WSS Hands-On Handling

How is a Welsh springer spaniel
presented in the show ring?

  • The handler is kneeling* on the dog's right side.
  • The handler's right hand is underneath the chin holding the head level (parallel with the ground).
  • The dog's front legs are placed so that the elbows are set under, in line with, the withers.
  • The elbows are against the body, the front toes are pointing forward.
  • The hind legs are set as wide apart as the hips.
  • The rear pasterns are perpendicular to the ground when viewed from the side and parallel to each other when viewed from behind.
  • The topline is level, not sloping, nor dipping, but still showing the slight arch of loin and gently rounded croup.
  • The tail is level with the flow of the topline. The handler's left hand is either placed underneath the tail near the dog's body to keep the tail level, or if the dog has been trained to hold its tail out on its own, the left arm is at the handler's side.
  • The collar is, typically** removed before the judge's examination.

* There are acceptable circumstances for standing when presenting the dog; these are discussed later in the article.

** Unless you are free-stacking your dog, the Welsh Springer is typically presented with the collar removed. In today's shows, the classes are usually small, the judging is quick, or the judge is unfamiliar with traditional spaniel presentation. It is, therefore, acceptable to leave the lead on for the individual examination in the breed ring. In the group ring, remove the collar during the individual exam unless the judge specifically tells you otherwise. When taking your winning photo, always remove the collar to present a clean flow of the head to the neck to the shoulders.


The Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America, Inc. is a sanctioned and recognized member club of the AKC.



The Amrican Kennel Club