English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniels & What You Need to Know – Now!

English Springer Spaniels are a great choice for a companion and family dog, and remain fantastic gun dogs for the sportsman. They are tough, lively, lovable, playful, gentle, and completely pleasant dogs to be in company. Other positive traits are that they are great with children, average barkers, friendly, get along with cats, and are obedient. Its long-legged build ranks it among the fastest of the spaniel breeds and you will find that they will regularly seek out water for play or swimming. Got to love those English Springer Spaniels.

English Springer Spaniels are used for search and rescue and are chosen for their willingness and ability to work in tough terrain. They are also used as sniffer dogs, and are terrific competitors in flyball; dock diving, rally, tracking, and obedience competitions.

The English Springer Spaniel comes in white, black and white, liver, blue and liver parti, tricolor patterns of black and white or liver and white with tan markings commonly found on eyebrows, cheeks, inside of the ears and under the tail. White areas of their coats may or may not have ticking.

The Springer was bred to be an excellent hunting dog in dry or wet terrain, and has a gentle mouth for retrieving game. The hunting skills they are adept are hop, retrieve to hand, quarter, following hand signals and remaining steady during firing. Charged with energy and stamina, fast and athletic, they make great hunting dogs.

Before you go and pick out your Springer, please do some research on the type of dog that fits best into you and your family’s lifestyle. They are adept at competing in field trials, agility, obedience, and of course conformation competition. If you are simply looking for a family companion then you will most likely not require a breeder that is concentrating on dogs for the field. There is a wide variance in temperament in both the field and show lines, so choose your dog with assistance from your breeder and using your own intuition. If you are a little timid in your style of training then choose a more submissive puppy.

History of the English Springer Spaniel

Spaniel type dogs existed in Britain in ancient times. Artworks from the 16th century onwards began depicting dogs similar to the type of English Springer Spaniels that we see today. The talented Springer was heavily used for flushing game so that trained falcons or hawks could capture them. English Springer Spaniels are one of the eldest of the spaniel group. Spaniels were imported into England hundreds of years ago, and some records indicate that possibly as far back to the time of the Roman invasion in the BCE time. Murkiness exists regarding the name spaniel, but it is often contributed to a dog from Spain, but there is some dispute as to whether the English would have adopted such a name from the Spanish, which is why some think the spaniels came from invading Romans.

The famous book “Livre de Chase” written in 1387 by Gaston De Fox of Southern France, describes hunting dogs in their work of flushing and retrieving game from land and water. His references mimic the type of work the Springer Spaniel has become renown.

English Springer Spaniel Painting

English Springer Spaniel Painting

Painting dated 1807

In the 19th century, the spaniels were split into land and water groups and the water were then split into different spaniel types. Many spaniel types were developed during this time, and were usually named after the county in which they were developed.

The case of the English Springer Spaniel went like this. Before the intentional separation, English Cocker and Springer Spaniels would hail from the same litter with the larger being used to spring game and the smaller to hunt woodcock. The Springer Spaniel is larger than the Cocker Spaniel but encompasses most of the same characteristics that make good hunting dogs. The Springer is named for their ability to spring game from the brush so that hunters can shoot. The smaller Cocker Spaniel takes its name from the hunter’s use of them for hunting Woodcock.

There are two types of English Springer Spaniels, field and show. Field Springer’s are bred for hunting and field trial work, the latter for conformation shows and family pets. The show Springer is known to have a milder temperament and longer hair that requires more maintenance than the shorter haired field dog.

Springers imported into North America arrived, and they immediately began to grow in popularity. In 1880, the American Spaniel Club was founded, and in 1910, the American Kennel Club recognized the breed. The English Springer Spaniel Field and Trial Association was founded in 1924. In the beginning years of field competition and conformation, many dogs went straight from the field to the conformation show. The last dual champion was in the nineteen forties.

Today you will find Springers bred specifically for their purpose. Breeders specialize in breeding for show and family dog, or for success in the field. Field Springer Spaniels are athletic, proportional, and dependable dogs charged with the energy to hunt all day, while the show lines tend to be more amicable and less energetic.

