Welsh Springer Spaniels

Puppy Information

On this page, you will find more information about welshies and our puppy policies and contracts for future litters.

About Welshie Puppies

Welshies are fun, energetic, happy dogs who are versatile and loyal, but they are not for everyone. Welshie puppies are incredibly energetic and have an amazing ability to find dirt and mud. They love to dig. Welshie puppies love water, especially in their water bowls in the house, so be forewarned. They will get the floor wet...and the furniture...and you. Welshies are high energy dogs and need to be exercised regularly. These puppies are very smart and learn quickly; however, this means that if they are not trained in a positive manner and kept busy from the beginning they may find trouble to get into.

They love their family, but can be aloof with strangers. If they are not taken out and socialized to new people and places extensively starting as soon as they go to their new home, they can become afraid of new situations. If you do not have the time to take your puppy out to socialize it several times a week and take at least one basic puppy socialization and obedience class, then a welshie is not for you. Welshies can be barkers, so if you want a quiet dog or live in an apartment, this may not be the breed for you.

Welshies are not kennel dogs and need to be with their families and live inside the home. If forced to live outside, they may become fearful. They are considered "velcro dogs" because they will stick to their owners like glue. Please take the time to visit a breeder and get to know a few welshies before deciding whether this breed would make a good addition to your family.

How Our Puppies Are Raised

Our goal is to produce outgoing, healthy companions, who will be treasured additions to their families for their entire lives and excellent examples of the breed. We raise our puppies in our home, so they may socialize with us, our adult dogs, our friends, family, and neighbors of all ages. At three days old, dewclaws will be removed and tails will be docked. Early Neurological Stimulation (based on Dr. Carmen Battaglia's Developing High Achievers program) will be started at three days old and continue until they are sixteen days old. This early stimulation is believed to produce dogs that have stronger heart rates, heart beats and adrenal glands, more tolerance to stress and greater resistance to disease. This will increase their odds of being stellar performance dogs and make them even better family companions.

Our 2015 litter will also be started on Early Scent Introduction from day three to day 16. This will improve our puppies scenting abilities from a very early age and help them accel at activities that require scenting such as tracking, obedience and hunting.

View a video of Early Neurological Stimulation and Early Scent Introduction on a golden retriever puppy.

They will get their first taste of puppy food at 4 weeks of age. Socialization also starts around four weeks of age and should continue for their entire lives with extreme socialization until 16 weeks of age. While in our home, they will be introduced to people of all ages, both genders, wearing glasses, hats, etc. We believe that Dr. Ian Dunbar's suggestion that the puppy should meet a hundred people before leaving the breeder's home and a hundred more between the time they go to their new home and turn 12 weeks old is a good benchmark to follow.

Also starting at four weeks of age, our puppies are exposed to agility equipment, climbing toys, as well as, new sights and sounds (sound CDs, duck calls, hair dryer, vacuum, etc). Our 2015 litter will be introduced to the Avidog adventure box. They will also get to explore a pool filled with plastic bottles, something all puppies love. We have used a ball pool in the past, but our 2015 litter will be the first to use a bottle pool, which makes more noise and offers more of a challenge to the puppies.

critical period of socialization

We will follow "The Rule of 7's" by Pat Schaap, which says that by the time a puppy is seven weeks old he/she should have:

  • Been on 7 different types of surfaces: carpet, concrete, wood, vinyl, grass, dirt, gravel, wood chips
  • Played with 7 different types of objects: big balls, small balls, soft fabric toys, soft squeaky toys, hard squeaky toys, rattling toys, paper, cardboard boxes, tunnels, sticks or water toys
  • Been in 7 different locations: puppy room, front yard, back yard, kitchen, car, living room, laundry room, bathroom
  • Met and played with 7 new people: include children and older adults, someone walking with a cane or stick, someone in a wheelchair or walker
  • Been exposed to 7 challenges: climb on a box, climb off a box, go through a tunnel, climb steps, go down steps, climb over obstacles, play hide and seek, in and out of a doorway with a step up or down, run around a fence
  • Eaten from 7 different containers; metal, plastic, cardboard, paper, china, pie plate, frying pan
  • Eaten in 7 different locations: crate, yard, kitchen, puppy room, laundry room, living room, bathroom

They are litter box trained and start housebreaking before going to their new homes. Our puppies are introduced to crates and travel. Our puppies are also exposed to training commands such as a recall, down, Its your choice and touch, so they will know how to learn and offer obedience behaviors.

