The springer spaniel is a medium sized, very friendly and personable dog breed that originated in the UK and while they were originally used almost exclusively as working dogs, today they are also very popular as pets.
They are versatile, fun loving and great with children, and fit well into all sorts of family homes and situations as they are adaptable and open to change. They also tend to be very lively and energetic, and do not thrive in sedentary homes without lots of time outside and long, varied and interesting daily walks.
If you already own a springer spaniel or are considering buying one, it is important to find out as much about the breed as you can before going ahead in order to make an informed decision; so in this article we will share eight top facts about the springer spaniel that you might not already know about. Read on to learn more.
Most people simply use the term “springer spaniel” to refer to dogs of the breed, but springer spaniels are actually divided further into two separate types; the English springer spaniel, and the Welsh springer spaniel.
While the two types are generally very similar, there are some distinct differences between them, with the Welsh springer being slightly shorter and stockier than their taller, rangier cousins.
As well as differentiating between the English and Welsh breeds of springer spaniel, there is also another distinction sometimes made between dogs of the breed, being show lines versus working lines. Working lines of springer spaniels tend to be slightly lighter weight and have shorter, harsher coats than show lines, as well as less droopy lips!
The springer spaniel breed first became popular and further developed due to their strong working instincts, which made them excellent gun dogs. When hunting for sport, springers are often used to flush out birds from the undergrowth so that they fly up into the line of sight of the guns, and then to retrieve downed birds and bring them back to their handlers without running off with their catch or eating it on the way!
The springer spaniel is one of the few old working dog breeds that are still widely used in working roles today, although of course gun sport with live prey is not as popular today as it used to be.
However, as well as their gun dog roles, springer spaniels can also be seen working in a wide range of other different roles today too, often as detection dogs or sniffer dogs with the police, military and customs officials.
The springer spaniel is what is referred to as a soft mouthed dog, meaning that they can carry things in their mouths very gently, holding it securely without harming it or breaking the skin. This trait is what first made them popular as gun dogs, and this trait comes about from the superior bite inhibition of the breed, and a tendency to take care over what they do!
Whether you are talking about the Welsh springer spaniel or the English variant, it is understandable that it is widely assumed that the springer spaniel originated in the UK-and it is certainly true that the breeds first gained recognition and became standardised in the UK.
However, the distant origins of the breed that we know today as the springer spaniel originated in Spain, and were later introduced to Europe and the wider world as part of the Roman Empire’s spread.
The intelligence, versatility and desire to please that is innate in springer spaniels is what makes them a good choice for all sorts of working roles and family homes, and their ability to turn their paws to all sorts of things also means that they are a good choice for canine sports.
Springer spaniels can be seen competing in all sorts of disciplines from agility to heelwork to flyball and much more, so if you want to get a start in the field of canine sports, the springer might be a good choice of dog for you!
Finally, any springer spaniel owner will tell you that their dogs are smart, and the facts bear this out-the English springer spaniel is ranked 13 overall in the list of canine breeds by intelligence, with the Welsh variant coming in in position 31, which is interesting in terms of the variance when the two breeds are so closely related-however, it is certainly fair to say that both springer variants are smart, good at problem solving, and keen to work hard!
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