English Springer Spaniel

One of the oldest recorded spoiling dogs, the Springer Spaniel was first mentioned in literature by Chaucer. The word "spaniel" may be derived from the Spanish word Espangnol. The Springer was developed in Britain during the nineteenth century and has become one of the world's great working gundogs.


The English Springer Spaniels are working gundogs with boundless energy. Their prime object is to "spring" game from their hiding place for the shooters but they can also point and retrieve. They will enter the thickest cover fearlessly and leap into freezing water to retrieve a bird. Their extraordinary sense of smell has recently been exploited by police and customs who train Springers to sniff out drugs and explosives. They are also used as PAT dogs (visiting patients in hospital) and as Hearing Dogs for the Deaf.

The English Springer Spaniels like nothing better than to be outside in the open air, in the park, garden countryside.


A gentle, loving clog whose natural desire is to please, the Springer is highly intelligent and reacts well to kind training. Being so energetic, however, these clogs can become a nuisance and develop undesirable behaviours, especially jumping up at people, without early training. Above all, they need things to occupy themselves and prevent boredom, especially retrieving games and play, and they take to Agility and Flyball with enthusiasm. Springers tend to be happy, friendly dogs and they crave and give affection, especially to their family. They hate being left alone.

Springers love to play games and to chase and retrieve balls and other objects. They need exercise and running.

The English Springer Spaniels are energetic dogs and need all the exercise that you can possibly give them.

must know

This breed suffers from some hip dysplasia, so ask to see the hip scores before buying a puppy. Eye problems include GPRA, CPRA and MRD. Make sure you buy a dog from tested parents.

must know

Originally, these friendly spaniels were bred for finding falcons or Greyhounds. Working dogs nowadays are used to spring game birds for the guns. When you buy a puppy, find out if it comes from a working or a showing Hue, as this can affect its behaviour.


The English Springer Spaniel is taller than the Cocker with a weather-resistant coat. The coat may be liver and white or one of these with tan spot. Dogs and bitches are approximately 50cm (20in) in height.

The Welsh Springer comes only in a rich red and snow white, and it is a bit less than the Springer.

Working and show lines

Note that as well as differences in temperament there are also physical differences between working Springers and show-type dogs. Thus the show line tends to be larger and heavier than its working counterpart with a differently shaped head, muzzle and ear set and length.

Strangers 3/5

Will warn but friendly

Temperament 5/5

Gentle and kind

Exercise 5/5

A great deal daily

Grooming 3/5

Weekly brushing, ears daily

Other dogs 4/5

No problems


A loving family pet.

General care

The English Springer Spaniels need free running and play on a daily basis occupied as well as fit and healthy. They should be brushed and combed at least once a week. Trim the feathering with scissors and, most importantly, keep the ears dry and clean, especially after country walks.

Gallery of English Springer Spaniel