Compact, symmetrical dogs, Welsh Springer Spaniels are medium-sized and built for endurance and hard work. They have a glossy, silky, flat coat with feathering on their extremities, and are a rich red and white colour. Adult males are 48cm in height and females 46cm. They weigh 16-20kg.
Red and white spaniels have existed in Wales since the 1700s. They were found mainly in Wales and the west of England before spreading to the east of England and Scotland where they were used as gundogs and for breeding. The versatile abilities and hunting instincts of the Welsh Springer Spaniel made them prime candidates for worldwide ownership and by the 19th and 20th centuries were exported abroad. Before acceptance into the British Kennel Club in 1902 the Springer Spaniel breed was known as Welsh Cockers.
Welshie's have all the soft-eyed faithfulness of the other spaniels and are totally devoted to their families. They are high-spirited, good-natured companions. They are people-orientated dogs but can be a bit reserved with strangers. They are family dogs and need company. Easily trained, a Welsh Springer Spaniel often makes a superb obedience dog and working gundog.
The Welsh Springer Spaniel can suffer from hereditary eye diseases and so screening is advised. Hip testing is also recommended as hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems) can also occur.
Welshies need plenty of exercise, over two hours daily for an adult. They love swimming and care must be taken to ensure their safety when water is about. They are ideal candidates for field trials.
Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.
This breed does not need a lot of grooming but the feathering will need regular combing, brushing and trimming – two or three times a week. The ears should be trimmed regularly to prevent infections.