Welcome to the Punahongan kennel site! My name is Annika Saarto and my life has had Welsh Springer Spanielish nuances since 2008. My family members include a husband, two sons and Welsh Springer Spaniel bitch Tatsi. We live in Turku in the south-west of Finland. I am a Biologist by education and I work at the University of Turku.

My first Welsh was a dog called Jebu (Serennog Alinio), 2008-2015. Together we got acquainted with the dog world: obedience training, shows, Springer Spaniel summer camps, agility, tracking tests and a whole lot more. Jebu passed the hunting ability test for Spaniels and he had two CC’s from dog shows. Unfortunately Jebu was diagnosed with severe cancer in the end of 2015 and so we had to let him go.
Jebu on the left (summer 2015).

Tatsi (Otterox Royal Touch) was born in 2010 and we imported her from Sweden. The idea all along was to have some gene flow from the Swedish Welsh population to the Finnish one. I fell in love with Tatsi’s mom Vanda (Freckles Valerie Loveland) and luckily I was given the most coltish bitch puppy from Vanda’s first litter. I have trained mostly obedience with Tatsi, but also agility and rally obedience and – though very little – hunting training. Tatsi has passed the hunting ability test for Spaniels and she has EXC from dog shows.
Tatsi in 2014.

I have bred one Welsh Springer Spaniel litter so far, out of Tatsi and Dani (Doniol Chase The Wind). A litter of seven (3 males and 4 females) was born in June 2015. We placed two of the bitches, Ninni (Punahongan Ilmiliekki) and Manna (Punahongan Ilo Orleans) who will hopefully continue the breeding line in the future. As a breeder, I put emphasis on the genetic variation and its maintenance within the breed. This is probably greatly due to my Ecology background. I am convinced that, in the long run, the vitality and health of a population (be it the Welsh Springer or any other gene pool) can only be secured by genetic diversity. Mental character and health are important as well. I regard healthy structure as part of the health as a whole, but structural or aesthetic perfection are in my opinion less important.
Manna (Punahongan Ilo Orleans) 7 months, photo Hanne Tuulos.

Tatsi's puppies playng the elephant song? Photo Hanne Tuulos.

The kennel name "Punahongan" translates to "of Red Pine" and has a dual meaning. Firstly, my Doctoral dissertation was about Scots pine, the tree so inseparably part of the Finnish scenery. Secondly, I find something very much similar in the warm brown reddish colour of the welsh coat and that of a pine trunk enlightened by the evening sun. It is such a beautiful glow!

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you want to know more about our dogs or Welsh Springers in general.

Annika Saarto

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