English Springer Spaniel
Other names: Springer
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
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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
Group 8 - Retrievers - Flushing Dogs - Water Dogs
Section 2 : Flushing Dogs
Physical characteristics of the English Springer Spaniel
Female : Between 19 and 21 in
Male : Between 19 and 21 in
Female : Between 40 and 49 lb
Male : Between 40 and 49 lb
The coat can be bicolour (black and white or liver and white), black, white and tan, liver and white, liver, white and tan or tricolour with tan markings.
Type of coat
The fur is mid-length.
The fur is straight, tight and offers protection from the weather. Fringes appear on the ears, the anterior and posterior limbs and the body.
The eyes are dark hazel-coloured.
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.
Very nice, cheerful and friendly with everyone, the English Springer integrates perfectly with the daily life offered to him by his adoptive family.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.).
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).
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.
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.
Destruction can occur when the English Springer is left alone. His destruction is mainly directed towards objects that bear the scent of his masters: cushions, blankets, the remote control, slippers, telephone, etc.
Greedy / Gluttony
This dog is no greedier than the average dog. He appreciates treats as a reward but doesn't necessarily demand them.
Neither fearful nor aggressive, the English Springer remains vigilant without being much of a deterrent. Indeed, his joviality and good personality do not make him a very good guard dog.
But beware, if he feels his family is in danger, his reaction may surprise you.
It is said that training an English Springer requires an expert hand. This is neither entirely true nor completely untrue.
Indeed, this hunting dog, if sometimes a little stubborn, needs reliable and confident masters, but by no means does this prevent novice masters from taking care of this breed.
However, the help of a professional canine behaviourist should be at least considered, to prevent the dog from picking up bad habits.
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English Springer Spaniel in a flat
Although he is happy everywhere while he is with his master, it should not be forgotten that this working dog is above all a hunter. His physical and olfactory needs are therefore important.
Life in an apartment is only conceivable for this Spaniel if his masters are active, and available enough to be able to provide him with long daily walks outside the city environment or in other vast spaces.
He is much happier in the countryside, in a house with a garden where he can stretch his legs at his leisure.
Need for exercise / Sporty
He is quite athletic. Indeed, this hound needs a lot of exercise to maintain his musculature.
Simple neighbourhood walks or days spent in his garden cannot satisfy him. Several hours a day need to be devoted to him in order to fully meet all his needs.
In addition to being a very good companion for hunters thanks to his endurance and robustness, he can also accompany active owners in their sports activities (e.g. cani-cross, bikejoring, etc.).
Travelling / easy to transport
Travel is quite possible with this dog, but it requires a certain level of preparation because his size is still too large for him to be lifted and carried. He requires a carrier crate or similar for the car or aeroplane and should wear a muzzle for public transport.
English Springer Spaniel and cats
Due to his hunting instinct, cohabitation is only possible if the English Springer puppy has been around cats from a young age.
English Springer Spaniel and dogs
The English Springer Spaniel is friendly, playful and enthusiastic with other dogs. Regular, controlled and positive meetings are therefore necessary to maintain the physical, mental and social balance of this hunting dog.
English Springer Spaniel and children
He loves children due to his very playful nature. He enjoys spending time with them as long as they respect him and treat him well.
English Springer Spaniel and the elderly
Although gentle and affectionate, this working dog is not made for a sedentary life. If he is adopted by older people who are not active, they will have to use dog-walking services; otherwise this Spaniel will be very unhappy.
The price of an English Springer varies depending on his origins, age and gender. An average of £610 is asked for a dog registered with the Kennel Club.
The average budget to support a dog of this size is around £35/month.
This dog's coat does not require special grooming and is easily maintained as long as you are diligent and regular in weekly brushing. However, his fringes require special attention to avoid the formation of knots.
Shedding is moderate but ongoing in this breed. Moulting is regular and intensifies in the autumn and spring when brushing must take place daily.
Nutrition of the English Springer Spaniel
The English Springer is not difficult and can accommodate to industrial food (kibble) appropriate to his age, weight and daily physical activities.
One meal a day is enough, generally in the evening to promote better digestion. It is absolutely necessary to avoid self-service so that this active dog does not suffer from splenic torsion, which can be fatal.
Health of the English Springer Spaniel
The life expectancy is estimated at 13 years.
Strong / robust
He is a very robust, sturdy and long-lived dog.
Like many active and working dogs, he doesn’t appreciate heat very much. Indeed, during intense effort, exhaustion can happen quickly, so it is not advisable to make him work in a very intense way when it is very hot.
His tight coat offers him protection from bad weather. In fact, he doesn't really fear the cold and can even live outside. Attention must be paid all the same to extreme climatic conditions.
Tendency to put on weight
Since he is very active, the Springer has substantial physical expenditure, so if he has a balanced diet, there is no justification for excessive weight gain.
- Alpha-Fucosidosis (dysfunction of an enzyme)
- Primary Seborrhoea (disease that reaches the skin and hair follicles)
- Ventricular Communication (Heart malformation)
- Coxo-femoral dysplasia