The Friendly
English Springer Spaniel

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English Springer Spaniel
Weight: 40 — 50 lbs
Height: 18” — 21”
AKC Rank 2008 #27
Lifespan: 10—14 yrs
Group Sporting
Origin England

descriptive textMeet George, a Springer Spaniel in Bristol, UK. Isn't he beautiful? These dogs are so polite and gentle they are used as therapy dogs in nursing homes. Sent in by his mom, April 2009---->

Dog Breed Info - English Springer Spaniel

Breed Overview

Origin 1800’s. Original function: Bird flushing and retrieving. Today, bird flushing, retrieving.Colors: Black or liver with white, black or tricolor, black or liver tricolor with tan markings, also white with black and liver markings.

The American Spaniel Club was formed and began separation of the Springer and Cocker sizes. After separation, the Springer continued to thrive. It has remained popular with hunters demanding a versatile gundog that ranges fast and far and that also can flush and retrieve. The English Springer Spaniel gets the name from the way it hunts game. The dog suddenly “springs” foreword and surprises the game, thus catching it off guard.

The English Springer Spaniel remains a favorite even today, both in the field and as a household pet. The dog is good with children, likes people and is the perfect family pet, always ready for a family outing.

The very sweet English Springer Spaniel
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Yes. Intelligent and eager to learn, especially hunting skills. Use clicker training and positive reinforcement for great results. Dogs love this method of training.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your English Springer Spaniel? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

The English Springer Spaniel is fairly easy to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.

English Springer Spaniel on the point.
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The English Springer Spaniel is cheerful, playful and energetic, always ready for a day in the field and an evening by the fireplace. This dog does everything with gusto and can become overly enthusiastic unless given plenty of exercise. Allowed the exercise, the breed is exceptionally kind, gentle, polite and a real companion for the family. The typical Springer Spaniel is an ideal dog for first time owners.

If you happen to get a dog with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Generally gets along with most dogs.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Yes. Quite adaptable. The Springer Spaniel can live in a multi animal household very well.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Yes, friendly dog, generally. NOTE: This breed nerds to be well socialized as a puppy, something to check on when purchasing one.


Very playful, even rambunctious at times.


Very. The English Springer Spaniel is one of the most affectionate breeds.

Good with children

Great with older kids, 6 and up, especially for outdoor kids who run a lot. This is a great, lovable playmate.

Good with Seniors over 65?

Yes, AS LONG AS the senior can walk enough to satisfy the English Springer Spaniel's needs. (I know several seniors in their 80’s who jog together 2 miles everyday!) This is a great companion dog with plenty of affection. If longevity is a problem, go for a Springer Spaniel Rescue group and pick out a pre-owned dog.

English Springer Spaniel in a big rush.
Only 1 paw is touching the ground. He's moving fast!

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Living environment

Apartment is okay IF the dog can get outside for plenty of exercise.The farm is ideal for this dog to run and hunt and roam. This breed can not be confined for very long.

A medium to large fenced backyard would allow the English Springer Spaniel to chase balls and play lively games of fetch. This would be ideal.

Energy level

Fairly energetic. Used to running in the fields after game.

Exercise needs, daily

Needs lots of exercise. On a scale of 10, this dog in an 8. Two long walks daily are a must.


Will usually bark when strangers approach, especially the male.

Guard dog

No. The English Springer Spaniel is too friendly.




Yes. Long dense coat must be combed and brushed at least three times a week so the hair does not tangle and mat. Use a stiff bristle brush from the pet store.

The long floppy ears must be cleaned out regularly.



Suggested Reading For The English Springer Spaniel
Click on the cover photo for more book information.

The book at the lower left teaches you how to train your retriever to be a therapy dog with the best manners possible!

The book at the lower right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog illness, emergencies and injuries. It's a valuable reference manual for all dog owners.


Springer Spaniel Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for English Springer Spaniel puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training.
English Springer Spaniel Breeders with puppies for sale.

