Thinking of getting a Springer Spaniel? A guide to the breed
The breed has been registered with The Kennel Club since 1903 and has a loyal and enthusiastic following. There are two main types- English Spring Spaniel and Welsh Springer Spaniels.
Primarily, they are bred as hunting dogs and are used to flush out game birds by ‘springing’ into the undergrowth, sending the birds into the air. Springer Spaniels are also great with children and other pets, so, if they can be given the significant exercise and stimulation they need to be happy – will make an excellent, active family member!
Since they have a fantastic sense of smell, are easily trainable, and love to work, Springer Spaniels are a favoured breed for the Police, working as detection dogs. For the same reasons, they are also one of the popular breeds used by Medical Detection Dogs [add link]
Spring Spaniels are medium-sized dogs, getting to around 43-48cm in height, with a medium-length double-coat. They tend to weigh between 16-23kg when fully grown. They are white with either black, brown, or deep red-coloured patches.
What does a Springer Spaniel need?
Exercise and mental stimulation
Springer Spaniels love exercise. They are bred to be ‘on the go’ all day and need active owners who can take them on long walks – for a minimum of two hours every day, ideally over more than one walk. They are best suited to life in the countryside, giving them space to burn off their energy.
Being so active and playful, a Springer Spaniel is best living in a home with a large garden where they can run and play to their heart’s content!
As intelligent dogs with potentially excitable natures, they also need plenty of mental stimulation. This can be achieved through games such as ‘hide the toy’ [link to video] or by taking them to dog agility or fly ball classes, which they love!
Training and Socialisation
Springer Spaniels are very intelligent and enjoy learning. Without training, they can become boisterous and bouncy, particularly when they are puppies. Channel their energy correctly with lots of exercise and training, and you will have a loyal and well-behaved dog.
They are very good with children if they are introduced to them from a young age. You will need to teach them to be calm around kids, and equally teach the kids to be calm around your Springer!
Teaching recall to all puppies is important. With Springers, teaching them this vital skill so that it can be relied upon at all times is essential to enable you to remain in safe control. Otherwise, your Springer Spaniel may develop a tendency to run wild when you’re out walking – driven by their incredible nose and instinct to hunt! Luckily, since they are easy to train, this isn’t difficult. Start as soon as you have them – constantly training them with the same positivity and happiness they project – and they will quickly master it!
As with any dog, it is best to take them to puppy classes when they are young to socialise them with other dogs. They do have a hunting instinct, so may find other pets in the household exciting, particularly birds and cats. Again, by introducing them to all different types of animals when they are puppies, you can train them not to chase.
If kept as working dogs, Springers may live in outside kennels. While they can be happy with this situation, Springer Spaniels do love being with their family. They are really sociable dogs so will appreciate a comfortable home environment. Becoming very attached to their humans is part of their nature, so they cannot be left for long periods of time as they will find it very stressful.
They have silky coats which do shed twice a year. Regular grooming (2-3 times a week) will keep the coat looking healthy and avoid matting and tangling. A word of warning here- Springers love to get dirty! Their instinct is to get into the undergrowth and hunt, if allowed! Let your Springer lead their best, bounciest life with our comprehensive Springer Spaniel Insurance.
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