Health for the English Springer Spaniel

Like humans, dogs have the potential to develop ailments and diseases. Many of these ailments and diseases vary in type and prevalence, from breed to breed. Consider this fact when picking out your new puppy, and beware of any breeder that makes a claim that the puppies of their particular breed are “100% healthy.” A reputable and honest breeder should know and share any health related issues that the breed you are purchasing or inquiring about might have, or that could potentially surface.

The possible dog health issues of the English Springer Spaniel besides their ears; include hip dysplasia, multiple eye problems, PFK (blood disorder), epilepsy, and HD. Regarding Springer Rage Syndrome, there is an article here at the club website that should be read here .

Something they share with their close relation the English Cocker Spaniel is that they gain weight easily, so avoid over-feeding. If you are heavily using treats in training, subtract from their meals the quantity of food rewards you give your dog during training sessions.

Owners should always keep in mind that English Springer Spaniels have a propensity towards acquiring ear infections, and this requires diligence from owners to prevent the onset of chronic

English Springer Spaniel Walking

English Springer Spaniel Training while Taking a Stroll

conditions. For more information, refer to the club website, breeder, or veterinarian. Follow up care for ear infections is of the utmost importance. Follow your veterinarian’s instructions and learn how properly to care for your Springer’s ears.

Prior to acquiring your dog of choice, I recommend reading about canine health related issues and common breed specific ailments. By familiarizing yourself with the signs and symptoms of a potential disease or sickness, you will be empowered to be the first line of defense in support of your dog’s health and wellbeing. By completing routine physical examinations of your dog, frequent fecal inspections, as well as recognizing any gastrointestinal problems, all helps to assure optimal health of your companion. By observing and understanding your dog’s healthy behaviors and regular patterns, you will easily be able to identify when your dog is not feeling well, and to deduce if medical attention is needed.

In your position and role as alpha, you are responsible for providing the best possible care for your dog, assuring his or her wellbeing and comfort. Do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian if you observe your dog displaying peculiar behaviors or showing any signs of discomfort. It is very important to maintain your dog’s scheduled exams, mandatory check up’s and vaccination appointments. Uphold this duty, so that your dog can enjoy the vitality of good health that he or she deserves, and is entitled to.

Long daily walks are recommended for maintaining a healthy dog, regardless of the breed. Walks can be opportunities to practice leash training, socialization, and aid to the over-all mental and physical well being of your dog. English Springer Spaniels require at least one hour per day of varied types of exertive exercise, whether this is achieved through play, games or sport. Tracking games are a great source of exercise and mental stimulation for your Springer Spaniel. The field line of Springers usually require even greater amounts of daily exercise.

Remember that loneliness and boredom are enemies of the young Springer. I advise that you always provide your new puppy with plenty of chew-toys to keep boredom at bay and to reduce the chance of potential destructive negative behaviors from overtaking their naturally sweet disposition.

Feeding Your English Springer Spaniel

Age, weight, and activity levels are a few of the factors that can change the food requirements of your Springer. Once you have determined the appropriate amount to provide, feed an accurately measured portion, at regular times, to help maintain their optimal weight. If you wish to feed your dog a raw food diet or a mix, please do your research and consult your veterinarian prior to any adjustments to their meals. Be sure to keep plenty of fresh, clean water available for your dog, and it is considered a good hygienic practice to clean your dog’s bowl after each feeding.

Proactive Measures for English Springer Spaniel Puppy Selection

If you want to buy an English Springer Spaniel puppy, be sure to find a reputable English Springer Spaniel breeder who will provide proof of health clearances for both of the puppy’s parents. Health clearances are official documents that prove a dog has been tested for, and cleared of any, or all breed specific conditions, however a clearance does not guarantee against acquired diseases or congenital abnormalities. Remember, even under the best breeding practices and proactive care measures, puppies can still develop diseases.

For the English Springer Spaniel dog breeds, you should expect to see a health clearance from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for hip dysplasia, as well as a clearance from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF), certifying that the eyes are healthy. You can also confirm health clearances by checking the OFA web site.