Springer Spaniel Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of a Spaniel and are looking for a Springer Spaniel Rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Springer Spaniel Rescue - (Nationwide) Inquire about prior dog health issues with the dog you are considering adopting.
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site that may give you some ideas. Also, do some surfing for more Springer Spaniel rescue groups and look into any local dog kennels you may have.


Here's a site you might enjoy that we recommend:

  • Love-Springer-Spaniels -- dedicated to all things Springer
    A site dedicated to all versions of Springer Spaniels. Guides to their temperaments, how to integrate them into your family as well as advice on adoption, choosing your Springer, Health care, Nutrition, Grooming and training. Not to forget the image Galleries and the Springer blog.


Dog Health Issues For English Springer Spaniels
Below: The dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Springer Spaniel by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness and medical issues this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Otitis externa— Ear Infection. Infection and inflammation of the outer ear canal. Dogs with floppy ears or long floppy ear canals are prone to this because of the soil and moisture that builds in the ear canal. This creates a tempting environment for yeast and bacteria infections. It is treatable and is sometimes called “stinky ear syndrome” due to the odor produced.

  • Hip dysplasia - Hind end limping, back legs act lame. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing great pain and difficulty walking. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

  • Patellar luxation—Limping, Hind Leg Held Up, Can’t straighten back leg. Caused by an unusually shallow spot on the femur, weak ligaments and misalignment of tendons and muscles that align the knee joint and allow the knee cap (patella) to float sideways in and out of position. This can be caused by injury or be present at birth and can affect both rear legs. It’s most common in small and toy dogs. If your dog has trouble straightening the leg, is limping, or is walking on three legs and holding one hind leg up, look for patellar luxation. Several of my dogs have had the problem and all I’ve done is reach down, massage the knee a little until they drop their leg, and we’re good to go for another 3 or 4 months. Severe cases require surgery for a fully lame leg.

  • Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca—(Keratitis) A fancy way of saying “dry eye.” Inadequate tear flow causes painful eye infections of a chronic nature in the English Springer Spaniel.Causes vary from distemper to certain medications to removing the third eyelid tear gland.. Often treated with cyclosporine drops. or an ointment called cyclosporine topical therapy.

  • Elbow Dysplasia—This, as with hip dysplasia, is something the dog is born with. Wear and time in the front legs (elbow joints) cause lameness by the time the dog is roughly a year old. If you have a dog prone to this disease, have an early x-ray to see if surgery to the joints will stave off further damage to the joints. Typically, there has been no cure, but recently doctors have come up with some ideas. 1) Keep the weight of your dog down. 2) Use anti-inflammatory medication. 3) Look into injections of stem-cells to help regenerate bone-covering cartilage to cause the bones to line up properly again. (This is new research and some vets may not know about it so ask around.)

  • Canine Phosphofructokinase Deficiency—Blood disorder. Inherited problem. Loss of stamina through excessive exercise or barking caused by a premature breakdown of red blood cells in the body in the English Springer Spaniel. An intolerance to exercise found in spaniels due to the body’s inability to convert sugar into energy producing glucose The disease destroys the red blood cells that deliver oxygen and remove waste, allowing the dog to become anemic and weak. A blood test will reveal the disease but the cure needs to come at the breeding level.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy—An inherited, untreatable disease of the retina affecting both eyes causing blindness. It’s in the genes of the dog and is not painful. Starts with night blindness and progresses as the retina gradually deteriorates.

  • Hypothyroidism—An underactive thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone which reduces the dog's metabolism level. Hypothyroidism stems from the English Springer Spaniel’s immune system attacking the tissues of the thyroid gland. Bottom line is the dog becomes symptomatic. The cause can be a predisposition for thyroid problems, air pollution and allergies. A FEW symptoms of the disorder include lethargy, weight gain, skin infections, dry skin, hair loss, slow heart rate, ear infections, depression. See your set right away.

  • Retinal dysplasia—Caused by trauma, hereditary or damage from an infection.. Abnormal development of the retina with folds in the outer layers. The folds are small and may not bother the dog, however, larger obstructions can lead to blindness. Retinal dysplasia is a congenital problem that does not necessarily worsen with age.

