English Springer Spaniel

  • Breed Group : SPORTING
  • Origin : England
  • Average Height : 18" - 22"
  • Average Weight : 45 - 57 lbs.
  • Life Span : 10 - 15 years

Photo Courtesy of : English Springer Rescue of America

English Springer Spaniel Rescue Organizations

  • Size

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  • Energy

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  • Intelligence

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  • Ease of Training

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  • Hypo-Allergenic

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  • Shedding

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  • Good with Kids

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  • Good with Other Pets

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  • Guard Dog

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  • The original spaniels started to appear as early as the 1600's. Springer Spaniels and Cocker Spaniels were considered the same breed until the 1800's. England started to divide the dogs into two groups.

    The Cocker Spaniels were considered under 25 lbs and used for woodcock, and the English Springers were considered about 45 lbs. Their purpose was to "spring" a game bird into the air, and a hawk would retrieve it. This was before guns were used. Today's springer spaniel's flush and retrieve their game.

    In the mid twentieth century, the English Springer Spaniel started to divide into two groups, the field and show bred dog, while still being considered the same breed.

    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 Setter as a separate breed from the Cocker Spaniel.

    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.

    The original spaniels started to appear as early as the 1600's. Springer Spaniels and Cocker Spaniels were considered the same breed until the 1800's. England started to divide the dogs into two groups. The Cocker Spaniels were considered under 25 lbs and used for woodcock, and the English Springers were considered about 45 lbs. Their purpose was to "spring" a game bird into the air, and a hawk would retrieve it. This was before guns were used. Today's springer spaniel's flush and retrieve their game.

    In the mid twentieth century, the English Springer Spaniel started to divide into two groups, the field and show bred dog, while still being considered the same breed.
  • • Great stamina and energy. ~ loves lots of exercise.
    • Great temperaments. Intelligent, friendly, eager to please Springer Spaniels love people, love to be petted, not a
    great guard dog ~ they love meeting new people.
    • This is a breed does not do well left alone and suffers with separation anxiety if forced to be left behind.
    • Great with children and other pets even small ones ~ but not birds, which they see as prey.
    • Known for good health.
    • Springers have 'double coats' which means they have an insulating undercoat that keeps them warm, therefore,
    do fine in cold climates. Their coats are almost 'waterproof' 'weatherproof' and 'thorn proof'.
    • Require regular brushing ~ at least 3x/week.

    Temperament

    The typical English Springer Spaniel is a happy go-lucky and eager to please dog. They should be friendly, sociable, playful, and gentle, making them an excellent family dog. They are extremely intelligent and can learn very quickly.

    Although the typical springer spaniel loves children, any dog that is not socialized with them from puppy hood will not act predictably around them. Puppies should be handled by children from birth, and taught to always be gentle and easy.

    English Springer Spaniels are very comical dogs. They are known to entertain their owners during their play. Rolling in mud, jumping into water, chasing after birds, and giving lots of kisses are among a few activities Springers enjoy. Even more known among springers, is their endless tail wag. Some even wiggle their butts when they are happy.

    Springers should never be shy, timid, or aggressive. During their "teen" years, they can be very testing and will want to establish dominance. The handler should have knowledge on how to remain a pack leader. NILIF, or Nothing in Life is Free training, should begin when the dog is a puppy. This means the dog must work for everything: food, toys, going outside, playing, etc.

    Some people believe Springers are prone to something called "rage syndrome". The ESSFTA (English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association) has maintained that this "syndrome" is an old term and not factual. Any dog has the potential to become aggressive. Proper training, mental stimulation, and good breeding, will prevent aggression in the Springer spaniel.

    Grooming

    The grooming needed for the English Springer Spaniel depends upon which type you have. The field bred Springer does not need much grooming, as they typically have a short coat and less feathering. Weekly brushing, combing, and the occasional clipping should suffice. If the dog hunts, it's a good idea to brush the coat out after every outing.

    On the other hand, the show bred Springer has a substantial amount more coat than the field bred spaniel. The coat, especially the feathering will mat if not brushed. A thorough brushing and combing is required a few times a week. The neck, tail, and top of the head can be shaved thinner than the rest of the coat. A dog destined for the show ring should never have his coat shaved. However, a pet or performance dog can be kept with a shorter coat if desired.

    Both field and show type springers shouldn't be bathed too frequently, or their coat will become dry and dull. Supplementing the diet with omega-3 fatty acids or salmon oil will help keep the coat shiny and soft.

    Exercise

    The English Springer Spaniel will take as much exercise as you can give it. They need lots of time to run off leash and play. The English Springer Spaniel was created to stay close to his handler, so off leash walks in the woods or fields are a great form of exercise, if the dog has been trained to recall of course. Most enjoy a long swim and retrieving games. They need more than the average leash walk around the block to keep them satisfied. Hunting, agility, tracking, and obedience are popular sports among the springer breed, to keep them physically, as well as mentally, stimulated.

    If not exercised enough, the Springer Spaniel will gain weight, will become bored and sometimes destructive. The dogs some people describe as "hyper" are usually just not being exercised properly.

    Some people like to use laser lights to entertain and exercise their dogs. The springer spaniel is known to become obsessive with such a "toy" and it is highly recommended by many breeders and trainers that you not use one with your dog.

    Many springers become obsessive compulsive after a laser light is used for some time with them. They will literally bounce off the walls and chase after any light, including headlights on cars. There are many other ways to exercise your dog. Playing with a frisbee, fetch, jogging, going swimming, and hiking, are just a few ideas.

    Training

    English Springer Spaniel's are considered a very intelligent, skillful, and obedient breed. With such traits, they are very easy to train. Their alertness and attentiveness make them an ideal hunting companion, performance dog, or family pet.

    Springer Spaniels are a very emotional breed and their feelings are easily hurt. They need to be trained with positive reinforcement. Forceful or negative training will lead to a dog unwilling to please. Springers can also pick up on your mood, becoming agitated and impatient just as you do. Keeping a positive attitude will make it much easier to train your dog.

    Because the Springer Spaniel is such an intelligent dog, they need mental stimulation from training. Whether you teach them a wide variety of tricks, perform in events such as agility, Flyball, obedience, tracking, and field trials, or train them into service or therapy dogs, your spaniel will flourish from it. Through training, you develop a strong bond with your dog, and he will respect you more for it. A dog left untrained will become bored, and look for ways to entertain himself, such as becoming destructive, obsessive, or overly energetic.

    Many children join in on training their Springers through junior handling. Being an adaptable breed, Springers will work for adults and children alike. Most clubs allow children to compete with their dogs in any and all events, including conformation showing.

    Springers are dogs that easily pick up on language. If you speak to them enough, they can understand commands through casual talk. The more you talk to your dog, the more he will understand.

    Overall, Springers are an easy breed to live with.





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