English Springer Spaniel

PetMD Editorial
By PetMD Editorial
Published: June 25, 2009

The English Springer Spaniel is known for its eagerness to please and general enthusiasm. Originally known as the Norfolk Spaniel, the English Springer Spaniel is recognized for its endurance in adverse hunting conditions, and its big, floppy ears.

Physical Characteristics

The English Springer Spaniel has a compact body shape that is somewhat longer in size than it is tall. Its power and agility enables the dog to hunt inexhaustibly in harsh conditions. The legs of an English Springer Spaniel, meanwhile, are long.

Show-bred Springers have harder bones and more coat in comparison to the field-bred Springers, and their flat or wavy outer coat is medium-length, and is also weather-proof. Their undercoat, on the other hand, is dense and short in length.

These dogs are always alert and have an expression that is trustworthy and kind. The gait of this breed covers the ground well.

Personality and Temperament

The English Springer Spaniel has a playful and cheerful nature. Social in nature, it loves to spend time with family and is always active and enthusiastic. In order to keep dogs of this breed gentle and obedient, provide them with plenty of exercise.


The English Springer Spaniel needs combing and brushing at least once or twice a week. Apart from that, trimming and clipping every two to three months is good way to maintain a lustrous coat.

Keeping them inside the house with access to the field is best for this breed, as they love to hunt. They need to be taken on long hours of walking, as routine exercise is very important for these dogs. Proper lessons in obedience should also be given.


The English Springer Spaniel, which has an average lifespan of 10 to 14 years, is prone to major health problems like elbow dysplasia, otitis externa, and canine hip dysplasia (CHD), and minor issues such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), phosphofructokinase deficiency, and retinal dysplasia.

A few of the tests that are required for them are DNA for phosphofructokinase deficiency, elbow, knee, hip, and eye. Gastric torsion, entropion, patellar luxation, seizures, and rage syndrome can occasionally be seen in them.

History and Background

According to historical records, the first of the Springer Spaniels were land spaniels that evolved in the latter part of the 14th century. However, the properly-bred ones started developing in the 17th century, when the Duke of Norfolk started breeding them and named them Norfolk Spaniels. Its name was then converted to Springer Spaniel in the 18th century, and in 1902, it was recognized as a distinct breed by the English Kennel Club.

The large-sized Springer and small-sized Cocker Spaniels belonged to the same breed of dogs. After the Springer was recognized as a separate breed, they gained huge popularity. Apart from being a favorite among hunters, the English Springer Spaniel is acclaimed for its show dog ability, as well as its potential as a family pet.

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