The Springer spaniel is one of the oldest breed as well as, the fastest among the Spaniels. Bred to surprisingly flush out birds and game from hiding.
Moreover, this is a happy active breed that is becoming popular as a family dog. Along with this, it is grouped as water spaniel and land spaniel.
Unquestionably, the Springer Spaniel is medium-sized and will grow to between 48 and 56cm tall. A healthy adult should weigh between 23 and 24kgs.
Springer Spaniel is a pet that you will grow old with as he lives to between 12 and 14 years of age.
Key Breed Facts
- Fast, driven dog breed.
- Great family dog.
- Can retrieve game fast.
- Requires Minimal grooming.
- Need room for exercise.
- Prone to a few health problems.
- Easy to train.
- Early socialization with children is necessary.
- The life expectancy of up to 12-14 years.
- Energetic and active dogs.
- Weighs (male) 20-25 kg, (female) 18-23 kg.
- Even-tempered with a gentle disposition.
- Great with children.
- Eager to please.
- Fastest of all the Spaniels.
- The first springer spaniel was shown in 1903 when F. Winton smith exhibited’ Beechgrove Will’.
- A spaniel named Merlin rode to battle with his owner William Wallace.
- Well-adjusted family dogs.
- Bred to work with humans.
- The common factor of the Spaniels is that they are hunting or gun dogs.
- A Springer Spaniel won the Dickin Medal (the Victoria Cross for animals) during the Second World War for his brave work with the British Army.
The English springer spaniel is the oldest of the spaniels. Around 1570 it was brought to Spain and later brought to England by travelers. The springer spaniel was divided into land and water spaniel.
Alongside this, the land spaniel was further divided into older packs containing the same litters but different in sizes. Additionally, they were divided into the English springer spaniel and the cocker spaniel.
The smaller spaniel; the cocker spaniels were used to hunt birds called the woodcock and the larger spaniels were used to flush birds or games out of its hiding spot.
They were breed to work for the hunter in a variety of tasks including flushing game, pointing on the game and retrieving game from the shrub or water.
Origin of Different Spaniel Breeds
In 1880 they were classified as different breeds, that is the Cocker spaniel and Springer spaniel.
Moreover, the English Springer Spaniels are also closely related to Welsh Springer Spaniels, which is a rare breed today.
Due to their active nature, English Springers are one of the most popular Sporting breeds.
The Kennel Club of England recognized them separately in 1902. The Springer Spaniel became even better known in North America after 1924 when the English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association was formed and field trials were started for the first time.
Throughout 1930 there was a fluctuation in registration and after the Second World War, the breed started getting popularity again.
Most recently it’s being used by the military as sniffer dog s to find bombs in war-prone areas like Iraq.
Types of Springers
They are two distinct Springer Spaniel.
- Bench type-bred to be a charmer at show rings. Has a longer darker coat, weighs more and is bigger boned. Due to her coat she requires more grooming than the other spaniel type.
- Field type– very energetic, has a lot of energy and runs fast. Used for chasing birds and has a lighter coat.
With a bow like body at full speed enable him to run very fast as the spine curve and his long legs meet underneath.
Flexible long legs which snap into full extension allowing him to surprisingly flush birds out of their hiding.
His Soft mouth allows him to pick up birds without injuring them.
Comes with a partially dotted wagging tail for the field type which makes it easy for the owner to locate him far in the field.
Additionally, his double layer coat makes him weather, water, thornproof dog breed.
Adorned with feathering fur on his ears, chest, and belly for the show ring type making him an appeal to any dog owner who loves cuddling and a pet who always jumps on you.
Particularly a medium-sized dog with long, hanging ears and a moderately long coat that can be black or liver with white, blue or liver roan, or tricolor.
Well-adjusted family dog, affectionate and eager to please but if not bred properly, can have unwarranted behaviours including excessive barking, hyperactivity, and aggression.
They are friendly, playful, obedient dogs and usually make very good companions and tolerant of children.
Subsequently, his hunting desire makes him a great companion during hunting as he is alert and good at schnuffle things.
Importantly, the English springer spaniel must be with their family as much as possible as they thrive on human interaction.
Intelligence / Trainability
Games such as fetch or agility sport will come in handy as they are good in training and need activities that mentally stimulate them.
Besides, they are highly intelligent, are keen to work for their handler and need mental and physical stimulation.
Even so, they need consistent training as they tend to get overexcited sometimes, although they are quick to learn and willing to obey their leader/trainer.
Training will become more focused and formal for your puppy after 6 months. Besides, regular walking, let your springer spaniel get exercise as part of the retrieve training.
Springers love jumping so you can use a ball for them to fetch and hunt, it can be at the park or on an open field.
When your springer understands the language of recall you can get them off the lead. Nonetheless, if not keep the lead on and in a safe enclosed area where he can schnuffle around.
Children and Other Pets
In addition to this, they are great with children but supervision is required. Ensure to early socialize for them to be well mannered to children.
Also, a cheerful and affectionate sociable breed that loves the company of humans and other dogs making him/her an affectionate family dog. Finally, this is a breed that love people, children, other dogs, and even strangers.
These are healthy dogs nevertheless, are prone to a few health problems.
Get your dog from a reputable breeder or adopting center to avoid health problems in the future. Most reputable breeders have the health issues/information available that you can view before taking the dog home.
Many diseases and health conditions are genetic, which can be due to the pet’s breed.
For instance, hip dysplasia, ear infection, elbow dysplasia, eye problems, and neurological tests need to have been done by the breeder you are buying or adopting from.
