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Welsh Springers....(18 Posts)
I'm still on the hunt for my perfect dog (I had posted a dog breed advice thread a while ago and got a fantastic response and tons of suggestions )...
However on my search I've inadvertently stumbled across a local litter of Welsh Springer Spaniels (all from a very established and respected breeder). On paper this breed seems to fit the bill almost perfectly (apart from the shedding potential - but i think i can overlook that!) but when I google the breed i get a very mixed idea of them - some people call them "untrainable", "crazy", "nervous/timid", and I've even read that they can "leak pee when excited". This seems miles away from the active, intelligent, calm (for a springer), caring, working dog in the breed profiles.
Before i decide to go and see the puppies and meet the breeder i just wanted to gauge a few experiences of the breed to see what the real story is! (I obvs could ask the breeder but want to have a slightly clearer idea before I take this any further)
Anyone have one or know one....?
Bumping this one because I am interested in the responses
They are an 'at risk' breed, I think?
I have a (very old) Welsh Springer. My parents bought him when I was growing up and he moved in with me when I bought my house.
They are wonderful dogs. They must have excellent training from the get go as they are stubborn, but incredibly intelligent so get bored very easily. Work on their recall early as they do need a good off lead run everyday to work their nose as well as exercise.
They are quite big dogs, larger than springers so lead work is a necessity as Alfie has pulled me off my feet a couple of times in pursuit of a rabbit/pheasant when he went through his teenage years.
He does pee when excited! Especially when meeting new people. Hard floors are a must. Balls off didn’t make a jot of difference to that.
Their coat needs to be brushed every couple of days, and you’ll need a groomer to trim them every 6 weeks or so in the summer. Less so in the winter. They moult a lot, but regular brushing keeps on top of it.
Always use a harness with them, they are prone to a condition called laryngeal paralysis. Alf had to have his larynx pinned back when he was 10. It means he is now susceptible to food aspiration so I have to be very careful with food and treats. It hasn’t affected his quality of life, I just need to make sure he doesn’t get too hot or cold, or bark too much. Which can be difficult! But it’s not impossible at all.
Make sure you meet both parents to get an idea of the pup’s personality. It’s not a sure fire way of knowing what they’ll turn out like but it helps.
Lots of calm socialisation with other dogs, cats, children, cars, busy spaces etc etc when they’re puppies. Even before jabs, just don’t put them down and don’t socialise with unvaccinated dogs.
They are beautiful dogs but definitely not for first time owners. You need to be well versed in working dogs mentality I personally think, because they can be bloody difficult to train, and can get out of control very easily. But if you’re confidant and have experience they make fabulous pets.
Any other questions let me know!
I've only known 1... not a nice dog. Was PTS at age 4 as was very aggressive, would go for people with no warning.
Vets said it was a version of the same rage syndrome which can effect red cocker spaniel.
Thanks ladies! Not sure I'm much further forward - although I'd imagine such an extreme nature in a dog must be really rare....
@mustardscreams thanks so much for the info and posting a photo of your lovely boy! X
I have an English and a Welsh Springer. The Welsh is about 3kg smaller than the English.
The Welsh likes attention, she likes being with you and knowing what you're doing, all the time.
She chats, constantly. If she thinks she hasn't had enough fuss at any point she let's you know. If she thinks you're not quick enough putting her lead on, she lets you know and so on, with everything.
I didn't find ours difficult to train, she just wants to do everything in her own time. Although she did go to training classes right from when she was allowed out after her jabs.
Grew up with an English Springer she was nutty peed on my uncle but very very well trained the only downside was she was terrified of children due to her upbringing (we rescued her) and she hated jehovah's witnesses no idea why she was normally a friendly (but bouncy) dog 🤷♀️ springers are not for the faint hearted and definitely not of you have young children as they need attention and also bear in mind they tend to stay puppy like for longer
They are beautiful dogs but definitely not for first time owners
Totally agree. I have owned many different breeds and springers are probably my favourite but they are not a good choice if this is your first dog as an adult (childhood dogs don't count - it's different when you have an adult life to fit around them).
Springers are incredibly cute puppies and lots of people fall in love, then find themselves with a dog that just isn't suitable for their lifestyle. They need lots of exercise, for a start. Ask yourself if you will really commit to walking for 2 hours per day, even in the worst weather, for the next decade. A bored, under-exercised Springer will be unhappy and will make you unhappy.
Listen to @XXcstatic because this is exactly what owning a spaniel is like.
@XXcstatic good point well made. I know what you mean? This would be my first dog as an adult and although I feel well equipped I don't want to be overwhelmed. I am very much up for a challenge and think i would be on the ball with training but perhaps a Springer either Welsh or English isn't the best choice.
A friend of mine has a 2 yo welshie. She is a lovely natured dog. She has done a LOT of training with her and the result is an amazingly obedient loving and devoted companion. She competes in heal-work to music and man trailing.
Problem wise: despite very good early socialisation and ongoing training she is a very nervous dog and she has separation anxiety. She has been very hard work, despite daily training she can still be hilariously scatty. She needed an operation on her eye. I’m not sure if this is a breed thing - ingrowing eyelid I think.
Personally, I despise Springer spaniels, don't much like the (show type) cocker spaniels much either.
Springers are the one breed of dog I absolutely never approach.
The overwhelming majority I've met have had really unpleasant temperaments.
@Fucksandflowers you must know terrible owners then! I shoot, so I’ve met hundreds of spaniels and they are fab dogs. A dog is only as good as its owner.
Op, if this is your first dog there is now way I’d recommend one for you. They’re very intense and you do need to know what you’re doing. If you’re set on spaniels a working cocker is something you might consider?
you must know terrible owners then! I shoot, so I’ve met hundreds of spaniels and they are fab dogs
Ah, but if you shoot you must be referring to working bred dogs.
I much prefer working bred (in all breeds) to show bred as they tend to (imo) have much more stable temperaments and owners who train properly.
Working cockers I love, never met a horrible one.
Show bred cockers bar one who is delightful are largely not very nice in my experience.
The springers I've met, I don't know if show or working type but often 'chunky' so probably show lines - horrific.
Massively territorial, dog aggressive, human aggressive...
I don't even get close now, I see one I walk far enough away I don't need to interact with it.
Thanks all - mind is made up. Not going further with the Welsh Springer. With so much conflicting information I was a bit unsure anyway. But finding a local litter of a relatively rare breed I thought it was worth considering as the opportunity might not arise again for a while!
Mine was nervous and turned nervous aggressive. He was sent to a behaviourist and worked with for ages before he was sent to someone who knew how to handle a dog like that.
They are hard work. Take a lot of training. I would never have one again. But oh the wars are amazing
but they are not a good choice if this is your first dog as an adult (childhood dogs don't count - it's different when you have an adult life to fit around them).
OT a bit but this is so true. I've been with dogs since I was born apparently (I only remember the dog we had when I started school) and come from a very animal focused family but I didn't have a clue when we got our first dog.