English Springer Spaniels
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English Springer Spaniels
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The English Springer Spaniel is a medium-sized hunting dog. His ancestry comes from hunting dogs of Spain. He was used to flush or "spring" birds from cover. They were recognized as a separate breed from Cocker and Field Spaniels during the late 1800s. They became popular in the United States in the 1920s.
The English Springer Spaniel is friendly, eager to please, quick to learn and willing to obey. He is a gundog with unlimited stamina so he thrives on physical activity.
The English Springer is of medium size, built to cover rough ground with speed and agility. His skull should be flat on top with his muzzle the same length as the skull. The eyes are of medium size, set wide apart. The color of the iris should harmonize with the coat color. The expression in the eyes is one of alertness and trust. The jaws should be square and strong, with a scissors bite. The upper lip should cover the lower lipline but not hang too far below it. The ears are set level with the eye and hang long and wide close to the cheeks. The neck is muscular. He is the leggiest of the springer-type spaniels. The legs are muscular and the feet are webbed for swimming. The back is short with a level topline. From the side, he should appear to be square in build. The tail is docked and carried horizontally. The coat is moderately long and glossy. Acceptable colors include a combination of white with liver or black. The legs, ears, chest and brisket have longer hair or featherings. The average weight of an English Springer is between forty-five and fifty-five pounds while the average height is between eighteen and twenty-two inches at the shoulder.
Name withheld by request of Phoenix, AZ writes:
Smart, almost human if you let them be.
I was just reading the reviews and I am very surprised at some of them. I have had ESS for years now and never have I seen a dumb Springer or a lazy Springer. ESS are very intelligent dogs and they can sense things that will astonish you. They are loyal and protective and sometimes even a little jealous. They can understand everything you say and they know how you are feeling. They get upset when you do and they love when you are happy. They know if you are scared and will defend you to the death if need be without even thinking twice or backing down for an instant. They actually seem to think they are humans and they seem to expect you to think they are too. They do get mad and they also get depressed at times, but they can spring right back as soon as you realize something is wrong and talk to them and ask them what is bothering them, spend some time with them and instantly they are back to their old selves. They are amazing animals and also very beautiful ones too. For the people who had bad experiences with them I am sorry for that but I'm afraid you were one of few and maybe you should visit someone who has an ESS and find out how much of a joy they really are.
Name withheld by request of North Bergen, NJ writes:
A unique, remarkable breed for the right owner.
I currently own two Springer Spaniels and a Toy Fox Terrier. The female is five and the male is three. I have certainly had my moments with both of them, but what dog owner hasn't? Interestingly enough, they are complete opposites. Originally, I thought that the female might have a "rage" problem. She is pampered, stubborn, and can be aggressive at times. She has a tendency to get possessive over toys, and bares her teeth and growls when I try to remove her from the couch or bed. But she shows no aggression toward the two other dogs even if they steal her food. Through trial and error I have found that the best way to deal with her is to remind her that I am her alpha. When she bares her teeth, I bare mine and sternly command her to stop her behavior. If she will not stop, I found that a spray of lemon juice in her mouth is enough to subdue her. A lot of the time her bad behavior is a reaction to me not paying attention to her (it's hard with three dogs all pining for your affection). I take time out to reward good behavior with treats and one-on-one time. She really likes it when I put the other dogs in another room and spend some time with her alone. Since I have really tried to understand her aggressive behavior, I have realized that it is a form of play and dominance. My reaction determines how serious the issue can become. With patience and a little bit of behavior modification, she has become the most loyal, cuddly companion.
The male is slower, cautious, and extremely needy. This Springer has not an ounce of aggression in his body which works to his disadvantage when in playing with his sister. During playtime he is the first one to yelp. He is the dog that everyone wishes for. There is this radiance of happiness that glows behind his eyes constantly. He wags his tail while he eats. He bounces like a puppy when he walks.