The eye problems common in Springer spaniels are glaucoma, cataract (older spaniels), Progressive retinal atrophy which is genetic and can lead to blindness.
Patent ductus arteriosis, is a heart condition in springer spaniel caused by lack of closure of a vessel that takes blood to the heart after birth. This can lead to fatigue, weight loss, and shortness of breath, and weak limbs which can be corrected by surgery.
The English springer spaniel has recently become afflicted with a serious personality disorder called “Rage Syndrome”. Definitely, a rare disorder, which causes an otherwise normal dog to go into a sudden rage and viciously attack
Neurological disorders can include tremors, seizures, and sleeping disorders.
Additionally, this breed tends to gain weight easily and must not be overfed.
Caring for a Springer Spaniel
Give this dog an environment where there is room to run. Developed for hunting birds and foxes they require ample exercise and human companionship.
If not can be bored and lead to destructive behavior like excessive barking.
You can train them as show dogs and compete in flyball, agility, a game of fetch and swimming.
If the English springer spaniel will be outdoors frequently, be certain he has access to plenty of cool water and shade in the summer, and a warm, dry, covered shelter when it is cold.
Training your English springer spaniel early in age on the simple commands like “Sit”, “Stay”, “Come”, “Down”, “Heel”, “Off”, and “Leave it”. This training strengthens the relationship with both the dog as well as the family.
Check for fleas and tick and treat them with flea treatment. Clean your dog bed and surroundings regularly.
For grooming the two types of spaniels is handled differently.
Despite this, the bencher show dog will require you to do more grooming due to the feathery fur. Trim your dogs in between paws, neck, and belly using a straight shear.
Due to different coats all over the body for a show type spaniel, you can take the dog to a groomer every 5-6 months.
For the field type with a short coat, it is self-cleaning hence less grooming is required.
Brush all hair one way after bathing to dry her quickly. Tie a towel around her to encourage the coat to stay lying flat and smooth or blowdry with low heat.
Brush your spaniel at least three times a week to keep his coat smooth and to control shedding. Begin with the dog’s head and neck, then work your way down its back and legs.
Also, you can use a slicker brush to remove mats and tangles. For the coat use a wire-pin brush or medium bristle brush to comb him.
Make the bathing time fun and refreshing, use dog shampoo, fill the bathtub with warm water and can put toys for him to enjoy as he gets’ cleaned up.
Clean your dog’s ears once a week with an ear cleaning solution recommended by your vet.
Using an eye cleaning pad when cleaning your dogs’ eyes and in case of any excess discharge consult your vet.
Take care of your springer teeth by brushing his teeth once a week to prevent tartar and bad breath with a toothbrush and toothpaste formulated for the dog.
Springer spaniels need physical exercise for their overall health and wellbeing and mental exercise to prevent boredom and problematic behaviors.
Give them 2 hours of exercise a day, but do not limit to that as they are an active breed. They are very energetic and love running and a walk also would be good.
Particularly, this athletic and highly active breed enjoys canine sports such as agility, flyball, and dock diving and will do great with an equally active owner.
For a puppy, the exercise should not be aggressive as their muscles are still developing and 2-hour exercise might lead to health problems.
How to do the exercises
You can start with a 30-45 minute walk for the early months compared to an adult springer spaniel.
They need to get out into open space where they can be let off the lead.
Alongside the other forms of exercises, a swim is a good exercise for them too.
Springer spaniels have the least demanding nutrient requirements. For the most part, their problems can mostly be related to over-feeding rather than nutritional deficiencies.
Puppies require large amounts of food in relation to their body weight, although do remember that their stomachs have a very limited capacity.
Puppies need 2 -3 times as much food as an adult dog. Not only, do they need to supply energy for maintenance and activity, but also require enough food needed for growth and bone development.
From weaning to 18 weeks old, you can feed your puppy 4 meals a day at regular intervals.
On the other hand, from 9 months up until your puppy is about 18 months old, give 2 meals a day. These meals are best given to your puppy in the morning and evening.
Also, ask your breeder what they have been feeding your puppy, to avoid stomach upset, diarrhea, or bloat.
Sometimes adult English springer spaniels, however, prefer two smaller meals.
It is your responsibility to learn your English springer spaniel’s eating tendencies.
Top-quality dry dogfood ensures a well-rounded diet for full-grown English springer spaniels and may be mixed with broth, canned food, or water.
Average Cost to keep/care for a Springer Spaniel
When calculating for upkeep make sure you account for one time and recurring costs of caring for a springer spaniel.
The costs that you will incur will include: the price of food, vaccines, deworming treatment, flea prevention, veterinarian care fees, spay/neuter fees, grooming, dental care, training and supplies such as a collar, leash, crate, bed, bowls, and toys.
Get all the supplies in advance, be ready and prepare for your puppy to get a comfortable home.
The average cost for an English Springer Spaniels sold is £550-£1000 depending on the breeder (reputable) or adoption center.
All the cost can be between £1000-£3000 but will defer depending if your dog is healthy or sickly.
Most medical bills can lead to the price going up. The vet will give you a definite cost depending on the services given to your springer spaniel.
Subsequently, be ready financially and emotionally to be able to provide a loving home for your dog.
Breed Specific Buying Advice
Get a puppy from a reputable breeder.
Moreover, get paperwork on various health test also from the breeder. This will give you a clear status on health lineage of the puppy.
Additionally, you will have knowledge of what to expect or what not to expect from the puppy you are taking home in the future.
Following, get her microchipped before 3 years of age.
Lastly, make sure this is the dog breed for you considering he is an active dog full of energy.