The English Springer Spaniel is a compact, medium-sized sporting dog with long ears. This dog's expression is alert, kindly and trusting. The coat is straight and medium-length with feathering, and can be black and white, liver and white, or either of these with tan markings. The adult English Springer is about 51cm in height and weighs about 23-25kg.
All Spaniels can trace their origins back to the spaniels of Spain. Up until the 1600s all spaniels were considered as being of the same group of dogs. The larger of these were the forefathers of today's English Springer Spaniel dog breed. In 1892 the Kennel Club of Great Britain recognised Cocker and Springer Spaniels as separate breeds even though they sometimes appeared in the same litter. This was soon stopped by the two breed clubs and a standard conformation was made of each breed. Their original purpose was for finding and springing game for the net, falcon or Greyhound also used by the hunters. Nowadays they are used to find, flush and retrieve game for the gun.
The typical Springer Spaniel is an extrovert by nature, friendly, eager to please and quick to learn. As a rule they make good companions and family dogs, being well behaved and quick to learn and respond. Some of the less well-bred dogs of this breed can be stubborn, timid, or aggressive, but this is the exception not the rule. The show strain of the English Springer Spaniel appear to be calmer and less active than the working strain.
English Springer Spaniels are generally a hardy breed. However, as with many breeds, they can suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip and elbow dysplasia (joint conditions that can be painful and lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important. A particular type of anaemia is also seen more frequently in the breed.
These dogs love the outdoors and are energetic enough to go on all day. A lot of exercise and learning is required to keep this dog content – two-plus hours is suitable for a fit adult, otherwise behaviour problems can result. They love to be kept involved in all family activities and as such are ideal for a growing family. They will settle happily after adequate exercise.
Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.
The body coat of the Springer Spaniel is flat or wavy and of medium length, and the ears, chest, legs, tail and under carriage have moderate feathering. As a result of this feathering some amount of grooming is required. Some trimming will be necessary around the head, feet and ears. Extra grooming is required especially after a day out in the undergrowth, as the coat can and will pick up all sorts of twigs and grass.