Welsh Springer Spaniel

Welsh Springer Spaniel Dog Breed

Other names:
Welsh Cocker Spaniel
Welsh Spaniel
Welsh Springer
Welsh Water Spaniel

Pronunciation: [ welsh spring·er span·yell ]

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a breed that is said to have origins that may be 7,000 years old. This dog has been written about regarding its coat as long ago as the 16th century, and it has been known by a number of names including Welsh Cocker Spaniel. They are excellent gundogs whose many talents for all aspects of hunting makes them highly prized among hunters. They are rather rare, however, but have been recognized by a number of kennel clubs such as The Kennel Club, the UKC, and the AKC.

Welsh Springer Spaniel Breed Details

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a hunting dog whose versatility and adaptability allows the breed to be used for other tasks, but hunting is what they're best at doing. They are not for first-time dog owners as they have a lot of demands and they need the right training to persuade them to be their best. They make great companion dogs provided they have a job, get a great amount of daily exercise and you understand the many Welsh Springer Spaniel facts including:


  • Very playful
  • Medium-sized
  • Unique-looking
  • Highly versatile
  • Few health problems
  • Extremely intelligent
  • Brilliant hunting dog
  • Gets along with other dogs
  • Perfect for active lifestyles
  • Loves to swim and play in water


  • Can be shy
  • A bit messy
  • Sheds a lot
  • Easily bored
  • Can bark a lot
  • Extremely restive
  • Separation anxiety
  • Tends to be stubborn
  • Destructive when bored
  • Somewhat difficult to train
  • Requires a well-fenced yard
  • Epilepsy is somewhat common
  • Requires a huge amount of exercise
  • Can urinate when excited or anxious
  • Must be socialized early, carefully and constantly
12 - 15 yrs.
17 - 19 in.
35 - 45 lbs
OverallFamily FriendlyChild FriendlyPet FriendlyStranger Friendly
Easy to GroomEnergy LevelExercise NeedsHealthShedding Amount
Barks / HowlsEasy to TrainGuard DogPlayfulnessWatch Dog
Apartment DogCan be AloneGood for Busy OwnersGood for New OwnersIntelligence

Welsh Springer Spaniel Breed Description

This medium-sized breed requires a very active lifestyle, constant mental stimulation and a lot of personal attention. There is a lot of Welsh Springer Spaniel information and you would be hard-pressed to find any that doesn't mandate a lot of daily exercise to keep this dog happy. It's best for them to experience new people and places to keep them from becoming anxious.

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is recognized the world over as one of the smartest working dogs, and you need to be prepared for the responsibilities if you plan to adopt one. Because they are so sharp, they are highly sensitive as well as a bit stubborn. If they don't feel their work is purposeful, you will have a hard time dealing with this breed.

This dog's versatility in hunting, tracking, and retrieval make them prized among hunters. Once properly trained, they are extremely loyal and will work long and hard to be a superior hunting dog. Once home, they are great companion dogs for the children or just resting from a hard day's work and play. They will look forward to being with the family and sleeping with you.

As a remarkably active dog, exercise and work are necessary for the Welsh Springer. Even with frequent hunting activities, long walks are needed as is time to run free in well-fenced yards or dog parks. A lack of exercise will very quickly prompt this dog to be anxious, destructive and unhappy.

Welsh Springer Spaniel Temperament

The Welsh Springer Spaniel temperament is best described as excitable, emotional and potentially anxious. They have a great amount of endurance for hunting, and otherwise, they must have a way to burn off the energy that grants them this stamina. They tend to be excitable as puppies and if they are not socialized and trained very early on and constantly, this zeal can be a problem later in their life. Through all this, they are headstrong yet very emotionally sensitive, so it requires a firm yet calm touch to manage these dogs.

Training is typically not easy with this breed, but experienced hunting dog handlers will understand the returns of patient, reward-based training: a fine hunting dog with many talents who will play well with children and other dogs and behave around guests. They also have a strong desire to roam and explore, and this is must be gently curbed.

These clingy dogs are prone to separation anxiety, and they are not served by crate-based training or being left alone for long or frequent periods of time.

Welsh Springer Spaniel Health

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is an exceedingly healthy breed that has some genetic and basic dog problems that nevertheless have remarkably low incident rates. You should be sure to get all your puppy's health papers and all testing for hip, eye and any other health concerns when they come of age. There are also injuries that can happen while hunting or working.

Some of the specific issues that can occur are:

  • Epilepsy
  • Eye problems
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Elbow dysplasia

These dogs usually live to be about 12 to 15 years old.

Welsh Springer Spaniel Health Concerns

Below are potential health concerns associated with Welsh Springer Spaniels.

Hip dysplasia
Progressive retinal atrophy
Elbow dysplasia

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About this Article

Authored by:Dog-Learn
Updated:May 4, 2017