Springer Spaniel (Welsh)
The Welsh Springer dates back to the late 1500's and was used as a hunting breed capable of flushing out game for hunters using falcons to retrieve the quarry. The variety of different Spaniels was split up and the Welsh Springer, with it's different coat colour, was separated from the English Springer Spaniel group in the 1800's. Cockers and Springers, all called 'Cocking dogs' were originally born in the same litter until eventually they were split into separate breeds.
The Welshie is a friendly and affectionate companion, that makes an ideal pet for an active family. They are calm and patient within the home if given enough exercise and good with children, other pets and dogs. They can be shy and wary of strangers, so need proper socialisation from a young age and the chance to mix with different people and changing situations to produce a well rounded dog. They are smaller than the English Springer and not quite so 'hyper'; they love to cuddle up next to you on the sofa/bed and relish human contact. They need acclimatising to being left alone for short periods, as they dislike being left for too long.
Training should be started early. They are a lively breed and play will help them learn. Pleasing you is what matters to them most and they learn quickly if you find the right balance. Positive reinforcement and affection works well with training. They can become bored with repetitive tasks, so mixing up training and not focusing on one 'trick' at a time is best. If they become bored, it can result in destructive behaviour, namely chewing, so taking them for a long walk before you leave them is the way to prevent this. They can be stubborn, but food usually gets the better of them, as they are greedy.
Their energetic nature, whilst lower than the English Springer, still means that they need long, regular walks. They love water and it is said that they could find it in a desert! They love muddy puddles. They can sometimes suffer selective deafness when out walking, so recall should be one of the first things you teach them. Using a favourite game or treat should be used to teach recall and they should only get it when they come back. When working, they tend to wander far and wide, but they will always know where you are, even if you can't find them! If they get lost, look for a puddle. You'll find them.
Their smooth coat needs regular brushing to remove burrs and tangles and they will need occasional clipping, especially the 'feathers' on their legs and tail. Check their ears for grass seed, to prevent problems, but they are quite clean dogs.
With their floppy ears they can sometimes get ear infections, especially if they have been in water. Canine Hip Dysplasia is also more common, along with epilepsy.
Welsh Springer Spaniels have an easygoing and devoted temperament. Less excitable than their English cousin the Welsh Springer is as devoted to family as they come. This does mean that they will dislike being left alone and thrive in your company. Happy to trot around you as they explore wherever you take them the Welsh Springers make excellant companions.
They do tend to be reserved towards strangers although most will be fine with plenty of early socialisation.
Health problems that may affect Welsh Springer Spaniels include canine hip dysplasia (CHD), elbow dysplasia, eye problems, epilepsy, heart disease and allergies.
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 12 - 15 years
- Weight: 16 - 20 kg
- Height: 16 - 19"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Medium
- Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
- Town or Country: Either
- Minimum Home Size: Small House
- Minimum Garden Size: Large Garden
- Breed Type: Gun Dog
- Size: Medium
- Energy Level: Medium
- Exercise Required: Over 2 hours
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