What is an English Springer Spaniel?

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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2019
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The English Springer Spaniel (also known simply as the "Springer")is a member of the large spaniel pool which consists of Cocker Spaniels, Welsh Springer Spaniels, Clumber Spaniels, and Brittany Spaniels. Spaniels, one of the oldest breeds of dogs, have been kept as pets for nearly four centuries. Paintings from the 1600's depict the English Springer Spaniel in hunting and domestic settings.

The English Springer Spaniel has a two-toned coat. The dogs are either black and white or liver (brown) and white. Generally, the back, head, and part of the dog's face are dark with a white belly, legs, chest, and muzzle. Of course, every English Springer Spaniel has a slightly different collection of markings. English Springer Spaniels were originally bred as hunting dogs, specifically for bird hunting. Because this kind of work often involves damp or watery terrain, the English Springer Spaniel has a hardy coat that can withstand the elements.

Within the spaniel family, the English Springer Spaniel is one of the largest breeds. The adult males are generally between 50 and 55 pounds (23 to 25 kg), and the adult females are 40 pounds (18 kg) on average. The English Springer Spaniel is considered to be a medium sized dog.


English Springer Spaniels are known for their friendly, playful temperament. These dogs are generally good with children. It is important to note that, even an otherwise well-behaved English Springer Spaniel may not respond well to children if he or she is not socialized with children as a young dog. It is also important to note that, because Springers were bred to serve as working dogs, they naturally have a lot of energy and need vigorous exercise in regular intervals to stay healthy and happy. An under-exercised English Springer Spaniel may become anxious and misbehave.

Many owners of English Springer Spaniels are attracted to the breed because of the companionship that the dogs offer. Springers are very attached to their owners and families. While at home, Springers like best to be in the same room as their owner, even just at his or her feet if possible. In general, these dogs are also very affectionate and desire as much attention and petting as you can give them.

If you are considering adopting an English Springer Spaniel, be sure to get in touch with a reputable breeder who can confirm the health of the dog's bloodline. Alternatively, if you are considering adopting a young or adult Springer, look into the rescue network in your area. There are dedicated Springer rescue organizations throughout North America.


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