English Springer Spaniel: Breed Information

September 25, 2022

English Springer Spaniel is an energetic, intelligent and extremely friendly dog breed. American Kennel Club recognized the English Springer Spaniel as a distinct breed in 1910. English Springers have been gaining popularity ever since.

These gun dogs are highly enthusiastic and easy to train. While they can be great working dogs, they can also just be fantastic family companions.

They are known to take part in obedience competitions, field trials, dog sports as well as they are great at joining their owner on active trips.

If you are wondering, whether the English Springer Spaniel is the dog breed for you, look no further. This article will cover all the main areas of the breed as well as run through the pros and cons of having an English Springer.

Breed History

English Springer Spaniels have a long history, however, they were not always known under this name. It used to be that both English Springer Spaniel, as well as American and English Cocker Spaniels, were seen as the same Spaniel breeds.

Known as land spaniels, they were known for their hunting ability. Smaller dogs of the litter, English Cockers, were used to hunt woodcock. The bigger ones, now the ancestors of English Springer Spaniel, were used for many different birds.

Their job was and still is to detect and flush out birds from high grass. They were especially needed before the invention of rifles.

The Welsh Springer Spaniel and English Springer Spaniel were also seen as the same breed, however Kennel Club categorised them as separate breeds in the early 20th century. They are descendants of the Norfolk Spaniel.

While originally just for hunting, there can now be both working and show varieties. While they can still be excellent field-bred dogs, most English Springer Spaniels are also loved family pets.

English Springer Spaniel Breed Overview

English Springer Spaniels are medium-sized sporting group dogs who live around 12 to 14 years. They have a medium-length coat and feathering on the legs, chest and ears.

The height of the English Springer Spaniel is about 19 to 20 inches, with males bigger than females. Their body is slightly longer than it is tall. The females can weigh about 40 pounds whereas males can be up to 50 pounds on average. Field bred Springers are lighter than show variety.

A Springer Spaniel is a well-proportioned dog, with wide eyes and medium length and a fairly broad skull that is flat on top. The neck is long and muscular. They have naturally floppy ears.

There is a variety of colour options for Springer Spaniel:

  • Black and white
  • Black white and tan
  • Liver and white
  • White and black
  • White and liver
  • Liver roan

While a docked tail was popular in the past, this is now illegal in many countries.

Temperament of English Springer Spaniels

English Springer Spaniel is a friendly, easy to train and happy dog. Most Spaniels are rarely shy or angry. They have lots and lots of energy and can be highly outgoing. An English Springer is not a couch potato.

Of course, temperament and personality can vary depending on the individual dog. No two English Springer Spaniels will be exactly the same and both will have their own little quirks.

It is important for the puppy's parents to provide early socialization, daily exercise and mental stimulation to the English Springer Spaniel. This will ensure you have a well-rounded and happy dog, who will get along with everyone, including other pets.

Lack of mental activity, as well as exercise, can make the Springer bored and this can lead to destructive behaviours. Some of these issues can be chewing things they are not supposed, digging, barking when left alone and being reactive in uncomfortable situations.

English Springer Spaniel is an intelligent breed which makes him easy to train. However, this also means they need owners who are able to give them structure and rules to guide them. They are strong-minded and can become stubborn, especially when given harsh treatment.

All things considered, a Springer Spaniel loves to be close to people and can build a very strong bond with their owner. They won't want to be left alone for long periods of time.


English Springer Spaniel is generally a healthy dog, with not too many health problems.

There are some health conditions they can be prone to. For example, many dogs struggle with weight gain. You need to ensure the Springer is not overfed, as they will happily eat as much as possible. However, being obese can lead to many other health issues.

There are health conditions that can be hereditary. A reputable breeder will ensure health tests are done before breeding. The national breed club will recommend several tests, so puppy owners should check their breeder has provided this information.

Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy as well as ear infections are some of the issues that an English Springer Spaniel can have.

English Springer Spaniel ears should be regularly inspected to ensure there are no infections. After washing and trips outside it is important to check there is no moisture build-up in the ear canal, as this can lead to infections.

