Welsh Springer Spaniel

Welsh Springer Spaniel

Other Names

Welsh Springer


The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a compact, medium-sized, working dog. The slightly rounded head is in proportion to the body with a slightly domed skull. The fairly square muzzle is about as long as the skull, but never longer. The nose is either black or any shade of brown with well-open nostrils. The teeth meet in a scissors or level bite. The oval-shaped eyes are dark to medium brown in color. The long ears are set at eye level, hanging close to the cheeks and fringed with hair. The topline is level. The tail is usually docked and is set at the topline and carried horizontally. Note: docking tails is illegal in most parts of Europe. The soft, flat, straight or wavy coat is medium in length with feathering on the back of the legs, chest and belly, with lighter feathering on the ears and tail. Coat colors come in red and white in any pattern, sometimes with ticking.


The Welsh Springer Spaniel is loyal and willing to please. Happy to be with its family, it is good with children, and loves to be included in activities. It is smaller with a lower energy level than its English Springerancestor. This independent breed needs anowner who displays leadership or it may not listen to known commands and can become overprotective. Dogs that do not have humans who are consistent pack leaders can develop protective tendencies. Can be reserved with strangers and should be socialize well to avoid timidity. These dogs are sensitive to the tone of one’s voice and will not listen if they sense that they are stronger minded than their owner, however they will also not respond well to harsh discipline. Owners need to be calm, yet possess an air of natural authority. They must be trained early to hunt, so they learn to use their skills in a positive manner, listening to commands and learning not to wander. You will never curb the hunting instinct in this dog, therefore working with his natural ability, rather than against it, will be in you and your dog’s best interest. Generally good with dogs and other pets.


Height: Males 17 – 19 inches (43 – 48 cm) Females 16 – 18 inches (41 – 46 cm)
Weight: Males 40 – 45 pounds (18 – 20 kg) Females 35 – 45 pounds (16 – 20 kg)

Health Problems

Prone to hip dysplasia, epilepsy and entropion.

Living Conditions

The Welsh Springer Spaniel will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is fairly active indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized yard. The Welsh Springer’s coat keeps the dog comfortable in both hot and cold weather.


The Welsh Springer Spaniel is an energetic and lively dog that needs plenty of regular exercise, including a daily, long walk. It will greatly enjoy running off the leash in a safe area. Without enough exercise, these dogs will become bored, fat and lazy and are more likely to develop a wide variety of behavior problems.

Life Expectancy

About 12-15 years

Litter Size

About 6 to 8 puppies


The coat of the Welsh Springer Spaniel is fairly easy to maintain and regular brushing with a stiff bristle brush will be enough. Pay extra attention, however, when the dog is shedding. Bathe or dry shampoo only when necessary. Check the ears regularly for grass seeds and signs of infection. Trim the hair between the toes and keep the nails clipped. This breed is an average shedder.


The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a cousin of the English Springer Spaniel and the Cocker Spaniel, which are the founders of all the English hunting spaniels. At one time the English Springer Spaniel and the Cocker Spaniel were born in the same litter. The Clumber, the Sussex, the Welsh Springer, the Field and the Irish Water all developed from the English Springer / Cocker in Wales, probably before 1300 AD. At one time all of these dogs were considered “Cockers” or “Cocking Spaniels” and were interbred. Hunters started to divide the dogs into categories of Land Spaniels and Water Spaniels and the Welsh Springer was labeled as a Land Spaniel. The Welsh Springer Spaniel was given the name “Welsh Cocker.” In the late 1800s the Welsh was separated into a different breed from the English Springer. The Welsh Springer was bred to find and spring at the game. Hardy, it was able to work in all types of weather and terrain, had great stamina on the hunt and could work for hours without resting. The Welsh Springer has a tendency to wander too far from the hunt field, and therefore it is necessary to give it constant training—beginning at about six months of age. The jolly disposition of the Welsh Springer makes him a fine companion and family dog. Some of the Welsh Springer’s talents include: gun dog, tracking, hunting, retrieving and watchdog.