English Springer Spaniel

The English Springer Spaniel dog breed was developed as a gun dog to flush, or spring, game in the field, but he’s also a popular companion. Athletic and versatile, he’s been known to participate in agility, hunt tests, tracking, obedience trials and more, and he’s a great pal to have along when you go hiking or camping.

See below for complete list of English Springer Spaniel characteristics!

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Breed Characteristics:

Adaptability
Adapts Well to Apartment Living1More info +

Contrary to popular belief, small size doesn't necessarily an apartment dog make — plenty of small dogs are too high-energy and yappy for life in a high-rise. Being quiet, low energy, fairly calm indoors, and polite with the other residents, are all good qualities in an apartment dog.

See Dogs Not Well Suited to Apartment Living

Good For Novice Owners3More info +

Some dogs are simply easier than others: they take to training better and are fairly easygoing. They're also resilient enough to bounce back from your mistakes or inconsistencies. Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time owner to manage. You'll get your best match if you take your dog-owning experience into account as you choose your new pooch.

See Dogs That Are Good For Experienced Owners

Sensitivity Level4More info +

Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called "easygoing," "tolerant," "resilient," and even "thick-skinned," can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. Do you have young kids, throw lots of dinner parties, play in a garage band, or lead a hectic life? Go with a low-sensitivity dog.

See Dogs That Have Low Sensitivity Levels

Tolerates Being Alone1More info +

Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to worry or even panic when left alone by their owner. An anxious dog can be very destructive, barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise causing mayhem. These breeds do best when a family member is home during the day or if you can take the dog to work.

See Dogs Poorly Suited To Be Alone

Tolerates Cold Weather3More info +

Breeds with very short coats and little or no undercoat or body fat, such as Greyhounds, are vulnerable to the cold. Dogs with a low cold tolerance need to live inside in cool climates and should have a jacket or sweater for chilly walks.

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Tolerates Hot Weather4More info +

Dogs with thick, double coats are more vulnerable to overheating. So are breeds with short noses, like Bulldogs or Pugs, since they can't pant as well to cool themselves off. If you want a heat-sensitive breed, the dog will need to stay indoors with you on warm or humid days, and you'll need to be extra cautious about exercising your dog in the heat.

See Dogs Poorly Suited For Hot Weather

All Around Friendliness
Affectionate with Family5More info +

Some breeds are independent and aloof, even if they've been raised by the same person since puppyhood; others bond closely to one person and are indifferent to everyone else; and some shower the whole family with affection. Breed isn't the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily.

See Dogs Less Affectionate with Family

Incredibly Kid Friendly Dogs5More info +

Being gentle with children, sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pets and hugs they can dish out, and having a blasé attitude toward running, screaming children are all traits that make a kid-friendly dog. You may be surprised by who's on that list: Fierce-looking Boxers are considered good with children, as are American Staffordshire Terriers (aka pit bulls). Small, delicate, and potentially snappy dogs such as Chihuahuas aren't so family-friendly.

**All dogs are individuals. Our ratings are generalizations, and they're not a guarantee of how any breed or individual dog will behave. Dogs from any breed can be good with children based on their past experiences, training on how to get along with kids, and personality. No matter what the breed or breed type, all dogs have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances. Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period.

See Dogs Not Kid Friendly

Dog Friendly5More info +

Friendliness toward dogs and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Some dogs may attack or try to dominate other dogs even if they're love-bugs with people; others would rather play than fight; and some will turn tail and run. Breed isn't the only factor; dogs who lived with their littermates and mother until at least 6 to 8 weeks of age, and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood, are more likely to have good canine social skills.

See Dogs That Are Not Dog Friendly

Friendly Toward Strangers4More info +

Stranger-friendly dogs will greet guests with a wagging tail and a nuzzle; others are shy, indifferent, or even aggressive. However, no matter what the breed, a dog who was exposed to lots of different types, ages, sizes, and shapes of people as a puppy will respond better to strangers as an adult.

