Dating the development of the breed is uncertain, although depictions of dogs that align with the Welsh Springer Spaniel have been found on tapestries and paintings from as early as the Renaissance. Precious little is known about the nature of the breed's development, although it is thought to descend from Roman dogs, being a breed of true antiquity. The Welsh Springer Spaniel is strikingly similar to the English version, although it possesses a much lighter build. Whilst the breed of old was primarily utilised in 'springing' small game, the breed we know today is commonly observed in hunting, tracking, retrieving, and as a watch dog around the homestead. The Welsh Springer Spaniel made its way to the United States in the late 19th century and was officially recognised by their Kennel Club in 1906.
With a proportioned body, the Welsh Springer Spaniel is an athletic-looking breed possessing large, pendant ears, dark ovular eyes, a moderate-length muzzle and a deep chest for enhanced lung capacity and thus, enhanced stamina. The coat of the Welsh Springer Spaniel is typically wavy and feathered, common in colours of white and liver, usually with black, liver or tan markings. Despite being an illegal practice in most countries across Europe, tail 'docking' is commonly observed in the breed. The Springer Spaniel loves water and is enthusiastic in exercise and play, especially if mud and wet land is involved.
Often described as the ideal family dog, the Springer Spaniel possesses an amiable and relaxed temperament, displaying affection and loyalty towards its family, whilst acting fearlessly to safeguard it in the presence of potential threat. Engaging well with children, the Welsh Springer is well suited to the domestic setting, making a great addition to active family life. Generally, a healthy, fully mature Springer will weigh 16-20 kg depending on its gender, with a life expectancy of 12-15 years when shown the appropriate love and care.
Susceptible to various health complaints that are partly genetic, the Welsh Springer Spaniel has been known to suffer from optical disorders including glaucoma and cataracts, as well as orthopedic issues relating to hips and elbows.