English Springer Spaniel

Other names: Springer

English Springer Spaniel

The English Springer is a very affectionate and friendly dog, nice with children, calmer than the Cocker Spaniel, even if he is rather active. The English Springer is a versatile hunting dog. Since he is as comfortable on the ground as in the water, he is able to hunt and work; but he is also great as a companion dog.

Key facts about the English Springer Spaniel

Life expectancy :

7

19

12

14

Temperament :

Affectionate Playful Intelligent Hunter

Size :

Origins and history

The Springer, as his full name indicates, originated in England. This breed has been known for more than 2,000 years, although he was not ‘recognized’ as a breed until the end of the nineteenth century. A hunter, Gaston Phoebus, the Count of Foix, kept many of them and contributed to their fame. But it was only after the Second World War that the breed began to gain reputation. British Islanders have been able to keep and develop those qualities of Spaniels that have become valuable to hunts taking place in difficult access areas. The breed was recognised by the English Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club in 1910 and by the CFI in 1954.

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 8 - Retrievers - Flushing Dogs - Water Dogs

Section

Section 2 : Flushing Dogs

Physical characteristics of the English Springer Spaniel

    Adult size

    Female : Between 19 and 21 in

    Male : Between 19 and 21 in

    Weight

    Female : Between 40 and 49 lb

    Male : Between 40 and 49 lb

    Coat colour

    Black
    White
    Brown

    Type of coat

    Long

    Eye colour

    Brown

    Description

    The general view is that of a symmetrical, strong, compact, joyful and active dog. Among the Spaniels, the English Springer is the largest and has the most character and charm. His head is structured around a medium-length, fairly wide, slightly rounded skull, and a snout with a length proportional to the skull, wide and deep, well positioned under the eyes. Those eyes, averagely sized, have a soft expression. They are almond-shaped. The ears, which flap down from the head, have a good length and width and are located at the height of the eyeline. The tail is directed downwards, well-fringed, and always lively; it never surpasses the dorsal line.

    Good to know

    He is the oldest of British hunting dogs.

    Temperament

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      Affectionate

      Very nice, cheerful and friendly with everyone, the English Springer integrates perfectly with the daily life offered to him by his adoptive family.

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      Playful

      He is a very good playmate for both the young and old. He enjoys spending time playing with children, but also practicing more demanding activities with adults.

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      Calm

      Less active than his cousin the Cocker, the English Springer Spaniel is nonetheless an active creature and will only be calm when his needs are fulfilled.

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      Intelligent

      Very lively and versatile, this dog quickly understands what is expected of him, which makes him a very good working dog but also a very pleasant dog to train as long as the method fits him.

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      Hunter

      Like all Spaniels, he is a hunting dog that enjoys the chase. He displays excellent control. He is faster and more resolute when hunting than other Spaniels.

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      Fearful / wary of strangers

      The standard specifies that fearful or aggressive subjects are to be rejected. Indeed, the English Springer has good social qualities. In fact, he is friendly rather than wary, even with people he does not know, especially if introductions are made in a proper and respectful way.

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      Independent

      His daily goal is to satisfy his master. Thus, he shows great working skills, he sometimes knows how to take initiatives, but he still listens to the boss.

      Behaviour of the English Springer Spaniel

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        Tolerates solitude

        This dog is happy and fulfilled only when in contact with his master, so he does not tolerate solitude very well. It is necessary to progressively accustom the English Springer puppy to stay alone, especially so that he does not subsequently develop any behavioural disorders (anxiety, destruction, excessive barking, etc.).

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        Easy to train / obedience

        The English Springer Spaniel is perhaps the most docile of the hunting dogs. He wants above all to please his master, in fact, he does not like disputes or punishment. Education must therefore be positive, rewarding and encouraging of good behaviour. 

        However, this does not mean that his master shouldn’t be firm, consistent, and self-confident when teaching the basic lessons (leash walking, recall, and appropriate behaviour).

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        Barking

        Barking is rarely excessive with this dog because he has a fairly balanced nature. However, if his owner’s attitude and training techniques are not coherent, barking can be used to demand attention, to vent energy, or to express frustration.

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        Tendency to run away

        If he lives in a house with a garden, it is advisable to have a completely fenced outdoor space so he is not tempted to follow an interesting scent.

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