English Springer Spaniels – Strong, merry and active

Breed facts: Gundog Group

Bold, good-natured and bouncy, the handsome English Springer Spaniel [ESS] is a great all-rounder, excelling at many activities as well as being an energetic family pet. Generally good natured, these dogs love being with and around humans of all ages and are good with other dogs and pets if socialised and trained properly when young. Bear in mind that no young children should be left alone with any dog for safety’s sake, and most types do not thrive if left alone for long periods of time.

English Springer Spaniel
English Springer Spaniel

Dog for all reasons
Show Springers can be larger, and have more substance, than the working ones. Working lines have a higher ear carriage with the length of ears appearing shorter than show types, are slighter to enable agility and versatility required as a gundog in the field. Some people say that the working type is more excitable than the show type, but more often than not it is the way you bring up and care a dog that determines his temperament and behaviour. Not only are fun-loving Springers perfect as pets, companions, canine activity partners (such as for agility, obedience and tracking) and gundogs, their enthusiastic nature makes them a popular choice of breed for the emergency services, Customs & Excise and the armed forces. l 3rdmost popular breed in the UK

Breed file

Size: medium, of moderate build.
Height: approximately 51cm (20ins) at the shoulder.
Lifespan: average 12-14 years.
Exercise: lots of it to keep him happy and trim. Unsuitable for flat dwellers or those without a securely fenced garden for a Springer to run free and let off steam in.
Training: extremely biddable and quick to learn, but – like many breeds and types – can become unruly and unresponsive to commands if not handled and trained correctly. Grooming: working types tend to have less coat to groom and keep tidy; show types need regular grooming, along with professional trimming every eight to 12 weeks. Ears are susceptible to infection if not kept clean, dry and tidy.
Colour: liver and white or black and white; they can also have tan markings.
Diet: generally not fussy and will eat most quality and suitable food.
Health: Springers are usually healthy and robust dogs but, like many other breeds, some are not without some problems. The following diseases have been identified by the breed’s health co-ordinators as being of most concern to the breed: hip dysplasia, fucosidosis (affects the nervous system), chronic hepatitis, goniodysgenesis (primary glaucoma), multiple retinal dysplacia (MRD), progressive retinal atrophy, autoimmune endocrine disorders (hypothyroidism, Addison’s disease and Cushing’s disease), mammary tumours and epilepsy. Good breeders are working hard to eradicate the problems. If you are looking to buy a puppy, ensure you purchase from stock that has been tested free from hereditary diseases. To find out more about ESS health, see the ESS Club contact information in ‘Useful contacts’.

Useful contacts
English Springer Spaniel Club Mrs Y Billows (secretary), tel. 01606 888303; yrb@robil.co.uk www.englishspringer.org
Health coordinators: Lesley Bloomfield, tel. 01923 823579. Louise Scott, tel. 020 8427 3396.
English Springer Club of Scotland Mr G Ford (secretary), tel. 01556 502426; ford.greg@virgin.net
English Springer Spaniel Club of Wales Mr W Lewis (secretary), tel. 01639 844355; wayne@lewis.fslife.co.uk
Lancs & Cheshire English Springer Spaniel Club Mrs H & active In association with The Kennel Club Merry (secretary), tel. 0151 648 2057; tingvelle1@ btinternet.com
Midland English Springer Spaniel Society Mrs K Woodward (secretary), tel. 01709 896663; wadeson@ taltalk.net
Northern English Springer Spaniel Society Mrs N Calvert (secretary), tel. 01609 772861; calvert@calvdaleess.freeserve.co.uk; www. northernenglishspringer spanielsociety.co.uk
Southern English Springer Spaniel Society Mrs C Woodbridge (secretary), tel. 01303 875191; crackerjanne@tinyworld.co.uk; www.sesss.org
South Western English Springer Spaniel Club Mrs D Murdoch (secretary), tel. 01594 824779; criskaf@btinternet.com
English Springer Spaniel Welfare Selina Clarke (national co-ordinator), tel. 01752 691579 before 7pm; 01essw@gmail.com; www.englishspringerwelfare.co.uk
Antrim & Down Springer Spaniel Club tel. 02825 880734.
English Springer Spaniel Club of Northern Ireland Mr Earney (secretary), tel. 02891 873465. Everything is a game to a Springer!

Many thanks to the English Springer Spaniel Club and English Springer Welfare for information provided for this article