With their floppy ears and soulful eyes, these handsome dogs are a favourite of many. They are excellent hunting dogs with good stamina and an enthusiasm for life. Spaniels enjoy being around their owners and some can become clingy, especially if poorly socialised when young.
Springer Spaniels have gained a bad reputation for being a little ‘loopy’. Truthfully, they can act up when not provided with enough mental or physical stimulation. So, owners need to make sure they can commit to giving them the attention they crave.
It is thought that the first Springers originated in the early 1800s and the breed was officially recognised by the Kennel Club in 1902. A versatile hunter, the Springer can work on both land and water. They are used to flush out prey, as well as to retrieve them.
Springer Spaniels have an excellent sense of smell and can be highly trained by those with experience, meaning they can excel in a range of tasks. Due to this, they are also used as sniffer dogs in places like airports and some have even been used to detect cancer and other diseases. These dogs can also do well in canine activities such as agility and in the showring; what a versatile character!
Classically good-looking, the Springer Spaniel is known for it’s flowing, wavy fur and long, thick ears. They have dark eyes and a good-sized muzzle. A medium-sized breed, adults will weigh from 16kg to 24 kg and usually measure between 43cm and 50cm to the shoulder.
The Springer Spaniel has a double coat that offers protection when out hunting in the elements. Coat colours include black and white, brown and white and liver and white.
This is not a dog who likes to take it easy. Springers are full of beans and always getting up to mischief. They enjoy keeping fit, solving puzzles, socialising and exploring new places. These confident dogs are happiest when around people and dislike being left in their own company for too long. Due to this, separation anxiety can be an issue for some.
As with other Spaniels, it is foolish to think that these dogs will calmly entertain themselves. They need stimulation and diversion. Without this, they will quickly become destructive and can develop serious behavioural issues.
While this is a ‘country’ dog at heart, they can adapt well to urban life providing they are kept busy. A well-fenced garden is a must.