English Springer Spaniels are medium-sized, sturdy dogs built for more extended field running periods. Their name came from his “springing” action every time he hunts. The English Springer Spaniel has also been a favorite of sportsmen.
They feature large and expressive eyes, a moderate muzzle, long-hanging ears, and a docked tail. They also have long lips, which are, at times, prone to drooling. They grow to up to 20 inches in height, which makes them the tallest among Spaniel dog breeds.
However, even if they are excellent hunting dogs, Springer Spaniels also make excellent family companions. They love pleasing people, and they crave human companionship.
English Springer Spaniel Statistics
|Dog Breed Group||Sporting|
|Height||20 inches (male); 19 inches (female)|
|Weight||50 pounds (male); 40 pounds (female)|
English Springer Spaniel Ratings
|Friendly with family|
|Friendly with kids|
|Friendly with strangers|
|Friendly with other dogs|
English Springer Spaniels are descendants of the Spaniel dogs that originated from Spain more than 17,000 years ago. However, the earliest record of the existence of dogs looking close to English Springer Spaniel was depicted in 16th and 17th-century artwork. This was when guns had not been invented yet.
It was believed that these dogs were used for flushing small animals by springing and diving them into the open. This way, hunters will find it easier to capture them. When firearms were invented, the dogs continued their flushing game for shooters.
By the 19th and early 20th century, English hunters started classifying dogs depending on their hunting use. This was also the time when they named the dog breed English Springer because they were used in flush games.
It was in 1902 when the English Springer Spaniel was classified into a breed by England’s Kennel Club.
When 1913 came, a Canadian breeder imported the English Springer Spaniel. But it was not until ten years later that the breed became one of the most popular dog breeds under the American Kennel Club. During these times, the breed worked well as either field dogs or show dogs. But when the 1940s came, breeders decided to create two types.
They started breeding an English Springer Spaniel made for fieldwork, and an English Springer Spaniel made for a show ring. Now, you’ll rarely see an English Springer Spaniel working as a field and show dog. But, no matter what type they are, they remain one of the most popular dog breeds until today.
English Springer Spaniels are generally friendly, playful, and obedient. As naturally happy dogs and energetic dogs, they love high-energetic activities. They make perfect hunting and outdoor activity partners.
However, though they enjoy outdoor activities, they can also do well as indoor dogs. They don’t require a lot of activity to keep them entertained, because all they need is human companionship. They are people-pleasers, and leaving them for long periods can result in separation anxiety and bad behavior.
They are good with children but need the right supervision. With strangers, they can either be friendly or reserved. And though most of them are excellent watchdogs, they are not the guard dog type.
English Springer Spaniels should never be aggressive. If reports are shown of them exhibiting such behavior, this might be a result of poor breeding. This is why early socialization and training is highly essential.
Allow them to socialize with strangers and other dogs or animals while they are young. Expose them to different sights and sounds too so they can get used to different types of environments and will know how to act appropriately.
If not given the right socialization, they might show aggression with other animals, especially to dogs with same-sex. Don’t let them off the leash if your backyard is not fenced. These dogs were born to hunt, and they have the tendency to do so if left alone.
This is not a dog for everyone, especially if you’re a first-time dog owner. They require consistent training to ensure the best behavior. Plus, they need someone who can stay with them for longer periods to give them the attention they need.
English Springer Spaniel Care Requirements
- Nutrition: English Springer Spaniels require a diet that will supply their muscle built and high-energy level. Their food must be healthy and rich in protein. The first thing you should take note of is their needed calorie intake. With a weight between 40-50 pounds, an active English Springer Spaniel would require about 1,353 calories a day. If they’re inactive, they might need to consume fewer calories. Whether you’re opting for commercial food or home-cooked food for your English Springer Spaniel, always remember that protein should always be the primary ingredient. You can obtain this from chicken, turkey, fish, or lamb. Add some carbohydrates, too, for additional nutrients. You can mix in some brown rice, barley, or oats. Fruits and vegetables would be excellent sources of fiber, and it’s best to add some in your English Springer Spaniel’s diet. Always avoid meat by-products and fillers. These have very low nutritional value, and some can be even hard to digest.