See Dogs That Are More Shy

Health Grooming
Amount Of Shedding3More info +

If you're going to share your home with a dog, you'll need to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothes and in your house. However, shedding does vary greatly among the breeds: Some dogs shed year-round, some "blow" seasonally -- produce a snowstorm of loose hair -- some do both, and some shed hardly at all. If you're a neatnik you'll need to either pick a low-shedding breed, or relax your standards.

See Dogs That Shed Very Little

Drooling Potential1More info +

Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you've got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine; but if you're a neatnik, you may want to choose a dog who rates low in the drool department.

See Dogs That Are Not Big Droolers

Easy To Groom2More info +

Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy. Consider whether you have the time and patience for a dog that needs a lot of grooming, or the money to pay someone else to do it.

See Dogs That Require More Grooming

General Health3More info +

Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia. This doesn't mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they're at an increased risk. If you're buying a puppy, it's a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you're interested in, so you can ask the breeder about the physical health of your potential pup's parents and other relatives.

See Dogs More Prone To Health Problems

Potential For Weight Gain3More info +

Some breeds have hearty appetites and tend to put on weight easily. As in humans, being overweight can cause health problems in dogs. If you pick a breed that's prone to packing on pounds, you'll need to limit treats, make sure he gets enough exercise, and measure out his daily kibble in regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time.

Size3More info +

Dogs come in all sizes, from the world's smallest pooch, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if he is compatible with you and your living space. Large dog breeds might seem overpowering and intimidating but some of them are incredibly sweet! Take a look and find the right large dog for you!

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See Small Dogs

Trainability
Easy To Train5More info +

Easy to train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt (such as the word "sit"), an action (sitting), and a consequence (getting a treat) very quickly. Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training. Many breeds are intelligent but approach training with a "What's in it for me?" attitude, in which case you'll need to use rewards and games to teach them to want to comply with your requests.

See Dogs That Are Challenging To Train

Intelligence5More info +

Dogs who were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as herding livestock, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don't get the mental stimulation they need, they'll make their own work -- usually with projects you won't like, such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue.

See Dogs That Have Low Intelligence

Potential For Mouthiness3More info +

Common in most breeds during puppyhood and in retriever breeds at all ages, mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn't puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or "herd" their human family members, and they need training to learn that it's fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy a game of fetch, as well as a good chew on a chew toy that's been stuffed with kibble and treats.

Prey Drive5More info +

Dogs that were bred to hunt, such as terriers, have an inborn desire to chase and sometimes kill other animals. Anything whizzing by — cats, squirrels, perhaps even cars — can trigger that instinct. Dogs that like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you'll need a high, secure fence in your yard. These breeds generally aren't a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small dogs. Breeds that were originally used for bird hunting, on the other hand, generally won't chase, but you'll probably have a hard time getting their attention when there are birds flying by.

See Dogs That Have Low Prey Drive

Tendency To Bark Or Howl3More info +

Some breeds sound off more often than others. When choosing a breed, think about how the dog vocalizes — with barks or howls — and how often. If you're considering a hound, would you find their trademark howls musical or maddening? If you're considering a watchdog, will a city full of suspicious "strangers" put him on permanent alert? Will the local wildlife literally drive your dog wild? Do you live in housing with noise restrictions? Do you have neighbors nearby?

See Dogs That Are Mostly Quiet

Wanderlust Potential4More info +

Some breeds are more free-spirited than others. Nordic dogs such as Siberian Huskies were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they'll take off after anything that catches their interest. And many hounds simply must follow their noses, or that bunny that just ran across the path, even if it means leaving you behind.

See Dogs Less Prone To Wander

Exercise Needs
Energy Level5More info +

High-energy dogs are always ready and waiting for action. Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they're more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells. Low-energy dogs are the canine equivalent of a couch potato, content to doze the day away. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you'll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying.

See Dogs That Have Low Energy

Intensity3More info +

A vigorous dog may or may not be high-energy, but everything he does, he does with vigor: he strains on the leash (until you train him not to), tries to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps. These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who's elderly or frail. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life.