There have been times, especially after doing research about the breed, where I thought I may not be a suitable owner (I work full time in the city). But, the key is understanding the needs of the breed, tendency toward agressive behavior, necessity of exercise, and a lot of affection. Once an owner is willing to make those needs a priority, owning a Springer is incredibly rewarding. One similarity between both dogs is that they are extremely social. They adore spending time with new people. They also do very well with other dogs. I was afraid they'd run all over the Toy Fox Terrier but much to my surprise, he is probably the more aggressive of the three. He keeps the Springers in line when he doesn't appreciate the rough play. They must know his size because they show a softer side when playing with him. They are very protective of each other and the little one. I do work full time and have had to get a dog-walker to exercise them during the day. The female has developed a urinary tract problem from not being able to urinate enough during the day. This appears to be quite common with female Spaniels in general. So a dog-walker may be necessary if you work during the day. Due to their floppy ears, they need a good ear cleaning weekly to avoid developing infection. They should get used to this procedure if done consistently from the time they are puppies.
I highly recommend this breed to someone who will be able to be patient, understanding, and flexible at times. In conclusion, don't you think that these tips should be applied to any breed?
email@example.com of California writes:
You MUST do your research first.
Our family had a Springer for about nine years. I would caution any family that has small kids about getting one of these beauties. We could never trust him alone with our two little girls for fear of him snapping. We've been told he had "springer rage" and I completely believe it. He was jumping over our walls on a daily basis so that he could hunt down our mailman or anyone else who walked by our house. Trust me, we tried everything to keep him in the backyard, raised the walls, put objects in the way, keeping him chained, etc. I believe that this would be a wonderful breed to have if you have plenty of acres for them to romp around in, but not a suburban setting. Please do your research first. These are very active, sporty dogs, they just need the right home that can handle them and will love them dearly.
firstname.lastname@example.org of Enumclaw, WA writes:
Awesome hunting ability.
Eager to please, eager to hunt, no matter how tired or injured they may be. This is the most lovable and happy dog I have ever owned. She's small enough as an adult that I can pick her up as well as get into the thickest brush to flush a pheasant. Her disposition around people and other dogs is inviting. Even friends/family who aren't considered "dog people" have taken a fondness to her.
My recommendations for anyone considering an ESS: If you don't hunt, or if you live in the city or an apartment, or if you haven't the time every day to have interactive play, you shouldn't get one of these high energy dogs. They are bred to hunt. They have the desire to please and want your approval. It would be a disgrace to withhold what comes so natural to them.
Name withheld by request of North Carolina writes:
Loving, caring and active companions.
These dogs are one of my favorite breeds to have. They are great family dogs. My Springer would follow me to the end of the world if need be. They are very loyal dogs and great watchdogs. Do be aware of the Springer rage. As everyone else has mentioned, you need to research the parents and the breed before getting one.
I would not trade our dog for anything else. He loves to play as soon as you get home from work, but within ten minutes, he is ready to jump on the couch and cuddle. He is great off lead and will not run off or go out of sight. We also have a Dachshund and they are best friends. This breed trains easily and are great companions. They love food and will do about anything for it.
Although I love my Springer, he is some work. He drools when he drinks water, so we put his water on the deck. He does have some allergies, but after changing to a better food brand and giving him a Benadryl once a day during allergy season, he is good to go. A home remedy for the ear infections is a little bit of distilled white vinegar in the ear for a week and it is cured. Since finding this out and keeping his ears dry, our dog rarely has ear infections. He does shed, but we give him haircuts in the summer when it is hot and trim him in the winter. He does have a little temperament problem around people he does not know, but once he meets you, he is good to go.
They love water of any kind: hose, shower, lake, stream or ocean. If you are a coastal resident, you would love a Springer. Our Springer loves the water and could not think of any place better to be except on the bow of the boat with his ears flapping in the wind or in the water swimming around!
email@example.com of New York writes:
The smartest dog we have ever had.
Our Springer is now eight years old. She seems to understand everything we say to her. And she makes sure we understand everything she says. She is field bred but is a family pet. If you could sit with her all day and pet her she would be in her glory. Will do anything for a cookie. Loves to run in the yard. Birds and cats are fair game. If they are smart they live elsewhere. Two bad habits: countersurfing and stealing tissues or toilet paper. Her health has been good with no typical Springer maladies. While she was a little on the wild side when she was young she has calmed down. She is really a good dog.
