English Springer Spaniel
The English Springer Spaniel is a hunting dog used for flushing and retrieving game. It was first recognized as separate from other Spaniels in the 1800s. Prior to the use of guns for hunting game, the English Springer Spaniel would “spring” a game bird into the air where a trained hawk or falcon would retrieve it for the hunter. Even though the hawks and falcons were eventually replaced by guns, the English Springer Spaniel continued as a hunting companion. The breed is not only excellent at hunting waterfowl, small game such as rabbits as well.
As in many breeds, the working and the show lines of the English Springer Spaniel differ greatly; however the differences in the lines of this breed seem to be more extreme than most. They are so different than they appear to be completely different breeds. The field dogs tend to have coarser, shorter coats, shorter ears and longer tails than the show dogs, and they are selected for their ability to work rather than their appearance. The show dog has longer ears, longer fur and dewlaps, as well as being heavier than the field type. The average English Springer Spaniel stands 18 to 20 inches high and weighs 50 to 55 pounds. The coat of the English Springer Spaniel can be black and white, liver and white, blue or liver roan, or tricolor.
The English Springer Spaniel is a very energetic breed. It needs quite a bit of activity in order to remain healthy and happy. Its stamina is remarkable. Not only is it a wonderful hunter, but the breed also makes an excellent family dog if it is properly socialized. Due to their natural hunting instinct, the breed must also be accustomed to other pets prior to being trusted with them. The English Springer Spaniel is playful and cheerful with a strong imagination. It can be happy playing with any simple object such as a plastic bottle or a towel and will easily remember where these things are hidden.
The breed is fairly healthy, but is prone to certain conditions including: hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, retinal dysplasia, phosphofructokinase deficiency, ear infections, and autoimmune diseases.