The English Springer Spaniel is a medium-sized purebred gundog known for its friendliness, loyalty, and even-tempered nature. Usually docile, they get along well with children, making them a perfect family dog. English Springer Spaniels were originally bred to be hunting dogs to flush game. Due to this, they are a bundle of energy and need plenty of attention and exercise. Today, English Springer Spaniels are highly regarded and are one of the most popular dog breeds.
History and Origins
All Spaniels likely originated from Spain but were then introduced to other European countries by the Romans. Their first mention can be traced back to hundreds of years ago.
The English Springer Spaniel type was later developed in England, where they were bred to be hunting dogs to flush and retrieve game. The gundog gained its name, the Springer, from the way it springs on its prey.
Although originally bred to be a working dog, there are now two separate lines of the English Springer Spaniel – field-bred and show-bred. Show Springer Spaniels are bred to excel in the show ring, while field types are bred for hunting ability. Nevertheless, field and show Springer Spaniels are similar albeit a few differences in character and appearance.
Nowadays, because of their extraordinary smell, English Springer Spaniels are commonly used as sniffer dogs. The English Springer Spaniel has also gained popularity as a household pet, desired by families who love spending time outdoors.
English Springer Spaniel Characteristics & Temperament
The English Springer Spaniel is well-tempered, trustworthy, and loyal. They are intelligent and have a strong working drive, making them easy to train. Field-bred Springer Spaniels have a stronger working drive and more stamina compared to show types. However, both are high-energy dogs. If left by themselves for long durations, or not provided enough exercise, they can become bored and engage in destructive behavior.
While their affectionate nature makes them ideal for families with children, they are still a high-energy dog and their playtime can get boisterous. For this reason, they need to be supervised around young children.
English Springer Spaniels need to know their place in the pack. If they do not receive appropriate training from an early age, they may become distressed and take on the role of alpha dog, which can cause them to have behavioral issues. Springer Spaniels are happiest when they know who to follow.
English Springer Spaniels have an innate hunting impulse and may chase after other animals. However, a Springer Spaniel can be quickly trained to wait before chasing.
English Springer Spaniel Appearance, Colors, Size
The English Springer Spaniel is a medium-sized gundog with a height ranging between 46 cm and 56 cm. The average weight of a female Springer Spaniel is 16 kg to 20 kg, while the average of a male is 20 kg to 25 kg.
English Springer Spaniels are the tallest of all Spaniel dogs and they have a muscular build, with strong shoulders and hindquarters. A Springer Spaniel’s coat hue is typically either black and white or brown and white. They have almond-shaped eyes, which gives them a gentle expression.
Springer Spaniels have floppy ears, long muzzles, and broad-heads. They have a feathered tail, but in some instances, their tail may be docked.
Show line Spaniels tend to be heavier than field types, and they also have longer coats and ears.
English Springer Spaniel Health
The average life expectancy of an English Springer Spaniel is 12 to 14 years. They are affected by the following health conditions and illnesses:
- Hereditary Eye Disease
- Hip dysplasia
- Phosphofructokinase deficiency
- Primary Glaucoma
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Auto-Immune Diseases
- Ear Disorders
Notably, show-bred English Springer Spaniels, although exceptionally rare, can suffer from Rage Syndrome, a condition where a dog has sudden moments of unprovoked aggressive behavior.
Grooming & Shedding
English Springer Spaniels have soft, longer coats, and they love exploring wild and muddy areas. They, therefore, need more grooming compared to other breeds, and their coat should be brushed daily with trimming every few months to keep their fur in good condition and tangle-free. Special attention should be given to the feathered areas of a Springer Spaniel, as they are more prone to knots and matting. This includes their ears, neck, legs, and feet. Their ears in particular, should be kept well-trimmed to stop debris from becoming entangled in them.
They have a moderate amount of shedding and shed throughout the year.
English Springer Spaniel Price and Breeders
English Springer Spaniel puppies from breeders usually cost around 800 dollars, but this price can vary depending on the breeder and if they are show or field lines.
To find trustworthy breeders of both field-bred and show-bred English Springer Spaniels, the American Kennel Club Marketplace is the place to look.
Rescuing a Springer Spaniel is more cost-effective than buying from a breeder, and due to the breed’s popularity, there are plenty of Springer Spaniel rescue groups across the United States. To find rescue groups in your area, visit the English Springer Rescue America’s website. They also provide the option to search specifically for senior Springer Spaniels.