Name withheld by request of U.S. writes:
Not for everyone.
While I think this breed makes a great hunting dog and a beautiful, showy Breed ring dog, they're not the best pet for most people. They're among the most hyperactive of dogs, and they are hard to train as a result of being so easily distracted and hyper. Many are dominantly aggressive. They're dirty (enjoying rolls in the mud) and can be quite a lot of hassle, generally. They're barkers. Many are submissive urinaters. They belong in the country, outside, running the fields. I'd never recommend one as a household pet.
firstname.lastname@example.org of Portland, OR writes:
Anyone who disagrees must have gotten a poorly bred one. Looking at the reviews for this dog I've noticed that there are lots of good reviews and only a couple of bad ones. Obviously these people got a poorly bred dog or they never researched dogs enough to find out that a Springer wasn't for them. I feel badly that they had a bad experience with a breed that I love. Springers are great dogs. Eager to learn, obey, and please you, affectionate, and playful.
email@example.com of Minnesota writes:
There are two ESSs: a show dog and a field dog.
If you are looking to purchase an English Springer Spaniel, know the difference between the show-bred, and the field-bred dogs. These two dogs have been bred differently for the last 68 years. Even though the AKC only registers one English Springer Spaniel, these are TWO different dogs! Know which one you want. The field-bred ESS is bred for working, and has a temperament which works very well with people, families, and other dogs. For more information on the differences between these two dogs, go to: http://www.essft.com/fieldshow.html. Here, you will learn which English Springer Spaniel, will be best for you!
firstname.lastname@example.org of the U.S. writes:
The best of dogs.
I've owned three English Springers and all of them have been great dogs. The one I have now is extraordinary and may be that "one great dog" we each are supposed to get in a lifetime. He is big, strong build, obedient (mostly), alert, eager to please, attentive (if I'm upset he comes and leans on me), ever my companion and always close by. He has been mellow all his life, and as a pup was charming and a mischief. He has matured into a dog people stop and comment on, well mannered, doesn't bark, doesn't have too many bad habits. ESS dogs are food-oriented and they can be beggars and mine is no exception, and he has dug holes when penned, but I don't blame him and doubt any dog suffers containment willingly. He has been generally healthy with the main problems being yeast infections in the ears (common for floppy-eared dogs) and impacted anal glands which I finally had removed. My vet said that is a problem for some Springers. He had mild allergies that he grew out of, generally he's been a joy. The biggest problem with him is that he is not immortal and I shall be devastated when he dies. It's important to get a good dog, from good lines. That may not mean an "offical" breeder, but it does mean asking questions. Rage, dysplasia, eyelid problems and other issues exist. But they are wonderful dogs.
Name withheld by request of new Zealand writes:
From my experience, they are so beautiful with amazing sweetness of disposition. They are completely lovable, and thrive on affection. They could sit all day with you, just being stroked and cuddled. They LOVE swimming and running, and need (and love) lots of exercise so they don't get tubby - they also like to eat. Always completely devoted to their families, not inclined to fight with other dogs or pets. They can be stubborn when it comes to training or letting go of a hedgehog which they've sniffed out, but really, you just gotta love 'em.
HollyDolly1854@aol.com of Des Moines, IA writes:
Not a mean bone in his big body.
Honestly, I had never even heard of a Springer Spaniel until my parents decided to get one when I left for college. I was a little apprehensive at first, considering we already had a ten-year-old Maltese female. However, our 60-pound Springer (he's a big boy! But perfectly proportioned and so fine looking) meshed with our family. We shower him with lots of affection, and whenever I go home, he immediately puts his "sock" into my hand so we can play a good game of tug-of-war. While he did have a destructive phase when he was a puppy (i.e., THREE beds, two pairs of Birkenstocks and a couch), he's grown out of that and is such a love. Our Springer loves to go for walks, and loves to torment our other dog. But at the end of the day, they cuddle together and act like brother and sister. If you can survive their destructive phase, I think Springers are so delightful and a wonderful pet.
