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English Springer Spaniel

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English Springer Spaniel
An English Springer Spaniel. In countries where docking is illegal.
Alternative names
Country of origin
United Kingdom
Common nicknames
Classification and breed standards
FCI: Group 8 Section 2 #125  
AKC: Sporting  
ANKC: Group 3 (Gundogs)  
CKC: Group 1 - Sporting Dogs  
KC (UK): Gundog  
NZKC: Gundog  
UKC: Gun Dog Breeds  
Not recognized by any major kennel club
This breed of dog is extinct

The English Springer Spaniel is a gun dog traditionally used for flushing and retrieving game.


Solid liver and white coat color. Solid liver and white coat color.

Like many breeds including the closely related English Cocker Spaniel, these dogs have been developed for specific work, in modern times the show dog lines have diverged from working dog lines, depending on which aspect of the dog the breeders have chosen to focus on.

Males in the show dog line average approximately 18 to 20 inches (45 to 50 cm) at the withers and weigh on average between 50 and 55 pounds (23 to 25 kg). Females are generally smaller, averaging closer to 40 pounds (18 kg). Dogs in the working dog line tend to be smaller and lighter boned.

The working lines, often refered to as "Field-Bred", tend to have shorter, coarser coats than the show-bred dogs. Their ears are less pendulous. Show-bred dogs tend to have a longer, more silky coat and are often predominatly dark colored.

The coat comes in three different color combinations. Black-and-white, liver-and-white and either of these combinations with tan markings (usually on the cheeks and above the eyes). Dogs bred for show are generally more colour than white, whereas sporting dogs tend to have more white in their coats for ease of the hunter to see them in long grass.


This Springer is enjoying a bone. This Springer is enjoying a bone.

The Springer is an affectionate and easy-going family dog, and its alertness and attentiveness make it the ideal hunting companion. An intelligent dog, and eager to please, a Springer is easily incorporated into a family setting. Although good with children, it tends to have a moderate to high energy level. Its long-legged build makes it among the fastest of the spaniels. It has unlimited stamina and needs plenty of activity to focus its mind and to provide substantial exercise.

English Springer Spaniels are playful animals; many owners find humor in their play. As with many playful dogs or hunting dogs bred as retrievers, these dogs will play with things as simple as empty plastic bottles, socks, or towels. These spaniels easily remember where such things are kept and are good at getting them out.

Some people say that English Springer Spaniels are like Velcro, because they want to be in the immediate vicinity of their owner. If the owner walks to the other side of a room, so does the English Springer Spaniel. Some may become agitated and whine if they cannot get near people that they know are nearby.


A black and white Springer.

Spot Fetcher, U.S. President George W. Bush's dog (now deceased).

As in many breeds there are health issues for which the breeder should be careful. People acquiring new puppies can avoid some issues by asking the breeder for health clearances of the father and mother of the litter, in particular, Canine Eye Research Foundation (CERF) and Orthopedic Foundation (OFA) certifications for the father and mother. However, health issues can still show up. Hip dysplasia and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), are two such diseases for which veterinarians are working on genetic markers to determine carriers.

English Springer Spaniels are very prone to having ear infections. Susceptible individuals should have their ear canals cleaned weekly with a solution that will leave the ear in an acidic state to retard the growth of yeast and bacteria.

Other health issues include autoimmune diseases, which include allergies and other sensitivities to the environment. These are extreme, but are found in the breed.

Temperament issues can include dog and people aggression, which appears to be genetic, and in many cases does not manifest until the dog is an adult. Choosing dogs with parents that do not display this kind of behavior will reduce, but not eliminate, its occurrence. Another cause of aberrant behavior can be epilepsy.


This spaniel is an older breed, appearing in paintings as early as the 1600s. It is possibly the ancestor of most modern spaniels; springer spaniels and cocker spaniels were not recognized as separate breeds until the 1800s.

Famous Spaniels

  • Spot Fetcher, pet of President of the United States George W. Bush, now deceased.
  • Millie Bush, pet of former President George H. W. Bush.

See also

External links

 | Up
 | English Cocker Spaniel
 | English Foxhound
 | English Mastiff
 | English Pointer
 | English Setter
 | English Shepherd
 | English Springer Spaniel
 | English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan)
 | Entlebucher Mountain Dog
 | Estrela Mountain Dog
 | Eurasier
 | Eurohound

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