Rheged Springer Spaniels

RHEGED | Grooming Springer Spaniels

Meazle all clipped, hand stripped, scissored, bathed & blow-dried

 Printable grooming PDF ~ Springer Spaniel Trimming Guide
(apart from the ears, grooming is much the same for the Welshies - see photo below) 

It never fails to amaze me when I get asked by folk ~ "do you have to groom these dogs much"? Or ~ "do they require much grooming"? Let's face it ~ do they look like they would require grooming? It was one of the first considerations when we first decided to own & show Springer Spaniels. After years of owning fairly easy-care short-coated dogs, I won't lie, we thought seriously about the obvious issue involved in the care of a Spaniel's glorious coat. Now ~ add the fact that we live in the hot, humid Tropics, just 11 degrees south of the equator ~ getting the Springers to even grow a coat, plus me blundering around trying to maintain & groom them ~  it all seemed slightly daunting to say the least!

Of course, if all else failed I could just clip the coat all off couldn't I? I had been clipping animals most of my life ~ HOWEVER ~ part of the appeal of owning a Springer to us is their beautiful coat & those fabulous ears, so clipping the coat all off was out of the question! In my mind, these traits are not only part of their beauty but are Springer Spaniel trademarks. OK, I thought ~ even if I don't keep my new Springer in show trim, there was still the necessary basic health trimming to do & I felt fairly confident that I could master that.

Tally demonstrating the correct trimming & unique 'vine leaf' shaped ears of the Welsh Springer

Nevertheless  ~ determined ~ our first Springer Spaniel 'Rugby' came home & the long journey into Spaniel grooming began. I am pleased to say that I have learned to groom the dogs to show standard, & I am also thrilled to report that I have been publicly praised by experienced groomers & Judges alike ~ some even going so far as to tell me that my Springers are among the best presented that they have ever had the pleasure of judging. A few have even invited me to groom their own Champions! Wow! I never thought I would even get the hang of it ~ let alone receive such comments! 
I still regard myself as a 'learner' in the field of Spaniel grooming & every time I groom the dogs I am constantly learning, changing & adjusting as each dog is different. Again, I won't lie ~ it is an ongoing job. Every single day we attend to their coats (especially the English Springers), & no matter how ill, tired or over it Peter or I feel, we can be found out to the grooming area doing what needs to be done ~ pee feathers, getting burrs, seeds & heaven only knows what else out of the dogs drapes. Every weekend all the dogs are also painstakingly maintenance bathed, conditioned, oiled & groomed.
We have found that the English Springers coats are far more labour intensive than the Welshie coats. Not that the Welsh don't need daily & weekly care, but there is nowhere near as much blow-drying or leave-in conditioner involved in keeping them looking great. I do find the Welshie ears (as they have to be trimmed into a 'vine leaf' shape), a little more tedious to present, however, but as our welsh have naturally 'leaf' shaped ears, this is always achievable.
Anyway, if you decide that a Springer Spaniel is the dog for you, & even if you do not want to 'show' it, you will still have to learn how to keep the coat in good condition. Various areas of the dog MUST be kept groomed & trimmed for basic health & veterinary reasons. NO animal should be taken on without considering the basic animal husbandry involved as far as I am concerned. Now ~ you could get a good pet groomer to do this for you but, as it will need doing monthly for the entire life of the dog you could learn to have a go yourself. It is not that difficult to do just a basic pet trim, & believe me, the dog will love the attention you give it ~ Springers LOVE attention from their humans ~ & I am sure you both will enjoy the moments you spend together.
Springers, both types, shed hair ALL YEAR AROUND, so if you can not handle major amounts of dog hair all over your house, do not even consider either one of these breeds; come & visit my house to see for yourself, because ~ YES ~ it really does get everywhere! 

  • Spaniels DO require regular baths & brushing plus you will also need to purchase the specific tools required to keep your Spaniel not only looking good but more importantly feeling good & in tip-top health. 
  • The inside top of the ears MUST be kept trimmed short to allow the air to circulate, thus preventing ear infections, canker & other problems. The feet & the hair between the pads must also be kept trimmed out as dogs do not sweat through their skin as we do & they can only sweat via their tongues (by panting) & from between their footpads. Dogs overheat easily & sweating is essential of course as it aids cooling. 
  • It is also useful, & common sense, to keep the hair under the tail area neat & trimmed as this could get messy when the dog is toileting. Springers, the males, in particular, can have a tendency to get messy pee feathers so this area must also be attended to.
  • As soon as your puppy arrives home you MUST start training it to be trimmed, bathed & groomed, having its teeth attended too & it's nails being clipped. It is also a good idea to get your new puppy used to standing on a very secure smaller table with a non-slip surface as this will make life so much easier for grooming & will save your back from aching too much ~ take my word for it! This should go hand in hand with your basic dog care & training.
The guide below is a simple one & aimed at just the essential grooming ~ & NOT intended as a 'show' grooming guide. Show trimming, clipping, stripping & grooming can take a lifetime to master as it seems to take that long to get every hair 'just right'! You just have to have the courage to do it! Mind you, if you do make a mistake, it's not the end of the world, is it? The hair will simply grow back ~ believe me!
Of course, if you wish to know more about learning how to 'show' groom & trim you can find heaps of information on the internet, in books, or learn from the professional pet groomers, Spaniel breeders & exhibitors ~ or of course, you are welcome to drop us a line here & we would be more than happy to try & be of some help.
The dog used in the demonstration photos below is an English Springer, of course, ~ but the trimming required is just the same for the Welsh Springer. The main difference being the Welshie ears are traditionally trimmed with scissors, into a 'leaf' shape around their edge, but if you don't plan to show your Welsh Springer, there is absolutely no reason why you can't let the ear feather grow out & become long like the other Spaniel breeds. The Welsh ear feather is of a slightly different texture ~ more Setter like hair ~ but looks just as splendid when allowed to grow & drape down.
Happy grooming - Nikki.

