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Puppy Questionnaire
(PDF version)

Puppy Questionnaire
(Word version)

Sample Pet Contract

Sample Show Contract

Sample Stud Contract


[Click HERE to see our 2011 Litter Plans ]

Are you interested in a Statesman puppy?

Please follow the directions below to help us determine if a Statesman puppy would be a good match for you!

1. Read all the information on this page. (including the sample contracts).

2. Complete the Puppy Questionnaire.

3. Email it to:

Susan - statesmanwss@earthlink.net

4. Follow up phone call:

Call Susan 770.722.0169
so that we can "meet" and discuss our upcoming breeding plans with you. It is a way that we can discuss our expectations for our puppy homes, and you can discuss your expectations of a breeder. It is a great chance for us to answer questions. We can also set up a time for you to come and meet our "gang".

Information on UPCOMING LITTERS can be found under the
LITTERS link on the top menu.



Thank you for your interest in STATESMAN Welsh Springer Spaniels. My family and I have had Welsh springer spaniels since 1975, and are still totally taken with the breed.  However, Welsh springers are NOT for everyone.  Welsh are extremely people-oriented. 

They do best as members of a family and do not fare well as yard or kennel dogs.  We will only place our puppies in homes where they will live in the house as a member of the family. 

Welsh springer spaniels occasionally are not good candidates for first-dog situations or inexperienced dog owners. A young Welsh must be SOCIALIZED to a wide range of people and environments or it could grow up fearful. It is not a dog that should be owned by nervous people, or people with hyperactive children and constantly hectic schedules.

A Welsh springer spaniel's temperament can often mirror the atmosphere of its home; raise it sensibly with tenderness and firmness and patience and humor, and you'll have a lovely pet. They are very intelligent and require an owner who is willing to learn appropriate training techniques prior to acquiring a puppy and following through with quality group obedience classes.

Experiencing Welsh Springer Spaniel Puppies

For some people a negative aspect is the activity level of the young and adolescent Welsh.  Welsh can take puppyhood to the hilt and keeping up with them during this time can be a chore.  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 (some structural anomalies can be caused by lack of free running).  Walking on a leash can be good exercise BUT....all Welsh springer spaniel puppies need to be able to safely run free in order to stretch and tone their muscles (and get some of that energy out).  They cannot get this type of exercise on a leash.

Another aspect of Welsh (which can be taken as either negative or positive, depending upon your point of view) is that Welsh 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, though many will greet visitors to the home with a tail wag and a lick to the face.  A great many Welsh "bark up front while wagging in the back" when visitors enter your home.  Because Welsh tend to be protective, they make excellent watchdogs.  It is very important that a Welsh be well socialized and learn appropriate behavior at an early age. 

Our Litters

The Riese and Bassel families breed approximately one to two litters per year each.  Our puppies are raised in our home with us.  We take great efforts to insure that our puppies are well socialized.  The decision of what puppy goes to which home is a very important decision that we make.  If certain markings are of prime concern to you, we advise that you seek another breeder.  Our main concern is breeding happy, healthy Welsh Springer Spaniels that make excellent family companions (as well as show dogs, hunting dogs, or performance dogs as requested). 

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 classes with your puppy.  We also require that puppy and owner participate in and complete at least one session of  group obedience classes, and that these classes utilize positive motivational methods of training.  Also, for evaluation of our breeding program and for the puppy and owner's benefit, it is important that the new owner maintains regular contact with us (we LOVE to get pictures from proud owners). We send out annual questionnaires regarding the health and temperament of our puppies.  If you think you may be interested in acquiring a Statesman puppy,  please read the sample pet contract thoroughly.  If you are totally agreeable to all of the terms of the contract, then please complete the questionnaire and return it to us.  After we receive the questionnaire, please call us.   Once we have reviewed the completed questionnaire and discussed our expectations/your expectations with you, we are then much better able to determine if a Statesman Welsh Springer Spaniel puppy is right for your home.

Training Information

The books and videos listed below provide a variety of sound, motivational training methods which allow you to choose the method with which you are most comfortable and confident.  Those people who get a puppy from us receive their own copies of “How To Raise a Puppy You Can Live With” and “Sirius Puppy Training”.   As teachers, we are firm believers in the necessity for all parties involved to be knowledgeable before a new puppy enters a household.  We will often quiz our puppy people on the training methods in the book to make sure that they have read and UNDERSTAND the methods.

