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Welsh Springer Spaniel

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a medium sized gundog, built for endurance and hard work in all weathers. Shorter in the leg than some spaniel types, the Welsh Springer is a little more compact and moderate, with shorter ears and less feathering to ears, legs, body and tail. The coat is silky, flat and glossy, with rich red markings against a white background. 

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for non-experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Enjoys vigorous walks
  • Enjoys walking more than two hours a day
  • Medium dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Not a guard dog
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • Great family dog

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Weight:  16 – 20kg 
Height:  46 – 48cm 
Colours:  Deep, rich red and white. White areas can be flecked with red ticking
Size:  Medium
UK Kennel Club Groups: Gundog 


Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 5/5
Easy to train: 5/5
Tolerates being alone: 1/5
Likes other pets: 4/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 3/5


With the appealing soft-eyed faithfulness of all spaniels, the Welsh Springer is a friendly and merry breed. A good-natured companion and hardworking partner, they are devoted to their owners but can be a little reserved with strangers.  

Easy to train with a positive reinforcement-based approach, the Welsh Springer thrives on plenty of exercise and engaging work in the form of traditional gundog work, or other scent-based sports and competitions. A definite workaholic! 

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Wales

The Welsh Springer may be the oldest surviving breed of Spaniel, with mentions of ‘Welsh Spaniels’ and references to red and white spaniels dating back as far as the 10th Century. It must be understood however that there were many localized types of land spaniel and working ‘bird dogs’ originating from similar dogs brought from western Europe and across the UK. The various spaniel breeds were not recognised and separated from one another until the mid to late 1800’s onwards and so there is very much a ‘shared ancestry’ within the spaniel breeds.

The Welsh Springer Spaniels versatile working ability and strong hunting instincts made them popular world-wide however and by the 19th century they were regularly exported abroad and became known around the world as both working dogs and show dogs.

Health and Common Issues

Exercise Needs

Space Requirements

Nutrition and Feeding

Grooming Spaniel (Welsh Springer)

Training Spaniel (Welsh Springer)

Best Family Dog Breeds

Did You Know?

  • The Welsh Springer Spaniel has been known by many names, including Welsh Spaniel, Red and White Spaniel, Welsh Cocker and the welsh word ‘Tarfgi’ which means ‘dispersing dog’ referring to their job of flushing game toward waiting guns. 
  • They have webbed feet which makes them excellent swimmers. 
  • Welsh Springer Spaniel’s are the oldest recognised Spaniel breed of dog. 
  • Dog’s which look like Welsh Springer’s appear in images around the Renaissance period in the 16th century. 
  • They’re often referred to as ‘Velcro’ dogs and will follow their people around the house. 

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