Before they go to their new homes, they have been dewormed 3 times, receive their first set of puppy vaccinations around eight weeks of age and get microchipped. Our puppies also have their eyes tested by an ACVO Ophthalmologist at eight weeks old. Temperament testing, in addition to, daily observation help us determine the puppy most suitable for each home. We will be using the Avidog APET Temperament Test.

Planned schedule for our puppies:

  • The first few weeks:
    • Early Neurological Stimulation - 3-16 days
    • Early Scent Introduction - 3-16 days
    • Puppy food introduction - 4 weeks
  • Socialization (starting at 4 weeks):
    • Meet with 100 people
    • Agility equipment, Climbing toys, sound CDs, duck calls, whistles, dryer, vacuum, Adventure box, Bottle pool
    • The rule of 7s
  • Training:
    • Litter box
    • Housebreaking
    • Crates
    • Car travel
  • Before they go home:
    • Dewormed three or four times - 2, 4, 6 weeks
    • First parvo/distemper vaccination - 8 weeks
    • Microchip - 8 weeks
    • Eyes tested by an ACVO Ophthalmologist - 8 weeks
    • APET Temperament testing - 8-9 weeks

Diet & Nutrition

We wean our puppies onto Pro Plan Focus Chicken and Rice Dry Puppy Food and recommend using puppy food until they are four-to-five months old.

In our sales contract, we ask that you feed a raw diet, home cooked diet or "high-quality" dog food(s) (from Whole Dog Journal's list of Approved Dry Foods for the current year). Raw diets can include prey model raw or prepackaged commercial raw diets such as Nature's Variety or Oma's Pride.

Note: We will be here to answer all of your questions about making a transition onto the food you choose for your new puppy.

Health Testing

All puppies we produce will be required to complete:

  1. OFA hip/elbow evaluations between 24-26 months old,
  2. OFA thyroid panels between 18-26 months of age

All results whether good or bad will be required to be submitted to OFA with the results released to the public, so that a CHIC number will be obtained for each puppy. We will submit their eye exams to OFA when they are 8 weeks old. Doing these tests and submitting them to OFA will cost approximately $400-$600, but they do not have to be done all at the same time. We will be here to assist new puppy owners with how and where to get these tests done. We recommend follow-up eye exams at 5 and 7 years of age and thyroid panels repeated at 3, 5 and 7 years of age. Visit the Canine Health Information Center for more information about the tests required for the Welsh Springer Spaniel in order to receive a CHIC number.

Doing these tests serves two purposes. First, it will be an invaluable tool for Welsh Springer breeders to help in making future breeding decisions. Without the full picture of what was produced in past litters, we are shooting in the dark and making guesses about what will be produced in future litters. With that information, more informed decisions can be made and the health of future generations will be improved over time.

The second reason for these tests to be performed is for our puppy owners to get the full picture of the future health of their individual dog. As responsible breeders who health test our breeding prospects, we do our best not to produce genetic health problems, but there are no guarantees when it comes to genetic health for dogs just as there are no guarantees for humans.

These health tests will give you information that will allow you to make decisions about how to give your dog a longer, fuller life. Finding out your dog has an eye or thyroid problem will allow you to get the medication or treatment they need early in their lives to prevent or lessen future vision and health problems. Periodic Canine Ophthamalogist exams can help you find issues like cataracts and glaucoma, which should be treated as quickly as possible to reduce future vision loss. Untreated thyroid disease can affect your dog's entire body and have a major impact on quality of life, but it can be easily treated at home with medication once you know a problem exists. Hip and elbow issues caught early in life can be prevented from worsening with special exercise plans and supplements in most cases.


Training a welshie should be done in a positive manner with rewards such as food and toys. Do your research before starting an obedience class with a welshie puppy and find one that uses only positive training methods. We recommend lure or shape training as the two methods of positive reinforcement training that work for welshies, but prefer shaping as the method that will teach your new dog how to learn and start offering behaviors rather than waiting for you to put them in position. Both lure and shape training are based on scientific evidence about how all animals learn.

Avoid harsh verbal or physical corrections in training. That will only make a welshie sulk or shutdown and they will be unable to learn what you are trying to teach them.