Name withheld by request of Canada writes:
Friendly, lovable, loyal ... who could ask for anything more?
I am a first time ESS owner and have become totally dedicated to the breed. They are extremely intelligent, loving and willing to please. My Springer goes everywhere with me. From birth I took her to work with me, where she was able to run around the theatre while I set lights. She became a mascot of the building, always willing to greet people with a tail that never stopped, earning her the name wiggle-bum. The breed is excellent with children and other dogs, showing a protective streak only when their master is threatened. This is a breed that learns quickly, and not because you need to bribe it with treats. Rather, they learn because of their intelligence and the fact that they like to see you smile. An English Springer Spaniel is also great for your health, as the exercise needed to keep them happy is bound to get even the worst couch potato in shape. Afterwards, they are excellent at curling up and snoozing with you on the couch. You will never have a more loving friend than an ESS.
Name withheld by request of Gig Harbor, WA writes:
Springers are good companions but not for everyone.
We owned a gorgeous male Springer, black and white, 50 pounds, who was named Walker because he was the first one to walk in his litter. He was very sweet-tempered and mellow for a Springer (when he was around us!). We didn't purchase him from an AKC breeder, just someone advertising purebreds in the paper. While his mother and grandfather didn't seem to fit the perfect profile of the breed, Walker got the best of both sides and turned out beautiful.
He was definitely the strongest and most playful of the litter. He had a great coat that water just slid off of, and he loved to swim and fetch anything you threw in the water no matter how far. In fact, a few times he even pointed when we threw items in dense brush for him to fetch. He was so tireless in his pursuit we thought he could have been a good hunter.
He was very attached to us and all he wanted to do was be inside and be part of the family. However, since we were gone a lot of the day and he tended to get very dirty romping around our two-plus acres, we had to keep him outside most of the time. At first we tried a kennel with a doghouse, but he just about wore down his teeth trying to pull the chain-link apart and barked himself hoarse. We compromised by letting him stay on our covered deck outside our kitchen/dining room where he could see us. He never wandered, and was always on the porch sleeping when we came home.
Eventually we moved to the suburbs and he became notorious for rushing UPS trucks and joggers. Interestingly, he rarely went past our property lines. Walker was very protective and would bark ferociously at strangers, especially people who were visibly afraid of dogs. If people were confident, he became submissive but always had a cautious look about him that made us wonder what he was going to do.
Walker snapped a couple of times at some kids. One was a toddler who moved too quickly to pet him. The others were a couple of ten-year-old girls who had been roughhousing with him inside and when they turned around, he ran up behind them and nipped one girl in the hand. The first time he was frightened, but the second time he was just excited and wanted to play more. Even so, it gave the kids (and us!) a good scare. After that, we were very careful to introduce him to children very slowly, with one of us holding his collar at all times. After we had our own child (now three), he did fairly well with kids as long as they didn't tease him.
Walker tended to get destructive if we didn't spend enough time with him. He would chew, dig holes, scratch doors, bark incessantly, and chase cats (even our three cats that he was normally very friendly with). He really needed a lot of attention and loved to follow us wherever we went.
He was not very good with commands, but that's because we didn't give him much training. He would come and sit, but only when HE wanted to. Since he liked being around us, it usually didn't take a lot of effort to get him to comply. But getting him to wait while we threw a ball, or sit, or lie down was very hard. Since he was outside most of the time, we never bothered to potty-train him. If we had taken him to obedience school, it probably would have made a big difference.
We initially bought Walker because we already had one Springer, a three-year old non-AKC, liver and white male named Rusty, who we felt needed more companionship. However, we soon realized we'd made a mistake trying to pair up two males. They fought all the time, and Rusty ended up being a mean aggressor. He was on the smaller side, about 45 pounds, and had bad eczema and flea allergies. His coat didn't handle water well so he disliked swimming. He was very unpredictable and flighty. He would jump up on us all the time and knock me over at a dead run (I'm 135 pounds). Even with obedience school he was never well behaved, but then again, we weren't all that consistent either. We ended up giving him to another home, a retired couple with lots of acreage where Rusty could be a one-family dog. But we are still very sad about it. What we really needed to do was give him more of our time.
