The Welsh Springer Spaniel, also known as the Welsh Springer or the Welshie, is an active hunting dog with a loyal and agreeable personality. They’re built to work hard all day long and have intelligent and kind expressions. Here are seven fascinating facts about this compact breed with a gorgeous red and white coat.
1. They’re Not a Variant of the English Springer Spaniel
In fact, the Welsh Springer Spaniel and English Springer Spaniel 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 their name from their hunting style, rather than their relationship to other breeds.
2. They Were Developed For a Specific Hunting Purpose
The Welsh Springer was developed for a specific hunting purpose before the invention and use of guns. Their job was to find game, such as rabbit, partridge, or pheasant, that hid under cover. They then had to 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. Welsh Spring Spaniels Were Bred For Endurance
These dogs were expected to work long hours, day after day, covering vast distances in extreme weather conditions. They were bred for 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 noses and slightly webbed feet, makes them good water dogs and retrievers, as well.
4. Their Red-and-White Coat Is Soft, Silky, and Dense
The Welshie’s coat must be red-and-white, according to the AKC breed standard. 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, thornproof, and weatherproof. It requires only routine brushing and some light trimming.
5. They’re Gentle Dogs
These sweet dogs prefer to be in the company of their human owners. 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. They’re Also Smart
The Welsh Springer is a very intelligent dog with a desire to please their owners. They can sometimes show a stubborn streak, so be patient and start your training early.
7. Welshies Belong to the Sporting Group
Welsh Springer Spaniels are part of the Sporting Group. Members of this group were developed to work closely with hunters to retrieve game.