Required Reading

Recommended Reading

Recommended Local Classes

  • Dude Ranch Training Academy
  • Classes available:
    • Puppy Kindergarten + AKC STAR
    • Puppy Level 1 - Socialization for Confidence & Manners
    • Puppy Level 2
  • Pre-payment required. Minimum number of students required for classes to form. Class start dates are subject to change.
  • 804.798.7900
  • Dude Ranch Pet Resort
  • 11015 Dude Ranch Road
  • Glen Allen, Virginia 23059
  • 2SpeakDog
  • Classes available:
    • New Puppy Class
  • 804.440.2498
  • Classes held in various locations around Richmond.
  • Richmond SPCA Pet Training Classes
  • Classes available:
    • Good Start Puppy
    • Surviving Adolescence Puppy classes
  • Classes held in various locations around Richmond.
  • 804.521.1332

We are happy to help our puppy buyers find suitable classes in their area.


All of our puppies are sold on contracts. Our contracts require that you:

Contracts come with certain health guarantees. Please read our sample contracts for complete information.

Pet Contracts

This contract is for pet/companion puppies or performance puppies that will compete in dog sports. The pet contract:

  • requires spay/neuter between 6 and 18 months of age
  • comes with limited registration

Limited registration means that no offspring from the dog can ever be registered and it can not be shown in conformation dog shows; however, the dog can still compete in all other performance sports including obedience, rally, agility, hunt trials, working dog tests and more.

If at some point the new owner decides that they would like to show their dog in the breed ring, we would be willing to consider reverting to a full registration and co-ownership contract, which can only be done with written consent of the breeder. Not all puppies are "show quality" and that will have to be determined through an in-person visit with the breeder before papers can be changed.

Read our sample pet contract for more information.

Show/Breeding Co-ownership Contracts

The second type of contract is a show/breeding co-ownership contract. Dogs that will be shown and potentially bred will be co-owned with us at least until they are fully health tested and finish their AKC Champion title. After completing health testing and the championship, they may continue to be co-owned with us should we and the owners feel it would be mutually beneficial or they may be signed over to the owner at that time. Terms of co-ownership contracts will depend on the experience and breeding plans of the new owner and our involvement in the dog's show career.

Show/breeding contracts require that the dog be kept in show condition and shown at a minimum of 20 shows (where AKC points are awarded) before three years of age. At any time, during the dog's show career should it be determined by the breeder that the dog is not able to finish an AKC Championship, the dog is to be spayed/neutered and can be kept by the owner as a pet or returned to the breeder.

A CHIC number should be received and an AKC Champion title attained before the dog is bred. Breeding before attaining all health clearances and finishing an AKC championship, will nullify all guarantees. With male show prospects, we ask for free stud service to any Welsh Springer Spaniel bitch owned or co-owned by Crystal Nolen. We will require that all puppies produced by any dog bred by us be sold on a contract with certain stipulations including thorough health testing of all puppies produced.

Read our sample show contract for more information.


Our puppies are $1800 with a $400 deposit after puppies are born. We keep everyone on our waiting list until we can insure that we will have a puppy for them from the current litter. We do not sell our puppies on a first-come, first-served basis, but rather try to put each puppy in the best home for the puppy based on temperament testing and needs of each individual puppy in the litter.

Show/breeding prospects are sold by co-ownership contract.

Our Placement Process

If you want to get on our waiting list for a puppy:

  1. Thoroughly read all of the information on this page and our sample contracts.
  2. If you have questions, please email Crystal at .
  3. Please fill out our puppy application. We are not always able to respond individually to each application. Once you reach the "Thank You" page, your submission was successful. We will email you any questions we have, check your references and, after you're application is approved, we will notify you and add you to our waiting list.
  4. If you would like to discuss the breed or meet our dogs, contact me. We welcome visitors by appointment and are always willing to answer questions about welshies.
  5. When plans are finalized for an upcoming litter, we will want to discuss the litter with you. We will email you to find out if you are still interested in a puppy.
  6. Deposits are not required until after puppies are born. If it turns out that we do not have a puppy for you, we will refund your deposit.
  7. I will decide which puppy goes to each home based on the needs of the new owners and the puppies' temperaments. This is mainly because I have been watching the puppies every day since the day they were born and know their temperaments better than anyone who visits them only once or twice before they go home.
  8. Puppies will be registered before going home with an AKC name that is mutually agreed upon (new owners always pick whatever call name they choose) using a litter theme that has been chosen by the breeder and with the prefix "Cryslen's". Registration fees will be collected on the day you pick up your puppy.
  9. Microchip forms will also be filled out and paid for when you pick up your puppy and mailed by the breeder.
  10. Puppies will go to their new homes at 9-10 weeks of age.

