WELSH SPRINGER SPANIELS
BREED & PUPPY BUYER INFORMATION
Thank you for your interest in REDSAGE Welsh Springer Spaniels.
Having owned and shown other AKC purebreds since 1981,
we have "come home" to Welsh Springers.
Their lively joy, humor and devotion have us hooked!
However, Welsh Springers are NOT for everyone.
Welsh Springer Spaniel Personality
Welsh Springer Spaniels are naturally happy, funny dogs. They love to play throughout their years and are quite active through much of their lifespan. When given plenty of activity, skills to practice, scents to find, etc., they will then snuggle up next to you while you read a book or catch up on email. They can be busy and need outlets for their curiosity and energy, but they are really not a "hyper" breed that never settles down. They are sensitive and need a lot of socializing and exposure to new people and places during their first year to become comfortable and adaptable outside their home environment. It is not a dog that should be owned by people with excessively hectic schedules. SOCIALIZING MUST BE CONTINUAL FOR UP TO A YEAR!
Socializing means they need frequent and repeated outings into the world to meet people, dogs and other environmental variables. This can be accomplished through a variety of activities from walking the neighborhood to taking a puppy class, from touring Home Depot, to walking a busy city sidewalk and learning about crowds and traffic noises. Then, doing it again and again.
Welsh are extremely people-oriented. They thrive as members of a family and do not fare well as yard or kennel dogs. We only place our puppies in homes where they will live in the house as a member of the family. They are generally non-aggressive with other dogs and pets, gentle in nature with people and children, yet can be wary of strangers and new situations.
A Welsh Springer Spaniel's temperament is influenced by the atmosphere of its home. Raise it with tenderness, patience, consistent instruction and humor, and you'll have a lovely pet. They are intelligent and require an owner who is willing to learn appropriate training techniques prior to acquiring a puppy, which may be a different approach than they have used with puppies acquired in the past. Owners are best served by taking refresher courses, or seeking new skills for themselves and their dog through mid life to keep the Welshie interested and busy.
Experiencing Welsh Springer Spaniel Puppies
For some people the activity level of the young and adolescent Welsh can be challenging. Keeping up with them during this time can be a chore as well as a joy. As with all puppies and young dogs, Welsh Springers require plenty of free running exercise in order to release their energy and provide for healthy development of mind and body. Walking on a leash is good exercise BUT ...all puppies need to safely run free to develop proper bone density and muscle mass, plus release some of that energy! They cannot get this type of exercise on a leash or indoors.
Another aspect of Welsh is they tend to be "one family" dogs. They are very loyal to and protective of their family and property. It is perfectly acceptable for a Welsh Springer to be reserved or aloof with strangers. While many will greet visitors with a tail wag and a lick to the face, others will "bark up front while wagging in the back" when new people come to your home. Because Welsh tend to be protective, they good watchdogs. Because their instinct is to 'sound' for game, vermin or intruders, welshies bark to let you know there is someone at the door, that there is a squirrel in the tree or a cat strolling across the lawn.
It is very important that Welsh be well socialized and learn
appropriate behavior for your home situation at an early age.
We generally breed one litter per year, or less. Our puppies are raised in our home with us. We take great efforts to insure they are well socialized. The decision of what puppy goes to which home is not one we leave to chance. The information you provide us helps us match the appropriate temperment puppy to you and your situation. If certain markings are of prime interest or you require a docked tail, we advise that you seek another breed. Our main goal is breeding happy, healthy Welsh Springer Spaniels that make excellent family companions as well as show dogs, hunting dogs, agility or other performance dogs as requested.
We conduct research to breed to the healthiest specimens which also typify the best looks and skills expected in a Welsh Springer. We study the health testing information on both the parents and many generations of ancestors and their siblings. While genetics cannot be guaranteed, we feel our efforts help push the odds in favor of happy, healthy companions.
With do not place puppies until 9 - 10 weeks of age. There are several sound reasons, though the current "vogue" among many ethical breeders is to place pups at 8 weeks following structural evaluations. "Puppy Mill" puppies, and those bred by less knowledgeable, profit motivated people are often placed at 6 weeks or as early as 4 weeks! This is MUCH TOO YOUNG to leave their mother and littermates! .
