A hardy, energetic and fairly intelligent dog, the English springer spaniel is outgoing and friendly, but still should have socialisation and training from the beginning.
English springer spaniels were selected as fairly close-working hunting partners and have a strong desire to be with people and to be working.
Male: 18-23 kg
Female: 18-23 kg
Height at Withers:
Male: 45-50 cm
Female: 45-50 cm
Floppy ears (naturally)
Energy Level: Very energetic
Life Expectancy: 12-14 years
Tendency to Drool: Moderate Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: Low
Tendency to Dig: Low Social/Attention Needs: High
Bird flushing, retrieving
Colours: Black or liver with white, blue or liver roan, tricolour
Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate
AKC Classification: Sporting
UKC Classification: Gun Dog
The English springer spaniel is a medium-sized dog, ranging in height from 45-50cm and in weight from 18-23kg. This dog is a sturdy one for their size with quite a bit of bone and large paws.
The English springer spaniel has the classic "spaniel" look: large and expressive eyes, a moderate muzzle with a definite stop to the forehead and long-hanging ears. The lips can be long and may lead to drooling in some dogs. The dog is the tallest of the spaniel breeds, with a fair amount of leg for covering rough ground quickly.
The English springer spaniel has a medium-length coat, which can be flat or wavy. Extra hair is on the ear fringes, feathering on the rear of all four legs, and on the chest. The colours most commonly seen are liver and white or black and white, but tri-coloured and ticking are variations.
English springer spaniels were selected as fairly close-working hunting partners and have a strong desire to be with people and to be working. Energetic and lively dogs; they have a fair amount of intelligence and are reasonably easy to train. Most spaniels have a retrieving urge, and the English springer spaniel is no exception. This urge can lead to chewing problems if left alone for long periods of time.
Socialise English springer spaniels to other dogs and people right from the start, even though most are fairly outgoing and friendly. Most English springer spaniels do not do well in kennels or sedentary lifestyles. Digging can be a problem with bored dogs.
The English springer spaniel can gain weight fairly easily, so too many treats can lead to obesity. They do best with plenty of exercise, be that hunting, jogging with you or training in agility. As intelligent dogs, they are happiest when working with you and respond well to training. English springer spaniels are often seen competing in hunting, obedience and agility tests. These dogs are hardy and often live into their teens.
English springer spaniels can be surprisingly good watchdogs, offering a loud alarm bark and at least some protectiveness. They do well with children if raised with them. These dogs do best with early socialisation and training. A few English springer spaniels may be content as "couch potatoes," but most prefer to be active. English springer spaniels do seem to like water work as well as land work, and may be attracted to puddles.
Grooming can be a bit of a chore with an English springer spaniel, though they require less work than their smaller cousins. Most owners clip their English springer spaniels and certainly trim around the legs, feet and ears. The show clip requires a steady, skilled hand with the clippers. Daily brushing out of the feathers and long coat is important to prevent matting. Weekly cleaning of the ears is important.
The English springer spaniel comes from the spaniels that were popular as far back as the 1500s as hunting companions in England. Spaniels were considered dogs that flushed out game, sometimes actually causing the game to "spring." Initially, all the spaniels were interbred and distinctions were made only on adult height.
In the 1800s, the Duke of Norfolk became interested in the spaniels and developed his own line, initially called the Norfolk spaniel and now the English springer spaniel. The English springer spaniel has separated again somewhat into field (hunting) and show lines, but many dogs can do both. Most English springer spaniels today are valued family members that may occasionally get the chance to hunt.
With victories in Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club competition, including the first show of the new millennium, the popularity of the English springer spaniel is destined to grow.