Welsh Springer Spaniel Dog Breed Guide | Gundog Journal
Welsh Springer Spaniel

Welsh Springer Spaniel

Main sporting role:
Retrieving, Hunting, Flushing
Over 10 years
More than 2 hours a day
Coat length:
Vulnerable status:

The Welsh Springer Spaniel was first recognised in 1902 after a string of victories at early field trials, which led to its initial popularity. This gundog breed descends from red and white ‘land’ spaniels that were used in the Middle Ages to hunt and spring game for falcons or the net. Today, the Welsh springer is an energetic, sensitive breed that’s a hard-worker out in the field, and an affectionate family dog at home.

Welsh Springer Spaniel: Key Characteristics

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is slightly smaller than the English Springer Spaniel, but it tends to be bigger and stronger than other cocker spaniels. The Welsh breed has a moderate-boned body, medium-length muzzle, kindly expression, feathered hanging ears, and a glossy flat coat in red and white. 

Welsh spaniels are a cheerful, enthusiastic, high energy breed that works closely with its handler and is eager to please, but at times headstrong. These dogs are sensitive and don’t respond well to harsh handling. In the home, they’re considered to be good with children and reliable with other dogs and pets, but they can be wary of strangers.

Although vulnerable, this spaniel has a loyal following as a working breed. It’s an ideal rough shooter’s dog and can be used in the beating or picking up teams at shoots.

Owning A Welsh Springer Spaniel: Pros And Cons

Pros Of Owning This Breed

  • Has a weatherproof coat that makes it a good working dog out in the field in all weathers
  • Highly affectionate - a good family dog that typically reacts well to children, other dogs, and even strangers
  • A generally healthy dog breed
  • Playful nature
  • Relatively low-maintenance to groom
  • Strong nose for hunting
  • Has a relatively long life span, of around 12-15 years on average

Cons Of Owning This Breed

  • Highly energetic nature, meaning it needs a lot of exercise each day
  • Can have a tendency to become distracted due to strong hunting nose - needs to be trained to come when called from a young age to prevent wandering later on
  • Can experience separation anxiety - these dogs may engage in destructive behaviour if left alone too long

Grooming Tips

If you’re wondering ‘do Welsh Springer Spaniels shed a lot?’, the answer is no - they’re one of the spaniel breeds that only sheds a little. However, their coats do need to be brushed regularly to keep on top of any shedding, 

Regular trims are also important to prevent their feathery coat from becoming tangled or matted, and you should trim the hair around their ears regularly to prevent any issues.

Interested in other spaniel breeds? Explore our gundog breed hub to find out more about different types of working dog.

Share this article

Subscriptions & Shop

Gundog Journal
Volume VI • Issue II

Buy now

Gundog Journal
Volume VI • Issue I

Buy now

Gundog Journal
Volume V • Issue VI

Buy now

Fieldsports Journal - A Celebration of Gunmaking
Collector's Issue I

Buy now

Gundog Journal
Volume V • Issue V

Buy now


Register for our newsletters to receive tips and advice direct to your inbox.