The English Springer Spaniel is a medium sized dog with a compact body, large ears and docked tail. Its strong legs allow it to move quickly through uneven paths easily. It is similar to the Cocker Spaniel, but bigger.
Spaniels date back to the XVII century in Spain, where the word “Spaniel” was created and meant “dog from Spain”. However, it was in Great Britain where its most recent ancestors were originated. They were used for hunting and to get preys back. From Spain, those dogs were transported, negotiated, given as a present or simply travelled to England with their owners. The real differentiation between ‘Springer Spaniels’ and other Spaniels appeared in England after the 1800s; until then, there were no formally determined differences between the Cocker Spaniel and the Springer Spaniel. That year, these dogs were separated in two groups: the smaller ones, “Cocking” Spaniels, were mainly used for moorhen hunting; and the bigger ones, which were known as “Springer”, were used for spring big game hunting.
British gave it the official name of Springer in 1902. Up to today, the English Springer Spaniel is considered to be one of the best hunters through brushes and swamps. They are excellent working dogs both in land and in water.
Height bitch: 46~48 cm / Height male: 48~51 cm
Weight bitch: 20~23 kg / Weight male: 20~25 kg
The English Springer Spaniel has a compact body, with a short and never arched back, and strong legs. It has almond eyes and long, trailing ears. It is common to have its tail docked up to a third part. It has hairy ears, chest, tail and abdomen. The rest of its body is covered by a medium-long (straight or wavy) coat. The coat comes in black or liver (dark brown) with white markings or predominantly white with black or liver markings; tricolor, or liver.
If it is well proportioned and balanced, the English Springer Spaniel has enough resistance and intelligence for any kind of activity, as: following you all around the house, announcing visitors, playing tricks, obeying, taking part in dog competitions, agility tests, hunting, or any other activity which makes him a part of your routine.
As a hunter, it is appreciated as an excellent retriever dog, both in brushes and in deep water, or among rushes.
There are 2 types of Springer Spaniel: the Field and the English Bench Springer Spaniel. The different between them is the result of the breeders’ specialization; its color, marking and hair quantity is differenced at first sight. The Bench Springer must have a dark coat, symmetrically covering all the body with some long and dark ears, a White neck and paws, and many fringes. The Field Springer will be more white-colored, almost pure white; it is very kind, playful, and has some markings over its body, covered with a coat which may be spotted.
Secondly, are also noticeable the differences in the head’s conformation, the body’s and tail’s length.
The English Springer Spaniel is an active, alert, intelligent and impatient dog, which makes it the ideal hunting companion.
It is an affectionate and loving dog, which is easy to train. It tends to be close to its owner. Although it is nice with children, and so a good pet, it has very high energy levels.
Generally, this breed gets on well with other pets, such as cats and ferrets, but in some cases, these dogs cannot tolerate dogs from the same gender. However, the English Springer Spaniel is not suitable for houses with birds as pets, because of its hunting nature. As all breeds, these dogs must be able to get used to other pets and it is better to introduce them since they are very young.
The English Springer puppy is very gluttonous and prone to obesity, so its diet must be controlled and it must get enough exercise.
As all breeds with trailing ears, it is recommended to check them frequently to prevent them from getting infected.
As it has a long coat, it needs to be frequently brushed.
There are some infections which may affect this breed. Hip dysplasia and Progressive Retinal Atrophy are two common problems which are being studied by vets who are working on a hereditary indicator which determines its carrier. There is already an indicator for Fucosidosis, and it is possible to do a DNA test and oust affected specimens from breeding.
Springer Spaniels are prone to ear infections, and that is why it is recommended to check them once a week. Although it is not common, they may suffer allergies and autoimmune illnesses.
You can download the FCI (International Cinological Federation) standard at the following link: http://www.fci.be/Nomenclature/Standards/125g08-en.pdf