About Welsh Springers

For a Detailed Description of Welsh Springer Structure Download  the Illustrated Standard​

WSS Illustrated Standard

Frequently Asked Questions About the Welsh Springer Spaniel (WSS)

How long have you been breeding Welsh Springer Spaniels?  
We have been breeding Welsh Springers since 1998.  I have always been interested in breeding/showing dogs.  My orginal breed was the Golden Retriever but  within a few years I decided to switch to a less popular breed. After some research I found the Welsh Springer was a breed that was not too popular, fairly healthy and could be used for both hunting (for Greg) and showing (for me). I found a kennel/breeder that both hunted and showed their dogs. The kennel was Ky-Bryn (Bill and Peggy Ruble). This was where I purchased my first Welsh Springer and our foundation bitch- CH Ky-Bryn’s Awaiten Wings WD “Kinsey”.

Do you dock tails?
We no longer dock tails.  Originally we thought docking was needed to prevent tail injuries if we were going to hunt with our dogs. Then we imported a WSS from Finland that came with a tail.  Over the years that we hunted with him we realized his tail was just fine and was never injured.  Since the docking process caused pain and distress to the puppies we decided to stop performing this procedure.  We also only remove rear dew-claws as research has shown the front dew-claws are used by dogs in many situations and especially as an aid to climb out of iced over lakes and ponds.

 What is the price of a WSS puppy?
Most breeders are selling puppies for about 1600.00-1800.00.  We sell our show puppies for the same price as a pet puppy.  Male puppies are the same price as a female puppy.

What health problems are there in the breed?
Although relatively healthy and long lived (12-15yrs.) there are some health issues to be aware of.
  • Hip Dyslplasia-Due to health testing and careful breeding the incidence of this has been greatly reduced.
  • Epilepsy-Can occur but is not as common as it was 10-20 years ago.
  • Hypothyroidism-Is becoming more common but with health screening and careful breeding can be reduced. Treatment of this disease is not difficult or expensive.
  • Inherited eye diseases- These can occur but are uncommon.

We believe requiring all puppies produced at Trystyn Welsh Springers be health tested at 2 years of age gives us a better idea of what we are producing both good and bad.  Just testing the breeding quality animals will give you information on only 1-2 animals/litter instead of the actual number of puppies that were produced. 

Do Welsh Springers shed a lot and what sort of coat care is required?
Welsh Springers are a breed that sheds so be prepared to use your vacuum.  Because they have less undercoat they do not shed as much as some of the breeds bred for duck hunting.
WSS’s  do require some grooming which consists of brushing weekly to keep mats from forming and baths monthly or more often if they are outdoors a lot. The WSS has somewhat of a self-cleaning coat and if they get muddy, dirt is easily brushed from their feathers once dried. Trimming the hair from the top of the ears, the front of the neck & neatening the feet is what we consider the minimal grooming requirements for a WSS. When used for hunting some owners remove all feathering.  Do not shave the hair from the back and body of a WSS as it will never grow back the same.
 
How much exercise does a WSS need?
As a hunting dog WSS’s need to have the energy to hunt all day in the field.  That aspect makes them a dog that requires exercise on a daily basis.  This means a walk or hike daily interspersed with some individual attention such as obedience training or retrieving a ball.  Because they are attracted to wild birds and animals obedience training is essential, especially the “Come” command. Puppies will have more energy for the first year but tend to settle down a bit once past that milestone. Due to the energy level and playfulness of a WSS puppy they may not be a great fit for families with children under the age of 5 or 6 years, especially if both parents work outside the home or are first time dog owners.

Are WSS’s good in the house with kids and other pets?
WSS’s make great house dogs and if raised with children and pets do quite well! WSS’s love to be with their people and will tend to follow you throughout the house.  The WSS like all dogs need intense socializing with people, noises, and unfamiliar situations especially from the age of 3 weeks to 4 months of age.  After the age of 4 months socializing should continue but at a less intense pace. We provide the first 9 weeks of socialization for your puppy but you will be the one that must continue with socializing after you get your puppy.