A medium-sized sporting classed dog, the English Springer Spaniel has long been a favorite of hunters all around the world. As intelligent as they are beautiful, they are an affectionate breed of dog; gentle-natured and doe-eyed, they seem to possess a generally happy-go-lucky attitude in everything that they do. Of course, it comes as little surprise that not only does the English Springer Spaniel enjoy a place in the top rankings of hunting dogs, but that he also ranks very high on the pet listings as well. In fact, many who have taken the time to get to know a Springer Spaniel are quick to sing his praises as the ideal addition to your family.
English Springer Spaniel History
The Springer Spaniel was a popular choice, even as far back as 1800, when the English Spaniel Club was first founded and these dogs were recognized as popular favorites. One little-known fact about the English Springer Spaniel is that, for many years, the Springer Spaniel and English Cocker Spaniel were actually considered one in the same, but simply dogs of varying sizes. A female could give birth to puppies that would go on to be classified as both �springers� or �cockers,� in the same litter, depending on how large they would eventually grow to be (in order to have a �springer,� the dog would have to be at least 28 pounds, with anything smaller being a Cocker Spaniel). With the founding of the Kennel Club, in 1902, the English Springer Spaniel and English Cocker Spaniels would be separated, and each would go on to claim their own breed status. By the year 1924, the breed would gain even more recognition when the English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association was formed, further promoting the breed.
English Springer Spaniel Appearance
A beautiful dog to behold, the English Springer Spaniel comes in three distinct color combinations: the black or liver with white markings, the liver colored or blue roan, or the tricolor, which consists of either black and white or liver and white, with additional markings of tan. It is also quite common for the dog�s beautiful white markings to be flecked with color or ticking, not unlike a ticked hound. The Springer Spaniel also possesses a beautiful coat that can vary from being either flat to wavy, but serves a purpose in that it keeps the English Springer Spaniel virtually waterproof, as well as helping to protect him from thorns and brambles, when he is working the field. This means that there is a bit more work to keeping a Springer, but hearing someone comment on his beautiful coat is usually enough incentive to keep most owners happily spending those few hours, every week, ensuring their dog is tangle and mat-free.
English Springer Spaniel Temperament
The English Springer Spaniel is a very sweet and affectionate dog, with a gentle temper and pleasing disposition. Not inclined to fight with other dogs, he is generally considered the family class clown and tend to be an over-achiever, when looking for his master�s praise. While many Spaniels tend to be ill-suited for homes with small children, more often than not, the English Springer Spaniel is very patient with the smaller members of the family and will endure far more ear-tugging and tail-pulling than other breeds. If anything, care should be taken with the Springer Spaniel, in the company of other dogs, so as to protect them from more aggressive animals. The English Springer Spaniel may be a capable field dog but, in truth, he�s definitely a lover and not a fighter.
English Springer Spaniel Exercise Info
As a hunting breed, the English Springer Spaniel was bred for the field, and would receive a good deal of exercise in his intended capacity. As a family pet, the English Springer Spaniel still needs plenty of exercise. This is not a breed for couch potatoes! Active families with lots of energy and time to play with their dog are perfectly suited for this exuberant breed. In the right setting, the English Springer Spaniel is a delightful dog breed, but if allowed to become bored due to lack of exercise, he’ll find something to entertain himself (like chewing up the legs of your new coffee table – or pulling the stuffing out of the sofa!)
English Springer Spaniel Grooming Info
As with all Spaniels, the English Springer Spaniel grows a long coat, which requires regular grooming to keep it’s distinctive look. In between visits to the groomer, it’s also important to brush your English Springer Spaniel daily to prevent the soft, silky coat from becoming tangled and matted. The ears also need attention; they should be inspected regularly for dirt, mites and yeast, and then cleansed thoroughly with an acidifying ear cleanser made especially for dogs. Nails may need to be trimmed regularly as well.
English Springer Spaniel Training Info
Intelligent and athletic, the English Springer Spaniel was bred for hunting, and, as such, is a very trainable dog that excels in obedience training. Start early, from puppyhood, taking obedience classes with your English Springer Spaniel puppy, and you’ll end up with an extremely well-behaved dog that is an absolute pleasure to live with. Find a qualified dog trainer near you and enroll your puppy for classes as soon as he is old enough.
This breed loves “doing stuff” and will jump (literally) at the chance to participate in dog sports such as agility, flyball, obedience and field trials – a great way to ensure that he gets plenty of exercise.
A naturally sweet and affectionate breed, the English Springer Spaniel also is an excellent candidate for therapy work with disabled and elderly people.
English Springer Spaniel Health Info
English Springer Spaniels can be prone to a number of hereditary health problems. That is why choosing a responsible breeder from which to purchase your English Springer Spaniel puppy is very important. Responsible English Springer Spaniel breeders will be well educated about the breed and carefully screen their breeding dogs for disorders that can affect these dogs.
Health concerns in the breed include:
Eye Disorders: PRA, Retinal Dysplasia
English Springer Spaniel Right Breed Info
If you’re an active, fun-loving family with lots of time to spend with your dog, and you don’t mind visiting the groomer 2 to 3 times a year, then the English Springer Spaniel is a great choice. This affectionate, fun and intelligent dog breed will provide you and your family with many years of love, laughter, fun and companionship. Whether you live in a city apartment or a country acreage, the English Springer Spaniel is well suited to almost any accommodations, provided he gets the exercise he craves. English Springer Spaniels are usually good with small children, but, as with any dog breed, children should always be closely supervised around the English Springer Spaniel. Small hands can wield big toys (or small, scratchy ones) that can easily harm this patient pooch.