Rheged Springer Spaniels

RHEGED | Lets Compare The Breeds


(An Overview ~ Prepared by: Gundog Judge ~ A. Bancker, April 1997)

 All content copyright © 2015






+ Attractive dog of handy size.
+ Substance without Coarseness.
+ Impression of Length.
+ Obviously built for hard work & endurance.
+ Hard muscled condition.
+ Compact.
+ Not leggy.
+ Coat ~ not excessive, but thick enough to protect from heavy cover & weather.
Comments: The Welsh Springer is simple, functional & un exaggerated & should give the impression of a working spaniel.

+ Medium sized sporting dog
with compact body. 
+ Well proportioned.
+ Carriage is proud & upstanding.
+ Coat moderately long.
+ Pendulous ears.
+ Suggest power, endurance & agility.
+ Endowed with style, symmetry, balance & enthusiasm.

+ Compact, closely knit dog of
medium size.

+ Leggy, appearance of a great
ground coverer.

+ Ruggedness without clumsiness.


+ Dogs - 18 to 19 ins.
+ Bitches - 17 to 18 ins.
+ Above or below the ideal to be proportionately penalized.
+ Comments: These sizes are approximate. A well balanced animal should be given consideration over an 'ideal height' without quality.

+ Dogs - 20 ins, weight approx 50 lbs.
+ Bitches - 19 ins, weight approx 40 lbs. (See note below).
+ An inch over or under the breed ideal should be faulted.


NBThe ANKC/KC & the FCI Standard state that the height of an ESS is 'approx 20 ins' - therefore NO difference between a dog or bitch height wise. However; a dog MUST look masculine & a bitch MUST look feminine. (N. Jones). 

+ 17.5 to 20 ins.
+ Above 20 or below 17.5

+ Weight - between 30 & 40 lbs.


+ Length of body from the withers to base of tail is very slightly greater than the distance from the wither to the ground.
Comments: Another image of desired proportion is to imagine a picture of a square within a rectangle.

+ Length of body from point of shoulder to point of buttocks is slightly greater than the height at wither

+ Height at the shoulders is the
same as the length of his body.

+ Body length measured from
point of forechest to rear of
the rump.

+ Long body heavily penalized.


+ Weight - in proportion to height.
CommentsAn adult male at 19 ins would weigh about 45 to 50 lbs. An adult bitch at 18 ins would weigh about 40 to 45 lbs. The Welsh should be moderately boned.

+ Appears well-knit & sturdy with good bone, never coarse or ponderous.

+ Not to light in bone.
+ Never heavy-boned
& cumbersome


+ In proportion to body.
+ Neither broad & coarse nor narrow and racy.
+ Skull is medium length, slightly domed.
+ Stop ~ clearly defined.
+ Well chiseled below the eyes.
+ Plane of skull is very slightly divergent to plane of muzzle.
+ No tendency to downface.
Comments: The divergent planes comes from the slightly domed skull with the straight muzzle.

+ In profile the head is approx. the same length as the neck.
+ Impressive without being heavy.
+ Skull is medium length, fairly broad, flat on top & slightly rounded on sides and back.
+ Stop is a subtle rise, emphasized by the grove & position & shape of eyebrows.
+ In profile the toplines of skull & muzzle lie in approx parallel planes.
Comments: The approx planes comes from the slightly domed, sloping skull with the straight muzzle.

+ Alert, eager, soft expression.
+ Skull is medium length.
+ Rounded, slightly wedged

+ Width not quite as wide as

+ Neither so broad as to be coarse,
 nor narrow & racy.

+ Well chiseled under eye.
+ Stop ~ well defined but gently

+ Never apple headed & never
have indented stop.


+ Oval shaped.
+ Medium sized.
+ Dark to medium brown.
+ Soft expression.
+ Yellow or mean looking eyes to be heavily penalized.
+ Eye rims tight, dark pigmentation.
+ Not prominent, sunken nor showing haw.
Comments: Hazel eyes should not be confused with yellow, green or gooseberry eyes.

+ Oval shaped.
+ Medium sized.
+ Set rather far apart & fairly deep in their sockets.
+ Dark hazel in liver dogs, deep brown in black dogs.
+ Eye rims pref fully pigmented.
+ Little or no haw showing.

+ Not prominent, full or
pop eye.

+ Well set in head.
+ Lower lids should not
form pockets.

+ Preference for darker

+ Lighter shades of amber
not to be penalized.

