Posts Tagged ‘Welsh Springer Spaniel’

For The Welsh Springer Spaniel Fans

Kate | May 11th, 2008
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The Welsh Springer Spaniel has never caught the fancy of the American Sportsman. On the scale of general popularity, the American Kennel Club ranks the Welsh dog at #120 on the list of recognized breeds.

Sportsmen have a wide selection of bird dog companions, whether they prefer pointers, retrievers, or the spaniel breeds. The pointers outnumber the other specialty breeds in this country. Though the Welsh Springer Spaniel’s prowess as a field dog may be obscured by the specialized abilities of other sporting breeds, indications are that he was the first spaniel ever to be used in front of a sportsman’s gun.

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is somewhat larger than the more popular Cocker Spaniel, and a shade smaller than the English Springer Spaniel. Our new friend is a native of Wales, and is very much in evidence there today. It was his cousin, however, the English Springer Spaniel, that rose to prominence as a bird dog in the United States.

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a dedicated worker, with no terrain or brush condition considered too difficult. He wears a coat that enables him to withstand both extremes of temperature. So adaptable is he as a working dog that he is also used in his native country as a herd dog for sheep, and for driving cattle. Of the very ancient origin, the Welsh Springer Spaniel breed has been preserved in Wales purely for working purposes.

The one factor that has made the English Springer more popular than the Welsh Springer is the independent nature of the Welsh dog. He has a charming personality and is quite active.

It is said, however, that his independent nature dictates that his training be started when he is quite young; otherwise, he is not considered as easily trained as his English counterpart. If training is started at an early age, he learns his lessons well and retains what he learns.

For centuries though, Welsh sportsmen have been most satisfied with their native dog. Perhaps they know something we don’t and simply aren’t willing to share. It should be remembered that the Germans kept their Weimaraner under wraps for years before that breed’s prowess became known to the rest of the world.

The Welsh spaniel makes a terrific guard dog when properly trained, yet has an even disposition and temperament, compatible for close association with children. He is adaptable to countryside living, but is equally adaptable to city-type apartment dwelling.

He has a minimum of excess hair on his ears and legs. He can get himself caked up with mud and grime during a day of hunting in the field, and simply shake it off, exposing his gleaming white and red coat. He takes to water enthusiastically, whether retrieving fowl, or just taking a refreshing dip.

Welsh Springer Spaniel (Sporting Group)

Gemma | March 26th, 2008
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The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a laid-back, easygoing dog that is not quite as exuberant as the English Springer. They need plenty of daily exercise and has a large appetite for bird hunting so spending time in nature’s woodlands make the perfect setting for the breed.

Although independent by nature, Welsh Springer Spaniels are highly devoted to its family and make excellent house pets. They are very sensitive and may display a timid personality around strangers – but this shyness is what makes the breed an excellent watchdog.

A Brief History Of The Welsh Springer Spaniel

Mention of Welsh Springer Spaniels date back as far as the 1300s in early records of the Laws of Whales. However, there is still dispute whether or not these early dogs were directly connected with todays Welsh Springer.

There is some evidence to suggest that the Welsh Springer Spaniel may have developed from the English Springer or is a creation from the mix of English Springers and the Clumber Spaniel. Land spaniels have been used for a long time in Wales before the Welsh Springer became popular, but the land spaniels were more likely not a uniformed group of dogs.

During that time, both English Spaniels and Welsh Spaniels were shown alongside one another at dog shows because they were strikingly similar, with the only difference being color. The Welsh made a soaring boost in popularity and in 1906 was recognized by the AKC.

Upkeep Requirements For The Welsh Springer Spaniel

Welsh Springer Spaniels are solid, all-purpose hunter dogs with a keen sense of smell and can flush and retrieve game in both land and water. Because of this genetic trait they need to have plenty of outside space to run and play each day. They especially like quick bursts on a field.

While needing to be outside roaming and hunting most of the day, Welsh Springer Spaniels are happiest when sleeping inside at night with the rest of the family. As far as grooming requirements, their coat is long and lustrous, which means heavy brushing about twice per week.

Health Concerns

Welsh Springer Spaniels have an average life span of between thirteen and fifteen years. A very healthy dog breed, they only have one major health concern CHD. Minor health problems that may show up are epilepsy, otitis externa, and glaucoma. Rarely seen are cataracts. Veterinarians suggest that Welsh Springer Spaniels get tested for potential hip and eye problems.