See Dogs With Low Intensity

Exercise Needs5More info +

Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise -- especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, such as herding or hunting. Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, such as barking, chewing, and digging. Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility.

See Dogs That Don't Need Tons of Exercise

Potential For Playfulness5More info +

Some dogs are perpetual puppies -- always begging for a game -- while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog.

See Dogs That Are Less Playfull

Vital Stats:

Dog Breed Group: Sporting Dogs
Height: 1 foot, 6 inches to 1 foot, 10 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 45 to 55 pounds
Life Span: 9 to 15 years
  • The English Springer Spaniel, named for the way he "springs" at game to flush it for the hunter, has long been a favorite with sportsmen, but this lively, beautiful dog also makes a wonderful family companion if he receives the training and exercise he needs.

    English Springer Spaniels are smart and eager to please, not to mention enthusiastic. They are happy dogs and seem to have a good sense of humor. They usually do well with children if they are brought up with them from puppyhood and are affectionate toward their families. They also are generally good with other pets in the household, even small ones, but might see pet birds as prey since those are what they're bred to hunt.

    Because they're hunting dogs, English Springer Spaniels require a lot of exercise, but keep them on leash in unfenced areas or they may decide to go hunting on their own. Because they are such good athletes, many non-hunting owners participate in activities such as obedience, agility, flyball, and tracking with their English Springer Spaniels. They also make great therapy dogs, bringing smiles to people in hospitals and nursing homes.

    English Springer Spaniels will bark if strangers come to your house, but if you're looking for a guard dog, keep looking. They are loving, gentle dogs who expect even strangers to give them attention.

    Because of their affectionate nature, they aren't a one-person dog. They are very people-oriented, and shouldn't be left home alone or isolated from people for long periods.

    English Springers are medium-size dogs with the typical gentle spaniel expression and drop ears. Their compact body is protected by a dense, medium-length coat adorned with feathering, a longer fringe of hair, on the ears, chest, legs, and belly. The wag of the docked tail can only be described as merry. Their bodies are a little longer than they are tall. That's because a dog can tire easily when his body is too long — highly undesirable for a hardworking sporting dog!

    Those are the basics, but if you were to put two English Springer Spaniels next to each other, they might look very different. That's because in many sporting (hunting) breeds, some dogs are bred to work in the field, while others are bred primarily to be show dogs. Eventually, they become two very different types, and that's what has happened with English Springer Spaniels. Why are we telling you this? Read on and we'll explain.

    The gene pools of field and show dogs have been almost completely segregated for about 70 years. Field Springer Spaniels are athletes and they look the part. They usually have shorter coats, their noses are pointier, and their ears are not as long. Field Springers are bred for hunting ability, sense of smell, and trainability.

    Show Spring Spaniels have longer hair, a squarer muzzle, and longer ears. They're prized for their good looks and showmanship. (A prime example of this type is James — more formally known as Ch. Felicity's Diamond Jim — who won Best in Show at Westminster in 2007.) Show dogs can hunt, but they're too slow and methodical to do well in field trials, which is where field-bred Springers shine.

    The differences affect you when you're choosing a puppy. Both types need lots of exercise, but if you want a companion, a field-bred Springer may have more energy than you need or want. Look for a puppy from show lines. If you want a Springer who will be competitive in field trials, just the opposite is true.

    It's essential, then, to have a clear idea of what you want from a Springer when you talk to breeders. They can help you choose the puppy that's right for you or direct you to a breeder whose dogs will better fit your needs. In fact, that's the test of a really great breeder--she wants to help you find the dog that's right for you, even if that means losing a sale.