Many canine behaviorists have concluded that remaining with the litter and the dam until 9 to 12 weeks is beneficial for the social development of a puppy. Since Welsh Springers can have a reserved nature, providing this extra time to foster confidence seems wise. Secondly, it is a much better age for housetraining than 7-8 weeks. At 10 weeks a puppy is more successful at making it through the night, and start learning the right and wrong of where to eliminate.
To evaluate our breeding program for the benefit of current and future puppies and owner's, it is important that the new owner maintains regular contact with us (we LOVE to get pictures from proud owners). We ask that at the very least an annual report advise us of the dog's health status and any serious health events.
We insist that the puppy be raised as part of the family and in the home. In order to insure that both puppy and new owner get off to a good start, we require attendance at Kindergarten Puppy Training, or basic obedience class within the first 3 months of ownership. Any classes must utilize positive motivational methods of training. It is strongly advised that a second training course be completed before a puppy is 18 months.
We are firm believers in crate training as a means of housetraining and protecting both the puppy and property from harm when the puppy cannot be watched closely.
Stern correction or scolding will only make a Welsh Springer
wilt and sulk. They respond best to positive input such as
praise, treats and encouragement. If you are an impatient
person, a Welsh Springer is NOT for you!
Being a rather soft or sensitive breed, they do not handle harsh treatment well at all. A Welsh is never to be hit or smacked with your hand or other object. Welsh should be obedience trained while still young using the three P's: Praise, Patience and Persistence. We use food training to teach basic commands before entering into more structured training.
Welsh are naturally submissive to humans.
They do not need to be dominated. Just befriended!
The books listed below provide a variety of sound, motivational training methods which allow you to choose the method with which you are most comfortable. The highest recommendation would be “How To Raise a Puppy You Can Live With”. Even those who have had many dogs during their lives can learn new tips and insights into puppy and adolescent learning abilities. Several of these and similar books are also available on Kindle.
An insightful but easy book for new dog owners is:
- "How to Raise a Puppy That You Can Live With"
by Clarice Rutherford and David Neil
Other good books include:
- "Mother Knows Best"
by Carol Lea Benjamin
- "Purely Positive Obedience"
by Sheila Booth
Also, if you have children or plan to have children,
then we highly recommend the book:
- "Child-Proofing Your Dog" ISBN 0-446-67016-2
by Brian Kilcommons.
Note regarding Caesar Millan who has several books and DVD's regarding puppy and dog training. This currently popular trainers' works are generally more appropriate for dogs with 'firmer' personalities such as Labs, Shorthairs, "bull" dog breeds, husky type & terrier breeds, etc.. Very little of his training will apply to Welsh Springers.
Structure and Health
Welsh springers have a normally flat or somewhat wavy, shiny, self-cleaning coat that does not tend to mat. Spayed & neutered welsh will often have more waves, but still a fairly easy care coat. Unlike many other spaniel breeds, they are not as prone to ear infections, though weekly cleaning is advised! Most Welsh Springers live 12-14 years with minimal health issues. There are some inherited health problems in the breed.
Several breeders have greatly reduced the incidence of hip and elbow dysplasia in their breeding programs by breeding not only OFA certified dogs together, but specifically dogs with a large percentage of littermates with OFA certified (healthy) hips and elbows. Their successes have been significant! Of course, breeders can't reduce problems we don't know about!!!
Some prospective owners suggest that the health testing is simply for our benefit. Not correct! By learning if your young dog has a bad joint, vision or other problem, you can choose to help reduce the negative impact of such issues to improve the long term quality of life for your companion. For example: A bad joint would perhaps respond to therapy, reduced impact activities and supplements. Movement would be key to keeping the joint flexible and avoiding certain things such as jumping or running on pavement would help slow the affects of degeneration, so YOU really do want to know!!!
Another problem that many Welsh Springer Spaniel breeders are working to reduce is hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a disease of the thyroid gland which, IF UNTREATED can cause numerous problems including seizures, lethargy, chronic ear infections, and even paralysis. It should further be noted that hypothyroidism is easily treated in dogs, just as it is in humans. An inexpensive medication given twice daily will keep the dog healthy and otherwise normal. ALL Welsh Springers should be tested for hypothyroidism each year through 6 or 7 years of age. After the first OFA complete thyroid panel, a simple test which checks for the thyroid factor that can require treatment.
