English Springer Spaniel
- Group: AKC Sporting
- Best Suited For: Families with children, active singles, apartments, houses with/without yards
- Temperament: Cheerful, social, lively, loyal
When you think about the Spaniel breeds, perhaps no better breed comes to mind than that of the English Springer Spaniel. This is a classic hunting dog that is related closely to the English Cocker Spaniel and is not only a favorite at dog shows but around homes across the world. As a friendly, loyal breed that is known for obedience and a general friendliness toward strangers, the English Springer Spaniel can make an ideal pet for both you and your family. But it takes much more than that to make a great companion: does the English Springer Spaniel really have those intangible qualities?
We think you’ll find that they do. As a classic hunting and retrieval dog in the “gun dog” group, the English Springer Spaniel is versatile enough to be friendly around the home and obedient enough to make a great outdoor dog. Whether the English Springer Spaniel is the right breed for you and your family remains to be seen, but you’ll find that in terms of temperament and loyalty, the English Springer Spaniel can be very difficult to beat.
A friendly, loyal breed that is known for obedience and a general friendliness toward strangers.
You don’t earn a name like the English Springer Spaniel unless you’ve got some good roots in jolly old England, and you’ll find that the history of the English Springer Spaniel is closely intertwined with other similar English dog breeds. While the Spaniel itself has been around for several hundred years, the diversification and classification of the different Spaniel breeds has taken a bit longer. During the 1800s, when many dog breeds were both being developed and classified, the Spaniel breeds began splitting up as well. It wasn’t unusual for these Spaniels to take on the name of the place they were developed.
By around 1910, the English Springer Spaniel had finally reached a level meriting a classification of its own in the United States and the breed was soon born. But in England, this breed was already well-known, as the classification had endured since 1902. Today, we associate this excited breed as a classic of the Spaniel class, but in truth the English Springer Spaniel is a refreshing update of a classic breed.
Like many Spaniels, the English Springer Spaniel shares its ancestry with a number of familiar breeds like the Cocker Spaniel. Since the Spaniel breeds tend to be well-intertwined in terms of their heritage over the years – thanks primarily to the new classification of many breeds over just the past few hundred years or so – the English Springer Spaniel doesn’t vary a lot from the classic breeds in the world of Spaniels. Other Spaniels like the Norfolk Springer Spaniels play a big role in the pedigree of the English Springer Spaniel and should be considered direct ancestors to the English Springer Spaniel we know today.
Food / Diet
A mid-sized breed capable of plenty of exercise, a good diet for an English Springer Spaniel should include some meat and whole foods like vegetables. Making sure your English Springer Spaniel is well-fed is important in both mood regulation and socialization, but it’s also important to keep an eye on your dog’s weight as English Springer Spaniel can have a propensity to joint problems like hip dysplasia.
The English Springer Spaniel is versatile enough to be friendly around the home and obedient enough to make a great outdoor dog.
Eager to please and generally loyal, it’s important to remember that English Springer Spaniels were bred as a gun dog and have instinctual tendencies toward outdoor hunting-style activities like retrieving. This kind of exercise is good to use during training. As far as the English Springer Spaniel’s temperament for training, it can be highly responsive and eager to please, if not distracted at times. Generally an obedient breed, the English Springer Spaniel should not be a difficult dog to give commands.
There’s generally a discrepancy between the weight of males and females, with the males reaching up to around 55 pounds and the females reaching around 35 pounds. Keep in mind there may be some natural fluctuations with your own dog but also to keep a close eye on its weight on a weekly-to-monthly basis.
The overall personality of the English Springer Spaniel is very dog-like: loyal, ready to obey, happy to play. There is some evidence that English Springer Spaniels suffer from Rage syndrome, as Cocker Spaniels can, which is an unexplained sudden rage that quickly returns to normal behavior. Keep in mind that generally your English Springer Spaniel will probably remain relatively well-behaved.
Common Health Problems
Like many dog breeds, there are specific syndromes and afflictions which are more prone to English Springer Spaniels than to other breeds. Hip dysplasia, common to larger breeds, can be a problem. English Springer Spaniels can also develop allergies and certain sensitivities that can be helpful to be aware of if you spend a lot of time outside with your dog.
A relatively healthy lifespan of 12-14 years is good news for English Springer Spaniel lovers.
English Springer Spaniels are an active, athletic breed and should be exercised regularly. It’s important to take advantage of their hunting instincts and allow them to roam free in open areas, making them well-suited for the country life. Taking your dog to a park if you live in the city would be advisable – if you can handle this on a regular basis, then your English Springer Spaniel should have better overall mood and weight regulation.
The overall personality of the English Springer Spaniel is very dog-like: loyal, ready to obey, happy to play.
The American Kennel Club’s description of the English Springer Spaniel calls this breed “cheerful and affectionate.” Additionally, they are regarded as good pets to have around the house.
With a longer coat, the English Springer Spaniel does require some regular brushing but won’t require maintenance as some of the more extreme-haired dog breeds might.
English Springer Spaniels can make rambunctious puppies and should have good socialization skills in order to understand their boundaries. Give them plenty of room to roam and explore but be sure not to over-exercise them as they grow into their relatively large bodies.