Things to Consider Before Getting a Welsh Springer Spaniel
Welsh Springer Spaniels, also known as Welsh Cocker Spaniels are one of several purebred Spaniel breeds that are very close to the original Land Spaniels. Being so similar, they can easily just be called Cocker Spaniels or Spaniels and you won’t be far off. Of course, when talking to a breeder you should be specific – Welsh Springer Spaniels do have their own set of specific characteristics that make them unique.
The first question, however, is whether this breed is right for you? If you want a family pet, will a Welsh Springer Spaniel offer the affection, fun, energy, and smarts of a truly great pet?
Our short answer?
Yes! But, to be a bit more descriptive, let’s go over our list of 25 questions that should be considered before getting a Welsh Springer Spaniel.
1. Are Welsh Springer Spaniels good pets?
Welsh Springer Spaniels are phenomenal family pets in almost every conceivable metric. Fun, smart, and social, these former hunting dogs now make for a fantastic pet. Why they rank only 133rd out of 192 breeds in 2020’s AKC popularity ranking – that’s beyond us. But it’s not because the breed doesn’t deserve to be more popular.
2. How big does a Welsh Springer Spaniel get?
Adult Welsh Springer Spaniels will get as tall as 17 to 19 inches (43 – 48 cm) at the shoulder. Males usually weigh between 40 and 55 lbs (18 – 25 kg) and females – between 35 and 44 lbs (16 – 20 kg).
3. How long do Welsh Springer Spaniels live?
The average expected lifespan of Welsh Springer Spaniels is 12 to 15 years. This is a pretty great range for a mid-sized breed and is even great for most small dogs. There are a few breeds with longer expected lifespans but they tend to be much smaller than a Spaniel. Additionally – this is just an average. If you take good care of a genetically healthy Spaniel it can live even longer than that.
4. Are Welsh Springer Spaniels social and friendly?
Yes, categorically. This is a very social breed that loves company and can be exceptionally friendly even to strangers. Of course, as with any other dog, you do want to go through proper socialization.
5. Do Welsh Springer Spaniels have separation anxiety?
Unfortunately, yes – very much so. Separation anxiety is a trait that’s inherent to all highly social and highly intelligent dog breeds and the Welsh Springer Spaniel is no exception. So, if all members of your household are going to be absent for most of the day every day – such a social dog may not be for you. If you insist on such a breed, consider the following:
- Hire a dog walker or dog sitter
- Arrange playdates with other dog owners
- Get your Spaniel plenty of new and interactive toys regularly
- Exhaust your Spaniel with play before going out
- Get a second dog to keep your Spaniel company
- All of the above, if possible
If neither of those is an option, we’d advise against getting such a social breed.
6. Are Welsh Springer Spaniels good with children?
Absolutely. As long as you’ve introduced your dog and child well and you’ve socialized them properly , everything will be perfectly fine. Welsh Springer Spaniels are very affectionate and protective of all their family members.
7. Do Welsh Springer Spaniels get along well with other dogs?
They do. These dogs were never bred to be guard dogs or fight dogs so they have no aggression toward other canines. On the contrary, they were bred to live and work together with their fellow pooches so they love having them around.
8. Can a Welsh Springer Spaniel get along with a cat or other pets?
If you are a cat owner looking to get a dog, Welsh Springer Spaniels are one of the best breeds for you. Even though they were used as pointer hunting dogs, the affectionate and social personality of these dogs makes them good even with felines.
Of course, a proper introduction and good socialization will still be required – cats are afraid of all dogs, regardless of breed. However, this is a great choice for cat owners.
9. How healthy are Welsh Springer Spaniels?
We’d call these spaniels “moderately healthy”. They do have a few issues you should watch out for, namely Hip and Elbow Dysplasia , Autoimmune Thyroiditis , Glaucoma , Eye Entropion , Hereditary Cataracts, and Epilepsy. However, if you get your pup from a reputable breeder who offers health certificates, the chances of such problems become minimal. From there, adequate care and routine vet visits will make sure that your dog lives long past its average expected lifespan of 15 years.
