A guide to the English Springer Spaniel, from their history, temperament, appearance, training, and care. English Springer Spaniels are wonderful dogs; they are incredibly popular and beautiful dogs. But it’s not just about how attractive they look; if you want to bring a Springer into your family, prepare yourself for a lot of hard work and time commitment.
This article will give you a good rundown about English Springer Spaniels, and we’re confident if you have accurate information about the breed, you will know if the Springer will be a good fit for you and your family.
Everything You Need To Know About The English Springer Spaniel:
1. Springer Spaniel History
Spaniels take their name from the country of Spain; it’s thought that the dogs originated there before being taken to other countries by ancient mariners. There are similar-looking dogs to Springers depicted in artwork going back to the 16th century. Tangible evidence of the breed didn’t occur until the 19th century, and in those times, the Cocker, Welsh, and English Spaniels were deemed to be the same breed and born in the same litter.
Hunters would use the smaller dogs-the Cockers for hunting woodcock, while the larger dogs would flush out game birds by either jumping or ‘springing’ at the birds to encourage them to fly. Once airborne, the birds would be trapped in the hunter’s nets, and as the gun became the prominent hunting tool-shot. Hunters gave the names Cocker and Springer to the respective dogs based on their hunting style.
To split up the two dogs into their respective breeds, the Cocker Spaniel and the English Springer Spaniel, took many years of meticulous breeding. Hunters reverted to guns as soon as they became available. While the Cocker’s role diminished, the English Springer began earning his stripes as an excellent gundog; that tradition continues even today.
It wasn’t until 1902 that the Kennel Club of England recognized the Springer Spaniel as a distinct breed, and in 1913 the first English Springer Spaniel was imported to North America by a Canadian breeder. The AKC parent club, the English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association, held its initial meeting in the United States in 1924. There are two classifications of Springers; the field English Springer Spaniel and the bench English Springer Spaniel. Hunters tend to use the field, while the bench Springers are primarily show dogs.
Field Springers require working abilities such as an excellent sense of smell, a good turn of speed, and bags of endurance. Bench and field Springers are not crossbred, and it’s unusual for a Springer Spaniel to be a working dog and a show dog; there hasn’t been a dual champion since 1938.
2. English Springer Spaniel Characteristics
A typical English Springer Spaniel is robust, strong, and possesses incredible endurance. The average English Springer Spaniel’s height is twenty inches to the shoulder, and he will weigh between forty and fifty pounds.
However, field Springers tend to be a little smaller and weigh less than their bench counterparts; their coats are shorter and rougher than the longer, silkier feathered coats of the bench Springers. Field Springers also have shorter ears, and their eyes don’t droop in the way of the bench Springers, which would help the dog when he has to work through the undergrowth to flush birds.
English Springer Spaniel’s lifespan is between twelve and fourteen years. On the AKC (American Kennel Club) list, he is 27 out of 197 popular breeds. An English Springer Spaniel cost is from $800 to $1500; this will entirely depend on the breeder you choose.
3. English Springer Spaniel Temperament
English Springer Spaniels are typically a very friendly and loving family dog. Field Springers are more interested in what’s going on in the hedgerow and be distracted by tiny creatures. They are energetic dogs and need regular daily exercise, but being intelligent dogs also requires a lot of mental activity.
Springers are one of those dog breeds that thrive on regular and vigorous exercise; if they don’t get it or not enough, Springer Spaniels will become bored and restless; this typically results in destructive or other inappropriate behavior. Unless you have a secure area to unleash and exercise your Springer, you will do better keeping them on the leash. This can be tricky because of the quality of exercise they need, but Springers tend to chase birds; if you have them exceptionally well trained to a recall, it should work out okay.
Because of their heritage, they love to be around people, love to please their family, and are eminently trainable. It seems that field Springers tend to show some dominance and aggression. Many undesirable traits can be a result of breeding. If they are working dogs, they might not have been socialized and possibly even kept away from humans in kennels; the emphasis was to breed successful working dogs.
