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Welsh Springer Spaniel head portrait outdoors.
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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 some fascinating facts about this compact breed with a gorgeous red and white coat.

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.

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.

Welsh Springer Spaniel laying down in a field.
Dusan Vainer/Shutterstock

Welsh Springer 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.

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.

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.

Welsh Springer Spaniel head portrait outdoors.
©Eliška -

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.

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.

Female Puppies Are Generally More Curious Than Males

Most puppies tend to be inquisitive as they begin to learn more about the world around them. But for Welshies in particular, male puppies are typically more easygoing than females, who are more likely to be interested in surveying their surroundings.

Welsh Springer Spaniel fetching a toy.
©Eliška -

Welsh Springer Spaniels Need Plenty of Exercise

These dogs are a great fit for families or those with active lifestyles. Like all dogs, Welsh Springers need mental and physical exercise. They’re happiest when going on long walks or playing with their owners.

They’re Great With Children

Welsh Springer Spaniels are highly likely to be affectionate with their family members, including any children. As with all dogs, they should be supervised when interacting with young children or those who haven’t spent much time with dogs. But, these dogs are a great pick when looking for your child’s next best friend.

Related article: Types of Spaniels: Get to Know 15 Spaniel Dog Breeds
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