Walker ended up being a good dog; I'd rate him a three overall compared to other breeds I've owned and a four for Springers. When I became a stay-at-home mom, I had more time to spend with him and his behavior improved markedly. He still tended to chase cars and bark non-stop at strangers until we introduced him, but he was not as apt to chew on things, bark from boredom or worry the cats. I trusted him enough with my daughter that I would have allowed him to stay inside except for my recent allergies and the fact that he wasn't potty-trained. We were about to put up a fence this past summer when he died at ten years old from some unknown condition. He ended up having a heart attack and the vets couldn't revive him.
Walker was special to us, and I would recommend the breed to anyone who wants a friendly, loyal, tireless, and cheerful companion. They were bred to hunt, so they are definitely active, but trainable if you're consistent and willing to follow through. Beware of Springer rage ­p; it is not a myth! An acquaintance of mine had one who nearly bit her thumb off. There were times I wondered if ours might have had a tad bit of it too. So definitely go to a reputable breeder and check on the parents and grandparents if you can. It's worth the money and time to get a good dog, but make sure you're a good fit for the dog too.
Name withheld by request of Houston, Texas writes:
Field-bred English Springer Spaniels are tops!
I have a four-year-old field-bred English Springer Spaniel. He is the most intelligent dog I have ever owned. He is always eager to please and is kind and gentle with my children. He is a great hunter! Remember that the breed's origin was a hunting breed. Hunting breeds needed to be strong and have good health. They also had to be intelligent and trainable. Even temperaments were a must in a kennel situation, and aggressive dogs were culled. These days the breed can really be divided into two groups; show and field. The show lines have mainly put the physical appearance as the main priority. Sadly those who rated this breed poorly more than likely had these dogs. The second group, the field-bred dogs have been bred to retain the above mentioned traits. The resulting dog is one that is pleasure to be around, well-mannered and loving. Quick to catch on, retrieve a thrown ball for hours, play with the kids and on the weekends hunt with me all season long. All that heart and soul given to us and all he asks for in return is a warm place to sleep, food to eat and a little bit of TLC. Can I say enough good things about this breed? In a word, no.
email@example.com of Ohio writes on 5/9/01:
Good pets, though there are downsides!
I would recommend a Springer to a family. You shouldn't get a Springer if sports are what you are looking for, though. Once in a while they'll retrieve a frisbee,but they are mainly easygoing and just like to lay around. When they are in their puppy stage watch out! Like many other breeds, trouble is their thing! Make your house thoroughly puppy-proof beforehand! These dogs are excellent around young children, and don't give them as much as a care. Springers are very loyal though at times they are confused! No offense Springers, but sometimes these dogs tend to be just plain dumb! I grew up as a child with a Springer, and I remember dressing her up, and inviting her to tea parties and such. But she never seemed to mind! Sadly, last year we had to get her put to sleep. She was 12 years old.
Well I would definitely reccomend an English Springer Spaniel as your family pet!
firstname.lastname@example.org of St. John, NB writes on 11/10/00:
The best dog I have owned.
I'm a first time ESS owner and she is the best dog I have ever owned. We always had Cocker Spaniels and the last two we owned had bad temperments. So my daughter got married and moved out and got an ESS. My dog is a field bred bundle of energy and love! She has a great temperment and a sweet personality! She is MY best friend in the world, 2 legged people included!
email@example.com of St.John, N.S., Canada writes on 10./31/00:
Cannot imagine life without my girl!
