Breed Group: Sporting Group
Shoulder Height: 18-20 in.
Weight: 39-55 lb.
Life Span: 12-14 years
Colors: Black, white, tan, liver, lemon, orange, red
- There are two subgroups within the English Springer Spaniel breed. One group is bred for show while the other is bred for work.
- The breed is descended from the Norfolk Spaniel, an extinct breed that was hugely popular in the mid-1800s.
- It is also closely related to the English Cocker Spaniel with many early dogs of both breeds whelping in the same litter.
- The name was given because the Springer Spaniel were used to flush or "spring" game and birds out of their hiding places in the hunting season; Cocker Spaniels were only used for hunting woodcock.
You could not find a better family dog than the English Springer Spaniel. Extremely intelligent and friendly, these dogs flourish no matter what environment they might be in. It is small enough to do well in a family apartment, dependable enough to be trusted on its own (when properly trained, of course), and active enough to please anybody with an athletic lifestyle.
English Springer Spaniels are hunting dogs by their breeding. As a result, they do demand ample physical and mental exercise. A lack of toys while you are away can result in them becoming destructive, so it is important that you always have something available for them to chew on. As they are also bred to flush out prey, Springer Spaniels will give chase to anything, so you need to keep it leashed when walking. It is the fastest of the spaniels, so good luck trying to catch it.
English Springer Spaniels get along famously with other dogs and children. They do possess long, flowing coats, so regular brushing and almost monthly trimming are necessary to prevent knotting and mats.
English Springer Spaniels are hunting dogs, so they do have solid breeding behind them that makes them quite healthy, suffering from rather average canine maladies as they get older.
- Hip dysplasia and arthritis can become a problem due to the dog’s size, though it is not quite as susceptible as other larger dogs.
- They have floppy ears, so the breed is susceptible to ear infections.
- English Springer Spaniels love food. This means that obesity can become a serious problem if their person is not strict with food consumption.
- The breed is also susceptible to a number of different eye problems, including retinal dysplasia, inward and outward curling eyelashes, and progressive retinal atrophy.
- English Springer Spaniels are popular breeds with police forces all over the world because of their strong noses. The Essex police department in Massachusetts is the latest to introduce the breed to their force. Frog, an English Springer, is the most successful drug dog in the Sussex, England, Police Department.
- An English Springer Spaniel named Murphy is used in HM Prison Norwich in the UK to sniff out illegal cell phones smuggled in to the inmates. He has been trained to distinguish the difference between the inmates' mobile phones and those of the guards.
- Oprah Winfrey owns two Springer Spaniels.
- Millie acted as “First Dog” under President George H. W. Bush, and her puppy Spot served the same function in the George W. Bush White House. Millie’s Book: As Dictated to Barbara Bush reached the top spot on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list in 1992.
Photo ©iStock.com/Tuned_In, ©iStock.com/MarkGillow