To De-sex or not

To De-sex your Welsh Springer Spaniel or not?

De-sexing is often recommended for a number of reasons, however there are numerous issues which are not fully understood, or sometimes even realised that the issue exists, by owners and sometimes even Vets.  The following advice/experience is offered to encourage meaningful (personal) thought and dialogue with relevant professional breeders & veterinarians (preferably vets with experience with Welsh Springer Spaniels).

The purpose & primary consequence of de-sexing is obvious in any breed: however what are the consequences for the Welsh Springer Spaniel?  The following comments and advice are from an accumulation of our 45 years of experience with dogs and in particular the past 16 years with Welsh Springers.

For the Male Welshie: 

De-sexing is often recommended by many, (almost in the entirety of cases --  who have little or no experience with Welshies) to avoid any aggression or ‘male dominance” from an adult male. 

Sorry !  --  Welshies are NOT an aggressive dog; and while I do believe in the “alpha male” syndrome this is not a ‘driving force’ and rarely, if ever, occurs in this breed.  If any issue of this nature from a young dog occurs it should be dealt with using the usual owner control and rarely recurs.

It is also suggested that de-sexing a male will stop the behaviour of “humping” --  simple answer is NO, it doesn’t.  What is required to minimise this ‘activity’ is persistent training using a strong command.

For the Female Welshie:

De-sexing is often recommended to avoid the consequence of discharges (which occur for about 2 weeks) every 9 +/-2 months.  Yes this a disadvantage if she resides inside the house (but can be addressed using pet ‘nappies’).  The other issue is the need to keep the bitch ‘isolated’ from any other (male) dogs for a period of at least 3 to 4 weeks.


The Dog’s coat is one important issue that most vets (& unfortunately some breeders) do not realise; once the Welsh Springer Spaniel is de-sexed the hormones are completely changed/removed and the whole nature of the coat is permanently altered.  What was a silky, self-cleaning & easy to manage coat (by a simple brushing twice a week) is now a “woolly", “clingy” coat which needs a full brush & comb every day.  The areas that many people miss are the “inside/underneath” shoulders and the under-belly.  Without daily combing, brushing and de-tangling, the coat may become a matted nightmare.