+ Light & mean looking eye
~ heavily penalized.


+ Set on approx at eye level.
+ Small ~ leather does not reach to nose. Hang close to cheek.
+ Shaped somewhat like a vine leaf.
Comments: Shape can be like a vine leaf, can also include a pear shape. Moderate leather ~ not thin or heavy as in some hounds. Not pendulous. Feathering does not grow much beyond the length of the leather.

+ Set on level with eye.
+ Long, fairly wide, hanging close to cheeks with no tendency to stand up or out.
+ leather thin & approx. long enough to reach nose.

+ Set high above level
of eyes.

+ Short, triangular ~
tip rounded very slightly.

+ Reaches about half the
length of muzzle.


+ Equal or slightly shorter than length of skull.
+ Straight.
+ Fairly square.
+ No excessive flew.
+ Nostrils well developed ~ black or any shade of brown. Pink to be severely penalized.
Comments: In profile the muzzle slightly tapers toward the nostrils. From the front the nostril/jaw area should be square ~ with wide full nostrils and jaws that allow for full dentition.

+ Approx the same length as the skull & half the width.
+ Upper lips come down full & rather square to cover the line on the lower jaw.
+ Nostrils well opened & broad ~ fully pigmented, liver or black.

+ About 2/3 length of skull.
+ Tapers gently in both
horizontal & vertical dimension approaching the nostrils.

+ Flews to be penalized. Lips
tight, dry. Upper lip overlaps
lower jaw just to cover
lower lip.

+ Nostrils well opened ~
colour fawn, tan, shades
of brown or deep pink. 

+ Black nose disqualifies 


+ Scissors.
+ Undershot jaw ~ severely penalized.

+ Ideal ~ close scissors.
+ Under or overshot or wry ~ severely penalized.
+ Even bite or slight misalignment ~ minor faults.

+ Scissors.
+ Over or undershot to
be heavily penalized.


+ Long, slightly arched..
+ Clean in throat.
+ Set into long, sloping shoulders.
Comments: The standard states long neck. The intent was to have useful, muscular necks that could be used for balance when swimming, retrieving & for scenting game & not to have very long, over muscled (stallion like) necks.

+ Moderately long, muscular, clean, slightly arched.
+ Blends gradually, smoothly into sloping shoulders.

+ Medium length.
+ Free from throatiness.
+ Strong without being
over muscled.

+ Well set into sloping


+ Level.
Comments: Level topline refers to the overall appearance, i.e. there is no slope downwards from the withers to the rump. With a correctly arched loin there can not be a true level (flat) topline.

+ Slopes gently from the withers to tail.

+ Slight slope from the
highest point of the shoulder
to root of tail.


+ Loin slightly arched.
+ Croup slightly rounded.
+ Chest ~ well developed, muscular.
+ Ribs ~ well sprung.
+ Brisket reaches to elbows.
+ Rectangular silhouette.

+ Loin ~ short & slightly arched.
+ Croup slopes gently.
+ Chest ~ deep with well developed forechest.
+ Ribs fairly long.
+ Body is short-coupled, strong & compact. 

+ Loins short, strong. Distance
from last rib to upper thigh
short, about 3 to 4 finger widths.

+ Back short straight.
+ Slight drop from hips to  
root of tail.

+ Chest ~ deep, reaching
level of elbows.

+ Neither wide nor rounded.
+ Ribs well sprung.


+ Extension of the topline.
+ Carriage is horizontal.
+ Formally docked.

Comments: The tail may be very slightly elevated when the Welsh is excited ~ this is not to be confused with a gay tail. Due to law changes more Welsh have undocked tails ~ long tails should still be carried on a line with the back & the dog should still use it when moving. The long tail should not flag nor be carried sabre like.

+ Carried horizontally or slightly elevated.
+ Formerly docked.

Comments: The tail may be very slightly elevated when the ESS is excited ~ this is not to be confused with a gay tail. Due to law changes more ESS have undocked tails ~ long tails should still be carried on a line with the back & the dog should still use it when moving. The long tail should not flag nor be carried sabre like.

+ Set on high.
+ Tailless to approx 4 ins.
Natural 'bob' or docked.

+ Comments: Due to law changes more Brittany have undocked tails ~ long tails should still be set on high & carried cor


+ Shoulder blade & upper arm approx equal.
+ Upper arm set well back.
+ Forearms medium length.
+ Front legs well boned but not coarse.
+ Pasterns short & slightly sloping.
+ Height to elbow is approx equal to distance from elbow to top of shoulder blades.