Important Notes about Puppy Placement

  • I reserve the right to decide who receives one of my puppies or to change my mind any time before the puppies go home. Finding the right home for each puppy is the most important factor for me.
  • I do not mind if you are on another breeder's waiting list too, but please let us know if you put down a deposit on a puppy or bring one home, so we can remove you from our waiting list. This will prevent us from calling or emailing you unnecessarily when a puppy becomes available.
  • All information about our upcoming litters can be found on the Puppies page.
  • It is our preference that you meet with us in person at least once before the puppy goes home, so you can meet the dogs and we can get to know you better.
  • Note: Once you are approved and put on my waiting list, I will try my best to get you a puppy from the current litter. Being put on the waiting list does not guarantee you will receive a puppy from the current litter. There are simply too many variables involved in placing puppies to promise anyone a particular puppy from a particular litter. Conditions such as litter size, gender of the puppies available, and unexpected circumstances dictate whether a puppy will be available for you. If there is not a puppy available from the current litter, you have the option of waiting for the next litter or going to another breeder. It is important to note that we do not foresee having more than one litter per year at this time, but we are happy to recommend other quality welshie breeders.
  • Show quality puppies are only placed in homes where I feel they will be properly trained, groomed and shown to their AKC championships.
  • All pet puppies will be sold on limited registrations and spay/neuter contracts.
  • I do NOT ship puppies in cargo. You can, however, fly to Richmond and take the puppy home under your plane seat in a carry-on size crate. We live about 15 minutes from Richmond International Airport.

How We Pick Your Puppy

Preference will be given to homes that will show or compete in performance events with their welshie, but there are usually a few pet puppies in every litter. Not all puppies are suitable for show homes because only the absolute best puppies should be shown and bred. All of the other puppies will go to pet or performance homes. These puppies are not any less likely to be healthy, well adjusted companions, but they have small structural differences that only welshie breeders and judges can see.

We do not make any decisions about which puppies will go to specific homes until they are at least eight weeks old, so please do not ask which puppy you are getting before that time. The breeder will pick the puppy for each home by first determining which puppies are show quality and then picking the pet puppies based on the gender preference of each of the puppy buyer(s), APET Temperament Test results, personalities of the puppies and, most importantly, the kind of puppy that would best fit into each family. For example, the most dominant, active puppies should go to experienced dog owners who have active lifestyles and may want to do performance training in obedience, agility or another performance venue that will give the dog a "job".

Before You Pick Up Your Puppy

When you put down a deposit for a puppy from me, I will send you a copy of the contract we will sign when you pick up your puppy and a receipt for your deposit. I will also add you to the Cryslen WSS Puppies Facebook Group where you can see more pictures of the puppies as they grow, chat with the other puppy buyers, and ask questions. I will also give you access to our online puppy packet where you can download care information and articles on grooming, training and more.

Before getting your puppy, find a veterinarian whom you will be willing to work with for the next 15 years, but do NOT be afraid to switch vets if you don't feel comfortable after the first visit. Make an appointment for your puppy's first exam prior to actually getting the puppy. The first appointment should be setup to take place within 72 hours of picking up your puppy. If you have trouble finding a vet in your area, we may be able to help with a referral, so please let us know.

Do your research to find a positive reinforcement training facility in your area and be sure to sign up for a class that will start as soon as your puppy meets all of their requirements for vaccinations. That is usually after two sets of parvo/distemper vaccinations. They may also require a bordetella vaccination. (Note: I do not recommend bordetella vaccinations unless they are a requirement of your training facility or boarding kennel.)

Supplies You Will Need Before Bringing Your Puppy Home

What Puppies Go Home With

  • sample of Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
  • complete instructions for care and grooming,
  • articles on behavior, training, socialization, health and more,
  • vaccination and deworming records,
  • a letter to give to your vet with a list of the foods, supplements, vaccinations and deworming medication the puppy has already had, as well as, my recommendation for future care,
  • copies of their pedigree, their parents' health clearances and photos,
  • a copy of their registration application (the originial will be signed when you pick up your puppy and mailed to AKC by the breeder),
  • a copy of the signed contract,
  • a blanket and toy that smell like mom and littermates, and
  • Goody box with toys, treats and other supplies for your puppy

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