  • Highlights

    • English Springer Spaniels don't like to be left alone and may become nuisance barkers if they're bored or lonely.
    • In recent years, there have been reports of English Springer Spaniels who are aggressive or overly submissive. Be sure to get your Springer from a breeder who tests his or her breeding dogs for health and temperament.
    • In essence, there are two varieties of English Spring Spaniel: ones intended to work in the field, and ones intended to show. Be sure you know the difference and get the type that best suits your needs.
    • Don't expect your English Springer Spaniel to be a good guard dog. They bark at noises and when strangers come around, but quickly settle down and want to be pet.
    • English Springer Spaniels were developed to have great stamina and energy. Be sure that you can provide your dog with adequate exercise or he may become nervous and destructive.
    • Some English Springer Spaniels can demonstrate submissive urination, which means they pee in excitement or anxiety when you come home. The best way to deal with this is to make homecomings very low key by not looking at or paying attention to your dog until you've been home for a few minutes. If you do this, your puppy may grow out of this behavior.
    • Be sure to keep your English Springer Spaniel on a leash when you take him to unprotected areas. You never know when he will see a bird and be overcome by his instinct to go after it!
    • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
  • History

    Spaniel-type dogs are thought to have originated in Spain — hence their name — many centuries ago and were probably taken to other parts of the world by the Romans or via trading ships. Spaniels were mentioned in Welsh law as early as 300 A.D. That's more than 1,700 years ago!

    Spaniels that look similar to today's English Springer Spaniel are depicted in 16th and 17th century artwork. Before guns were invented, the spaniel was used to flush gamebirds or small animals by springing at them and driving them into the open so they could be captured by hunting hawks, coursing hounds, or nets flung over them. When firearms were invented in the 17th century, spaniels proved to be especially adept at flushing game for shooters.

    During the 19th and early 20th centuries in England, dogs of the same litter were classified by their hunting use rather than their breed. Smaller dogs in the litter would be used to hunt woodcock, and therefore were called Cockers. Larger pups in the same litter would be used to flush game and were called Springers.

    In 1902, England's Kennel Club granted a special place in their Stud Book for the English Springer Spaniel, and a separate classification at their show in 1903. At that show, Mr. William Arkwright judged the breed. He awarded the dog Challenge Certificate to Mr. Winton Smith's Beechgrove Will and best of opposite sex went to Mr. Harry Jones' bitch Fansome. By 1906, Beechgrove Will became the breed's first Champion.

    In 1913, an English Springer Spaniel was imported by a Canadian breeder. A little more than 10 years later, the breed had become one of the most popular breeds registered by the American Kennel Club. The English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association, the parent club of the breed in the U.S., was formed in 1924. At that time, English Springer Spaniels that competed in field trials on one day might be shown in conformation dog shows the next day.

    That changed in the early 1940s when field trial enthusiasts began breeding dogs with qualities that would produce top results in the field, and show enthusiasts began to breed dogs that were both consistent with the breed's standard, and had the "flash" to win in the show ring.

    Field-bred dogs are bred for a keen sense of smell, speed, style, working ability and endurance above all, and today the two types are not interbred. Both types have the instinct to work and can be trained to the gun, but very few English Springer Spaniels work in both field and show events. The last dual champion (meaning that it was a champion in both field and conformation events) was a dog named Green Valley Punch in 1938.

    Whether he's a field or show dog, however, today's English Springer is a popular breed, ranking 26th among the breeds registered by the American Kennel Club.

  • Size

    English Springer Spaniels weigh between 45 and 55 pounds and stand 18 to 22 inches tall at the shoulder. Field-bred Springers are generally a bit lighter than those bred for the show ring.

  • Personality

    The typical Springer is friendly, eager to please, quick to learn, and willing to obey. He should never be aggressive or timid. In recent years there have been reports of aggression or excessive timidity in the breed, as well as excessive separation anxiety. These traits aren't desirable and could be an indication of poor breeding. As with any breed of dog, it's important to research breeders and find ones who test their breeding stock not only for genetic diseases but also temperament.

    Temperament is affected by a number of factors, including heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with nice temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one who's beating up his littermates or the one who's hiding in the corner. Always meet at least one of the parents — usually the mother is the one who's available — to ensure that they have nice temperaments that you're comfortable with. Meeting siblings or other relatives of the parents is also helpful for evaluating what a puppy will be like when he grows up.

