The Springer Spaniel is a medium sized, very friendly and personable dog breed that originated in the UK and while they were originally used almost exclusively as working dogs, today they are also very popular as pets.
There are two different recognised springer spaniel breeds
Most people simply use the term “springer spaniel” to refer to dogs of the breed, but springer spaniels are actually divided further into two separate types; the English springer spaniel, and the Welsh springer spaniel.
While the two types are generally very similar, there are some distinct differences between them, with the Welsh springer being slightly shorter and stockier than their taller, rangier cousins.
Springer spaniels are often divided into two further groups
As well as differentiating between the English and Welsh breeds of springer spaniel, there is also another distinction sometimes made between dogs of the breed, being show lines versus working lines. Working lines of springer spaniels tend to be slightly lighter weight and have shorter, harsher coats than show lines, as well as less droopy lips!
They were originally bred to be gun dogs
The springer spaniel breed first became popular and further developed due to their strong working instincts, which made them excellent gun dogs. When hunting for sport, springers are often used to flush out birds from the undergrowth so that they fly up into the line of sight of the guns, and then to retrieve downed birds and bring them back to their handlers without running off with their catch or eating it on the way!
They still perform various working roles today
The springer spaniel is one of the few old working dog breeds that are still widely used in working roles today, although of course gun sport with live prey is not as popular today as it used to be.
However, as well as their gun dog roles, springer spaniels can also be seen working in a wide range of other different roles today too, often as detection dogs or sniffer dogs with the police, military and customs officials.
They are soft mouthed
The springer spaniel is what is referred to as a soft mouthed dog, meaning that they can carry things in their mouths very gently, holding it securely without harming it or breaking the skin. This trait is what first made them popular as gun dogs, and this trait comes about from the superior bite inhibition of the breed, and a tendency to take care over what they do!
Springers are a great choice for canine sports
The intelligence, versatility and desire to please that is innate in springer spaniels is what makes them a good choice for all sorts of working roles and family homes, and their ability to turn their paws to all sorts of things also means that they are a good choice for canine sports. Which means they do require regular grooming of bathing & brushing!
They are very intelligent
Finally, any springer spaniel owner will tell you that their dogs are smart, and the facts bear this out-the English springer spaniel is ranked 13 overall in the list of canine breeds by intelligence, with the Welsh variant coming in in position 31, which is interesting in terms of the variance when the two breeds are so closely related-however, it is certainly fair to say that both springer variants are smart, good at problem solving, and keen to work hard!
Dog Breed Group: Sporting Dogs
Height: 1 foot 6 – 10 inches
Weight: 45 – 55 pounds
Life Span: 9 – 15 years
ADAPTS WELL TO APARTMENT LIVING ★
HEALTH LEVELS ★★★
DOG FRIENDLY ★★★★★
EASY TO GROOM ★★
AMOUNT OF SHEDDING ★★★
ENERGY LEVEL ★★★★★
Springer Spaniel dog breeds are versatile, fun loving and great with children, and fit well into all sorts of family homes and situations as they are adaptable and open to change. They do need to have a shampoo & conditioner that cleans their skin and fur while also helping to soften their coat. They also tend to be very lively and energetic, and do not thrive in sedentary homes without lots of time outside and long, varied and interesting daily walks.