English Springer Spaniel

16 Mar

With the new addition to our family, little Max, it seemed only fitting that i make this Saturday all about the Springer Spaniel.



This is a medium sized breed of dog, sturdy and quite compact, often used as a working dog. They usually reach around 20 inches in height with females being slightly smaller than males and weigh in at 18 to 25 kg (45-50 pounds). They have a broad skull which is medium in length and flat on top. The teeth should meet in a scissor bite. Depending on the colour of its coat, the nose will either be liver or black. It has oval shaped eyes, medium in size which will be either dark hazel (in liver coloured dogs) or dark brown (in black and white dogs). They have long pendant shape ears which hand close to the cheeks. The ears can vary in length depending if the dog is from working stock or show stock, with show stock tending to be slightly longer. Usually the tail is docked, although in many countries (ie UK) this is now illegal except for certain circumstances and working dogs where a permit is required. The coat is medium length, with feathering. The most common colours are black and white, or liver and white, although other colour variations do exist.

Health problems:

The main health issue that you might notice with this breed is that it is prone to ear infections. Because of their long ears, it is vital that you keep them clean and check for any seeds or other debris that could get stuck in them. The breed is also prone to hip dysplasia, PRA, which affects the eyes, PFK, a blood disorder, epilepsy, and HD. This is another breed that will easily gain weight and so it is important to exercise well and not over feed (or feed the wrong food).


All spaniel breeds can be traced back to a breed originating in Spain. During the Renaissance, it was considered the ideal companion for the European hunter and the breed is the founder of all the English hunting spaniels. A number of breeds were developed out of the English Springer Spaniel including teh Clumber, the Welsh Springer and the Cocker spaniel. In fact the Cocker Spaniel and English Springer were once considered the same breed as they were born in the same litter. The larger, Springers were used to flush out and spring on the game, whilst the smaller Cockers were used to hunt wood cock, hence their names. The American Kennel club recognized the English Springer Spaniel in 1910.


This is a breed that makes both a great family pet as well as doing well in the field. It is very adaptable, friendly, a quick learner and eager to please. Like many intelligent breeds, they are fairly easy to train but can become destructive if left with no entertainment for long periods of time. They do need a lot of exercise, particularly if they are from the working strain. As with any breed, socialization with other people, children and animals is important for the dog to grow up well balanced and avoid issues of aggression. This is a breed that tends to do best with consistency and structure to their lives with clear rules to follow. They are very sensitive to the tone of your voice, and will only listen to you if they think you have a calm authority. If they sense that they are more strong minded than their owner, then they will see it fit to be the pack leader and tell you what to do. As with Cocker Spaniels, Springers are associated with “rage syndrome” where they become aggressive for no apparent reason. This however is very rare and often is diagnosed when there are other causes such as inappropriate training and handling.

photo (5)

Max and Maya, sharing the love the day they met

Living conditions:

This is an adaptable breed and can do well living in an apartment provi

ding they are well exercised. They are fairly inactive when in doors, but having a good yard to romp around in would be best. This is a dog that will take as much exercise as you can give. At least two decent walks a day are needed. They also enjoy retrieving and swimming, and often do well in agility. As with all breeds, it is important that you make the dog heel at your side or just behind you when on the lead so that he knows that you are the leader, and not him.

spaniel retrieve



Life expectancy:

12- 14 years.










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