I am a first time ESS owner. We had Cocker Spaniels for over 12 years, and our last Cocker, did not have a good temperment! I knew I would never own another cocker spaniel if something ever happened to ours. When our Cocker had to be put to sleep, I knew I wanted an ESS, nothing else would do. Sure enough, two weeks after he died, we got our beautiful springer. She is now 2 years old and is a wonderful companion and family pet! She has a beautiful temperment and makes strangers seem like family. She is also a bit of a "free spirit", when she gets something in that little head of hers, it takes alot of coaxing to change her mind! That's what makes her so fun to live with. I think of my life in 2 stages now, before my ESS and since her! She is MY true blue friend!
firstname.lastname@example.org of Redondo Beach CA writes on 8/12/00:
Our two boys are absolutely the greatest friends I've ever been owned by. Although brothers in the same breed, they have different personalities, both totally dissarming and wonderful in all ways. They are the "show bred" variety but they think they are hunters, forever ready to jump in the truck and ride to the fields where they run and romp. Springers are the best kept secret as far as greatest family and all around loving dogs. Hope it stays that way and the breeding will not get out of hand.
email@example.com of Cleveland, OH writes on 6/1/00:
My ESS has more personality than I do!
Our Springer is not a hunter nor particularly worthy of championship ranking. But she is probably the best dog we've ever had. After owning a Golden who bolted out the door and across the street at every opportunity, it was a pleasure to be able to unload groceries out of the car trunk with the dog at my side, dutifully "retrieving" anything I dropped and bringing it into the house. She is our family "ambassadog". She loves pizza guys, mailmen, anything but other dogs. Our only problem is that she has been diagnosed since the age of four with "hip laxity" which one day will probably cause us to euthanize her. It isn't displaysia, but is heriditary and will eventually cause her to lose control of her rear legs. I know that we will get another Springer, though.
Name withheld by request of Philipsburg, PA writes on 4/25/00:
Although there are problems in the breed, such as "rage" and dominance aggression, there are many more excellent tempermented Springers out there than bad ones! My 2 year old Springer is one of my best friends, and he is excellent with children! They are excellent, versatile hunters, and for years were known as the poor man's hunting dog because they could be trained to hunt whatever you wanted. Although origionally bred to hunt upland game, they can also retrieve waterfowl and hunt rabbits. They are tireless and can go longer than any hunter I have met. They are excellent in obedience, tracking, and agility. They need a firm hand to show them direction, but they are extremly eager to please and hardworking. I wouldn't give up my Springer for any other dog.
firstname.lastname@example.org of New York writes on 4/23/00:
Very friendly and affectionate.
The English Springer Spaniel is an amazing breed. It is one of the best breeds I have ever had experience with. They are extremely friendly and affectionate. They make great family pets. The require a lot of excercise and outdoor time. They are your constant shadow, following you where ever you go. Give them lots of attention and excecise, and they'll be a most wonderful pet!
email@example.com of Dallas, TX write son 2/8/00:
The ultimate best friend.
In 1994 my husband suggested that we get a dog for our children's Christmas. ANOTHER dog. Because I had just endured an ASPCA mongrel 10 years prior to my husband's brilliant idea, the last thing I wanted was ANOTHER dog! He brought home a "how to know what kind of breed would suit you" book from the book store. Because I did not want to get my husband's hopes up about the possibility of me relenting to his idea, I secretly took the dog compatability test in the book. (My husband had already taken the "test"). He showed me his score, unaware that I was familiar with the test. Not only were our scores identical, he picked the English Springer as his #1 choice for a pet. I had done the same. My first reaction was one of horror! (I DID NOT WANT ANOTHER DOG!).
My second reaction was total astonishment! To make a long story short, I followed the guidelines in the book about how to find a reputable breeder. I asked her all of the questions that the book told me to ask. It was love at first sight when I walked into baggage claim and saw her precious little eyes peering back at me from the crate. I could almost hear her say, "Are you my Mommy?". When we purchased her and brought her home, we had no idea that the transformation that would take place in our family would be one of such pure joy. She has brought the meaning of unconditional love to life in it's truest sense!
I guess I am truly hooked on this breed. I love dogs. However, the English Springer Spaniel is probably the sweetest, closest thing to Heaven that we have ever experienced.
name withheld by request of London, Ontario writes on 1/8/00:
The best dog I have ever owned!
