Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America, Inc.
Proposed Code of Ethics


Members of the Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America hold the protection and future well-being of the breed as their primary obligation. They shall conduct themselves in a manner that reflects positively on themselves, the breed and the WSSCA.

All members must abide by the rules and regulations of the American Kennel Club, the Constitution and Bylaws of the WSSCA and this Code of Ethics.

Members must be responsible dog owners. They shall provide for the health and welfare of their dogs by treating them humanely, providing adequate food, water, shelter, and routine veterinary care.

Members must observe the highest standards of sportsmanship and goodwill at all events involving Welsh Springer Spaniels. They must be willing to spend time educating the public on the characteristics of the Welsh Springer Spaniel and responsible dog ownership.

No member shall tolerate the maltreatment or misuse of any Welsh Springer Spaniel. Should a member become aware of such maltreatment or misuse, they must intercede if possible, notify law enforcement authorities if appropriate, and notify the WSSCA of the circumstances as soon as possible and follow up on the actions taken.

If a member becomes aware of a Welsh Springer Spaniel held in a pound, SPCA, or Humane Society shelter, they must immediately notify the WSSCA rescue committee.


All written and oral representations of show wins, puppies, adults, stud services and health certifications, as well as comparisons with other peoples’ dogs and breeding programs must be factual, honest, and not misleading.


All breeders must keep accurate records in accordance with AKC requirements. Information gained through breeding shall be shared with other Welsh Springer Spaniel owners.

Standard and Genetics

A member must not attempt breeding until they are able to distinguish between correct and incorrect conformation by studying the AKC breed standard and representative dogs. The prospective breeder must also learn the basic principles of genetics, and apply them to the pedigrees of the intended stud dog and brood bitch. Any member who contemplates breeding Welsh Springer Spaniels must be thoroughly familiar with, and use in a progressive and positive manner, the current body of knowledge regarding inheritable conditions such as hip dysplasia and epilepsy.

The breeding must be planned to conserve and improve the conformation, health, temperament, and working ability -- while not sacrificing one for the sake of the others. Breeders must strive to reduce faults and produce healthy dogs of high quality and sound temperament in accordance with the AKC breed standard.

Breeders shall breed only animals that are in good health and who are physically and temperamentally sound. A breeder must not breed a dog or bitch that is known to have, or is strongly suspected of having, a serious inheritable disease or defect.

The breeder must check the radiographic hip status and eye condition of the breeding stock before producing a litter.

Brood Bitches

Bitches should not be bred before the age of two years and should not be bred more than twice in any three consecutive seasons. The physical and mental well-being of the bitch is the primary concern.

Stud Dogs

The stud dog owner shall consider the health, hip and eye evaluations, and pedigree of the bitch prior to agreeing to provide stud services.

The stud dog owner shall confirm that the bitch’s owner is aware of the effort required to produce and care for a litter, and that they have ethical standards regarding puppy placement.

If the owner of the bitch is not the person who bred the bitch, the stud dog owner must make every reasonable effort to contact the breeder of the bitch in order to check for genetic problems and breeding restrictions. If a purchase contract exists between the bitch’s owner and her breeder, the stud dog owner must not breed contrary to restrictions.

The stud dog owner must not breed to a bitch with an AKC limited registration, or with no AKC papers.


Conscientious breeding demands prior consideration of the time and expense involved in raising a litter of healthy puppies. Breeders must take responsibility for the lives that they produce, and recognize the considerable effort involved in placing puppies in caring homes. As the breeder of a dog, you are morally and financially responsible for the disposition of dogs that your buyers can no longer keep. Any rescue that is funded by WSSCA will have all known details published in the Starter Barks -- including (if known) the identity of the dog, the owner, and the breeder and their responses to the situation.

If there are limitations on breeding or transfer, these terms will be covered in a written contract signed by both parties.

Puppies that are not of show/breeding quality must be sold with a Limited Registration. Full-Registration puppies shall be sold only to people who agree with and follow our Code of Ethics and are aware of their responsibility to the future of our breed.

Puppies will not be released or shipped to their new homes before they have reached a minimum age of seven weeks with eight or nine weeks preferred. The member will provide the new owner with a three (or more) generation pedigree and a health record. Novice buyers will be provided with complete instructions on diet, training, and care. The breeder must also provide the new owner an AKC registration application or transfer form, unless their purchase contract agrees to withholding papers.


No member will sell, consign, transfer, or broker either puppies or adults to unethical breeders, puppy mills, pet shops, commercial dealers, research laboratories, a person who will not provide proper care and environment, or a person who may use the dog in a way that would be detrimental to the breed.

No member will allow a Welsh Springer to be used as a prize in a contest, raffle, or lottery.

No member shall put a puppy or dog in a pound, SPCA, or humane society shelter.


Violations of this Code of Ethics will subject a member to disciplinary action in accordance with the WSSCA Constitution and Bylaws.


I have read and understand the Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America's Proposed Code of Ethics, and accept them as my own. I agree to conduct myself at all times in accordance with them.

X............................................................................ Date ............................