The Welsh Springer Spaniel's Origins and History Source: Wikipedia. Country/Region of Origin: Wales Original purpose: hunting and gun dog Name: "Springer" is derived from springing prey to run or fly into the open for hunters; also known as Welsh Spaniel and Welsh Cocker. Historical notes: The Welsh Springer Spaniel dog breed can be traced to 18th century Wales where it was known as a separate and distinct breed. Experts believe that Welsh Springer Spaniels and Brittany Spaniels share the same ancestry. The breed gained recognition by the American Kennel Club in 1906.