The English Springer Spaniel is a breed of gun dog or bird dog originating in Great Britain. While their smaller English Cocker Spaniel cousins were used to hunt woodcock, these hunting dogs, size was taken advantage of when they were used for flushing or “springing,” hence the hunting dogs name.
These hunting dogs are differentiated from their English Cocker Spaniel relatives by their greater size and are, therefore, more useful for flushing and retrieving game. This hunting dog breed is foremost an upland flushing dog and has a good nose, following a scent well. An English Cocker Spaniel will work a field in a zigzag pattern when seeking upland game birds. These hunting dogs are bold flushers and should not hesitate when “springing” game.
Intelligent and sociable, these hunting dogs are highly trainable as well. They are considered malleable and willing to obey, but trainers should be careful to vary their methods of training. An intelligent hunting dog will quickly get bored with the same type of training and become stubborn.
English Springer Spaniels look very similar to their Cocker Spaniel cousins apart from size. They are divided into showing and field groups. These two groups vary significantly in appearance, with the hunting dog having shorter and coarser coats, less pendulous ears, and an overall more “wiry” look to them. Their coats can come in various shades of brown and black with various markings. They reach up to 20 inches tall and up to 45 pounds in weight, making them medium-sized.
This hunting dog breed has a great disposition. English Springer Spaniels are friendly, eager to please, intelligent, and willing to be obedient. They are very attentive, making them great hunting companions, and their outgoing personalities make them great family dogs. Like all hunting dog breeds, these hunting dogs require regular exercise in order to remain calm and well behaved. These bird dogs are very sociable and do not do well with isolation. This hunting dog breed has a reputation for loving water, also.