English Springer Spaniels are medium-sized dogs with compact bodies and medium-length coats that grow feathery on their long ears, legs, chest and belly. Their heads are strong without seeming heavy, and their faces have a chiseled shape that gives them a pleasant expression. Their eyes are medium-sized, oval-shaped and somewhat sunken, giving off a bright and loving expression. They have long necks (about the length of their heads) that slope down to deep, developed chests. Their tails are usually docked, and their flat or wavy coats can come in black & white, liver & white, or blue or liver roan. Overall, English Springer Spaniels have a gallant, alert and sturdy look.
English Springer Spaniels are a brilliant combination of sturdiness and dignity. They have an outgoing charm that mixes well with family occasions, picnics or dinner parties, yet they also can handle long, cold days outdoors. For hundreds of years, English Springer Spaniels have been cherished for their ability to switch to “family mode” after long days of hunting.
English Springer Spaniels love everybody, and everybody loves them. They are humble enough to adapt to child’s play, but they are secure enough to be comfortable around strangers and other pets. They are wonderful playmates for children and greet most strangers with an open heart. However, they have great protective instincts and will definitely sound the alarm if they sense a threat.
English Springers are people-oriented dogs. They need lots of attention, companionship and positive feedback to feel settled and centered. Left alone for too long, they can get bored. And a bored English Springer Spaniel could dig up a garden, bark for no reason or chew on shoes.
Springers can easily adapt to apartments or big-city situations. They need plenty of outdoor exercise, however, and have a special affection for water.
A healthy English Springer Spaniel can live as long as 14 years. Common health issues include hip dysplasia, epilepsy and eye problems. They are fairly easy to groom, but they do shed throughout the year. Regular brushing will keep their medium-length coats manageable and looking good. Also, English Springer Spaniels tend to gain weight. Don’t overfeed them or forget their daily walks.
Dating back to the 1600s, Springer Spaniels have long been prized for their ability to assist hunters by driving or “springing” birds from bushes, trees and fields. In the late1880s, Springer Spaniels and Cocker Spaniels often appeared in the same litters, and it was not until 1902 that they were classified as distinct breeds based on size (the Springer being the larger dog, of course). The AKC first registered the breed in 1927, and to this day English Springer Spaniels continue to be valued for their agility, hunting skills, obedience and companionship.