  • Cutaneous asthenia—Hereditary, rare disease. Abnormally stretchy, fragile skin that tears, easily. Tearing comes easily such as the dog stretching. Little bleeding results and the torn areas heals with irregular scars resulting. Infrequently, lens luxation and loose joints may be found along with the white scaring. A skin biopsy is used for diagnosis. Your vet will advise what can be done, if anything, depending on the individual case.

  • Ventricular septal defect — Is a hole, or defect in the muscular wall of the heart (the septum) that separates the right and left ventricles. Occurs at birth and not a great idea. Common to English Springer Spaniels and English Bulldogs.

  • Distichiasis—An eye condition involving the cornea. Eyelashes, growing improperly on the inner surface of the eyelid cause corneal ulcers due to the constant rubbing and irritation. The problem is fixed by having the vet remove the lashes if the ulcers don’t heal.

  • Pannus—A disorder of the cornea of the eye affecting certain breeds in the 4 to 7 year range with an increase in dogs living at higher elevations. Not painful and treatable. If not treated for the remaining life of the dog, the cornea will slowly darken and scar causing visual impairment.

  • Entropion—Eye irritation caused by the eyelids and lashes rolling inward. The problem is usually inherited and found in young, adult dogs. It can come from an eyelid spasm. Affected eyes will be held partially shut and tear excessively. Both eyes will usually be affected the same. Treatment for the condition requires eye surgery.

  • Rage syndrome—Episodes of aggression with no warning or reason.

  • Megaesophagus—Incomplete nerve development of the esophagus in dogs 5 to 12 years old causing regurgitation of food. Since food is collecting in the esophagus and not the stomach, the English Springer Spaniel feels hungry and keeps eating. Food collects for up to a day or two and finally vomits back out, having never reached the stomach. A dangerous aide effect of the disease is pneumonia. The only solution is getting the dog to drink and eat in a position where he has to reach his mouth way up high, like on a step ladder with his paws elevated where he can barely reach the food with his whole body elevated nearly vertical. There is no other cure.

  • Patent ductus arteriosis—Canine congenital heart failure. Before birth, blood from the heart passes the lungs by a small vessel called the ductus arteriosis. That small vessel is supposes to vanish after birth and the infant breathes on it’s own With this disease, the vessel does not go away resulting in improper circulation of blood.

  • Seborrhea—Hereditary. Skin disease. Usually dry, flaky coat with the familiar “dog” odor. Sebaceous glands will produce a waxy, oily substance in the armpits, in the ears, under the English Springer Spaniel and around the elbow joints. Secondary ear and skin infections are common too. There are many, many causes and IF the vet can identify one and treat it, you’re lucky. It’s a tough disorder to pinpoint. Cocker and English Springer Spaniels, Westies and Retrievers are among the most susceptible

  • Dermoid sinus—Hereditary—An infection and inflammation noticed at birth in the sinus or tubes running along the spine from the rear end to the neck. These are a thick-walled tubes with skin cells, fiber tissue, hair and oils. When the sinus becomes infected with bacteria and inflamed, it can cause swelling and infection in the spinal cord which causes encephalitis and abscesses. Surgery is the remedy.

  • Epilepsy - A serious seizure disorder that usually appears at around the age of 2 to 4 or 5 years in the dog.

  • Glaucoma - Painful pressure builds in the eye eventually causing total blindness.

  • Gastric Torsion—aka Known as Dog Bloat or “Twisted stomach.” In larger, deep-cheated dogs. Here's a brief description of the problem:
    Symptoms include excessive drooling, nervous pacing, agitation, weakness, attempt to vomit, bulging stomach area, heavy breathing, retching and gagging, shock or total collapse.

  • Malassezia dermatitis—A highly itchy skin infection, usually around the ears, muzzle, inner thighs, eyes or feet. The dog may become frantic, chewing and scratching the ears and feet. If an ear infection, there might be a waxy discharge and smelly odor. The dog will be rubbing and pawing at the ear. Look for Malassezia in the summer, humidity and allergy seasons. Your vet will treat this with appropriate medications and bathing after a diagnosis.

Other problems could occur with your English Springer Spaniel. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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