Welsh Springer Spaniel Breeders, Breed Clubs and Rescue
The Welsh Springer Spaniel undoubtedly bears a superficial resemblance to his English cousin, but the two breeds have developed quite independently over the centuries. Red and white dogs of spaniel type are seen in paintings dating back to the 16thC and the Welsh Springer has been used in Wales as a working gundog for many years.
There are records that date back to the 1800s belonging to the family of a Mr A T Williams of Neath, South Wales, which show the Welsh Springer Spaniel can be traced back as a distinct breed type with certainty to the 18thC. However, after the 1914 – 18 war there were no registered dogs, so the Welsh Springer was forced to re-establish itself from a handful of un-registered dogs.
He is smaller than the English Springer Spaniel at 48cm at the withers and with finer bone and a less profuse coat. His coat is the single colour combination of a rich red and white. Although not numerically a very strong breed – just 424 puppies were registered in 2000, he has a strong band of followers.
The Welsh Springer was originally bred for hunting rabbits and feathered game by getting them to run or fly – known as “springing”, originally for the falcon but now to the gun. Many dogs are still worked and the Clubs organise Field Trials and assessments to give show dogs a taste of hunting. Whether or not new owners choose to try their dogs in these Field, it should be remembered that they have a long history of working and if their energy and intelligence is not channelled he will discover his own outlets!
He makes a good family pet, but must be given the opportunity to have ample exercise; he also tends to get lonely so two would probably be better than one, especially if he is to be left alone for part of the day. The Welsh Springer Spaniel Breed Club sites are very helpful and should be your first stop for more information.
Rescue and Rehoming
Click for a list of local Welsh Springer Spaniel Rescue contacts.
In the unfortunate event you need to re-home your dog, or you are looking to give a home to an older dog, contact the Breed Clubs for their assistance. Owners should contact their dog’s breeder for support, initially.