Welsh Springer Spaniel Breed History
Some believe that the breed arrived with the Gauls in pre-Roman times. Others believe that today’s breed was either developed alongside the English springer or was the result of cross-breeding English springers with clumber spaniels. They were possibly also bred with native Welsh Spaniels that had been bred in Wales for more than 400 years. Initially, English and Welsh springers were shown together, because the only difference between the breeds was color. As the Welsh grew in popularity, it came to America and was recognized by the AKC in 1906. It slowly lost its supporters and between the years of 1926 and 1948, there were no Welsh springer spaniels registered. Fortunately, new imports and a new interest brought new life to the breed. The Welsh is the working counterpart to the flashy English springer.
Welsh Springer Spaniel Breed Appearance
As a hunting dog, the Welsh springer spaniels should be very muscular. It is a compact dog that appears long because of its angled torso and well-developed hindquarters. Its rich red and white coat is silky, flat and straight with fringe on the underside. It should not be so long that it hinders the spaniel’s job as a flushing dog, however it should be thick enough to protect the dog from the elements. This breed has a small head with a square muzzle and a soft expression.
Welsh Springer Spaniel Breed Maintenance
The Welsh springer spaniel requires brushing with a stiff bristle brush twice weekly. The breed sheds twice yearly, and extra brushing will be required during that time. An occasional visit to a professional groomer may be necessary. Nails must be clipped regularly and the hair between the toes should be removed. Daily exercise is required to keep this spaniel from gaining weight and growing lazy. Long walks, swimming, and active games in the yard meet this need. This dog does well with a job such as hunting, retrieving, or agility work. This breed can live outdoors in temperate climates as long as it has a warm shelter, however it does better if it can stay inside with the family. Puppies should be socialized with humans, and obedience training and retrieval exercises can begin at an early age.
Welsh Springer Spaniel Breed Activity Requirements
Although independent and active, the Welsh is also steady and laid back. Its calm nature makes it a great family dog that is patient with children. It is reserved with strangers, but devoted to its family.