+ Shoulder blades flat & fairly close. Blade & upper arm is of apparent equal length.
+ Front legs set well under body.
+ Forelegs straight with the same degree of size continuing to the foot.
+ Bone is strong, slightly flattened.
+ Pasterns ~ short, strong, slightly sloping.

+ Shoulder blades ~ sloping &
muscular. Not to wide, about
2 thumbs width.

+ Blade & upper arm form nearly
90 degree angle.

+ Shoulders higher than rump.
+ Front legs. perpendicular, not
set too wide.

+ Leg bones clean, graceful, but
not too fine.

+ Pasterns slightly sloping.
+ Height at elbow approx equal
distance elbow to withers.


+ Strong, muscular.
+ Well boned but not coarse.
+ Thighs in profile are wide.
+ Second thigh is well developed.
+ Moderate bend of stifle.
+ Hocks short, with well angulated hock joint.

+ Hard, muscular.
+ Thighs broad.
+ Stifle joints strong.
+ Hock joints are somewhat rounded.
+ Rear pasterns short.

+ Broad, strong, muscular.
+ Powerful thighs.
+ Stifle ~ well bent. Not so bent
as to place hack joint far out
behind dog.

+ Hocks short, perpendicular &
firm (when shaken by judge).


+ Round.
+ Tight & well arched.
+ Thick pads.
+ Dewclaws generally removed.
+ Rear feet ~ as in front.

+ Round or slightly oval.
+ Compact, well arched.
+ Medium size.
+ Thick pads.
+ Dewclaws generally removed.
+ Rear feet ~ as in front except smaller & more compact.

+ Halfway between hare & cat

+ Strong.
+ Proportionately smaller
than the spaniels.

+ Close fitting, well arched

+ Thick pads.
+ Rear feet - as in front.


+ Straight, flat.
+ Soft to touch.
+ Not wiry or wavy.
+ Dense.
+ Moderate feathering on chest, forelegs, underside of body, & hind legs above hocks.
+ Excessive coat & barbering is discouraged.
Comments: Body coat hairs should also be relatively short.

+ Medium length, flat or wavy.
+ Undercoat is short, soft & dense.
+ Moderate length & heaviness on ears, chest, legs & belly.
+ Excessive feathering & barbering to to be penalized.

+ Flat or wavy.
+ Texture neither wiry nor

+ Dense.
+ Some feathering on front,
hind legs.

+ Too little preferable to too

+ Long or profuse feathering
to be severely penalized as to be eliminated from competition.

+ Skin - fine & fairly loose.


+ Rich red & white.
+ Any pattern.
+ Any white area may be flecked with red ticking.
Comments: Shades of red can vary from mahogany to a lighter amber colour. The shade of colour is not as important as the depth & richness of the colour.

+ Black or liver with white markings.
+ Blue or liver roan.
+ Tricolor.
+ Any white portion of the coat may be flecked with ticking.
+ Lemon, red or orange are off colours.

+ Orange or liver & white.
+ Clean or roan pattern.
+ Some ticking desirable.
+ Washed out colour not

+ Black disqualifies (see note below).

* (NB: ANKC Breed Standard allows for 'White with Black' colouring).


+ Smooth, powerful ground covering action.
+ Displays drive from rear.
+ Strong forward stride with a reach that does not waste energy.

+ Long, ground covering stride.
+ Rear driving power.
+ Front legs swing forward in a free and easy manner.

+ Smooth, efficient & ground

+ At trot, hind foot should step
into or beyond print left by
front foot.


+ Active dog with affectionate disposition.
+ Not timid or shy.
Comments: The Welsh is a merry, active spaniel. He has an amiable disposition & is not argumentative towards people or other dogs.

+ Friendly, eager to please.
+ Tractability.
+ Aggression to people or other dogs not acceptable.
+ Excessive timidity to be penalized.

+ Happy, alert.
+ Neither mean nor shy.


+ None

+ None

+ Under 17.5 or over 20 ins in

+ Black nose.
+ Black in coat.
NB: The ANKC now allows  a'white with black' coat colour & nose colour MUST be in harmony with coat colour.
(N. Jones).

Contact Details

Nicola & Peter Jones
Berry Springs, NT, Australia
Email : [email protected]