof suit that enables Welshies to show off their renowned versatility in all climates and on all terrains.

Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.

Find a Puppy: Welsh Springer Spaniel

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Care

NUTRITION

The Welsh Springer Spaniel should be fed a high-quality dog food appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior) and activity level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Give table scraps sparingly, if at all, especially avoiding cooked bones and foods with overly high fat content. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet or the dog’s breeder if you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.

GROOMING

To keep his attractive red-and-white coat looking its best, the Welsh Springer Spaniel needs at least weekly grooming. A good once-over with a soft brush should work well for this, along with a slicker brush or metal dog comb to work apart any mats or tangles that are starting to form. The nails should be trimmed every three to four weeks, and a bath every month or so with a gentle shampoo meant for dogs will help to keep the coat and skin clean and healthy.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Weekly Brushing

EXERCISE

Welsh Springer Spaniels are active, energetic dogs who are happiest when they have plenty of exercise as well as lots of time with their people. Play-sessions with their family in a securely fenced yard or long daily walks with their owner work well. Interaction with their humans is the key to a happy Welshie. The breed is an excellent choice for those with an active lifestyle, as well as those looking for a loving family companion. Given the opportunity, these lovely spaniels will steal your heart.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Energetic

TRAINING

The Welsh Springer tends to be “reserved with strangers,” to quote the breed standard. This should not be taken to mean a Welshie is timid or shy. Early socialization and puppy training classes are essential. Keep in mind that Welshies are hunting dogs, and the urge to chase birds and small mammals has been bred into them. Most puppies learn quickly to respect your pet cat or another dog, however. A securely fenced yard is best. The Welshie excels as a hunting companion and at canine sports such as obedience, tracking, agility, and rally.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Easy Training

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Friendly

HEALTH

While Welsh Springer Spaniels are generally healthy dogs, there are several health and genetic screening considerations specific to the breed. Responsible breeders test their stock for conditions the breed can be prone to, including hip and elbow dysplasia, autoimmune thyroiditis, and eye disease. A Welshie’s ears should be checked regularly for signs of infection, and the teeth should be brushed often, using a toothpaste designed for dogs. Regular visits to the vet for checkups and parasite control help to ensure the dog a long, healthy life.

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Thyroid Evaluation

Read the Official Breed Club Health Statement.

Welsh Springer Spaniel
Welsh Springer Spaniel
Welsh Springer Spaniel
Welsh Springer Spaniel History 1

History

According to leading authorities Welshies are the oldest of Britain’s spaniels, descendants of the original spaniels of the Iberian Peninsula (the word spaniel is derived from “Spaniard”). Exactly how these dogs traveled in ancient times from Spain to Wales is one of those canine mysteries that historians chalk up as “lost in the mists of history,” but Welshie-type dogs appear in British art and literature going back some 250 years b.c. Welsh and English Springers emerged as separate breeds in the early 1900s.

Did You Know?

The history of the Welsh Springer Spaniel begins as far back as 7000 BC.
The Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America was formed in 1961.
Between the years 1926-1948, there were no Welsh Springer Spaniels registered by the AKC.
By approximately 250 BC, the ancestors of the Welsh Springer had developed into the Agassian Hunting Dog, belonging to the wild tribes of Roman-occupied Briton.
The Welsh Springer and English Springer are entirely different breeds and do not represent "varieties" of a Springer Spaniel.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is an attractive dog of handy size, exhibiting substance without coarseness. He is compact, not leggy, obviously built for hard work and endurance. The Welsh Springer Spaniel gives the impression of length due to obliquely angled forequarters and well developed hindquarters. Being a hunting dog, he should be shown in hard muscled working condition. His coat should not be so excessive as to hinder his work as an active flushing spaniel, but should be thick enough to protect him from heavy cover and weather.

HEAD

The Welsh Springer Spaniel head is unique and should in no way approximate that of other spaniel breeds. Its overall balance is of primary importance. Head is in proportion to body, never so broad as to appear coarse nor so narrow as to appear racy. The skull is of medium length, slightly domed, with a clearly defined stop. It is well chiseled below the eyes. The top plane of the skull is very slightly divergent from that of the muzzle, but with no tendency toward a down-faced appearance. A short chubby head is most objectionable. Eyes should be oval in shape, dark to medium brown in color with a soft expression. Preference is for a darker eye though lighter shades of brown are acceptable. Yellow or mean-looking eyes are to be heavily penalized. Medium in size, they are neither prominent, nor sunken, nor do they show haw. Eye rims are tight and dark pigmentation is preferred. Ears are set on approximately at eye level and hang close to the cheeks. Comparatively small, the leather does not reach to the nose. Gradually narrowing toward the tip, they are shaped somewhat like a vine leaf and are lightly feathered.

BODY

The neck is long and slightly arched, clean in throat, and set into long, sloping shoulders. Topline is level. The loin is slightly arched, muscular, and close-coupled. The croup is very slightly rounded, never steep nor falling off. The topline in combination with proper angulation fore and aft presents a silhouette that appears rectangular. The chest is well developed and muscular with a prominent forechest, the ribs well sprung and the brisket reaching to the elbows.

FOREQUARTERS

The shoulder blade and upper arm are approximately equal in length. The upper arm is set well back, joining the shoulder blade with sufficient angulation to place the elbow beneath the highest point of the shoulder blade when standing. The forearms are of medium length, straight and moderately feathered.

COAT

The coat is naturally straight flat and soft to the touch, never wiry or wavy. It is sufficiently dense to be waterproof, thornproof, and weatherproof. The back of the forelegs, the hind legs above the hocks, chest and underside of the body are moderately feathered. The ears and tail are lightly feathered. Coat so excessive as to be a hindrance in the field is to be discouraged. Obvious barbering is to be avoided as well.

HINDQUARTERS

The hindquarters must be strong, muscular, and well boned, but not coarse. When viewed in profile the thighs should be wide and the second thighs well developed. The angulation of the pelvis and femur corresponds to that of the shoulder and upper arm. Bend of stifle is moderate.

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welsh springer spaniel illustration

Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
RED & WHITE Check Mark For Standard Color 146