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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel

Origin: Great Britain

AKC Group: Sporting

Height: 19 - 22 inches (Male)

Weight: 45 - 55 pounds (Male)

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Great Britain
Male height: 
19 - 22 inches
Male weight: 
45 - 55 pounds
May be straight or wavy with longer hair on the chest, stomach, legs and tail.
Black and white or liver and white. Sometimes tricolored with tan. Blue roan and liver roan. Black dogs have brown eyes; brown and liver dogs have brown eyes.
Special considerations: 
English Springer Spaniels are so popular, the breed has been exploited. Be very careful and buy only from a highly reputable breeder.

British flushing spaniels were often called "springing" spaniels because they were used to spring game from its cover. In the variety of spaniel sizes - sometimes in the same litter - the smallest were the Cockers, the medium sized were the Fields and the larger ones became the Springers. At the beginning of the 19th century, Aqualane Kennels in Shropshire, England, began striving to standardize the Springer Spaniel's characteristics. Many modern-day English Springer Spaniels can be traced back to their dogs: Mop I, Mop II and Frisk. The Spaniel Club in England was formed in 1885, and its members created the first true breed standards for the various spaniel breeds. The English Springer Spaniel was given official breed status in England in 1902; under the direction of the English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association (ESSFTA), the breed became established in the United States soon after. Although they are considered the same breed, there are two types of English Springers today: the field variety and the show variety. The field type is bred to be a higher-energy working dog, and he tends to have more white coloring. The show type is stockier and flashier, with more liver or black coloring.

The typical English Springer is much like his cousin, the English Cocker Spaniel - merry, affectionate, playful, and an all-around lovable dog. He is versatile and loyal, intelligent and even-tempered, a quick learner and a respectful partner. These smart, dynamic dogs need constant activity to keep their sharp minds busy and to channel their fierce energy. The field type tends to possess more energy than the show type, but even the show types have more energy than many other breeds.
At home: 
Because the English Springer Spaniel is such a versatile breed, almost any type of Springer fancier can find a dog who matches his or her lifestyle. In fact, most Springers can easily adapt to life with active city dwellers or with a suburban family. Because he bonds so strongly with his family, he sometimes has a hard time being left alone and can develop a nuisance barking problem. He loves to swim and is attracted to water, whether it's a lake or a mud puddle.
The more exercise the Springer gets, the better. Happy to accompany you anywhere and everywhere, he will gladly get up from his bed to join you in whatever your plans are. Several brisk walks a day are necessary to keep him physically and mentally satisfied.
English Springer Spaniels are usually excellent eaters. Feed a high-quality food twice a day.
Because English Springers are such a sensitive and intelligent breed, harsh methods must never be used to train them. They want to please their owners, and they catch on fast with consistent and positive training. Socialization with all kinds of people and other animals from puppyhood will pay off as the Springer ages.
The lively Springer is great with kids and most animals, including other dogs and cats. Small animals will be viewed as prey and are not safe around Springers. Some dogs have a tendency to get possessive about their owners.
The average life span of the English Springer Spaniel is 12 to 14 years. Health problems associated with the breed include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA); phosphofructokinase deficiency (PFK); and a tendency to gain weight, which can exacerbate a joint problem such as hip dysplasia. Some Springers get epilepsy, and in fact some get a severe form of epilepsy that's been labeled "rage syndrome"; during an episode, the dog will viciously attack a person for no apparent reason. This was thought to be a temperament problem, and although it is still not completely clear what causes it, the source is suspected to be physical. The possessiveness that's common with the Springer Spaniel can show up in his teenage years (ages 2 to 4) and is sometimes mistaken as rage syndrome.
Fun fact: 

An English Springer Spaniel has won Best in Show at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club show three times in the past 15 years, most recently in 2007.

Grooming blurb: 
The Springer's fine coat needs regular attention. Frequent brushing with a pin brush or slicker and a comb is necessary. The feathering on his ears and extremities must be kept clean and free of knots and tangles. His ears should be inspected often for signs of infection, and occasional baths bring out the white in his coat.
This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.