The Welsh Springer Spaniel descends from the “Land Spaniel,” a similar-looking red and white dog that appears in art dating back to Renaissance-era Wales. She was bred to “spring” and retrieve game for her hunting master, and became very popular with nobility in the 1700s. Two World Wars nearly depleted the breed, but breeders in North America and the UK developed the unregistered dogs that remained into the Welsh Springer of today — an excellent hunter, water dog, retriever and family companion.
The Welsh Springer’s compact, medium-sized frame is covered by a soft red and white hair coat, with drooping ears, a strong nose and webbed feet. Her coat requires weekly brushing to maintain, and her hunting dog heritage means this active family member requires plenty of exercise to keep her happy and healthy.
A friendly, affectionate dog, the Welsh Springer generally gets along well with children and other pets. One of the defining characteristics of this gentle, even-tempered family dog is her preference to be with her people — so much so that she is often referred to as a “Velcro” dog! Protective and loyal, she should get obedience training from an early age to help counteract her natural stubborn streak.
Active nature aside, the Welsh Springer Spaniel is prone to hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect her health — not to mention your family’s budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Welsh Springers are prone to include eye conditions such as glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, entropion, lipid keratopathy and phacolytic uveitis; ear conditions such as ear infections; and joint conditions such as hip dysplasia.
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Welsh Springer Spaniel inherits her mom’s bad eyes or her dad’s bad hips, you’re covered.