English Springer Spaniel
Sporting breeds: English Springer Spaniel
The name “springing spaniel” included in one classification the ancestral stock from which many of our present-day land spaniels emanated. In the 1880’s, Springers and Cockers were often born in the same litters, size alone being the distinguishing factor. Adults over 28 pounds were Springers and those smaller were Cockers.
In 1902 the English Kennel Club recognized the Springer as an individual breed. The Spaniel breeds had been popular in America since the 1700s. In 1880 the American Spaniel Club was formed, and it was their job to sort out the difference between the Springer and Cocker. In 1924 he English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association was formed, and in 1927 it became the breed parent club. The Springer was accepted into the AKC at that time. Adherence to the standard has made the Springer a well respected breed.
The breed’s AKC standard, formed in 1927 and revised in 1932, was made as nearly as possible to foster the natural ability of the Springer as a hunting dog. Unquestionably, the present standard has helped to make the Springer much more uniform as a breed, and as a result the dogs as individuals have become much more uniform at bench shows and field trials.
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Did You Know – In 1902 the Kennel Club of England recognized the English Springer Spaniel as a distinct breed (particularly from English Cockers). (From AKC – Did You Know?)
- Height: 19-20 inches
- Weight: 40-50 pounds
- Color: The color may be black or liver with white markings, tri-color (w/tan markings) or blue or liver roan. Off colors such as red, lemon and orange are not preferred.
The English Springer Spaniel needs to have a good grooming regime.Â They are considered moderate shedders.Â Daily brushing will keep the shedding to a minimum and deter mats from forming.
You should also have a basic understanding of the hereditary and breed-predisposed diseases of English Springer Spaniels. All living things can carry defective genes, and all breeds of dogs have diseases and genetic conditions that can be inherited.
Most hereditary disorders are not life-threatening but some can be painful to the dog and expensive and emotionally stressful to the owner. Even the best breeding stock can produce dogs with hereditary problems.
Here are some to be knowledgeable about;
- Canine hip dysplasia
- Hereditary eye disorders
- Aggressive or Timid temperament – you may hear the phrase Rage Syndrome, (this label is a misnomer)
- Seizure disorders – rare in Springers
- Ear infections – common to the breed
- Phosphofructokinase Deficiency
For more information see ESS Health FAQ
Breed characteristics and personality
The Springer is a loving and devoted family dog and wonderful hunter.
Cheerful, courageous, affectionate, and loyal, the Springer should be friendly, eager to please, and quick to learn and willing to obey. They are very social dogs and have been nicknamed ‘velcro’ dogs due to their close bond with their family.
“If you’re looking for a guard dog, consider another breed! Although its barking might deter an intruder, the typical Springer temperament is that of a loving, gentle (though active) dog. At best, the Springer might immobilize an intruder while attempting to be petted.” (ESS Springer Manuel)
Springers are great sporting dogs whose one purpose is to hunt and find game, but the inherent elegance and economy of movement is unmistakable. The Springer is attentive and precise in its hunting style over all types of terrain, especially thick brambles. This is a hardy, long-legged spaniel, more powerful and quicker than other spaniels.
They also make wonderful family pets and companions.
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