Welsh Springer Spaniel – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Welsh Springer Spaniel is a gentle dog of great endurance and stamina. Check this guide to learn if this breed is for you. Read on.
Dog Breed Group:
Sporting Dogs
17 to 19 inches tall at the shoulder
35 to 55 pounds
Life Span:
10 to 15 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a vigorous, medium-sized bird dog of easy steps and happy nature. This is a hunting dog, who is very loyal and a massive people-pleaser.

Since they are so affectionate toward people, they are great as family dogs.

Welsh Springer Spaniels are a hunting breed, they can easily adapt to apartment life, as long as you provide enough exercise and outdoor time.

They are pack-oriented animals, and as such, they hate being left alone. If neglected, or left alone for too long or too often, they may develop separation anxiety.

Overall, this isn’t a condition that you want to deal with. Although they may adapt to apartment life, you should bear in mind that they are hunting dogs – as such, they will bark.

Welsh Springer Spaniels will bark anytime they hear someone approaching your doors.

After all, they are guard dogs, and they are always on the lookout. Protecting you is their primary mission.

If you are looking for a guard dog, you should continue searching, because this is more of a watchdog.

Overall, this is a highly intelligent breed with a huge desire to please his owners.

Quick Facts

Real name: Welsh Springer Spaniel
Other names: Welsh Springer, Welsh Starter
Common nicknames: Welshie
Origin: Wales
Breed type: Sporting Dogs
Weight: 35 to 55 pounds
Height: 17 to 19 inches tall at the shoulder
Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
Litter Size: 6 – 8 puppies
Color: Rich red and white
Coat: Straight flat and soft coat

Welsh Springer Spaniel History

The history of the Welsh Springer Spaniel is still unknown.

Little is known about this breed, but we know for a fact that this breed was known as the Land Spaniel and Welsh Starter.

It’s also known that this breed was developed in Wales, sometime during the 13th century.

At that time, they were primarily used for hunting purposes. These red and white dogs are similar in appearance and history-wise to the English Cocker Spaniel and another spaniel who originated in England.

What’s The Difference Between Welsh And English Springer Spaniels?

Dog lovers mistook Welsh Springers with the English Springer Spaniel, due to their similar appearance. However, once you know the traits of both breeds, it is easy to differ them.

The Welsh Springer is smaller compared to English Springer Spaniel. Their markings are also opposite.

The Welsh Springer will have reddish markings on a white background, while the English Springers will have black or liver-colored markings.

Are Welsh Springer Spaniels Rare?

Welsh Springers are considered to be a rare breed of spaniel.

Since responsible breeders register their puppies it’s easy to track healthy pups. That being said, the American Kennel Club registered around 300 Welsh Springer Spaniels per year.

Welsh Springer Spaniel Physical Appearance

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a well-built dog. They were used to working long hours and they are built for that.

Welsh Springer Spaniels often seem longer than they are due to their long coat.

As for the size, these dogs tend to be 17 to 19 inches tall and to have between 35 to 55 pounds. They tend to seem a bit square, which means that their length is slightly greater than the height.

Still, some dogs may be square. Traditionally, they will have a docked tail, if the country allows it.

Eyes in this breed will commonly be brown, ears small, and nostrils well developed.

If you manage to provide the proper care and loving surroundings packed with great nutrition and regular exercise you can expect your Welsh Springer Spaniel to live between 10 to 15 years.

Welsh Springer Spaniel Personality

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is an intelligent dog of soft nature and strong affection toward his humans.

They are not too fond of strangers, and will usually bark to inform you. Welsh Springer Spaniels are alert dogs who will protect their territory without thinking twice about it.

These elegant dogs are best known for their friendly nature and affection toward people. They will get along with children of any age. Still, children should be well educated on how to behave around dogs.

Children should know not to disturb dos while they are eating, resting, drinking water, or just playing with their toys inside the crate.

Ear and tail pulling should be forbidden and children must know that dogs aren’t moving toys.

