The English Springer Spaniel is a gundog of its own style. He has brought the best of two sides such as hunting and mild manners.
Moreover, he is a fierce competitor in dog sports. In a word, this is a multi-talented dog and this quality lends him the popularity that he deserves. Flushing a bird actually gives him a heavenly joy. There are two lines of this dog which are field bred and show bred.
There is a difference in terms of basic functions, body weight, coat type and muzzle structure.
English Springer Spaniel personality:
The English Springer Spaniel is an energetic dog. He will demonstrate it in the hunting fields as well as in the show ring. His stamina seems unending when he is on the trail of a scent. He possesses a natural fondness for chasing and retrieving jobs.
Friendliness is an integral part of his personality. He is willing to go by the rules and become the best buddy of your family members. This is a highly social dog who detects strangers as his future soulmates.
So, he is basically a lousy watchdog. Neither timidity nor aggression is a thing of the Springers. None of these bad qualities are acceptable and should not be tolerated whatsoever. Your Springer is a super trainee who is eager to learn the next trick.
Moreover, he is capable of storing those training ideas for long term usage. This is a fitting dog for both a ranch and an apartment thanks to his even temperament.
Measure English Springer Spaniel smartness:
The English Springer Spaniel is esteemed for high intelligence. This medium sized dog breed has impressed Professor Stanley Coren who has placed him on the 13th position in his dog intelligence ranking list.
Excellent memory helps them anticipate many things. He will explore your places again and again. This muscular hunter however wants to see you pleased and it determines his course of actions most of the time.
This is one of the rare dogs perfectly suitable for both home and outdoor activities. He is a high end family dog with a lovely face and amicable nature. He has an actionable nose that can find out whatever it wants to.
Liveliness is an inborn gift to the English Springer Spaniel. Birds are usually prey to this instinct of the Springer.
What & how to feed:
Highly active English Springer Spaniel adults can have 1.5-2 cups of daily food. You can set it in two meals respectively in the morning and in the evening.
But food requirement is a dynamic issue and there will be a difference in amount from dog to dog. It relies on age, sex, activities, health and so many other aspects. You can determine the amount of food the dog demands as you continue living with him.
The Springer does not discriminate between homemade or commercial products as long as they fulfill his energy necessities.
However, you can feed him anything as small or large breed food is not mandatory for this breed. You must not free feed the dog. It makes some bad habits and will soon lead your dog to obesity. The National Research Council of the National Academies points out that an active Springer should get 1353 calories everyday.
However, inactive dogs must not be fed a similar amount. Protein and fat ingredients should be the pillars of dog food. At least, 18-20 percent of protein in each meal will provide him with ample energy. Beef, chicken, fish,eggs, dairy items and lamb are excellent sources of proteins. Barley and oats will give him some plant proteins.
On the flip side, flaxseed oil, safflower oil and fish oil are going to supply the dog with necessary fat. Tapioca, sweet potatoes, brown rice fruits and vegetables serve him with carbohydrates and fibers. A commercial item should be free of preservatives, dyes and flavors for the betterment of his health.
Clean water is a vital requirement of the dog. Extravagant use of treats is responsible for overweight. You have to be careful in this regard.
Escape a few health issues:
The Springers are not known for too many diseases. They are a healthy dog breed. But you can always exercise some precaution before buying a puppy.
A few health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) will steer clear the dog of a list of major physical conditions. However, your dog may not suffer from any of these listed diseases in his lifetime.
But a little idea on your part can save both of you from a lot of troubles. Eye disorders are major concerns for the Springers. Cataracts, entropion, glaucoma and retinal dysplasia are some of them. Retinal dysplasia is a birth defect and inherited case.
Most of the time, it does not cause huge problems. Vision impairment is rather a rare incident. However, there is no available treatment for this disease. Then there is hip dysplasia affecting such a lively dog and reducing him into a physically challenged condition. X-ray tests can reveal this problem at its puppy age. A severe situation will call for surgery.
Progressive retinal atrophy is another eye disorder which is inherited from the family. Rod cells in the retina gradually die out but it does not give him any pain. The primary result is night blindness that ultimately takes out his vision. Skin issues and ear infections are some other conditions affecting this dog.
Insightful care program:
Timely grooming is an essential part of his care. Double coat protects his skin. It is shiny and does not mat. Brushing is a relative question. If you employ him in hunting, there will arise a frequent necessity in this regard.
Normally, a weekly brush is enough to keep him clean. He sheds moderately and it increases substantially in Spring and Fall, two shedding seasons. A slicker brush or metal comb can take care of tangles. One bath every month will be welcome because of his robustly active life.
Not to forget, bathing should be scheduled based on the dirt on the coat or stinky smell from the dog. Use a dog shampoo for it.
In addition, you have to brush his teeth, trim his nails and clean the ears. Especially, his ears are always covered and cannot get enough airflow due to long hair and you must inspect inside of it for smell or discharges.
Ear cleaning solutions are going to help you in this task. This dog will be greatly benefited from a yearly vet visit. The English Springer Spaniel needs a lot of actions and so, make arrangements for an enclosed yard. Put him on the leash while going out.
Proper exercise method:
Hour long tireless working capability is a hallmark of this breed. So, an adult Springer should get 40 minutes to an hour of daily exercise.
But this is not all as he should get some chance to romp around the house in addition. Brisk walks are fine for him. But his boiling energy can utilize a vigorous hunting or game session. He is heavily interested in fetching. You can throw a ball or a disc and he is more than willing to bring it back.
Retrieving requires swimming skills in some cases and this dog can master the art of speeding through water. You can put him in a swimming pool as well. He is your enthusiastic jogging partner.
A puppy, aged below 6 months, must not undergo any programmed exercise apart from his spontaneous activities. After this period, you have to start slowly and gradually increase the workout period.
English Springer Spaniel training cues:
‘Come’ is the most important command that you have to teach the Springer. He will chase interesting objects and animals and proper implementation of this instruction is your only weapon apart from the leash.
You have to teach him the basic dog instructions such as ‘sit’, ‘leave’, ‘stay’, etc. Especially, chasing and stopping on your order should get a lot of appreciation. This is a top class smart dog who wants to please you. So, you can mould him anyway you want to.
Just do not forget a full scale potty training. Crate training will help your dog get into a practice of scheduled breaks. But crating should not go beyond 2-4 hours at a stretch. Crate can put a lead on his separation anxiety as well.
Hunting lessons should precede any other complex programs. Field trials are the best grounds for the application of his knowledge and wisdom. Train him for this. He loves his family and should be socialized at an early age by meeting a lot of humans and pets.
English Springer Spaniel origin:
Spaniels have been in Britain for centuries easing the job of a hunter. But in 1902, the Kennel Club (England) decidedly separated the English Cocker Spaniel from the English Springer Spaniel creating two different breed standards.
In the early days, they were not so distinguishable because of similar physical traits. However, careful planning and visionary measures experienced success in breeding two different sets of dogs. These two breeds have been named after their style of hunting.
Smaller dog was a specialist on woodcock and the bigger one was taking degrees on flushing birds so that his human partner can get a clear shot. The latter dog came to be known as the English Springer Spaniel. This dog accompanied hunters as far back as the 17th century.
Nowadays, the AKC breed popularity list places him on the 27th position which demonstrates American exuberance about the dog.