10. Are Welsh Springer Spaniels calm?
This breed is highly physical and energetic but their temperament is indeed calm. They aren’t overly fearful and guarded, and they are very comfortable to be around.
11. Do Welsh Springer Spaniels like to cuddle?
These spaniels may be too big to be lap dogs but they are definitely cuddlers nonetheless. They’ll happily cuddle with you on the couch, on your feet as you work, or in your bed when you sleep.
12. Do Welsh Springer Spaniels smell bad?
Welsh Springer Spaniels have a typical “doggie odor” but they are not particularly smelly. That is, as long as you take good care of their coats and their coats do need proper care as we’ll discuss next.
13. Do Welsh Springer Spaniels shed a lot?
Welsh Springer Spaniels don’t shed “a lot” but they don’t shed “a little” either. They are pretty moderate shedders, all things considered. You’ll want to frequently brush, comb, and groom your dog’s hair to prevent both matting and shedding. Most of the shedding will be seasonal and will happen around springtime and in the fall.
14. Are Welsh Springer Spaniels hypoallergenic?
Technically speaking, no dog is hypoallergenic. The breeds we call that are just breeds that are as tolerable for people with allergies as possible. And, unfortunately, these spaniels don’t fully fall in this category. They are not the worst dog for people with allergies but they are not ideal either.
15. What color can a Welsh Springer Spaniel be?
The standard for this breed is a white and brown bi-color. It can also be called “white and red”, depending on who you ask.
16. What type of coat do Welsh Springer Spaniels have?
These spaniels have a medium-length straight coat that’s flat to the touch. It’s neither wiry nor wavy, however, these dogs do have an undercoat, hence the seasonal shedding.
17. Should you cut Springer Spaniels’ hair?
You’ll want to start clipping your spaniel’s coat once it reaches 6-7 months to keep it from getting too long, matted, and unmanageable. Since these dogs have undercoats, however, you don’t want to shave your spaniel – just go with a standard (or cool) haircut.
18. Do you need a professional groomer for a Welsh Springer Spaniel?
If you want to, that’s a good option. A professional groomer can do wonders for your spaniel, as you can see from this video. However, this isn’t strictly necessary – you can do all that grooming at home too if you want.
19. Do Welsh Springer Spaniels bark a lot?
These dogs have a “medium tendency to bark” which isn’t too bad. If you live in an apartment you might want to do some no-bark training early on, however, but that’s not too difficult.
20. How smart are Welsh Springer Spaniels?
The smartest dog breeds are usually the shepherd breeds but pointer hunting dogs like the spaniel are up there too. So, your Welsh Springer Spaniel is likely to be a very intelligent dog.
21. Are Welsh Springer Spaniels hyperactive?
These spaniels are athletic and need a fair bit of exercise but they are not “hyperactive”. They can be suited for apartment life if you give them enough outdoor time every day.
22. How much exercise does a Welsh Springer Spaniel need?
About two hours of physical activity is enough for this breed. This can include 2x 30-minute walks and an hour or so of yard or indoor active playtime.
23. How much do Welsh Springer Spaniels cost?
Pups from this breed can cost anywhere between $1,500 and $3,500, depending on where you get them from. We recommend going to reputable breeders, however – the higher initial price pays itself forward with the lower medical costs later on.
24. Should I get a male or female Springer Spaniel?
This is up to you, the differences in personality are not nearly significant enough to matter. Females are a bit smaller which may be significant as this is one of the larger spaniel breeds.
25. Do Springer Spaniels like to dig?
Springer Spaniels are not the most enthusiastic diggers but they may try it if they get bored. And, as a dog with separation anxiety, they can indeed get bored if you live them alone for too long.
All in all Welsh Springer Spaniels are fantastic family pets who can be great for large and small families alike. Great with adults, kids, other dogs, and even cats, the Welsh Springer Spaniel gets along with everyone! Moderately healthy but extremely affectionate, loving, and intelligent, a Welsh Springer Spaniel will bring incalculable positives to your home.
Of course, like any other dog, they do have a few specifics you’ll need to consider and keep an eye on, especially in the health and separation anxiety department. Those apply to most dog breeds, however, and are par for the course with getting a pet.