No matter how well children and dogs may get along, their interaction should always be supervised. This is the best way to prevent any sort of accident.

Welsh Springer Spaniel With Other Pets

Welsh Springers are great with people and super gentle with children.

Where do they stand when it comes to other pets? As for the other dogs, they should get along with them nicely, especially if they are raised together.

If you’re getting a second dog, make sure that you introduce them in neutral territory and a safe environment.

As for the other pets, they should respect them if they are raised together. They should tolerate even smaller size pets if raised together.

As for the birds you might need to monitor them. It’s most likely that they will see birds as prey. After all, they were bred to hunt birds.

Welsh Springer Spaniel Training

Training should start as soon as you bring your Welsh Springer Spaniel home.

Dogs are capable of mastering basic commands as of eight weeks of age. This is why training should start early.

Well-structured training and early socialization are two major factors when it comes to having a good canine citizen. By the time the socialization period ends, your dog should know the following:

  • Basic commands such as ‘no’ and ‘come
  • House dog rules
  • How to behave around house visitors
  • To know which home areas are forbidden if any
  • How to walk on a leash
  • How to behave in the backyard

To get out the most from your training sessions, make them consistent, short, fun, and reward-based. Dogs love rewards.

Nothing excites them more when there is a job to be done and a good treat afterward. These dogs have an excellent nose so any game that includes sniffing around will be more than welcome.

They can easily adapt to apartment life, but they will hate being left home alone for too long.

If you feel that you need support during the training sessions, think about hiring a professional dog trainer.

Another option is to enroll your pup in puppy classes. Never use any harsh training methods. No dog should experience any negative handling.

Welsh Springer Spaniel Exercise

Welshies are high-energy dogs and they require more energy than the average dog.

Some breeds are more than happy with a 15-minutes nice stroll around the block, while some breeds need long exercise sessions to help them burn off that extra energy.

Welshies are dogs who need extra exercise next to regular walks to keep their mind sharp and body fit. These dogs are packed with an abundance of energy and stamina that should be directed the right way.

Welsh Springer Spaniels needs about two hours of physical activity each day.

This can be a range of activities, including agility, field training, intense walks, or a combination of these activities.

Welsh Springer Spaniel Grooming

Welsh Springer Spaniels will love grooming sessions. Grooming is more than just providing regular brushing.

To keep Welsh’s coat neat and clean you should provide brushing sessions once to twice per week.

Use a slicker brush to make brushing time interesting, fast, and pain-free. Do not forget to reward him with a treat after every brushing session.

The rest is basic care:

  • Trim or grind nails monthly
  • Bath only when needed
  • Clean ears when needed
  • Check gums weekly
  • Check eyes daily for any sign of eye discharge

If your veterinarian recommends it brush your dog’s teeth regularly. When it comes to bathing, use only dog shampoo. This way you will use dog-friendly products.

Welsh Springer Spaniel Health

Welsh Springers are considered to be healthy dogs.

If you are buying a puppy, make sure that you deal with responsible dog breeders only. This way you will get medical documentation showing your dog’s health record.

If you are adopting, animal shelter representatives will inform you honestly about the dog’s overall health.

To keep the dog healthy you should provide high-quality food, regular exercise, and overall great care.

Still, your puppy may get sick no matter how great of a dog owner you might be.

Here are some of the most common health conditions that you can see in your Welsh Springer:

This doesn’t mean that your dog will experience any of the following issues, but only that you should know what are the possibilities.

To avoid these issues and others, you should stick to regular veterinarian check-ups. Prevention is the key when it comes to great dog health.

Is Welsh Springer Spaniel For You?

Welsh Springer Spaniels are great dogs who need vigorous exercise. This breed isn’t for you if you’re a first time dog owner, and you do want to deal with possible separation anxiety in your canine.

On the other hand, if you want a medium-sized dog wop is gentle and loves training this is a breed to consider having.

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