Temperament can be tested by using a test administered by the American Temperament Test Society. This can help provide information into the puppy’s parents, and relevant information to what the litter outcome might be. Here is a description of what the test focuses upon.

The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals maintains an open registry with evaluations of hips, elbows, eyes, thyroid, cardio, and additional canine health issues. They also provide clear definitions of the test categories to help you understand the grading system. PennHIP is another registry that tests and evaluates dog’s hips.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) conducts large canine research studies on diseases that affect purebred dogs. Their dog health program is under the direction of the Canine Health Foundation (CHF), and is in partnership with OFA, and additionally does breed testing and provides a centralized canine health database called, the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC). The results of these tests are maintained in a registry, and dogs that have completed all of the required exams, including testing of the hips, elbows, and eyes, receive a CHIC number. Along with the breed-testing program, there is the CHIC DNA Repository. CHIC is trying to gather and store breed DNA samples for canine disease research. The goal is to facilitate future research aimed at reducing the incidence of inherited diseases in dogs. You can search the database to find out if a specific dog has information listed about it. More information about CHIC is Canine Health

To be accepted into the CHIC database, breeders must agree to have all test results published. This enables the reader to see both good and bad results of the testing. Obtaining a CHIC number does not imply that the dog received good or passing evaluation scores. The CHIC registration also does not signify as proof of the absence of disease, and all information must be read and evaluated. CHIC allows the information collected to be readily available to anyone with an inquiry.

Care for English Springer Spaniels

You are responsible for the welfare of your new puppy or dog. Please treat him or her with respect and love, and this will be reciprocated tenfold. Dogs have been human companions for thousands of years, and they are living beings complete with feelings, emotions and the need for attachment. Before bringing home a new dog or puppy, please determine if you are capable and willing to provide all the needs that your new family member requires.

From the time you bring your pup home, positive training is a great start to introducing your new pack member to your household. You should be aware and sensitive to the fact that dogs have an amazing capacity for memory and recollection of those experiences. With this in mind, please refrain from harsh training tactics that may intimidate your puppy and that potentially can negatively affect personality or demeanor. When you train your new puppy, give him or her the respect they deserve, and utilize all available positive reinforcements. The result of your positive, proactive training methods and behavior modifications will be that your dog’s abilities, traits, and characteristics that are buried within the genetic profile of their specific breed, will shine. I am an advocate for beginning with rewards based clicker training, followed by vocal and physical cues for your young dog to learn to become obedient to commands.

Crate training has positive benefits, and provides a safe place for your dog to nap, or simply to be alone. In addition, crate training at a young age will help your dog accept confinement if he ever needs to be transported, boarded or hospitalized.

Appropriate, early, and ongoing socialization will help you and your Springer throughout his or her lifetime. Expose your new puppy or dog to a wide variety of situations, people, and other animals. This helps to prevent shyness, aggressiveness, possessiveness, and many other potential behavioral problems, meanwhile supporting the bond between the two of you. Remember never leave young children unsupervised around dogs or puppies. Also, be aware that situations of aggression may happen no matter how loving, gentle, and well trained a dog may be.

A routine care program is essential for any dog, and should always include basic hygienic practices. For the optimal health of your pet, scheduled care should include the care of the coat, nails and teeth. It is important to get instruction from your veterinarian for the proper cleaning method of the outer and inner ear.

For proper coat maintenance, it is essential to regularly brush and comb your Springer. The longer coated show coats are more prone to matting than the shorter coats of the field. Bathe or shampoo as necessary, always inspecting their ears, cleaning excess goo or invaders. Keep their ears clean and dry. You will most likely spend a lot of time drying your dog because they adore water. Springer Spaniels are continuous average shedders. Frequent brushing benefits the splendor of their coat, helps control household hair mess, and is an opportunity to practice handling. A good tutorial for trimming your English Springer Spaniel can be found here

Training Your English Springer Spaniel

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English Springer Spaniel Training

English Springer Spaniel Training

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