The Welsh Springer Spaniel is considered one of the oldest breeds in Wales. A good hunting, family dog and companion for active people. The Welsh Springer is smart, obedient, energetic and friendly. Characteristic of the breed is a red-white color.
It is difficult to say when the first ancestors of the Welsh Springer Spaniels appeared. Images of similar dogs are found in ancient paintings and prints from the 15-16th century. They were known as the Land Spaniel and are probably the direct descendants of those first spaniels that came from Spain to the British Isles with the Romans. They were later known as the Welsh starter. In Wales, these dogs were used in spring hunting with falcons. Some cynologists believe that everything is much simpler and the Welsh Springer Spaniel appeared as a result of the crossing of the Clumber Spaniel and the English springer.
In the 19th century, Welsh cockers were often called spaniels from Wales. They remained little known until the beginning of the 20th century. Everything changed when the pack of dogs of Mr. A.T. Williams (Mr. A.T. Williams) won the hunting competitions held by the Spaniel Club. Shortly after this breed, the English Kennel Club was recognized as the Welsh Springer Spaniel. The Breed Club of Great Britain was established in 1923. In the 20-30's of the XX century, the breeders developed the type of dogs that exists to this day.
The breed remains small and unpopular. In 2000, only 424 puppies were registered by the English Kennel Club. For comparison: there are about 12,000 English Springer Spaniels and 13,500 English Cockers. In 2009, the breed was finally recognized by the International Cynological Association, but in a positive way this did not affect prevalence. In 2016, the number of newborn puppies decreased to 300 per year, since then the Welsh Springer Spaniel was included by the Kennel Club in the list of vulnerable native breeds.
The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a typical representative of working spaniels, it is symmetrical, moderately heavy, compact, energetic and fast. Height at the withers of males - 46-48 cm.; female - 43-46 cm.
The skull is slightly domed, well elongated under the eyes. Stop is determined. Muzzle of medium length with a straight nasal bridge. The lobe with well-developed nostrils, is dark in color. Jaws strong, scissor bite. The eyes are medium sized, light or dark brown. Ears are hanging, set low, close to the cheeks, relatively small, with rounded tips.
The neck is long. The body is slightly stretched, muscular, strong, its length is proportional to the length of the legs. The loin is slightly curved. The chest is deep. The tail is a natural extension of the apex, saber. The early tail has traditionally stopped. Legs of medium length, with good skeleton, straight. Paws with thick pads, feline, rounded.
The coat is straight, silky texture, dense. Well overgrown ears and tail, the back of the limbs is decorated with tow. Color: white with spots of bright red (red) color.
Nature and behavior
The Welsh Springer Spaniel has a flexible, friendly temperament. For the most part, these are balanced dogs, passionate for hunting. With a good scent, a bright desire to chase a bird and a talent for apportioning. The work is very passionate and viscous, hardy and energetic. In everyday life, they are moderately calm, playful and curious on walks. Strongly attached to the owner, very affectionate with all family members. They treat children well, especially if they grew up in the company of babies and were correctly socialized.
A Welsh Springer Spaniel is not as trusting as an English Springer or Cocker. With strangers behaves somewhat restrained. He meets uninvited guests on his territory with barking, but it does not go further. With strong pressure, the dog will retreat.
The Welsh Springer Spaniel will be a good companion to a hunter or an active person who chooses the breed for sports, but he is not suitable for the role of a calm family dog and especially a guard.
The Welsh Springer Spaniel is human oriented, he wants to be in society and loves attention. It has a lot of liveliness, optimism and enthusiasm. Sometimes a dog can be impulsive or even stubborn, but much less independent than other hunting breeds.
Parenting and training
Mandatory for a Welsh Springer are early socialization and a general course of obedience. Most puppies quickly memorize commands, master home rules without any particular problems, learn to respect animals that live with him under one roof, but the desire to chase birds and small animals on walks is ineradicable. Springer has a soft character, he does not respond well to hard training methods. At a young age, he is in no hurry to obey, so his training will require patience and gentle perseverance.
The Welsh Springer Spaniel is considered one of the most easily trained among spaniels. With proper education, the dog grows obedient and strives to please the owner.
The Welsh Springer Spaniel is suitable for apartment maintenance, provided it is well-kept. The best option would be to live in a private house, in the family circle with the ability to spend a lot of time in the yard. The presence of a second dog of a suitable character for joint games is welcome. Perhaps street maintenance in a well-fenced yard, but not on a leash. It is not recommended for a long time to close in the aviary.
The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a very hardy and energetic dog that has been bred for continuous work in the field.
Without good physical and mental stress, it can become nervous and destructive. When walking in the city it is better to keep the springer on a leash, in nature they are released only with the confidence that the dog will return on command.
To preserve the well-groomed appearance of Welsh, it is enough to comb once a week. A soft brush made from natural bristles is best suited for this. Colts are carefully untangled with a metal comb if they begin to form. Claws are trimmed every 3-4 weeks. Full bath is shown once a month. Use a shampoo for soft wool with a neutral pH. Regularly inspect the ears and, if necessary, clean the auricle, dry well after bathing. Regular brushing is recommended to prevent stone and other dental problems.
Health and Life Expectancy
Welsh Springer Spaniels are generally healthy dogs. Responsible breeders check the breeding stock for the main genetic diseases and do not allow sick dogs for breeding. Hereditary diseases recorded in the breed include:
- Dysplasia of the elbow and hip joint;
- Autoimmune thyroiditis;
- Eye diseases.
Particular attention should be paid to the ears of the dog, which are prone to the development of otitis media due to poor ventilation. Regular vaccination and treatment against parasites will preserve the health of the springer for many years. Life expectancy is 12-13 years.
Where to buy a Welsh Springer Spaniel puppy
Welsh is relatively small even at home, but the general level of livestock remains more or less stable. Breeding lovers are found in most countries in Europe, the United States and Canada. Large nurseries are in Finland and Latvia. In Russia, no more than a dozen Welsh Springs. Puppies appear rarely and often a lot of them are built on them.
Those who need a good working Welsh Springer Spaniel that meets the requirements of the standard in appearance, character and health should better consider buying a puppy abroad.
In Europe, the price of a Welsh Springer Spaniel usually ranges from 1200-3500 euros. There are no data for Russia and the CIS countries.
Photos and videos
The gallery presents photos of dogs of the breed Welsh Springer Spaniel (Welsh Cocker).