notes on the welsh springer spaniel

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a compact, medium-sized dog with a silky dark red & white coat. The hair is straight or slightly wavy, flat, and medium-length with feathering on the chest, undersides, legs, and tail. The head is slightly rounded and the muzzle is fairly square. The longish pendant ears are fringed with hair, somewhat like a setter's. The eyes are either hazel or dark-colored. The Welsh Springer is a bit smaller and lighter than the English Springer, and a bit taller and larger than the English Cocker Spaniel.

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is happy and willing. He is less outgoing than the English Springer. Somewhat independent, but also sensitive and reserved with strangers. Socialize this dog well to avoid timidity. Some may be protective. The Welsh Springer needs to be included in family activities. He must be trained early to hunt so he learns not to wander. This breed is generally good with other pets, especially if it is raised with them from puppyhood, and is excellent with children.

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is an outstanding and hardy gun dog developed in Wales, probably before 1300 AD. The early history of the Welsh Springer is similar to that of the English Cocker, English Springer Spaniel, and other spaniels of British origins. All the early spaniels were called Cockers or Cocking Spaniels. There was no kennel club to regulate breeding, so the different types were often interbred. Later, spaniels divided into Water Spaniels and Land Spaniels. Many early writings mention a "Welsh Cocker," which might have been the forerunner of today's  Welsh Springer Spaniel. Through the years, more divisions were made. Springers were separated from Cockers. The Welsh and English Springers became separate breeds sometime before 1900. The American Cocker Spaniel developed even later. The Welsh Springer has great stamina and can work for hours on end without getting tired in all kinds of weather and on difficult terrain. The name comes from the fact that the breed is talented at finding and "springing" hidden game. His tail starts wagging faster when he discovers game. The Welsh Springer has a tendency to wander too far from the hunt field, and it therefore is necessary to give it constant training - beginning at about six months of age. The jolly disposition of the Welsh Springer makes him a fine companion and family dog. Some of the Welsh Springer's talents include: tracking, hunting, retrieving and watchdogging.

The breed is several centuries old. A Weimaraner appeared in a Van Dyck painting of the early 1600's. There are various theories as to its origin. Some feel it is the result of albinism that overtook some ancient German pointing dogs. Others feel it is descended from the German hound, the Braken. And still others feel it is the fruit of crossings overseen by Grand Duke Karl August of Weimar between a regular pointer and a certain yellow pointer. The Weimaraner is a pointer and an all-around personal hunting dog. He was originally used to hunt, track and bring down big game. As big game became scarce, he was adapted to smaller game and upland birds. He also has a reputation as a fine water retriever, though he may need to be taught to swim. Weimaraners have been used as rescue dogs, service dogs for the disabled, and as police dogs in England and Germany.

modern dog paintings


dog portrait painitng of a welsh springer spaniel

"Dylan" - portrait of a Welsh Springer Spaniel
12 x16in - oil painting on gallery style canvas


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