The Welsh Springer Spaniel

descriptive textWelsh Springer Spaniel
Dog breed info
Weight: 35 — 50 lbs
Height: 17” — 19”
AKC Rank 2008 #120
Lifespan: 12—15 yrs
Group: Sporting
Origin: Wales

Dog Breed Info—Welsh Springer Spaniel

Springer Spaniel having fun with a stick
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Breed Overview

Origin: 1600’s. Original function: Bird flushing and retrieving. Today: Same as original.

The Welsh Springier is smaller and lighter and less extroverted than the English Springer Spaniel.

The Welsh Springer, sometimes called the “Welshie,” is foremost a tracking and hunting dog that can run for long periods without tiring. Their name comes from the fact that when they find prey, they “spring” the birds out of their nests and into the open for the hunter to take action with.

The Welsh and English Springer Spaniels developed together as one breed and were separated prior to the 1900’s. As early as the 1300’s, a variety of spaniels, were referred to as “Cocker Spaniels” and were all viewed as one group. There were no standards back then and it was not until later that the dogs were separated into groups. Some dogs were known as English /cockers.

The only difference between the Welsh and English Springer Spaniels was in their colors. The Welsh is rich red on white. The Welsh became more popular and finally arrived in American and was registered by the AKC during 1906. The Welshie didn't catch on as well as it should have and by the end of WWII was nearly gone in America. However, new imports and supporters came along and the breed was revived to a modest degree. This is an all purpose, all terrain hunter that, if socialized properly, trained and exercised, makes an excellent house pet and companion.

Welsh Springer Spaniel on the agility bars
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Quite trainable, especially when following his instincts of hunting and birding. This is a natural born field dog and retriever and must be taught very young the correct way to behave on the hunt. Teach him obedience skills with clicker training and positive reinforcement for good results. The Welsh Spaniel must know who is boss and pack leader so be sure you maintain that alpha leadership.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Welsh Springer Spaniel puppy? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

Welsh Springer Spaniel puppies shouldn't be too hard to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.



The Walsh Springer Spaniel is a very active, energetic bird dog that loves to run through the fields chasing after birds, retrieving them and hunting down more so lots of exercise is needed to keep this breed out of trouble.. At home, this is a steady, easy-going dog, very devoted to his human family and especially active children, yet remains independent and can be stubborn at times. The Welsh Springer is reserved with strangers; some are timid around people they don’t know. The breed is quite sensitive and needs a lot of socialization starting at 4 ot 5 weeks and continuing on through life. If the dog is heavily socialized very young along with training and it is continued through his life, he’ll become a joy to the whole family and a welcome house pet. Make him a part of all family activities.

This breed need to be managed and owned by an alpha pack leader that will maintain constant leadership over the dog. The Welsh Spaniel does well when he knows his position is to follow ordered and his life is structured for him by his owners and family. Set the boundaries, rules and schedules and you’ll have a happy, content dog.

If you happen to get a Welsh Spaniel with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."


Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Mellow toward most dogs, but will pick and choose his dog friends. This breed is not violent.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Usually does pretty well with other house pets, Not aggressive and gets along with dogs and can get used to house cats. It’s better is the Spaniel is raised with the other pets, though.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Reserved, even timid around strangers. Not aggressive, just fearful to a degree.


Quite playful. Loves games, to romp with kids, play fetch and jog. This is a happy dog.


Very affectionate. Loves family and kids. It helps to have been heavily socialized at a young age.

Good with children?

Good with older, active children, 6 or 7 and up, especially well-mannered kids that understand how to treat a dog. Loves to play and romp with them, run, fetch balls etc.

Good with Seniors over 65?

No. Too active, needs too much exercise.

Living environment

House with a medium to large fenced yard and doggie door for indoor/outdoor life, or a farm or ranch where the dog can run free.

The Welsh Springer Spaniel must live indoors and be with his family. This breed needs human interaction.


Energy level

Moderately high. He’s a bird dog and retriever so is used to running.

Exercise needs, daily

Fairly high. This is a sporting dog, built for running, hunting and retrieving birds.

Several long walks on leash OR jogging on leash. Also, a vigorous game of fetch (or other games) and maybe take the dog hiking through the woods.


Fairly good—Will bark at doorbells and strangers arriving. Does have a loud bark.

Guard dog

No. Not recognized for guarding.


Yes, some in season.


Brush 2 or 3 times a week with a stiff bristle brush. The dog will love the extra attention.

He should be clipped occasionally to keep him looking fresh and sharp.



Suggested Reading - Welsh Springer Spaniel

  • The book at the left is an owners guide for the Welsh Stringer Spaniel. that covers everything from training to care and health.

  • 2nd book from the left is is “How To Help Gun Dogs Train Themselves.” If you plan to hunt with your Welsh Springer Spaniel, this could be a useful book.

  • 3rd from the left is “50 Games To Play With Your Dog.” The Welsh Spaniel loves to play and you can teach him a variety of games to get exercise and fun, using this book.

  • The book on the right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog health, emergencies ands injuries. It’s a valuable reference manual for every dog owner. This is Vol 2, 2008, and comes with a DVD.

Welsh Springer Spaniel Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Welsh Spaniel puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been VERY well socialized and started in obedience training.
You can check the site below, as they are very good, but I just checked and at this time they are showing only a few breeders: Welsh Springer Spaniel Breeders with puppies for sale.

Welsh Springer Spaniel Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an adult dog and are looking for a Welsh Springer Spaniel Rescue group in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Welsh Spaniel - (Nationwide)This is a hard breed to find in America. As I write this, Petfinder is listing only 13 dogs available to adopt. That figure can change. Try a search online for Welsh Springer Spaniel Rescue "Groups" and try "Club" too. If you do find one to adopt, try to locate any dog health records for possible future reference.
Adopt A PetAdopt-A-Pet is showing NO Welshies available at this time.

Dog Health Issues For Welsh Springer Spaniels
Below: The dog illness / illnesses or medical problems as listed for the Welsh Springer Spaniel by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. These are dog illness and medical problems this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Hip dysplasia - Hind end limping, hind/back leg acts lame, can't move, weak legs. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing the Welsh Springer Spaniel great pain, weakness and difficulty walking. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

  • Otitis externa—Ear infections—Inflammation and infection of the outer ear, especially dogs with long, floppy ear flaps. Dirt and moisture collect and breed yeast and bacteria. Ear hair and wax contribute to the infection environment. If left untreated it can become a serious infection. If at home treatments with cleaning and meds don't work and the problem worsens, surgery might be the last resort.

  • Entropion—Eye irritation caused by the eyelids and lashes rolling inward. The problem is usually inherited and found in young to young-adult dogs. It can come from an eyelid spasm. Affected eyes will be held partially shut and tear excessively. Both eyes will usually be affected the same. Treatment for the condition requires eye surgery.

  • Glaucoma—Painful pressure builds in the eye or eyes must be treated early to prevent total blindness.

  • Cataracts—Hazy or cloudy vision and must be treated to prevent total blindness.

  • Epilepsy—A serious seizure disorder that usually shows up at around 2 to 4 o5 r years of age in dogs.

Other health problems could occur with your Welsh Springer Spaniel. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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