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English Springer - Care and Grooming

The English Springer Spaniel is a breed of gun dog traditionally used for flushing and retrieving game. It is one of many spaniel breeds.

The English Springer Spaniel represents perhaps the greatest divergence between working and show lines of any breed of dog. A field-bred dog and a show-bred dog appear to be different breeds, but are registered together. In fact, the gene pools are almost completely segregated and have been for at least 70 years.[1] A field bred dog would not be even remotely competitive in a modern dog show while a show dog would be unlikely to have the speed or stamina to succeed in a field trial.

Field-bred dogs tend to have shorter, coarser coats than the show-bred dogs. Their ears are less pendulous. Field-bred dogs are wiry and have more of a feral look than those bred for showing. The tail of the field bred dog is only docked by a few inches in comparison to the show dog to provide a "flag" for the hunter. Docking also prevents laceration of the tail during hunting. Field-bred dogs are generally selected for nose, hunting ability, and response to training rather than appearance.

Show dogs have longer fur and more pendant ears, dewlaps and dangling flews. The tail is docked to a short stub in those countries that permit docking. They are generally more thickly boned and heavier than field-bred springers  

English Springer Spaniel Temperament

Active, intelligent, and eager to please, the English Springer Spaniel is a dog that loves the companionship and affection of his family, and is a real people person with strong social skills when properly socialized. He is a quick learner which makes him easy to obedience train. The English Springer Spaniel has plenty of energy and spirit, and loves to play and exercise. Some English Springer Spaniel can be overly boisterous at times, and others can be overly dependant to the point where they become clingy, so early training is essential as is the need to teach the dog to be independent. These dogs do not like being neglected, and being left along for long periods can result in destructive behavior and anxiety, so this is not the right dog for those that are away for long periods and do not have the time to commit to a pet.

The English Springer Spaniel gets along well with children, particularly when raised with them, and is also good with other pets. He is a sociable dog and will get along well with most strangers, although some English Springer Spaniels may be more reserved around strangers than others. These dogs are faithful, devoted, and loyal, and they do have a protective streak that means they will make noise to alert his owners to possible danger, making him an effective watchdog. The sweet nature and high intelligence of the English Springer Spaniel makes him well suited to the more inexperienced dog owner as well as the experienced.

English Springer Spaniel Appearance

The English Springer Spaniel is a medium sized dog, and weighs in at around 40 pounds for females and 50 pounds for males. The female English Springer Spaniel stands at around 19 inches, and the male at around 20 inches. The weather resistance coat of the English Springer Spaniel is straight, close, and silky, and the coloring includes black and white, liver and white, and tri colored. He has a docile and sweet expression, and his long silky ears, which hand to the side of his face, frame it beautifully.

English Springer Spaniel Grooming

The grooming requirements for the English Springer Spaniel can be demanding, and his silky coat will need to be brushed and combed at least several times a week, and more during heavier shedding. He will also need to be clipped every three months or so. You should trim the hair around the bottom for hygiene reasons, and also check the ear canals are dry and clean for hygiene and health reasons. These dogs are medium shedders, and shed more heavily on a seasonal basis, so they may not be ideal for the allergy sufferer.

English Springer Spaniel Health Problems and Life Expectancy

The lifespan of the English Springer Spaniel is around 12 years, and there are a number of health problems that may be associated with this breed. This includes ectropion, glaucoma, retinal problems, vWD, SAS, HD, PRA, and epilepsy. Thyroid problems, allergies, and skin conditions can also affect the breed. Parents of the English Springer Spaniel puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates.

English Springer Spaniel History

The English Springer Spaniel is one of the oldest spaniel variations around, and originates from England. They were bred to spring game, such as pheasants, into the air for hunters, thus gaining the name Springer Spaniel.


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