English Springer Spaniels have always been a popular breed not only as working dogs but as family pets too and for good reason. These overly-friendly and clever dogs are incredibly people-oriented and they love to please which means in the right hands Springer Spaniels are highly trainable albeit a little excitable. If you are thinking about sharing your home with one of these energetic dogs, the frequently asked questions below may help you make up your mind as to whether an English Springer Spaniel would be the best choice for you.
English Springer Spaniels are medium size dogs and when they are well cared for and fed an appropriate diet to suit the different stages of a dog’s age, they enjoy long life spans. The average life expectancy of a Springer is anything between 10.5 and 15 years. With this said, it’s important to monitor their weight and to adjust the amount of food they are fed. If it looks like a Springer is carrying too much weight they may need more in the way of exercise or smaller amounts of food each day. An overweight or obese English Springer Spaniel could have a shorter life span because of the pressure put on their heart and bodies.
Unfortunately, English Springers are prone to several hereditary health issues which are detailed below:
Fortunately, there are tests available for several of the hereditary health disorders and responsible breeders always have their English Springers tested before using them in a breeding programme to reduce the risk of puppies being born with any of the disorders. If you are thinking about getting an English Springer Spaniel puppy, it’s really important to contact well established, responsible breeders for this reason.
Springers are always eager to please and they are intelligent. On top of this they are always extremely enthusiastic about things which includes when they are being trained. Springers also have a great sense of humour and love being involved in everything that goes on around them. Being affectionate and incredibly gentle by nature, means they make wonderful family pets and are always friendly towards everyone which includes people they don’t know. The downside being that because they are so people-oriented, Springers are not particularly good watchdogs.
Some lines of English Springer Spaniels have been reported as displaying “rage syndrome”, a condition that is also seen in some Cocker Spaniels. Rage syndrome is also known as Sudden Onset Aggression (SOA) and it is a rare behavioural issue that should never be taken too lightly or ignored. Male English Springers seem to be more prone to the condition whether they are neutered or not than their female counterparts. As previously mentioned, thankfully it is relatively rare even in English Springer Spaniels and any dog displaying SOA should never be used in a breeding programme because the condition is thought to be inherited.
English Springers are not only intelligent, they are extremely active both mentally and physically. They can go on all day and are known to be “tireless”. As such, they need as much daily exercise as they can be given with the minimum being 2 vigorous exercise a day. They also need to be given a tremendous amount of mental stimulation to prevent boredom from setting in.
Like other breeds, English Springers shed steadily throughout the year only more so in the spring and the autumn when they shed copious amounts and it’s when more frequent brushing helps stay on top of things. The good news is that they do have easy maintenance coats although feathers on legs and bellies do tend to get dirtier during the wetter winter months.
English Springers are a popular breed both with the hunting fraternity and as a family pet. As such according to Pets4Homes statistics, they can often command a lot of money with a well-bred, Kennel Club registered English Springer Spaniel puppy costing just over £600 and a non-Kennel Club puppy costing just under £600. It is extremely important to contact responsible breeders when looking for a Springer Spaniel puppy and to always check that both parent dogs have been health checked for known hereditary and congenital disorders.
A mature male English Springer stands anything from 46 to 51 cm at the withers, with their female counterparts being slightly shorter standing at 43 to 48 cm at the withers. Males weigh between 23 to 25 kg and females slightly less being 16 to 20 kg. As such they are classed as medium sized, sturdy dogs that boast being rather large boned and they have lovely large paws too with nicely webbed toes.
English Springers like quite a few other breeds which includes Cockers, Retrievers and Labradors, have webbed feet which means they are excellent swimmers. They were bred to hunt and retrieve ducks and other water fowl and their webbed paws gave them an edge when Springers are in the water.
English Springers tend to be larger boned and they are heavier than working Springer Spaniels. On first glance, English Springers are more like English Cockers with the only difference being that Cockers are a lot smaller. The other difference is that English Springers typically have higher set ears which tend to be shorter in length too.
Like many other spaniel and retriever breeds, the English Springer Spaniels can anything from 4 to 8 puppies in a litter unlike smaller breeds that tend to have less. Anyone who is thinking about breeding from a Springer Spaniel should always make sure that both the male and the female have been health tested for known hereditary health issues to reduce the risk of their puppies inheriting them.