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Springer Spaniel (English)

History

Large Spaniels were popular in Britain for flushing or “springing” game for hunters. Some time in the 1800s breeding began to produce a Spaniel specifically for this purpose. Hunters needed a dog that could range far and wide to flush game and also retrieve it. Until 1902, this breed was simply classed as a large Cocker Spaniel. The name Springer Spaniel became official in 1900.

Behaviour

These dogs are devoted, active and friendly. They love to explore, letting their noses guide. Their sense of smell is keen and they are often used as customs dogs for sniffing out any contraband. They have a high work ethic and love to please their owners. They are a smart dog, quick to learn anything you teach them - though they can be hyperactive and training will be needed to combat this. If given enough exercise, this will be a calm and collected dog and make for a perfect family pet. They get along very well with children and are rarely aggressive.

Springers are affectionate to the extreme, they will never want to leave your side. This affection means that it is hard for them to cope with being left alone for long periods of time, leaving them alone for short periods of time whilst they are still puppies will somewhat help with this. They will become bored and destructive if they aren’t given a chance to blow off some steam. Their active nature means that they perform well in Agility and Retrieving, they also do well with obedience. They have a natural love for water and will manage to find somewhere to “swim” even in the driest of places. They will need a long walk, ideally with a chance to run about, each day. If you feel that they are still overly energetic you can play with them in the garden to fully tire them out. It does take a lot to wear them out, but once satisfied, they’ll curl up next to you for some quality cuddle time.

Springers need a good amount of grooming to keep them looking good. A daily brush to remove dead hairs will be needed, in addition to this they should be clipped twice a year. They have long ears that can become matted if not given adequate care. You can purchase a special “Spaniel Food Bowl” which makes the ears hang outside of the bowl, preventing matting. Generally a greedy breed, their diets should be watched to prevent obesity.

Temperament

The English Springer Spaniel is an energetic and doting breed. They really do require a lot of exercise each day to prevent boredom and destructive behaviour. Some individuals can be hyperactive and extra training will be needed to combat this. All this being said, they make for a great family pet and they are friendly towards everyone.

Health Problems

In terms of health, Springers' long ears can easily become infected, mainly the ear canal. Diabetes can also be seen. They may also be prone to canine hip dysplasia (CHD), elbow dysplasia, luxating patella (dislocation of the knee cap), intervertebral disc disease (pressure on the spinal cord which can cause paralysis), skin diseases, blood clotting disease and eye problems.

Breed Details

  • Status: Common
  • Life Expectancy: 12 - 14 years
  • Weight: 44 - 55 lb
  • Height: 18-21"
  • Rare: No
  • Coat: Medium
  • Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
  • Town or Country: Either
  • Minimum Home Size: Small House
  • Minimum Garden Size: Large Garden
  • Breed Type: Gun Dog
  • Size: Medium
  • Energy Level: Medium
  • Exercise Required: Over 2 hours

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