Welsh Springer Spaniel Hunting Style
Provided by the WSSCA Field Committee and WSSCA Board of Directors

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a dog that exhibits joy and enthusiasm in the field. The Welsh Springer Spaniel’s exuberance for the time afield is evident in its animated action.

The Welsh Springer Spaniel most often quarters at a brisk trot, in an often methodical manner, while using his intelligence and nose to seek game. The Welsh Springer Spaniel covers ground within gun range with no fear of cover, always showing desire and enthusiasm. The Welsh Springer Spaniel’s flush easily produces birds for the gun. The majority of Welsh Springer Spaniels, once acquiring bird scent, will work a trail diligently, alternating between air and ground scenting. At times they may hesitate briefly when first indicating scent before trailing enthusiastically. Once close to the bird and many times just before the flush, a Welsh Springer Spaniel will hesitate, pausing briefly. This brief pause is followed by a definitive drive toward the bird to complete the flush. Any hesitation is slight so as to not allow a bird to run out of the handler’s area. The quartering pattern of the Welsh Springer Spaniel is thorough and methodical, but is never a pottering action.

Retrieving should be done in a pleasing manner to quickly return quarry to the handler. The enthusiasm should show a desire to please. The Welsh Springer Spaniel should always exhibit bidability allowing for quiet handling, exhibiting teamwork between dog and handler.

Approved: WSSCA Board of Directors, April 2007

 

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The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a flushing breed and was bred to hunt, flush and retrieve birds. To this end the WSSCA encourages support for the field programs by its members.

  • The WSSCA Field Chairman is:

  • The program field levels are:

    • WSSCA Working Dog/Working Dog Excellent Tests.
    • AKC Junior Hunter Test.
    • AKC Senior Hunter Test.
    • AKC Master Hunter Test.
  • Full requirements for training your dog for the WSSCA WD or WDX Certificate may be found at:

  • Full requirements for Junior Hunter, Senior Hunter, and Master Hunter titles may be obtained from the AKC.

    • "Regulations for AKC Hunting Tests for Spaniels and Guidlines for Spaniel Hunting Tests"

 

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WSSCA Working Dog/Working Dog Excellent Tests.
If, in the opinion of the judges, the dog passes ALL portions of the test the dog will be awarded the Working Dog (WD) Certificate. If, in the opinion of the judges, the dog passes ALL portions of the test in an excellent manner the dog will be awarded the Working Dog Excellent (WDX) Certificate.

The Working Dog must hunt enthusiastically and retrieve, but need not be steady to wing and shot. It should show no fear in questing or entering cover and must be under reasonable control. It must also work at a reasonable distance from its handler. The Working Dog should return game to within “close proximity” of it handler. Excessive yelling, signaling or whistling is discouraged. The Working Dog may be gently restrained on the line at water.

Working Dog Test Elements.
The Working Dog may be directed to game if dog fails to mark and should maintain reasonable working distance from handler. The Working Dog must find, flush and have opportunity to retrieve one bird on land and must retrieve a thrown dead bird from water. The Dog must swim to retrieve and a shot must be fired.

 

General AKC Hunt Test (Junior, Senior, Master) Requirements

AKC Junior Hunter Test.
The Junior Hunter Dog must hunt enthusiastically and retrieve, but need not be steady to wing and shot. It should show no fear in questing or entering cover and must be under reasonable control. It must also work at a reasonable distance from its handler. The Junior Hunter Dog should return game to within “close proximity” of it handler. Excessive yelling, signaling or whistling is discouraged. The Junior Hunter Dog may be gently restrained on the line at water.

Junior Test Elements.
The Junior Hunter Dog must find, flush and have the opportunity to retrieve two birds on land and retrieve a third bird from water at a distance of at least 20 yards with a shot fried.

 

AKC Senior Hunter Test.
The Senior Hunter Dog must display all the attributes of a Junior Hunter Dog plus display a true boldness to cover and a distinct pattern in addressing the areas where birds are likely to be without unnecessarily covering the same area twice. The Senior Hunter Dog must maintain a proper working distance and should not be looking constantly at its handler for directions. The Senior Hunter Dog need not be steady to wing and shot on land but should not show uncontrolled chasing for flyaways. The Senior Hunter Dog must remain steady for the water retrieve without any physical restraint or excessive verbal restraint. The Senior Hunter Dog must retrieve all birds to hand.

Senior Test Elements.
The Senior Hunter Dog must find, flush and retrieve two birds on land to hand and retrieve a third bird to hand from water at a distance of at approximately 30 yards with a shot fried. The Senior Hunter Dog must be line steady at the water. Additionally the Senior Hunter Dog must also “hunt dead” on a land blind of approximately 20 yards.

AKC Master Hunter Test.
The Master Hunter Dog must display all the attributes of a Senior Hunter Dog plus it must give a truly polished and finished performance. The Master Hunter Dog must systematically hunt all areas where birds are likely to be found using its intelligence and ability to read the wind and actually find and flush birds. The Master Hunter Dog must never be underfoot and seeking directions except in unusual conditions and must remain in suitable gun range. The Master Hunter Dog should never show uncontrolled chasing on any bird and must always be under the handlers control.

Master Test Elements.
The Master Hunter Dog must find, flush and retrieve two birds on land to hand and retrieve a third bird to hand from water at a distance of at approximately 30 yards with a shot fried. The Master Hunter Dog must be line steady at the water and must also be tested on a blind water retrieve at a distance of approximately 30 yards and must also “hunt dead” on a land blind of approximately 40 yards. A Master Hunter Dog must be steady to wing and shot and never be sent to retrieve until steadiness is demonstrated.