Frequently Asked Questions About the Welsh Springer Spaniel

No. The Welsh Springer is a very ancient and pure breed, having been developed in the isolation of Wales for many centuries.
The Welsh Springer is only red and white in color, is smaller in size and weight than the English Springer, and is about the same height as the Brittany, but heavier in weight and bone. The Welsh Springer is normally more “laid back” than the English Springer and Brittany.

This subject is covered in detail in Breed Standard Comparaison

The Breed Standard describes Welsh Springers as a dog of “handy size”.  

The males will generally weigh 40-55 lbs., and females weigh 35-50 lbs. Males are generally 18-19 inches tall at the shoulder, females 17-18 inches.

For a more complete description of the breed, please see the Welsh Springer Illustrated Breed Standard

Welshies are generally a healthy breed and live long, happy lives. The typical lifespan is 13-14 years.  However, dogs over 14 years are not that unusual, 15 is not uncommon, and some live to 16 or beyond.

Yes. The Welsh Springer is often referred to as a “Velcro” dog and generally prefers to be with his people rather than with other dogs (except maybe other Welsh Springer’s as they can be very clannish). He also knows when to protect and guard without becoming aggressive or mean.

Are they good with children?  Yes, however dogs and young children/toddlers should not be left unsupervised. Young children and toddlers do not know how to behave around a pet of any type.

Are they good with cats?  They can co-exist with cats, but it may take some training.

Are they good with other pets like birds/rabbits/ferretsThey can co-exist but don’t forget that the Welsh was bred to hunt upland game, which includes birds and rabbits.  It would not be a good thing to have the bird/rabbit/ferret loose with the dog at the same time, especially unsupervised.

Most Welsh puppies will train themselves and will try to wait until they are taken outside. Normally if you have an accident in the home it is the owners fault, not the puppies.

With appropriate training and exercise.  Otherwise, they will make you and your neighbors very unhappy.

Some Welsh have been known to be very vocal, but with training and maturity, most Welsh are not nuisance barkers.

They need a couple of good hard walks each day or romps in the yard.  The walks are good for clearing your head before and after going to work.  The walks make an excellent source of exercise for both the human and dog.

At what age can I start letting my Welsh Springer jog with me? The Welsh Springer puppy grows at a phenomenal rate. Most will have full height, though not mature, by the time they are nine-ten months of age. While you can allow them to start jogging with you on a limited basis after they are full sized, to prevent possible joint and bone structural damage, it is best to wait until they are more mature (over one year).

Reminder: It is always best to get advice from your puppy’s breeder on training and exercise routines.

While not an absolute necessity, it certainly helps. If you are in a city apartment situation you should, at a minimum, have a park, walk area or play area close-by. Some Welsh Springer breeders require that you have a fenced yard prior to obtaining a puppy from them.

Reminder: It is always best to get advice from your puppy’s breeder on raising your pet so it becomes your best companion.

No. WSSCA and it members have worked very hard to ensure that there is no divergence in the standard between the performance event dog and family pet. A much loved “couch potato” is just as likely to have a Champion title and/or be an Obedience, Hunting, Agility or Tracking title holder.

Are they easy to train?  Welsh are fairly easy to train as long as you are fair, use treats and break the exercise down into the simple components for the dog to learn.

Yes. The Welsh Springer possesses an excellent nose and is a natural hunter. The Welsh Springer may not be as “flashy” a worker as some of the other breeds, but if there is a bird in the field he will bring it up for you.

To view the Welsh at work, please see our video The Working Welshman

Welsh Springer breeders generally require that their puppies going into pet homes be spayed or neutered. The female will normally come into season approximately every 6 to 8 months and this can sometimes prove very difficult if the owner is not prepared to deal with the situation.

When should the puppy be spayed or neutered?  There are different schools of thought on when to have your pet spayed or neutered; these should be discussed with your puppy’s breeder before purchase. Studies have shown that it is better in the long term to wait until the puppy is older before sterilization procedures take place. For more information read The Health Implications of Early Spay and Neuter by the AKC Canine Health Foundation.

I have heard that after your dog has been spayed or neutered that their coat often becomes “cottony”. Is this true?  It’s not always the case, but it is not unusual for the soft, silky coat to have a more cottony texture after the dog has been altered.  With good, consistent grooming this can be kept under control and should not pose a problem.

Reminder: It is always best to get advice from your puppy’s breeder whether to spay or neuter.

The young male Welsh Springer (under one year) is normally more easy-going than the female Welsh Springer with more of a “let’s wait and see attitude”. The young female Welsh Springer is normally more inquisitive and “busy” and is always checking and getting into things. As they age there is little to no difference between the male or female.