English Springer Spaniel

A definitive guide to the English Springer Spaniel, one of the most popular dogs in the gundog group.

English Springer Spaniel breed group

Gundog

Size of the English Springer Spaniel

Medium

Colour varieties of the English Springer Spaniel

The English Springer Spaniel comes in a variety of colours and markings. The body is normally white with patches of colour:

  • Black and White
  • Black White and Tan
  • Liver and White
  • Liver White and Tan

Country of Origin

Great Britain

The English Springer Spaniel through history

The Springer can be traced back to the 1500s. It was known as the Norfolk Spaniel until becoming known as the English Springer Spaniel in the 1900s and being recognised by the Kennel Club in 1902.

The English Springer was used primarily on rough shoots where it would ‘spring’ game birds into the air. Today they are still used on shoots, but more likely to be kept as a loving and energetic companion pet.

English Springer Spaniel introduction and overview

The Springer Spaniel is an intelligent, athletic, energetic medium-sized dog with a huge lust and zest for life! It is a sociable, obedient and obliging breed, easy to train, and always keen to learn something new.

Their size make them an ideal pet for the active sporty owner, or a family with time to devote to a dog that relishes being actively involved around the family

Some dogs can have a slightly nervous disposition, be timid, or display hyperactive tendancies. Most negative and unwanted behaviour occurs through lack of exercise and lack of stimulation. Generally Springer Spaniels are a well-balanced breed, when given the time, attention and dedication they require. Indeed, they remain one of the most well loved and popular choices of pet dogs in the UK today.

The Springer Spaniel loves water and will be keen to take a dip even in the coldest weather!  Springers also enjoy and thrive on the challenge of dog activities such as obedience and agility.

Size and weight of the English Springer Spaniel

Height bitch 43-48cms

Height dog 46-51cms

Weight (kilos) bitch 16-20kgs

Weight (kilos) dog 23-25kgs

Exercise requirements of the English Springer Spaniel

High. The Springer needs at least 2 hours of exercise, preferably off the lead. Lack of exercise or mental stimulation can quickly result in unwanted and destructive behaviour including separation anxiety. This is an incredibly active dog with impressive levels of stamina. Serious thought should be considered to the excercise requirements of the Springer Spaniel, especially potential owners unfamiliar with the breed.

Springers tend to excel at canine activities such as agility and flyball. These canine pursuits are the perfect way of boosting exercise levels and will also provide plenty of mental stimulation too!

English Springer Spaniel temperament, socialisation with children, other dogs and other pets

The English Springer Spaniel is renowned for being a great family dog. It has a lively, enthusiastic and affectionate temperament and loves children. It can live quite happily with other dogs, cats and if properly socialised other small pets. The Springer can be a little hyperactive, and perhaps a little too energetic for families with small children.

Is the English Springer Spaniel a dog for a first time dog owner?

Yes. The breed is easy to train and a quick learner, but any new owner must be aware of the high levels of physical exercise this sporty breed requires.

English Springer Spaniel coat length and grooming requirements

Medium to long. The coat of the English Springer Spaniel can grow very long, and be prone to matting and clumping. Regular daily brushing and combing of the feathers is recommended for furry dogs. Each dog is different, and coats can be short and shiny, requiring little attention, and longer and heavier coats demanding much more grooming.

Particular attention should be paid to the ears of a Spaniel. Clumping can form under the ears and matting can occur very quickly especially in Springers who love to swim, forage in woods or both! Unattended matts can also cause skin problems, create the perfect secret breeding ground and harbour parasites like fleas and ticks. If matting is close to the skin, seek professional help from your local groomer, who will be able to remove them safely and advise on preventing future bad-hair days and potential problems.

The paws and pads of an English Springer should be checked at least once a week for grass seeds and foreign bodies. Grass seeds can be difficult to spot in a mass of furry paws, and can cause terrible discomfort to your pet, and left unattended may even require surgery.

A professional groomer can help keep your dog’s coat in good shape and manageable, by clipping unruly coats, which is becoming an increasingly popular trend for owners with working dogs, and for dogs who struggle in the heat, or plagued by skin conditions.