Springer Spaniels love being groomed & the centre of attention!

Adult Springer Spaniels have beautiful, long, well-feathered ears & profuse silky hair on their chest, legs, and underbelly. All this needs to be regularly groomed & kept clean & free from knots ~ & knots can & do form quickly.
Once your Springer reaches about 6 months old its coat will start to become much thicker & you will have to start trimming the excess hair so your dog retains its natural shape & looks. For a simple pet trim, the areas you will need to work on are around the inside of the ears, the top of the head, the top of the outside of the ear, the chest & throat &, the feet & hocks. You can learn to do a basic pet trim yourself or you can take your dog to a grooming parlour. A word of advice here though ~ make sure the parlour knows how to trim a Springer properly.
If you do choose to learn to trim your own dog, the easiest way is to be shown in a practical demonstration. If you have bought your puppy from a reputable breeder they will probably be only too willing to give you a demonstration. If this is not the case, once again, ask your nearest Breed Club secretary or Kennel Club to put you in touch with someone who will. 
For trimming at home you will need some specialised grooming equipment in the form of;
  • a pair straight-edged scissors
  • a pair of thinning edged scissors
  • an ordinary toothed steel comb
  • a closer toothed comb known as a Spaniel Comb
  • a soft pure bristle brush
  • a harder bristle brush
  • a slicker brush (with 'L' shaped metal teeth)
  • 2 x rubber 'thumbs' (the kind cashiers use to count banknotes), or a rubber glove​
  • ​a grooming table or bench with a non-slip surface/mat on it. It is much easier to groom a dog at table height than at floor lever PLUS it is much better for your back! The dog soon associates the table with the grooming routine & quality time with you.

To ensure you Springer co-operates with you on the grooming table, remember to start your grooming routine early in its life. Use brushes, combs & scissors, even if just pretending, so the pup gets used to the equipment & any noises. This practice will pay off later on when using them for real. With patience on your part, your pup will undoubtedly grow to love the whole routine & the extra attention it involves.

Below you will find some photos demonstrating the various aspects of grooming
 Pictures are taken from 'The English Springer Spaniel ~ An Owners Guide'.
Author: Mrs. Yvonne Billows ~ courtesy of 'HarperCollins': Mr. Davis Dalton was the photographer.


Use the combs & brushes to remove all dust, dirt, tangles & dead hair from the coat. The close toothed Spaniel Comb & the slicker brush are particularly effective on the ear feathering.
Don't be rough with your dog when you are grooming it - remember there's real live skin under the hair! 


 Inside of the ear around the entrance to the ear canal, the hair should be trimmed quite short to allow air to circulate freely into the ear. You should use the thinning scissors to do this. They can also be used to trim the hair on the outside of the ear flap. The hair from the top of the ear to about a third (1/3) of the way down should be thinned out. 
After thinning use the spaniel comb to remove all loose hair from the ear.

The hair from the top of the ear to about a third (1/3) of the way down should be thinned out. 
After thinning, use the Spaniel Comb to remove all loose hair from the ear. 


The hair on the top of your dog's head is likely to go a lighter shade, fuzzy & stick up when it is dead hair & therefore it needs to be trimmed out. All you need to do here is pluck the dead hair out using your thumb & forefinger.
This is where the rubber thumbs or a rubber glove is useful as they give you a better grip on the hair.
You can use this action to remove any dead hair from the other parts of the dog's coat too.


The hair on the chest & throat will, at some stage, need thinning out &
you will once again do this with the thinning scissors & a comb.

As with any aspect of trimming, always work AGAINST the natural lie of the hair.

The feet should be trimmed using a pair of straight edge scissors; the aim is to make each foot look tight & rounded (like a cats paw). This also means trimming flat any hair growing up between the toes & any growing underneath the foot.
The hair on the hocks should be trimmed close using the thinning scissors.



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Contact Details

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