Welsh Springer Spaniel Temperament
What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em
Welsh Springer Spaniel Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014
The Welsh Springer Spaniel is steadier, more sensible, and less exuberant than his cousin, the Welsh Springer.
A hardy, vigorous worker in the field, the Welsh Springer Spaniel loves the outdoors and needs as much running, hiking, or biking exercise as you can provide.
Indoors he attaches himself with great devotion to his people. He is reserved with strangers, sometimes reticent, so he needs to be accustomed to people and noises at an early age. With other animals, he is peaceful and dependable.
Because of his independence and tendency to be easily distracted, the Welsh Springer Spaniel requires early training so that good habits are instilled right from the start.
However, he is physically and emotionally sensitive and "soft," so training should be done with a calm voice and a light hand on the leash. Corrections should be mostly verbal -- these gentle dogs wilt under rough handling.
Submissive urination (sudden wetting when excited or anxious) can be a problem in youngsters.
If you want a dog who...
- Is medium-sized, approximately between a Cocker Spaniel and an English Springer Spaniel
- Has a pretty feathered coat
- Is bouncy and playful and thrives on lots of exercise and athletic activities
- Is physically and emotionally sensitive, a "soft" dog
- Is not as outgoing or demonstrative as his English Springer cousin, yet is still polite and peaceful with everyone, including other animals
- Responds well to training
A Welsh Springer Spaniel may be right for you.
If you don't want to deal with...
- Vigorous exercise requirements
- Exuberant jumping, especially when young or not exercised enough
- "Separation anxiety" (destructiveness and barking) when left alone too much
- Timidity or shyness in some lines, or when not socialized enough
- Frequent brushing, combing, and trimming of the silky coat
- Excitable or submissive urination (tendency to dribble urine when excited or nervous)
A Welsh Springer Spaniel may not be right for you.
- choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
- or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
- training your dog to respect you
- avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy
More traits and characteristics of the Welsh Springer Spaniel
If I was considering a Welsh Springer Spaniel, I would be most concerned about...
- Providing enough exercise and mental stimulation. Welsh Springer Spaniels MUST have regular opportunities to vent their energy and do interesting things. Otherwise they will become rambunctious and bored -- which they usually express by barking and destructive chewing. Bored Welsh Springers can make a shambles of your house and yard.
If you simply want a pet for your family, and don't have the time or inclination to take your dog running or hiking or biking or swimming, or to get involved in hunting, or tracking, or agility (obstacle course), or advanced obedience, or a similar canine activity, I do not recommend this breed. Trying to suppress their desire to run and work, without providing alternate outlets for their energy, can be difficult.
- Separation anxiety. More than most other breeds, Welsh Springer Spaniels need a great deal of companionship and do not like being left alone for more than a few hours. They tend to express their unhappiness through destructive chewing and barking. If you work all day, this is not the breed for you.
- Providing enough socialization. Standoffish by nature, Welsh Springer Spaniels need extensive exposure to people and to unusual sights and sounds. Otherwise their natural caution can become shyness, which is very difficult to live with.
Teaching your Welsh Springer how to be confident with the world is essential. Learn how to socialize your dog on my Welsh Springer Spaniel Training Page.
- Grooming. To keep their silky coat free of mats, Welsh Springer Spaniels require regular brushing, and also trimming every few months.
- Shedding. Welsh Springer Spaniels shed quite a bit. Their hairs come off on your hands when you pet them, stick to your upholstery and clothing, and hide under the furniture. You'll need to vacuum frequently.
- Health problems. Severe inherited epilepsy (seizures) is the major concern, along with hip and eye diseases.
To keep this breed healthy, I strongly recommend following all of the advice on my Welsh Springer Spaniel Health Page.
To learn more about training Welsh Springer Spaniels to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.
It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your Welsh Springer Spaniel the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.
Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.
My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy Welsh Springer Spaniel. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.
If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the Welsh Springer Spaniel might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service.
Once you have your Welsh Springer Spaniel home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.
My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy is the book you need.
Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.
Please consider adopting an ADULT Welsh Springer Spaniel...
When you're acquiring a Welsh Springer Spaniel PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.
But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult Welsh Springer Spaniels who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual -- and enjoy!
Save a life. Adopt a dog.
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No part of this website may be copied, displayed on another website,
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Welsh Springer Spaniel photo: Gayfeathers Wishful Thinking, licensed under Creative Commons CC0