- Grooming: English Springer Spaniels have a long coat that doesn’t shed a lot. However, even if that’s the case, it needs to be brushed weekly to maintain its healthy shine. Make sure to brush the coat very well and always check for tangles and mats. Since the coat grows long, trimming might be necessary. I highly recommend taking your Springer to a professional groomer than trying to do it by yourself, so it’s safer. Added to that, you can have your dog’s nails trimmed at the same time as well. For bathing, you can give English Springer Spaniels one bath every few months. This will also depend on the activities he’s performing. But ears should be cleaned regularly to avoid any sort of infection.
- Exercise: English Springer Spaniels make excellent indoor dogs. However, they enjoy the great outdoors from time to time as well. Exercise also helps in keeping his health in optimal condition. As they are highly energetic dogs, they don’t easily get tired and might need at least two hours of long walks in a day. This is precisely why they make great companions for those who love outdoor adventures. If you can’t do at least two hours, 30-45 minutes will do, too. On top of the walks, you can add some mental stimulation exercises too. You can give them retrieving activities and tracking games. Another thing you should know is that the English Springer Spaniel loves water. So, you can also add swimming to your exercise list.
- Health: English Springer Spaniels are generally healthy dogs prone to some health conditions. One of the major ones is elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, and otitis externa. They might also experience some minor health problems such as progressive retinal atrophy, phosphofructokinase deficiency, and retinal dysplasia. They are susceptible to some common dog diseases too, such as dental diseases, infections, obesity, and parasites. As some of these are genetic conditions, knowing the parent’s medical history would greatly help. There are screening tests available, too, that will help you rule out some of the medical conditions listed here. It will also help if you start researching significant symptoms and keep a close eye to your buddy. This way, if you detect early symptoms, measures can be done immediately.
- Lifespan: The life expectancy of England Springer Spaniels is 12-14 years.
Famous English Springer Spaniels
- Merlin: English Springer Spaniel of Willam Wallace, the Scottish Army commander of WWI; joined the Battle of Stirling Bridge with the commander in 1297
- Spot: English Springer Spaniel of George W. Bush
- Millie: English Springer Spaniel of George H.W. Bush
- Lupo: The English Springer Spaniel of Kate Middleton
- Rosie and Jenny: The Springer Spaniels of Prince Harry
- Beechgrove Will: The First English Springer Spaniel to win Champion in a dog show
- Green Valley Punch: The last dual champion (field and show dog)
Fun Facts About English Springer Spaniels
- English Springer Spaniels are hunting dogs, mainly bred for bird hunting.
- They appeared in 16th-century paintings.
- They were initially named as “Norfolk Spaniels.”
- The Kennel Club first recognized them in 1902.
- There are two types: Bench and Field. The Bench English Springer
- Spaniel is designed for show rings, while the Field English
- Springer Spaniel is designed for hunting.
- They rank third in the number of Best in Show winning awards at
- the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
- English Springer Spaniels love water.
Check Out Other Sporting Dog Breeds:
American Water Spaniel, Boykin Spaniel, Brittany, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Clumber Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, Curly-Coated Retriever, English Cocker Spaniel, English Setter, Field Spaniel, Flat-Coated Retriever, German Shorthaired Pointer, German Wirehaired Pointer, Golden Retriever, Gordon Setter, Irish Red and White Setter, Irish Setter, Irish Water Spaniel, Kooikerhondje, Labrador Retriever, Lagotti Romagnoli, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Pointer, Spinoni Italiani, Sussex Spaniel, Vizsla, Weimaraner, Welsh Springer Spaniel, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Wirehaired Vizslas