If you have chosen a working dog, you need to meet the parents and see how the breeders bring up the dogs and puppies. It is better to find a breeder that produces dogs to suit your needs than trying to alter a dog’s personality because of inadequate or irresponsible breeding. Springers are not great being left alone; some can suffer from separation anxiety quite severely. Most Springers enjoy the hustle and bustle of a busy home, so if you have noisy older children, a Springer will do well in your home.
Plus, if you can encourage your children to take your Springer on runs and generally tire him out, you won’t regret it. On first meeting a stranger, a Springer tends to be pretty wary, but they quickly make friends once they see no danger. English Springer Spaniels are not your typical guard dogs or watchdogs.
4. English Springer Spaniel Coat Colors
All Springer Spaniels have double coats; a soft and dense undercoat and a moderate length outer coat that can be wavy or flat to the body. There is some feathering on the stomach, legs, ears, and chest.
There is a range of colors found on Springer Spaniels. The most classic color combinations are liver or black with white markings or the reverse white with liver or black markings. Springers can also sport liver-roan, tri-color, or blue. If the Springer is a tri-color, you’ll typically find black and white or liver and white; with either color, there will be tan markings under the tail, inside the ears, on the cheeks, and eyebrows.
Bench Springers will have less white and more color, whereas field Springers will have a lot more white; this makes them far easier to spot when they are working.
5. English Springer Spaniel Grooming
English Springer Spaniels shed a lot of hair, especially during the seasonal changes; they are not hypoallergenic dogs by any stretch of the imagination. To help keep the volume down to manageable levels, you need to give your Springer a good brush at least four or five times a week. Brushing not only removes the dead hair, but it keeps his coat in good condition and free from mats and tangles, plus it will get rid of any debris he’s brought home with him.
You’ll probably need to bathe your Springer once a month, or more frequently if he’s rolled in some mud or something even more disgusting. If you’re a very meticulous person and prefer you’re home to be exceptionally clean, a Springer Spaniel might not be the best choice of breed. They love to be in mud, water and generally enjoy getting dirty. A Springer Spaniel will want to bring all that muck into your home, something to bear in mind.
A Springer’s ears need extra care and attention. Having large droopy ear flaps mean they can quickly get water trapped in the ear canal, and as it sits there with no means to escape, it will eventually cause an ear infection. At least every other day, you need to apply a doggy-ear-cleaner to remove excess dirt and moisture.
Don’t go poking a cotton bud down his ear; you’ll end up packing ear wax tightly into his ear canal. You can squirt a little ear cleaner into his ear canal, and that will break up the wax and draw out the moisture. Another tip for keeping his ears free of bacteria and moisture is to remove the hair that grows down inside the ear canal.
6. Springer Spaniel Lifespan
The Springer Spaniel’s Life expectancy is quite a good twelve to fourteen years. I’m sure you’re aware that many factors can impact the Springer’s lifespan, such as hereditary conditions. You can mitigate the extent to which your Springer might suffer these conditions by choosing a reputable breeder. Health screening of the puppy’s parents is invaluable in selecting only healthy puppies from parents free from any genetic defects that may cause concern for you and your puppy in the years to come.
Summary – English Springer Spaniel FAQ
Are Springer Spaniels Hypoallergenic?
No dog is truly hypoallergenic, even if they are low-shedding dogs. Pet dander is the root cause of most dog-to-human allergies. Springer Spaniels shed all year round and will lose their coats during the seasonal changes.
When Is A Springer Spaniel Fully Grown?
It can vary with each dog, but typically Springer Spaniels are fully grown when they reach eighteen months.
What Is The Average Weight Of A Springer Spaniel?
A mature Springer Spaniel weighs at the low end 45 pounds and at the higher up to 55 pounds. Working Springers tend to weigh slightly less.
What Is The Average Lifespan Of A Springer Spaniel?
Springer Spaniels live between 12 and 14 years. However, many things can impact any dog’s lifespan.