Any dog that is bred SHOULD have hip, elbow, thyroid, and eye tests performed and results received prior to the breeding. A good breeder will be happy to openly discuss all test results with you and other breeders, and will gladly offer this health information to anyone interested in a puppy.
No dog is perfect and genetics cannot be guaranteed, but by sharing information and carefully selecting our breeding dogs, the occurrence of many health problems will continue to be reduced!
To verify OFA ratings (including hip, thyroid, eye and elbow) on Redsage Welsh Springers, or the dogs they have been bred to, simply do the following:
Input the dogs' AKC Registration number in the SEARCH box on the OFA home page.
Click ADVANCED SEARCH on the left side of the menu Type in PART OF THE REGISTERED NAME, ie: Redsage or Tasharele, etc., Click SEARCH at the bottom of the page
There is heritable epilepsy in this breed, but the incidence is rare. Welsh do have a few eye anomalies, and there is some incidence of entropion and/or distichia. Some puppies will have juvenile or developmental entropion, (eye lids roll in a bit,) which they outgrow as their head matures. Some Welsh suffer from flea bite allergies or other inhalant, contact, or food allergies. If you live in a hot or humid region where mold, mildew, pollen, and fleas are abundant, this may need to be managed diligently. Of course, providing a flea free environment should be basic to every Welsh Springer's, in fact any dog's needs.
Because of our ongoing desire to reduce the incidence of
health problems in Welsh Springers......
We require by contract that ALL Redsage puppies receive OFA hip evaluations between 24-26 months of age. OFA (eye) exams and Thyroid panels are to be performed between 12 and 26 months. We further strongly advise a standard veterinary "in office" thryoid test be performed at the annual exam of your Welsh Springer from age 2 to 7 years to confirm they are maintaining a normal "T-4" level.
The price of OFA x-rays and other tests can vary greatly due to the Veterinary rates in various areas. The total group of tests and reporting fees generally run $400 to $600, but they do not have to be done all at once.
This information is extremely valuable not just for you to maintain the best quality of life for your pet, but also to our breeding program along with every Welsh Springer Spaniel breeder worldwide. Through the sharing of information, many of us are working to reduce the rate of these few health matters. At REDSAGE, we feel the only ethical approach is to follow the lead of other breeders who share health history with all Welshie owners and breeders.
Across North America, Welsh Springer Spaniel breeders charge anywhere from $1200 to $3500 for a puppy. The cost can depend on the area of the country that the breeder is located, the amount spent on stud fees and other breeding expenses such as veterinary costs (artificial insemination, C-Section, various medical care costs for pups before going to their new homes, etc.. Some breeders charge more for show quality puppies than pet quality puppies. Most breeders offer a replacement puppy or a refund if the puppy develops a debilitating genetic disease that is common in the breed, within a specified timeframe.
Currently, most WSS breeders charge $1800 - $2200.
OUR PRICE INCLUDES:
- Health Exam by a Veterinarian,
- Standard worming protocols*
- We pay for and process the AKC Registration for all puppies
- Lifelong Guarantee (see below)
- Each puppy goes home with a packet of information including the photos and pedigrees of their parents, all health and vaccination information, a sample of the food they have been eating, toys, training tips and more.
(*Subsequent vaccination schedules and worming protocols are given for the duration of time any pup is in our care until going to their new home)
The sale price of the puppy does not include travel Health Certificates, or other additional items as may be required if you are flying with your puppy or traveling internationally.
Potential show/breeding prospects are sold by private contract with price determined per individual transaction.
To be considered for a puppy from an upcoming litter, we ask you print the "Puppy Questionnaire" fill out completely and mail to us, or scan and email if preferred.
Once we know how many puppies we may have available, we will then require a nonrefundable deposit to hold a puppy for you. A refund would be made if circumstances prevented us from being able to place a puppy with you as offered. Further specifications will be outlined at the time of Deposit Request.
Our guaranteed return policy is lifelong. We understand events can happen which make keeping a pet extremely difficult or impossible, therefore any dog we place is welcome to come back to us at any time in their life. In fact, we further enforce this by REQUIRING that NO puppy or dog be
re-homed, or placed anywhere or with anyone other than the buyer WITHOUT OUR CONSENT! We retain the right to approve such changes, or will assist you in finding a new home for a dog should your circumstances require it.