The English Springer Spaniel is a friendly, versatile sporting dog. Bred as a gun dog to find and spring game and falcon, it is still used for hunting but has also become a popular companion dog. Cocker Spaniels and Springer Spaniels were classed as the same breed until 1892, with breed recognition following in Great Britain 10 years later.
With its wagging tail, long ears and trusting ‘spaniel eyes’, this sturdy, medium-sized dog is an unmistakable member of the spaniel family. The English Springer Spaniel is the largest of the land spaniel breeds. It stands 46 to 56 cm tall at the shoulders and weighs between 18 and 25 kg.
The Springer’s medium-length, waterproof coat is flat or wavy and comes in black and white, orange and white, liver and white or red and white, sometimes with tan markings, which is known as tricolour. Because of some feathering on the ears, chest, legs and tails, some grooming and trimming is required.
English Springer Spaniels are tireless workers. Smart, eager to please and quick to learn, they do well in obedience, field trials, agility and shows. They are cheerful, affectionate and thrive on human companionship. With their gentle, even-tempered personality, Springers are very suitable dogs for a family with children. They are playful and sociable, always wagging their tails, eager to take part in fun and games.
Normally a quiet dog, the enthusiastic Springer Spaniel will bark at strangers, but will be quick to demand their friendly attention. It tends to get along well with other pets but due to its nature, is likely to see birds as prey. This energetic breed, which loves the outdoors and water, needs plenty of exercise to keep it happy.
English Springers are prone to obesity, hip dysplasia and epilepsy, among other things. They generally live for 12 to 14 years.