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Welsh Springer Spaniel

Origin

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a descendant of the English Springer Spaniel, who is the founder of all the English hunting spaniels. In fact the Clumber and the Sussex Spaniel, the Welsh Springer Spaniel, the Field Spaniel, the Irish Water Spaniel, and the Cocker Spaniel all developed from the English Springer in Wales, probably before 1300 AD. At one time all of these dogs were considered "Cockers" or "Cocking Spaniels" and were interbred.

Hunters started to divide the dogs into categories of Land Spaniels and Water Spaniels and the Welsh Springer was labelled as a Land Spaniel. The Welsh Springer Spaniel was given the name "Welsh Cocker". In the late 1800s the Welsh was separated into a different breed than the English Springer. The Welsh Springer was bred to find and spring at the game. Hardy, they were able to work in all types of weather and terrain, had great stamina on the hunt and could work for hours without resting.

The Welsh Springer has a tendency to wander too far from the hunt field, and therefore it is necessary to give it constant training - beginning at about six months of age. The jolly disposition of the Welsh Springer makes him a fine companion and family dog. Some of the Welsh Springer's talents include: gun dog, tracking, hunting, retrieving and watchdog.

Description

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a compact, medium-sized, working dog. The slightly rounded head is in proportion to the body with a slightly domed skull. The fairly square muzzle is about as long as the skull, but never longer. The nose is either black or any shade of brown with well open nostrils. The teeth meet in a scissors or level bite. The oval eyes are dark to medium brown in colour. The long ears are set at eye level, hanging close to the cheeks fringed with hair. The top line is level. The tail is docked if the animal is to be a working dog. The soft, flat, straight or wavy coat is medium in length with feathering on the back of the legs, chest belly, with lighter feathering on the ears and tail. Coat colours come in red and white in any pattern, sometimes with ticking.

Temperament

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is loyal and willing to please. Happy to be with their family they are good with children and love to be included in activities. They are smaller with a lower energy level than their English Springer Spaniel ancestor.

These dogs are independent and need an owner who displays pack leadership or they may not listen to known commands and can become overly protective. So as not to be reserved with strangers these dogs should be socialised well when young. They are sensitive to the tone of one's voice and will not listen if they sense that they are stronger minded than their owner but nor will they respond well to harsh discipline.

Owners need to be calm with a natural authority. The Welsh Springer Spaniel must be trained early to hunt, so they learn to use their skills in a positive manner, listening to commands and learning not to wander. The hunting instinct of this dog will always be with it therefore working with his natural ability, rather than against it, will be in you and your dogs best interest. The Welsh Springer Spaniel is Generally good with other dogs and household pets.

Height, Weight

Height: 43-48 cm Bitches 41-46 cm.
Weight: 18-20 kg Bitches 16-20 kg Health Problems

The Welsh Springer Spaniel can be prone to hip dysplasia, epilepsy and entropion.

Living Conditions

The Welsh Springier Spaniel can live in a flat or smaller dwelling as long as it is sufficiently exercised. It is fairly active indoors and will do best with the use of a garden. The Welsh Springer's coat keeps the dog comfortable in both hot and cold weather.

Exercise

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is an energetic and lively dog that needs plenty of regular exercise, including at least two good long walks where they can run freely off the lead. Without enough exercise, these dogs will become bored, fat and lazy and are more likely to develop a wide variety of behavioural problems.

Life Expectancy

Around 12-15 years

Grooming

The Coat of the Welsh Springer Spaniel is fairly easy to maintain and regular brushing with a stiff bristle brush will suffice. Pay extra attention however, when the dog is moulting. Bathe or dry shampoo only when necessary. Check the ears regularly for grass seeds and signs of infection. Trim the hair between the toes and keep the nails clipped. This breed has an average moult.

Group

Gun Dog

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