Last Updated on August 11, 2023 by Fumipets
English Springer Spaniel: A Brief Overview
The English Springer Spaniel is a versatile and affectionate breed known for its boundless energy and friendly disposition. Originating in England, these dogs were initially bred as hunting companions, excelling in retrieving and flushing out game. With their distinct coat and charming personality, they’ve captured the hearts of families and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
The English springer spaniel, a dog originally intended to be a persistent hunter, has gained a reputation as a sociable, eager-to-please family dog that is as at home with backyard playing as she is flushing gamefowl.
In addition to being outstanding hunting partners, springers are also well-suited for agility and obedience contests, make great jogging partners, and are well-known for their laid-back and devoted personalities. Not to add that English springer spaniels are among the most intellectual dog breeds and are complete geniuses.
The distinct differences between show-bred (or “bench”) and field-bred puppies are one of the key characteristics that distinguish the English springer spaniel from other breeds. Despite being listed as belonging to the same breed of dog, the two varieties are different from one another.
Bench-bred English springer spaniels have a longer, silkier coat with more feathering and less freckles (referred to as “ticks”), according to English Springer Rescue America (ESRA). Field-bred springer spaniels, on the other hand, have shorter coat that is more heavily covered with ticks. Field spaniels’ tails are usually clipped since they were bred to labor, however, the American Veterinary Medical Association says this practice is debatable.
Although both varieties of English springer spaniels make excellent family companions, understanding the key distinctions between them will enable a prospective owner to make an educated choice over which puppy to bring home.
“Something else is sacrificed whenever show traits are used in breeding,” claims Dennis Riordan, DVM, of the Riordan Pet Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa.
That tradeoff will largely be made in the “looks vs. abilities” category for bench and field-bred springers. Field-bred springers will have greater variety in size or coloring but will also be better hunters instinctually.
Bench-bred springers, on the other hand, may need a little more effort to train for hunting, but they will also easily adapt to a home-and-family existence. Puppies that were raised on a bench may also have somewhat reduced energy needs or a stronger tolerance for boredom.
The fundamental life spans, health issues, and temperaments of both dogs are the same. However, Riordian notes that there is “tremendous variation you can find within the breed” in other areas.
English springer spaniels, whether bench- or field-bred, are very sociable, lively, and clever dogs. They adore the water and will take advantage of any chance to splash about. Although field-bred springers may have their hunting instincts piqued by cats or other small animals, English springer spaniels often get along well with kids and other animals. Similar to this, any remaining birds in a backyard may do so at their own risk if left to their own devices.
English springer spaniels are eager to wag their tails and give people wet kisses in greeting, despite their hunting instincts when it comes to small animals. As someone approaches the door, they could bark alertly, but always more as a pleasant welcome than as a warning.
The English springer spaniel is intelligent, and that combined with their inherent drive to work and hunt makes them adept at picking up signals. She would do well in agility training as well as in hunting and obedience contests. English springer Spaniels like having a task to complete and will look forward to the daily training and preparation these events entail.
As with any breed, the more you know about a pup’s ancestry, the more accurately you can predict that pup’s personality.
“Pay attention to the parents,” advises Riordan. “The mother is often the one who is accessible, but if you can, talk to both parents. You may learn a lot about the puppies by observing their behavior.
The English springer spaniel is flexible and can live in a variety of settings. But the two things that must be continuous in their life are exercise and socialization. Both types of English springer spaniels need regular outside exercise, ideally in areas with plenty of space to run about.
Once they reach adulthood, they make terrific hiking and running partners and will play fetch with you until you’re too exhausted to toss any more.
Both breeds of dogs will, similarly, form an immediate and strong attachment with the people living in the home. If they are left alone for more than a few hours at a period, this may cause separation anxiety, which may lead to chewing or stress barking.
A bored springer may turn into a digger if left outdoors unsupervised for an extended length of time; if left alone, she can ruin your flower beds.
Apart from those factors, English springer spaniels have a reputation for being low-maintenance, laid-back friends and have been known to adjust well to a range of settings (even flats, as long as they get their daily run in).
The grooming requirements for English springer spaniels are rather simple. Both varieties will benefit from a brush-down twice a week, while field-bred dogs are significantly simpler to maintain due to their hair’s lower propensity to matting or holding burrs and dirt. They have a tendency to moderately shed, particularly in the spring when their thick undercoat is removed.
Dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors will need more washing since English springer spaniels don’t mind a little (or a lot of) muck and filth. Both breeds of the dog should typically have a wash every three months or such. Like any dog, they should have their nails cut and kept neat; if you hear them clicking over the floor, it’s time to give them a trim.
The English springer spaniel is an eager and competent training partner due to her high level of intelligence. Always utilize positive reinforcement for the greatest outcomes (and a happy dog), whether you’re teaching her the fundamentals like sitting on command and arriving when called or training her for the field.
English springer spaniels are susceptible to ear infections, as are other dogs with long ears, thus owners should constantly check and clean their pets’ ears to avoid irritation.
Additionally, if the breed’s demands for physical exercise aren’t satisfied, obesity is an issue. Obesity may cause or worsen hip, back, or digestive issues, as well as the higher-than-average predisposition for diabetes in English springer spaniels. To assist your springer spaniel control its weight, discuss feeding schedules with your veterinarian.
The English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association (ESSFTA) lists elbow dysplasia or hip dysplasia, retinal dysplasia, and skin diseases as the other most prevalent health problems in English springer spaniels. Additionally, they are susceptible to Phosphofructokinase Deficiency (PFK), which may cause anemia and muscular discomfort in pups.
English springer spaniels are excellent hiking and running partners and will play fetch with you until you are too exhausted to continue.
According to the ESSFTA, there is proof that spaniel-like dogs existed in the United Kingdom as early as 300 AD. These dogs have been used throughout history to spring (hence the name) prey for hawks, coursing hounds, and nets.
The spaniel prospered at flushing animals for “flying shooting” hunting when the wheel lock pistol was invented in the seventeenth century.
Dogs from the same spaniel litters were being divided into “springing” and “cocking” classes around the turn of the 19th century, mostly based on size and weight. Eventually, the cocker and springer were divided into genetically distinct breeds. The English springer spaniel was approved by the American Kennel Club in 1910.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the history of the English Springer Spaniel?
The English Springer Spaniel’s history dates back to medieval times, when they were used for flushing game during hunting expeditions. Their ability to “spring” the game into the open earned them their name.
What is their appearance like?
English Springer Spaniels have a medium-sized build with a dense double coat that comes in various color combinations, including liver and white or black and white. They have expressive eyes and a wagging tail that shows their enthusiasm.
What is their temperament like?
These dogs are known for their friendly and sociable nature. They’re great with children and other pets, making them excellent family companions. They have a high energy level and require regular exercise and mental stimulation.
What are their exercise needs?
English Springer Spaniels are active dogs that require plenty of exercise to keep them happy and healthy. Daily walks, playtime, and interactive games are essential to prevent boredom and maintain their physical and mental well-being.
How should I groom and care for an English Springer Spaniel?
Regular brushing helps keep their coat free of tangles and shedding. Bathing should be done as needed, using a dog-specific shampoo. Their ears should be checked regularly to prevent infections. Due to their active lifestyle, nail trimming and dental care are also important aspects of their grooming routine.