The English Springer Spaniel is a traditional working gun dog breed, but today, they are more commonly kept as family pets. Outgoing, loving, friendly and incredibly loyal, the English Springer Spaniel makes an excellent pet for young and old alike.
History of the English Springer Spaniel
The foundations of the English Springer Spaniel as we know it today go all the way back to the 1500s, and possibly even further! They were initially used to assist hunters by flushing out game birds, and bringing downed birds back to their handlers. They are considered to be a soft-mouthed dog, capable of holding birds and other prey gently to avoid damaging them while carrying them.
The English Springer Spaniel also has an excellent nose for scenting, and is commonly used today in working roles with organisations such as the police and military as a sniffer dog… So don’t think you can get away with hiding treats when your Springer is around!
Appearance of the English Springer Spaniel
The English Springer Spaniel is a compactly built, medium sized dog with a medium to long coat, long drooping ears, and feathering around their legs, tail and stomach. They can be seen in two colour varieties; black and white or liver and white, with the colour distributed as patches, and sometimes as spots on the nose, legs and other parts of the body.
Temperament of the English Springer Spaniel
The English Springer Spaniel possesses all of the best traits of the spaniel type; they are loyal, loving, patient and keen to please. They are excellent companions for children, and are tolerant and kind-natured, and enjoy taking part in games and high jinx!
They are also highly intelligent, very receptive to training and love to play. Teach your Springer to retrieve a ball or a stick, and they will keep bringing it back to you until either you or they are totally worn out!
They are active dogs that like to spend plenty of time outdoors, and while they love to hare about and stretch their legs, they are built for endurance rather than speed, and so need several opportunities to go walking and exploring outside every day.
Health Considerations for the English Springer Spaniel
The average lifespan of the English Springer Spaniel is between 10.5-15 years. While there is a relatively large gene pool of purebred Springers within the UK, they do have a genetic predisposition to a few illnesses and health conditions, including:
- Hip dysplasia
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- Retinal dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
- Phosphofructokinase deficiency
- Allergies and autoimmune conditions
- Ear problems, such as infections and ear mite infestation
How Best to Care for an English Springer Spaniel
The English Springer Spaniel is a good-natured dog that is happy to be included in every aspect of family life, including play, trips out in the car, quiet time and visiting new areas. They require a medium amount of exercise, so if your lifestyle involves spending a large portion of your day outside, your Springer will be very happy to join you as you go about your day!
They are very amenable to training, and their intelligence means that they can retain and reliably perform a wide range of training commands, including tricks! They love attention and can be quite the canine show-offs, being very outgoing and happy meeting new people.
Their coats require a moderate amount of brushing and combing to keep it knot-free, and they can be rather mucky pups who will benefit from the occasional bath or visit to the grooming parlour too!
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