Sings of ear infections are red and inflamed ears, a strange smell or the dog scratching and shaking its head constantly.

Exercise Requirements

Be aware, English Springer Spaniels have lots of energy and are not suitable for couch potatoes.

This is a dog breed that loves outdoor activities and can also be a great friend on a hiking trip. Having a large fenced yard is perfect for them to let out some steam, but they will still need long walks to run around and play.

English Springer Spaniel can also be a great swimmer. He will also love a good game with a ball and can perform well in agility competitions.

They have great stamina and love an active day out. However, it is worth remembering they also need mental exercise. If they do not get enough exercise they can get bored and show negative behaviours like excessive barking or destructive tendencies.

Springers need around two hours a day to stay in good health and be satisfied physically.

If the dog is well exercised, the Springer will be happy to relax and cuddle next to you in the evening.

Grooming English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel needs to be brushed weekly to ensure their coat is free of tangles and to remove dirt. This is especially important if you spend time in the outdoors. Regular brushing will also help with shedding and loose hair.

A professional groomer should be used to trim the hair on Springer's feet and areas around the face and neck. They can also trim the nails as when these are too long, it can be painful for the dog.

The floppy ears should be also cleaned weekly. Teeth should also be cleaned to stop tartar build-up. This can be done at home.


Dog's diet is very important as this can also impact overall health.

English Springer Spaniel should be fed high-quality dog food that is age appropriate. There are foods specially designed for puppies, adults and seniors.

Treats should be given sparingly as Springers can get overweight easily.

Some dogs can be prone to allergies. These are sometimes caused by the food. If your dog has any strange behaviours or reactions to food, you should check whether a change to higher quality food is required.

Is English Springer Spaniel a Good Family Dog?

English Springer Spaniels are good family dogs if well socialised.

Springers can be very good with kids, however, it is important they are around them from a young age. A senior dog who has never been around children can be apprehensive around them. Also, children should be taught how to behave around the dog and give them space.

Springer Spaniels can also be good with other animals when socialised well. It is better if they are around other animals from when they are puppies.

However, as Springers were bred as hunting dogs, they do have some prey instinct. They might not be best around small birds.

So, Springer Spaniel can be a great family dog and likely will be happy to have lots of people around to play with.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel is a wonderful dog breed, however, while there are some areas that make them great pets there are also some cons.


There are many benefits to Springer Spaniels, that make them excellent dogs. Some of these are:

  • Affectionate with family and kids
  • Friendly towards strangers
  • Easy to train
  • Very playful and high energy
  • Loyal
  • Intelligent


While English Springer Spaniel can have many benefits, there are some things that may not be suitable for everyone.

  • Not suitable for apartment living
  • Can become destructive if not exercised well
  • Prey drive (which can be a pro if you are looking for a working dog)
  • Prone to ear infections and some genetic health problems

Can Springers Live in an Apartment?

As said before, English Springer Spaniel is a very active dog, that has tons of energy and requires mental and physical stimulation.

A Springer needs a good walk and run every day and can exhibit negative behaviours if bored. This means a house with a yard is best to offer opportunities to run around.

However, it can still be possible to live in an apartment. If the owner can manage a walk schedule and keep on top of exercise needs, it is possible for a Springer to adapt and get used to a smaller living space.


English Springer Spaniels have a long history. They were first mainly used for hunting as they were great for flushing birds out. However, now they can be both working dogs as well as loving family companions.

A Springer is a medium-sized dog, that is very lively, playful and eager to spend time with its owner. This makes them also superb for families.

It is important to have a good exercise schedule to keep the dog happy and healthy. This needs to be combined with a good diet, training and regular grooming.

An English Springer can be the best friend, loyal companion and keen to play any time you want. You just need to consider if you can match their energy.

Allan  Noble
Hi, my name is Allan! I am the owner of Spaniel Advisor and I've got over seven years experience of owning Spaniels.  
I hope this article was helpful for you! 
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