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Short History of the BreedThis 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 Springer Spaniel gets its name from his method of flushing game: he springs forward to drive birds out of hiding. This breed hunts well both on land and water and is good at work in brush. He also is a fine retriever. The English Springer Spaniel's merry, gentle personality makes him an ideal family dog. His talents are hunting, tracking, retrieving, watchdogging, agility, competitive obedience, and performing tricks.
Physical Description & SizeHeight: Dogs 19-21 inches (48-56cm.) Bitches 18-20 inches (46-51cm.)
Weight: Dogs 45-55 pounds (20-25kg.) Bitches 40-50 pounds (18-23kg.)
TemperamentMost English Springers are even-tempered, gentle, friendly, and sociable dogs that are great for kids. Intelligent, skillful, willing and obedient. They are playful, energetic and quick learners. Merry, brave and sweet tail-waggers. Cheerful and courageous. It is affectionate, good natured and sincere, Springers love everyone. Springers do best when they are with people as much as possible. They can get into trouble if left alone too long. They love water and may constantly get themselves wet and muddy. Usually they are good with other pets with the possible exception of birds. Sometimes argumentative with same sex dogs. This breed can be destructive and bark a lot if left alone. Springers need wise guidance through what is called their "teenage" time. Some are high-energy (you might even say bonkers!) and they are all intelligent. They need a soft, but firm hand so they always know who is in control. There are two types of Springers - field and bench. The field type are bred for hunting and field trial work. They tend to have more white coat than the bench type, much less hair, and are more high energy. The bench type are bred for conformation shows and have more liver or black than white, they have much more coat, but are usually calmer.
Dog Care (exercise, grooming, diet)The Springer enjoys as much exercise as you can give it. They need lots of it to be happy. They should have chances to take long walks and run and play off the leash. They love to retrieve and swim. These dogs perform very well in both agility skills trials and obedience competitions.
Health Issues, Life ExpectancySome are prone to hip dysplasia. This breed tends to gain weight easily, so do not over feed. Also prone to PRA, which affects the eyes, and PFK, a blood disorder, epilepsy, and HD. The English Springer breed has been experiencing a serious personality problem in some individuals called "Rage Syndrome." This is a rare disorder that also occurs in other popular breeds. An otherwise normal dog goes into a sudden rage, viciously attacking people. During the attacks the dog does not respond to commands. This condition is a form of epilepsy and can be treated. It is generally not evident until the dog is one to two years old. Check with breeders about history of "Rage" in the lines. If your dog is experiencing aggression problems, do not be too quick to label it as "Rage". Many Springers go through a "teenage" stage, where they may test their owners. They need an owner to knows how to display gentle, but firm leadership. This "teenage" behavior is too often misdiagnosed as being "Rage", when in fact, it is normal "Top Dog" behavior. It is best to have your dog tested before assuming they have "Rage".
Life expectancy about 12-14 years.
AKC GroupAKC Sporting
Additional ResourcesSpringer Spaniel Online Community - DogBreed.org
English Springer Spaniel - Online Community & Information
The Springer Manual