English Springer Spaniel

AKC Group: Sporting

Springer and Cocker Spaniels were considered to be the same breed until the 1800s. England was the first to divide them. Cocker Spaniels weigh under 25 pounds and were used to hunt woodcock. Springer Spaniels weigh over 45 pounds and were used to “spring” game birds into the air where hawks would retrieve them. When hunters started relying on guns, Springer Spaniels flushed out the birds and retrieved them themselves.

Size: 18 to 21 inches; 40 to 55 pounds

Color: Black or liver with white; black or liver roan; tri-color (black or liver and white with tan markings). The white on the coat can be flecked.

Life span: 12 to 14 years

Health problems: Ectropion, glaucoma, retinal problems, hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, epilepsy, Van Willebrand’s Disease (a blood disease), subaortic stenosis (a heart disease). Thyroid problems, allergies and skin conditions have also been noted.

Springer Spaniels are medium-sized dogs that sport a gorgeous weather-resistant coat. It’s a straight, silky, close-fitting coat. They have long silky ears that hang down the side of their face to complete their sweet-as-honey expression. The Springer Spaniel is an active, intelligent, eager to please dog. They love the companionship and affection that a human family can provide and make a real people-oriented dog when they’re properly socialized. They learn quickly and love to play and exercise. Some Springer Spaniels can be overly boisterous while others can become clingy. With training, both these problems can be tackled. A Springer Spaniel becomes destructive and anxious when left alone too long. Springer Spaniels do great with kids, other pets and strangers. (Some may be slightly more aloof than others of the breed.) Faithful, devoted and loyal, a Springer Spaniel will alert you of possible dangers.

The Springer Spaniel coat will demand attention several times a week to be brushed and combed. During heavy periods of shedding, he’ll require more time at the “hair salon.” He’ll require clipping about every three months. You should trim his bottom hair regularly (for hygienic reasons) and check his ears.

Intelligent and naturally obedient, training your Springer Spaniel shouldn’t present many challenges. They are emotional dogs and can easily have their feelings hurt, so be mindful to not yell, be harsh or punitive. They easily read your mood and will react accordingly. Positivity and positive reinforcement is all you need! They do need mental stimulation, so feel free to enroll them in any kind of obedience, tracking, fielding or therapy training program. Each and every trick you can find to teach a dog, your Springer Spaniel can learn and excel at. These guys have a lot of mental energy to expend in order to curb behavioral issues. This is not a couch potato, let-my-brain-turn-to-mush kind of dog. Feel free to let your children in on the training; a Springer can learn and respond just as well to children. (Junior handling is a fantastic activity for both human and canine.) If you talk to your Springer enough, you can train him through simple casual talk. This is a breed who can learn anything you have the time and/or energy to teach!

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