Our FAVORITE book for new dog owners is:
- "How to Raise a Puppy That You Can Live With" (2nd edition)
   ISBN 0-931866-57-X
by Clarice Rutherford and David Neil 

Other good books include:
- "Mother Knows Best"  ISBN 0-87605-666-4
by Carol Lea Benjamin
- "Good Dogs Great Owners" ISBN 0-446-51675-9
   by Brian Kilcommons
-  "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. 

There are also several good puppy training videos:
- “Sirius Puppy Training” (phone 1-800-462-0005)
  by Ian Dunbar 

We totally believe in crate training as a means of housetraining and protecting both the puppy and property from harm when the puppy cannot be watched closely.  To add to the situation, Welsh do best with firm, but gentle, handling.  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. 

Structure and Health

Welsh springers have a flat, shiny, self-cleaning coat that does not tend to mat.  Unlike several other spaniel breeds, they are not prone to ear infections.  Though most Welsh springers live 12-14 years with minimal trips to the vet, 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 hips and elbows. 

Another problem that most Welsh Springer Spaniel breeders are working to eliminate is hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a disease of the thyroid gland which can cause numerous other problems incluing seizures, lethargy, chroinic ear infections, and even paralysis. Breeding dogs should be tested each year until they are 6 years old.

Any dog that is bred SHOULD have hip, 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.

To check on OFA ratings (including hip, thyroid and elbow) on Statesman Welsh springers please do the following:

go to www.offa.org

  • Click SEARCH on the left side of the menu
    (there are several misspelled Statesman dogs listed; hence, please use STATE)
  • Click search at the bottom of the page
There is at least one type of inherited epilepsy, which, unfortunately, is a severe form, but the incidence is low.  Welsh do have a few inner eye anomalies, and there is some incidence of entropion and/or distichia.  Also, it is not uncommon for Welsh to have juvenile or developmental
entropion, 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, humid, region where mold, mildew, pollen, and fleas are abundant, this could be a problem.  Providing a flea free environment should be basic to every Welsh Springer's needs. 

Because of our ongoing desire to reduce the incidence of health problems in Welsh Springers......

We require by contract that all Statesman puppies receive OFA hip and thyroid evaluations between 24-26 months of age (NO EXCEPTIONS). 

This information is extremely valuable not just for our own breeding program, but for every Welsh Springer Spaniel breeder worldwide.   Through the sharing of information, Statesman has been able to reduce the rate of hip dysplasia in our litters to well less than one dog per litter, of which we are very proud.

Tail Docking

As we are one of the few kennels who actively participate in hunting tests and pleasure hunting. We have the tails docked on all Statesman puppies, with an exception of exporting to homes in Europe.  Our first experience of living with a long tail was from our Swedish import "Alex" (Ch. Merry One's I'm A Statesman WDX).  He became the FIRST AMERICAN SHOW CHAMPION with an undocked tail - and was the first undocked Welsh springer to compete at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, winning an Award of Merit!  So, we have somewhat "paved the way" for those who do not dock in America.  Alex was blessed to have one of the most beautiful tails we have ever seen on a Welsh springer spaniel (short, straight, and carried horizontally), and gave the American dog show judges an example of what an undocked tail should look like.  Although Alex's tail was beautiful and correct, it did tend to get in the way. 

The flushing spaniel breeds traditionally dock tails due to the spaniel hunting style - they go into the briars and rough cover.  Once on a bird, spaniels wag their tails enthusiastically, gathring bramble and burrs in their tail feathering. Other sporting breeds, such as setters, were not developed to dive into cover to flush a bird. When Alex was hunted, we would have to pull burrs and brambles from his tail (OUCH!) and, needless to say, it was not at all comfortable for him.  Also, there is a condition called "Cold Tail" that many undocked hunting dogs experience.  It is extremely painful for them and takes a while for the dog to recover.  At home undocked tails whack coffee tables and can get accidentally shut in doors. 

Therefore, we have opted to "stick with the roots of the breed" and continue to dock.  Although it sounds odd, we do it to prevent pain for the dog later in life.  It is not done for beauty, but it is instead done for practicality, health, and tradition. 


Most 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 travel to the stud, veterinary costs (artificial insemination, C-Section, eye exams on pups before going to their new homes, health certificates, or other associated costs), and/or included books, videos, or starter kits.  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 inherited genetic diseases that are common in the breed. 

Currently, we charge $1500 - $2000 (depending on the litter) for our puppies.  Please read our sample contract to view details.