The Welsh Springer Spaniel - an Introduction

Ch Wainfelin Born Free
Champion Wainfelin Born Free

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a strong merry, active spaniel easily identified by its rich red and white coat and comparatively small ears. It is smaller than the show-bred English Springer, dogs measuring approximately 48cms (19 inches) at the withers (shoulders) and bitches 46cms (18inches).

In 2012 the Kennel Club registered 348 Welsh Springers and 12792 English Springers. This shows why the Welsh Springer is not as well known as its cousin.

This type of dog was bred for hunting rabbits, birds and other game in the undergrowth and getting them to run or fly, originally for the falcon but nowadays, for the gun. This was the original meaning of springing and hence the term "Springer". In the Principality of Wales, the Welsh Springer was known as a separate and distinct variety and can be traced with certainty to the eighteenth century, although the term "spaniel" was first found in the 1300's.

Many dogs are still used for their traditional purpose and certainly an active outside life suits the breed, with at least one good free run daily. They are happy to live in the home, preferably with a companion, although they have a tendency to be noisy if bored.

Even if you do not wish to work your Welsh Springer, a degree of training using kind but firm methods is essential in order to have a sociable and socialised pet. Welsh Springers, particularly males, have immense energy and a strong nose for following game scents, even if that is not your interest!