Welsh Springer Spaniel
"The Easygoing Spaniel"
Land spaniels were known in Wales as long ago as the 1300s, but nobody really knows when the Welsh Springer Spaniel originated. The Welsh Springer may have developed alongside the English Springer, and the two breeds were shown as a single breed in early European dog shows of the late 1800s. At that time the only difference between them was coat color. The breed was present in America by 1900, with the first one, a dog named Faircroft Bob, registered in 1914. By the end of World War II, the Welsh Springer had become so unpopular in America that he all but disappeared. In fact, not a single Welsh Springer was registered in the intervening years until new dogs were imported from Europe in the 1950s. With new supporters, the breed gradually regained his foothold, but has never been well-known. In 2006, the Welsh Springer Spaniel ranked 124th among the 155 breeds registered by the club.
The Welsh Springer is a hunter at heart, and thrives on days spent in the field. But he's equally at home playing with the kids or snoozing by the fire. He's an easygoing, affectionate fellow that is more of a one-family dog than are most spaniels, steady with his family but aloof, even a bit shy, around strangers. He's generally good with other dogs and pets.
The Welsh is slightly longer than he is tall, with strong bones and a compact body. Compared to the English Springer Spaniel, his head is not as heavy, his lips not as pendulous, his ears not as long, and his coat not as profuse. The coat is a rich red and white. The tail, which is carried near the horizontal, is customarily docked in America.
The Welsh's hunting nature lends him an independent nature. This is neither a particularly difficult nor easy breed to train, as they tend to follow their nose and can be distracted easily. Give them enough motivation, usually in the form of food or play, and they'll be eating out of your hand.
Grooming & Care
This is an active dog that needs a good deal of exercise. However, they can meet these needs with long walks or vigorous games, even though they'd prefer to go hunting. Coat care is not difficult, requiring brushing once or twice a week.
The Welsh Springer Spaniel's major health concern is hip dysplasia, which is a problem in the breed. Epilepsy, glaucoma, and ear infections are also concerns, but less so. Any dogs intended for breeding should receive OFA and CERF screenings first.
Famous Welsh Springer Spaniel
Ch. Holiday of Happy Hunting was the first AKC Champion Welsh Springer.
|Challenges||Needs to hunt.|
|Height||17 to 19 inches|
|Weight||35 to 45 pounds|
|Life||12 to 15 years|
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