Prior to the 1900s, the Welsh and English springer spaniel were the exact same breed! It took many generations of careful breeding to distinguish between the Welsh, English and Cocker spaniels, as they all share many of the same iconic spaniel traits. “Springing” spaniels came about when hunters needed to breed dogs with an ability to help them detect and capture bird game. Thus this bouncy pup was born!
With many similar features, the Welsh springers are red and white and a little shorter than the English springers which comes in a variety of colors. They both share the beautiful wavy locks and confident gait.
This curly-haired springer knows no bounds when it comes to serious playtime. Here’s what you need to know about grooming both a Welsh and English springer spaniel.
Springer Spaniel Grooming Basics
Those silky tendrils don’t come without a little maintenance. Springer spaniels need at least a weekly brushing session to work out the tangles and mats that may have occurred over a week of having fun. A slicker brush or a dog comb should do the trick in working out the knots without harming the dog.
The coat of a springer spaniel is in two parts: the waterproof outer layer with a softer undercoat. Both varieties of spaniel have a “self-cleaning” coat, as debris will just fall off of their coarse outer layer. Twice a year springers will shed with gusto, getting rid of their winter coats in time for spring and summer.
Some experts suggest hand-stripping to help manage a springer’s unruly shedding. This essentially means plucking out dead fur extensively before it goes into full-on shedding mode. This process won’t harm a dog as the hair has already detached itself.
Springer owners will note that it’s not just the torso that needs special grooming attention. Their ears are thickly coated, so be extra gentle with them when brushing.
When it’s time for a bath, consider which types of shampoo and conditioner you use. Some may be more suitable for thick coats than others, while some don’t work well with waterproof coats.
After bath time, make sure your springer is dry before brushing them out to lessen potential tangling issues. Many dogs enjoy the nice warmth of a blow dryer, as long as it’s at a medium to low setting.
Ready for your springer spaniel pup to look their best? Here are the top hairstyles for springer spaniels.
Top Springer Spaniel Hairstyles
Natural as Nature
The natural curl of both Welsh and English springers knows no bounds! When you give them a bath, let them air dry to show off their bouncing curls. This doesn’t mean you can’t trim at all. Natural could mean giving a light trim to the feathering that happens around their legs and bottom of the torso along with their ears. Keep up with the weekly brushing, or curls will turn into a tangled mess.
Low maintenance and fit for the warmer months or climate, the puppy cut is renowned for looking good on a wide variety of dogs. If your dog doesn’t do the show ring (but loves some rough-and-tumble fun) a puppy cut is a perfect pick. Groomers will evenly trim 1-2 inches all over their body, often leaving a spaniel’s ears a little longer. With this cut, you don’t have to partake in the weekly brushing sessions.
Did you know that English springer spaniels have won the third most Best-in-Show medals in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show? Take one look at this breed while they’re in tip-top shape and it’s no wonder! The English show cut has the springer’s ear fur longer, while the Welsh breed keeps it a little shorter. They both showcase their long glorious hair on their torsos that show off their athletic build.
Don’t forget: grooming means going beyond the initial hairdo. Whether you have your dog professionally groomed or are fluffing it up at home, this is the perfect opportunity to clip a springer spaniel’s nails. Overgrown nails can damage a dog’s paws.
Lastly, the ears are just as important to a dog’s health as any other body part. The springer’s large ears are prone to infections or abnormalities and should be looked at regularly.
With these grooming tips, we hope your beautiful springer will feel a spring in their step, inside and out.
Need Dog Grooming?
Does your dog need a fresh trim? A groomer can now come to your house! Rover offers dog grooming in select markets. To learn more, please check out our page here.