Breed review: Springer Spaniel puppies and dogs
The Springer Spaniel earned its name from its heritage as a sportsman’s companion and the way the dog springs at game when out on the hunt.
As well as being a helpful assistant, the breed makes a great family pet – if given the training and exercise it needs.
The Springer Spaniel is a medium-sized dog, noticeable for its long and wide floppy ears.
The dogs show several coat colours, often liver and white or black and white with tan markings.
The two types of springer spaniel – show and field – vary quite markedly due to segregated breeding for more than 70 years.
The field types are athletic with shorter coats and shorter ears than show Springers, who are prized for their good looks.
Springer Spaniels are intelligent and lively – hence their need for training and lots of exercise.
They usually get on well with children, if brought up alongside them from a young age and they are generally good with other pets in the household but, because of their hunting heritage, will probably see birds as potential prey.
Springer Spaniels will bark at strange visitors but this does not make them good guard dogs. They are very people-orientated and will often be placated by anyone who gives them a bit of fuss.
The Springer’s social streak also means they don’t like to be left alone for long periods.
They’ll need to be kept on a lead for most of the time, otherwise they might start to go hunting on their own.
When it comes to grooming, the springer is relatively easy to look after. The field type requires little grooming because of its shorter hair and regular brushing with soft bristles will keep him or her looking good.
The show type’s coat will begin to mat if not brushed often.
Bating and shampooing are only needed when necessary but both types of the breed need checking for ear infections regularly.
The life expectancy of a Springer Spaniel is between 10 and 14 years. Some are prone to hip dysplasia, eye problems and epilepsy.
The Springer Spaniel gains weight easily so owners must be wary of over-feeding.