    Springers need early socialization and training. Like any dog, they can become timid if they are not properly socialized — exposed to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Early socialization helps ensure that your Springer puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.

  • Health

    Springers are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they're prone to certain health conditions. Not all Springers will get any or all of these diseases, but it's important to be aware of them if you're considering this breed.

    If you're buying a puppy, find a good breeder who will show you health clearances for both your puppy's parents. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular condition.

    In Springers, you should expect to see health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for hip dysplasia (with a score of fair or better), elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand's disease; from Auburn University for thrombopathia; and from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) certifying that eyes are normal. You can confirm health clearances by checking the OFA web site (offa.org).

    • Hip Dysplasia: This is a heritable condition in which the thighbone doesn't fit snugly into the hip joint. Some dogs show pain and lameness on one or both rear legs, but you may not notice any signs of discomfort in a dog with hip dysplasia. As the dog ages, arthritis can develop. X-ray screening for hip dysplasia is done by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHIP). Dogs with hip dysplasia should not be bred. If you're buying a puppy, ask the breeder for proof that the parents have been tested for hip dysplasia and are free of problems. Hip dysplasia is hereditary, but it can also be triggered by environmental factors, such as rapid growth from a high-calorie diet or injuries incurred from jumping or falling on slick floors.
    • Retinal Dysplasia: This is a developmental malformation of the retina that the dog is born with. Most cases are mild and there is no detectable loss in vision. Veterinary ophthalmologists can do tests to determine if puppies are affected when they are 7 to 12 weeks old. Retinal dysplasia shouldn't affect a dog's ability to function as a companion, but affected Springers shouldn't be bred.
    • Entropion: This is a condition caused by the lower eyelid folding inward toward the eye, resulting in chronic irritation of the surface of the eye. It can be corrected with surgery.
    • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): This is a degeneration of the layers of the retina. The disease is progressive and eventually results in blindness. In Springers it's usually seen between 2 and 6 years of age. The disorder is still considered rare, but its incidence has increased. There is no treatment, but the condition doesn't cause pain or discomfort. Dogs who lose their sight can get along very well using their other senses. Just don't move the furniture around.
    • Skin Disorders: Typical signs of skin disease include scaliness, greasiness, itching, pyoderma (infection), and occasional hair loss. There are genetic as well as other factors, such as allergies, involved in the development of skin diseases. Be sure to check with your vet if you notice any of the conditions listed above.
    • Ear Infections: Because of their pendant ear flaps, ear infections are common in English Springer Spaniels. You may be able to prevent most ear infections by keeping the ears clean and dry. As your veterinarian for ear care products and if an infection occurs anyway, have your dog treated by your veterinarian.
    • Phosphofructokinase (PFK) Deficiency: PFK is an enzyme that is needed for the body to use sugar for energy. Some Springers have an inherited deficiency of this enzyme. Signs may be so mild that they go unrecognized for years, but some dogs have severe illness, including hyperventilation, muscle wasting, and fever. Your vet can test for the deficiency measuring the PFK enzyme through a blood sample.
  • Care

    English Springer Spaniels are loving, devoted dogs who can live comfortably in most homes as long as they get plenty of daily exercise.

    The amount of exercise your adult Springer needs depends; Field Springers need more than Show Springers. If you have a fenced yard or acreage where he can play, your Springer will enjoy being outdoors with you while you garden or read or grill dinner. He'll run around on his own, then check in with you every few minutes, just as he might do in the field with a hunter. One or two daily mile-long walks will also help him work off all that Springer energy. Springers also like to swim, and if you have a pool or access to a lake, it's a great way for them to get exercise.

    Puppies have different exercise needs.

    * 9 weeks to 4 months of age: Puppy kindergarten once or twice a week is a great way to get exercise, training, and socialization, plus 15 to 20 minutes of playtime in the yard, morning and evening. Throw a ball for them to fetch.