Less drastic grooming treatments involves a good thinning through of excess furnishings, shortening and taking the weight out of the feathers, trimming feet and theatre curtains (the feathery bits that hang down from the lower back, private parts and the top of the hind legs!) and trimming length from the ears so water and food from dog bowls don’t become attached to ears to breed bacteria and possible problems and of course shaken around kitchen walls.

A good groomer will suggest the correct brush and combs for grooming your pet at home. We do rate soft slicker brushes for dailybrushing, although they DO need to be used gently and with caution, as the metal prongs can be dangerous in clumsy hands, and being over enthusiastic can easily scratch or burn delicate skin. A standard bristle brush will simply not attack problem matted fur, simply glossing over problems areas. A good bristle will leave a lovely glossy finish on a well groomed Springer and a great opportunity to enjoy quality time with your dog.

Hypoallergenic?

No. The Springer Spaniel sheds throughout the year and therefore is a not suitable choice of breed for allergy sufferers.

Health issues in the English Springer Spaniel

The breed is generally healthy and has a lengthy expected lifespan, but all new owners should consult their breeder about the following known health issues:

  • Hip dysplasia - an inherited malformation of the hip joint, has been found in the breed but is very rare.
  • Ear problems
  • Skin problems - the curious and lively Springer loves to explore which means the breed is prone to problems from fleas, ticks and injuries from thorns and brambles.

As with all pedigree dogs, it is very important to obtain a puppy from a source where you can be guaranteed that it has been bred with a view to avoiding the inherent physical and psychological diseases of the breed.

Average lifespan of the English Springer Spaniel

A healthy Springer Spaniel can expect to enjoy a lifespan of around 12-14 years.

Approximate English Springer Spaniel pedigree puppy price

Expect to pay around £400-£600 for a puppy. There are normally between 4-10 puppies in an average litter. There were 10,246 puppies registered with the Kennel Club in 2015.

Estimating how much a English Springer Spaniel would need to be fed each day

A bitch weighing 20kgs requires 283gms of complete dry food per day. A dog weighing 25kgs requires 330gms of complete dry food per day.

Approximate weekly cost of feeding a Pointer bitch is £7.00

Approximate weekly cost of feeding a Pointer dog is £8.00

We have based our estimates on feeding an above average quality popular dog food bought from a high street supermarket.

Other necessary costs to consider when owning any dog

Remember to budget for other expenses that are not covered by pet insurance including:

  • Worming treatments
  • Flea treatments
  • Annual booster vaccinations
  • Dental treatment
  • Neutering or spaying
  • Microchipping

Many veterinary practices now offer monthly budget schemes allowing you to spread the cost of routine and preventative treatments throughout the year.

How do you sum up a Springer Spaniel in just one word or a short sentence? You sent us your insights and joy of owning this beautiful gundog.

Your TOP 10 comments and opinions on owning a Springer Spaniel - by YOU the pet owner

  1. Loyal and loves cuddles.
  2. Never says no to a walk!
  3. Intelligent and loving!
  4. Loves other dogs and children.
  5. Loves water, even in winter.
  6. Placid, with a lovely temperament.
  7. Sensitive and worries about things!
  8. Excellent on the lead and off.
  9. Excitable and always makes us laugh.
  10. Full of fun, love and energy, ALL the time!

POA opinion:

The word ‘love’ has been quoted in nearly every comment you’ve sent in telling us about and describing your Springers.

A loyal, intelligent, bubbly dog with high energy needs and demands, therefore not suited to dog owners preferring a gentle amble around the block or spending prolonged periods indoors.

Springer Spaniels are an ideal choice for novice owners, as one owner, Mary from Maidstone, aged 72, and a Springer fan all her life told POA: “Bracken our Springer knew everything before we even attempted to train him, and house training was so easy and quick. If only my husband was as house-trained, well behaved and obedient!”

Mary and Fred will soon be celebrating 43 years of marriage, so we do hope Fred has at least grasped the very basics by now Mary!

Send us a photo of your Springer for inclusion in our Springer Spaniel Gallery, or email us with any other advice or tips you can offer, that we’ve not covered at hello@pet-owners.org