Dog Breed Guide – English Springer Spaniel

Dog Breed Guide – Cocker Spaniel

Everything You Need to Know About English Springer Spaniel

English Springers are a breed of gundogs that were originally bred for flushing and retrieving game. They are descendants of the Norfolk or Shropshire Spaniels of the mid-19th century and share a close resemblance with the Welsh Springer Spaniel and English Cocker Spaniel.

These breed of dogs are generally affectionate, intelligent and excitable and commonly used as sniffer or detector dogs. They do pretty well in agility, hunt tests, tracking, obedience trials and enjoy camping and hiking.

Physical Appearance

English Springers are medium-sized dogs with a moderately long hair coat that feathers out at the legs and tail. They come in various colors; Black and White, Liver and White, Liver/White Tricolor and Black/White Tricolor. They shed only in summer and spring months and autumn on occasion.

They have a well-proportioned body coupled with a friendly predisposition. You will find them constantly wagging their tail.

Male English Springers weigh approximately weigh 40 to 60 lb (18 to 27 kg) and stand at a height of approximately 19 to 21 inches (48 to 53 cm) at the withers. Females, on the other hand, are 18 to 20 inches (46 to 51 cm) tall and weigh usually between 35 to 55 lb (16 to 25 kg).

They have a life span of approximately 10 to 14 years.

Temperament

English Springers are affectionate, loveable and friendly dogs. They love to please, are quick to learn and willing to obey making them easy to train. They are also very intelligent and alert and thrive in agility tests, They also make perfect detector or hunting dogs.

They have a lot of energy, therefore, require moderate exercise. They enjoy swimming and love getting into puddles and water bowls and tracking mud through the house making them not a  good choice for fastidious housekeepers. If not stimulated either mentally or physically they can turn destructive out of boredom.

They get along with children and other pets as well. They may, however, experience same-sex aggression. Early socialization is critical for them to grow as well as rounded animals.

 They may exhibit clinginess where they get close to one person among the family members and get really attached. This may cause them to suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for long periods of time.

Living conditions

English Spingers can live in both an apartment or a stand-alone home with a compound. They, however, require moderate regular exercise to dispense energy or otherwise they can turn destructive when bored.

They get along well with children and other pets but early socialization is key for them to live harmoniously. In some lines, they may exhibit same-sex aggression therefore playtime should be supervised.

They are prone to separation anxiety especially if they are clingy with some family members. Enrolling them to a dog daycare can come in handy for busy pet owners. They have a tendency to be messy around them home. They have a tendency to dribble urine when excited or scared or run into the house with mud after a dip in a water puddle.

Trainability

English Springers are highly intelligent and trainable dogs. They make excellent sniffer dogs, hiking or camping buddies, and therapy dogs.

They require regular exercise and mental stimulation to dispense energy or can otherwise turn destructive.

Grooming

English springers are moderate to heavy shedders. They do so, during the summer and spring months. They, therefore, require regular brushing 2 to 3 times a week to prevent matting as their undercoat is soft dense compared to the outer coat which is medium length and flat or wavy. Visiting the groomer every couple of months will help keep the coat neat and at a sizeable length.

Their ears should also be kept clean and dry to prevent fungal or bacterial infections. Their nails should also be clipped at least once every 3 to 4 weeks to prevent them from splinting.

Brushing teeth at least once every week helps to keep away tartar and plaque build-up.

Health

English Springers are generally healthy dogs and have a life span of approximately 10.5 to 15 years. They are however prone to:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Progressive retinal atrophy where there is degeneration of the retina which often leads to blindness
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Phosphofructokinase deficiency a genetic disease which impairs the body’s ability to  absorb carbohydrates
  • Ear infections predisposed by their droopy ears
  • Entropion and ectropion characterized by the inward and outward curling of the eyelashes
  • Obesity
  • Patella luxation
  • Intervertebral disk disease.
  • corneal dystrophy
  • Glaucoma
  • Epilepsy
  • Hormonal disorders such as hypothyroidism, Addison’s disease, and diabetes
  • Blood clotting diseases (von Willebrand’s, factor X deficiency, factor XI deficiency, and hemophilia A) 

Nutrition

Diet should be served according to age, size, and level of physical activity as they are prone to obesity. Food portions should be monitored.

Their diet should be balanced and of high quality. It should contain approximately 75% protein from meat or poultry and 25% fruits and vegetables. Due to their predisposition to allergies, their diet may need to be customized accordingly.

Conclusion

English Spingers make lovely family dogs as well as working dogs. They are excellent companions for outgoing pet owners as they love swimming, hiking, and camping.

When well trained they also make good sniffer and therapy dogs.

They are affectionate, eager to please and intelligent. They also get along well with other pets and children alike.

However, these dogs require regular exercise to stimulate them mentally and physically or otherwise they can turn destructive. They are also prone to separation anxiety.

They thrive in homes with a compound to run around.

They are shedders and require regular brushing and grooming to keep their coat from matting.

Though generally healthy dogs they are prone to various conditions and potential pet owners should look into the parent medical records to have a rough idea of what to expect as the puppy grows.

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