    * 4 to 6 months of age: Weekly obedience classes and daily half-mile walks will meet their needs, plus playtime in the yard.

    * 6 months to a year of age: Play fetch with a ball or Frisbee for up to 40 minutes during cool mornings or evenings, and not in the heat of the day. Continue to limit walks to a half mile.

    * one year plus: Your Springer pup can begin to jog with you, but keep the distance to less than a mile and give him frequent breaks along the way. As he continues to mature, you can increase the distance and time you run. These graduated levels of exercise will protect his developing bones and joints.

  • Feeding

    Recommended daily amount: 1.5 to 2 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. Puppies may eat as much as 4 cups a day.

    NOTE: How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don't all need the same amount of food. It almost goes without saying that a highly active dog will need more than a couch potato dog. The quality of dog food you buy also makes a difference — the better the dog food, the further it will go toward nourishing your dog and the less of it you'll need to shake into your dog's bowl.

    For more on feeding your Springer, see our guidelines for buying the right food, feeding your puppy, and feeding your adult dog.

  • Coat Color And Grooming

    English Springer Spaniels have a double coat, which means that they have an insulating undercoat that's covered with a topcoat, in much the same way that you might layer a sweater and a coat for warmth. Their medium-length topcoat is flat or wavy, and the undercoat is short, soft, and dense. Together, they're waterproof, weatherproof, and thornproof. They have a fringe of feathering on the ears, chest, legs and belly. A healthy Springer coat is clean and shiny.

    English Springer Spaniels come in several color combinations. Perhaps best known are the Springers with black or liver (deep reddish-brown) with white markings or primarily white with black or liver markings. Some are blue or liver roan. Blue is a dilution of the black coat, and roan describes a fine mixture of colored hairs with white hairs.

    Tri-color Springers are black and white or liver and white with tan markings, usually on the eyebrows, cheeks, inside of the ears, and beneath the tail. Sometimes the white parts of the coat are flecked with ticking, small, isolated areas of black hairs. Springers bred for the show ring usually have more color than white, whereas field Springers tend to have more white so hunters can see them easily in the field.

    Brush your Springer at least three times a week to keep him looking his best and to avoid mats, or tangles. Springers shed moderately all year long, and regular brushing will also help keep loose hair off your clothes and furniture.

    You may also want to trim around the head, neck, ears, tail, and feet, just to give your Springer a neater appearance. Many English Springer Spaniel owners take their dogs to a professional groomer every two to three months for trimming.

    Because his floppy ears block air circulation, they must be checked and cleaned weekly to prevent ear infections. Gently wipe out the ear — only the part you can see! — with a cotton ball moistened with a cleaning solution recommended by your veterinarian. Never stick cotton swabs or anything else into the ear canal or you might damage it. Your Springer may have an ear infection if the inside of the ear smells bad, looks red or seems tender, or he frequently shakes his head or scratches at his ear.

    Brush your Springer's teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Daily brushing is even better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath.

    Trim nails regularly if your dog doesn't wear them down naturally. If you can hear them clicking on the floor, they're too long. Short, neatly trimmed nails keep your legs from getting scratched when your Springer enthusiastically jumps up to greet you.

  • Children And Other Pets

    Springers usually do well with children if they are brought up with them from puppyhood. Older Springers who are unfamiliar with children may do best in a home with children who are mature enough to interact with them appropriately.

    Always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's eating or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog should ever be left unsupervised with a child.

    Springers are also generally good with other pets in the household, even small ones, but they might see pet birds as prey since those are what they are bred to hunt. Keep them separated so they don't hurt each other. A parrot's beak is a mighty weapon.

  • Rescue Groups

    English Springer Spaniels are often bought without any clear understanding of what goes into owning one. There are many Springers in need of adoption and or fostering. If you don't see a rescue listed for your area, contact the national breed club or a local breed club and they can point you toward a Springer rescue.