The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a medium-sized, compact dog that was bred to be a hunter. The breed is also referred to as the Welsh Springer, or Weshie. They are hard working dogs and used to working all day long, and do prefer to be active. They are very loyal, highly intelligent dogs with a very loving and gentle personality and love to be around their family. The Welshie is known for its long, beautiful red-to-auburn and white coat. These dogs have long been hunting dogs and can retrieve from both land and water. They also make good guard dogs, as they will bark to alert their owner of anything suspicious or an approaching stranger. Welsh Springer Spaniels are cousins to the English Springer, although there are the distinct differences of the coat color, shorter ears, and the Welshie is a bit smaller than its relative. If you have seen this breed of dog before, or are considering one for your family, keep reading to learn seven things you didn’t know about the Welsh Springer Spaniel.
1. One of the oldest of the Spaniels
There are multiple types of Spaniels and although there is no distinct time that is known when the Welsh Springer Spaniel came into existence, there are hints and bits of info that lead experts to believe this breed has existed as far back as the early 1500’s. There have been letters describing a Spaniel and its markings and its been said the description is that of the Welsh. The Welshie wasn’t always known as the Wels Spaniel, but was called a land Spaniel until 1902, when the AKC recognized the breed and the name changed over to what we know today.
2. Can be hyperactive
If a Welshie isn’t kept exercised and active, they get bored quickly. They are working dogs and prefer to be kept busy and active with their owners. They need an outlet to get their energy out which means if they can’t they are prone to get hyper in the home. Regular exercise multiple times a day helps to keep them physically fit, but also mentally active and challenged as well. They need a well-rounded form of exercise and playtime.
3. Good fit for all
Welshies are known for being a good dog for an entire family. Welshie’s get along with all kinds of people and pets, which makes them great dogs for those with kids, the elderly and other pets. They are friendly, loveable, gentle and love to play with children. If they are only cared for by one family member or get most of their attention by one member, they can get a bit clingy to that family member, so it is best if all family members participate in the care and attention for the dog get to keep him loyal and dedicated to everyone.
4. Intelligent but headstrong
Welshies are highly intelligent dogs and mostly easy to train, however, they are a bit willful and can try to be the boss when it comes time for training. If you happen to get a Welshie with a bit of a stubborn streak, corrective behavior training starting at a very young age, along with consistency and patience will help get you through the training period, and create a happy and obedient dog.
5. Separation anxiety
Because Welshies love to be with the family, they are prone to suffering with anxiety disorder. If you plan to leave your Welshie alone in the home a lot, you may want to crate your dog while gone due to separation disorder causing mischief. Dogs who have separation disorder often get into trouble out of frustration when they can’t be with, or miss their owner. There are also ways to help combat these issues and talking to your vet or a professional trainer, can help you deal with the issue and your dog to overcome it.
6. Their coats do attract dirt and debris
The Welshie’s fur is long and flowing, which might make you wonder how it can be effective in the woods or outdoors as hunting dogs. It is true that many breeds of dogs used for hunting, have distinct characteristics that help protect them in the brush and make them highly effective to get around thick woodsy areas. The Welsh Springer Spaniel’s fur is long and flowing and it does attract sticks and stickers, as well as dirt and other debris, however, because it is so silky, it will also shed all that it attracts, just as easily.
7. Health issues
All breeds of dogs are prone to some medical issues. The most common health conditions found in a Welsh Springer Spaniel, include, ear infections, due to the long, droopy ears they have, as well as hip dysplasia and Canine Glaucoma. They can also develop eye problems fro their bottom lid curling inward and causing the eyelashes to scratch the cornea. Welsh Springer Spaniels scored 14 out of 18 for worst hip problems.