We are the thrilled owners of a field-bred English Springer. She is a highly energized bundle of love. Since her arrival when she was eight weeks old, our house has been constantly filled with laughter
caused from watching the antics of this natural born clown. Never before have I seen a dog with an actual sense of humour. She has now just turned two years of age and I couldn't even imagine our lives without her. She turned our world upside down when she entered our lives and we are better people for it. She can't snuggle close enough at night, and is glued to our sides during the day. She is an excellent watchdog and is especially observant when my husband is out of town as she believes it is her job to keep us safe. When swimming in our pool, she feels that she must dive in after each us, checks that we are all ok, gives each one of us a quick kiss, then off she swims, happy with the knowledge that we are all safe. I also have never seen a smarter dog and she has won multiple dog obedience trials. As I type this little summary of my life with her, typically, she is sitting beside me with her head on my lap. All who meet her have fallen under her spell because of her loving
firstname.lastname@example.org of Saskatchewan writes on 10/.29/99:
The best overall hunting dogs there is!
The English Springer Spaniel is one of the most intelligent, hard working hunting dogs there is. I would never want to hunt with anything else. In my family we are all hunters. Four of us have had at least one Springer. They have all been amazing! They never quit working whether it is hunting heavy cover or throwing the buck around. They will easily out last you in the field. As far as a family dog, we all have had one when there were babies around. Not once did they ever attack a child. Even after the child pulled their ears or hit them. Just about everyone who has hunted with us and our dogs has gone on to buy one themselves. They don't train themselves, and it does take some work, but they are eager to please and learn fast. It does not get any better than a Springer!
email@example.com of the U.S. writes on 10/11/99:
English Springer Spaniels have been bred for a gorgeous appearance. Unfortunately, temperament seems to have taken a backseat in importance to many breeders. There are A LOT of bad temperaments in this breed. I would never recommend them for families with children. Dominance aggression is particularly common. Idiopathic aggression or "springer rage" is also all too common as well.
firstname.lastname@example.org of Maysville, NC writes on 10/10/99:
A wonderful family dog both in your lap or outside playing
The English Springer Spaniel is sometimes known as a breed that is somewhat divided by breeding in two directions, one is "show-bred" the other is "field-bred". It is the same breed but bred with somewhat different focuses. The "show" bred Springer is bred for it's beauty, soundness, and emphasis on good health, wonderful movement and stature. However, it is also bred with the "intent" that this beautiful and loving dog is also structurally sound enough to preform well in the field. Most "show" breeders do not work their Springers in field work, as they are actively showing their dogs with wonderful coats in the show ring. This is the "goals" of the conscientious breeder. The breeder keeps temperament a top priority as the Springer is a wonderful family pet and makes a great "house" dog. Their energy level is most compatible for both living in the home and retrieving balls outside with kids.
The "field" Springer is well known for its tremendous ability in the field. It is bred with its inherited ability to hunt and retrieve as a top priority. A conscientious "field" Springer breeder also keeps health and temperament as an important part of their breeding plan. "Beauty" is not as important to a "field breeder". The field Springer excells at hunting and retrieving and is an excellent hunting dog and family pet.
A well bred English Springer Spaniel (field or show) can have a wonderful personality and at times a "clown-like" sense of humor. They can live a long life when carefully bred and well cared for. They are a medium sized dog that can feel at home in the house or yard (though they seem to particularly love to be indoors with their owners). They are happy with their head and paw in your lap on the couch or matching your "every-step" outside. They LOVE food! And will do almost anything for a "treat". I have found them easy to train ... and even more easy to love.
email@example.com of Juneau, AK writes on 9/15/01:
Beautiful, loving dog with many problems.
My dog was a gorgeous dog - I often think about the way his ears would fly up and down as he raced across a field. He was a one-person dog (I was lucky to be that person) but he made exceptions for children. He loved Halloween, which he regarded as an occasion when the kids came to visit the dog. He wasn't very bright, though, and he had terrible health and behavior problems - severe hip dysplasia, flea allergy, "springer rage", and early onset of a cognitive dysfunction syndrome. I loved him, but I would never have another Springer.
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