English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel

Other Names

Springer Spaniel

Description

The English Springer Spaniel is a medium-sized, compact dog. The head is in proportion with the body. The broad skull is medium in length and flat on the top. The length of the head is about the same as the length of the neck. The muzzle is about the same length as the skull, with a moderate stop. The nose is either liver or black, depending on the dog’s coat color. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. The medium-sized, oval-shaped eyes are either dark hazel in liver and white dogs or dark brown in black and white dogs. The long, wide, pendant ears hang close to the cheeks and reach the nose when pulled forward. The chest is deep. The back is level with the length, about the same as the height of the dog from the ground to the withers. The front legs are straight, and the feet are compact. The tail is usually docked. Note: docking tails is illegal in most parts of Europe. The coat is medium in length with feathering over the legs, ears, cheeks and brisket. Coat color comes in liver and white, and black and white, predominantly white with black or liver markings, blue or liver roan, a tricolor pattern of black and white or liver and white with tan markings, usually found on eyebrows, cheeks, inside of the ears and under the tail. The white areas of the coat may have ticking.

Temperament

English Springers are even-tempered, gentle, friendly, and sociable dogs that make great child companions. Intelligent, skillful, willing and obedient and a quick learner. Brave, playful, energetic, pleasant and cheerful, their tails are seemingly always in motion. They are affectionate, good natured and sincere; this dog loves everyone. Springers do best when they are with people who can provide them with some kind of consistent structure where the rules are made clear. Negative issues can arise with meek owners and/or owners who do not provide daily mental and physical exercise. This can cause frustration in the dog and they may become destructive and start to bark a lot if left alone. If a Springer does not see the owners as strong authority figures they will begin to believe it is their job to take over the leadership role. If you allow this to happen the dog can become a biter in an attempt to keep the humans in line. Adolescent Springers need a lot of authoritative guidance. They are sensitive to the tone of one’s voice and will not listen if they sense that they are stronger minded than their owner, however they will also not respond well to harsh discipline. Owners need to be calm, yet possess an air of natural authority. At this age they can be extra high-energy, testing and challenging the leadership position. There are two types, field lines and show lines (bench). Field types are bred for hunting and field trial work. The bench type is bred for conformation shows and has more liver or black on its coat, and the coats are longer and fuller. The field type has more white on its coat than the show type and a lot less hair. Both types are intelligent and energetic and need daily exercise, but field lines have a higher energy level and need even more exercise. The dominancy level in this breed varies even within the same litter. If you are not the type of person who can display a natural air of calm, but firm authority, then be sure to choose a pup that is more submissive. The temperament of both show and field lines vary widely, depending upon how the owners treat the dog and how much and what type of exercise they provide. They love water and may constantly get themselves wet and muddy. Usually they are good with other pets but since they are natural fowl hunters they should not be trusted with birds. They can be sometimes argumentative with other dogs if owners do not communicate clearly who is in charge.

Height/Weight

Height: Males 19 – 21 inches (48 – 56 cm) Females 18 – 20 inches (46 – 51 cm)
Weight: Males 45 – 55 pounds (20 – 25 kg) Females 40 – 50 pounds (18 – 23 kg)

Health Problems

Some English Springers are prone to hip dysplasia, PRA, which affects the eyes, PFK, a blood disorder, epilepsy, and HD. They gains weight easily; do not overfeed.

Living Conditions

They will do okay in an apartment if sufficiently exercised. English Springer Spaniels adapt well to town or city life. They are relatively inactive indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized yard.

Exercise

Springers enjoy as much exercise as you can give them. They need lots of it to be happy. They should have chances to take daily long walks or jogs where the dog is made to heel beside or behind the human, never in front, as in a dog’s mind, the leader leads the way. They will also benefit from a run and play off the leash. They love to retrieve and swim. These dogs perform very well in both agility skills trials and obedience competitions.

Life Expectancy

About 12-14 years.

Litter Size

About 4 to 10 puppies

Grooming

The coat of the field-type Springer is fairly easy to maintain and regular brushing with a stiff bristle brush will keep it looking good; the show-type Springers’ coat needs more attention. Both need baths and dry shampoo only when necessary, but check the ears regularly for signs of infection. Springers with longer coats will mat if not brushed often and particular attention needs to be given to the ears and the feet. If the hair is not kept shaved on the underside of the ears, it can lead to chronic ear infections. The hair on the feet needs to be trimmed to prevent burrs and foxtails from becoming imbedded. The longer coats will pick up burrs and branches and need to be combed out after outside exercise or it will mat badly. The show type Springer does not have as much coat as the American Cocker Spaniel, but it needs regular attention. This breed is a constant average shedder.

Origin

The English Springer Spaniel is the founder of all the English hunting spaniels. During the Renaissance, it was considered the ideal companion for the European hunter. Its popularity in America began in 1700. The Clumber, the Sussex, the Welsh Springer, the Field, the Irish Water, and the Cocker Spaniel all developed out of the English Springer Spaniel. Once considered the same breed as the Cocker Spaniel, the dogs were born in the same litter. The smaller dogs were the Cockers and were used to hunt woodcock. The larger dogs in the litter, the English Springers, were used to flush out and spring on the game, hence where the dog gets its name. Both size dogs were and still are good at hunting on land and water and good at work in brush, also making a fine retriever. It was not until 1902 that the Kennel Club of England recognized the English Springer Spaniel as a separate breed from the Cocker Spaniel. The English Springer Spaniel was recognized by the AKC in 1910. The English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association was formed in 1924 and field trials were held for the first time. Their talents include hunting, tracking, retrieving, watchdog, agility, competitive obedience and performing tricks.