Breed characteristics and care for the English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel running in a field

With a medium-length, multicolored coat, the English springer is a hardy and attractive medium-sized sports dog breed from England. This is kind and eager to please, and is distinguished by its large, expressive saucer eyes, long floppy ears, and feathery features. Many content owners adore the English springer spaniel's charming features and disposition.

Breed Overview


HEIGHT: 19 to 20 inches

WEIGHT: 40 to 50 pounds

COAT: Medium-length flat or wavy, glossy topcoat, and a short, profuse, and soft undercoat; ears, legs, and chest often have longer feathering

COAT COLOR: Black, liver, and white markings, or the reverse; blue or liver roan, which combines black, white, and liver or tan patterns; and occasionally tricolor, which combines black, white, and liver or tan markings.

LIFESPAN: 12 to 14 years

TEMPERAMENT: Cheerful, attentive, intelligent, affectionate, alert, active


ORIGIN: England

Characteristics of the English Springer Spaniel

The English springer spaniel can be a good choice for your family if you're an energetic person with loads of energy. Families with kids or other canines frequently choose English springer spaniels. They are known as "Velcro dogs" because they always want to be close to their human partners and are exceedingly loving.

Affection Level High
Friendliness High
Kid-Friendly  High
Pet-Friendly  High
Exercise Needs  High
Playfulness  High
Energy Level  High
Trainability High
Intelligence  High
Tendency to Bark  Medium
Amount of Shedding Medium

History of the English Springer Spaniel

Dogs similar to the English springer spaniel (ESS) are seen in artwork as far back as the 16th century, but it wasn't until the early 19th century that their specific history can be identified.

Welsh and English springer spaniels, cocker spaniels, and other closely related breeds were all separated at birth by size and color in the early years of their existence in Britain.

Cocker spaniels were first employed for woodcock hunting. The bigger springers were employed to leap up or "spring" the gamebirds into the air so that the hunters could trap them with nets and subsequently weapons.

It was 1812 that the first definite strain of pure English springer spaniels was created. Breeding from a spaniel named Mop I, a rich family known as the Bougheys of Shropshire remained devoted to the breed far into the 1900s.

The English springer spaniel gained recognition from the Kennel Club in the U.K. in 1902, and in 1913 the first ESS were imported to North America.

In 1927 the English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association (ESSFTA) was established as the parent club for the breed and, from there, their popularity grew quickly.

There are two types of English springer spaniel, although they aren't recognized as separate breeds. The Bench or Show ESS, which concentrates on conformation, has a thicker coat, a calmer disposition, and a tendency to be slightly bigger. The smaller, quicker, and more athletic working, field-type ESS are generally busier than their larger counterparts.

The American Kennel Club classified the English springer spaniel as the 27th most popular breed in 2018. Many celebrities, like Oprah Winfrey, Grace Kelly, and former President George W. Bush, who adore dogs, have fallen head over heels in love with them for their warm and playful dispositions.

Because of their intelligence, sensitive nose, and desire to work, they're also often used as scent work dogs for the police and for search and rescue missions.

English Springer Spaniel Care

The English springer spaniel is not the ideal canine partner if you live a sedentary and tranquil existence. The English springer spaniel can be the ideal choice if you're searching for a smart dog that enjoys being around people and other dogs and is full of energy to go on long treks and adventures with you. However, because they might be vulnerable to separation anxiety, they are best suited to a home where someone will be present for the majority of the day.


This dog needs more than a fast leash stroll around the block before you go for work; else, boredom may result in behavioral issues. An English springer spaniel requires vigorous for at least 60 minutes each day.

Your ESS would be delighted to go with you if you like to run, hike, or bike. They frequently succeed in agility, flyball, scent work trials, and other dog sports competitions and are keen canicross competitors.

Swimming is a great kind of exercise for your spaniel. It is regarded as a water-loving dog with webbed paws that are ideal for canine paddling and a coat that repels water. However, if you're out for a stroll, stay away from puddles because your ESS will inevitably splash in them.


The grooming needs of an English springer spaniel won't be too demanding. Given that their coats tend to be thicker, the Bench or Show kinds could need more brushing.

They shed moderately, so a regular weekly brush can help keep lank hairs under control and the coat in good shape. You should constantly pay additional care to these regions while brushing since they are more prone to developing mats around their ears and on their feathering. Unless they've been playing in muddy puddles, these dogs may get away with a wash every two to three months.

Due to their pendulous ears, you should constantly examine them to make sure they're clean. If they like to swim, this is especially important. If they aren't kept clean and dry, dirt and water can more readily become caught in their low-hanging ears, which can result in ear infections.

In addition, check its nails monthly to see whether they need a trim. Aim to brush its teeth daily.


English springer spaniels are intelligent and rapidly learn up new commands. They are really eager to please, enjoy being busy, and have a task to complete. This indicates that they react well to training techniques that involve rewards.

Sometimes, clear guidance and patience may be required because of their eagerness, which can cause them to want to move too quickly and become overexcited. They can be prone to piddling if they are in a frenzy, so you may need to concentrate on teaching them not to do things like leap up, yelp in excitement, behave on a leash (particularly around other dogs), and even toilet train them.

Because of their hunting heritage, they could wish to chase tiny animals, thus if you live with small animals, caution should be exercised. You'll probably need to put some effort into obtaining a good recall as well.

Common Health Problems

English springer spaniels are generally considered a healthy and robust breed. Like all breeds, though, they can be prone to certain genetic health conditions.

By purchasing your puppy from a reputable breeder that does necessary health tests on potential parents, you may reduce the likelihood that your puppy will develop these illnesses. There are a few circumstances to be aware of, such as:

Hip dysplasia: This condition affects a lot of breeds. A reputable breeder will test the parents' hip scores. This degenerative disorder, which includes the aberrant development of one or both hip joints, can cause discomfort and limit movement. Surgery can be necessary, depending on how severe the condition is, to enhance your dog's quality of life.

Eye Issues: The ESS is susceptible to developing a number of eye diseases, including Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Retinal Dysplasia, and (PRA).

Phosphofructokinase (PFK) Deficiency is a recessive characteristic that may only be passed down if both parents have it. It is a rather uncommon disorder. Responsible breeders may also screen for it. This has to do with the absence of an enzyme needed to turn glucose into usable energy. Dogs may have symptoms including muscular cramps and anemia, and they may become weak and sluggish as a result.

Diet and Nutrition

Like any dog, your English springer spaniel has to eat a high-quality, portion-controlled diet. You could discover that dogs that are very active require a diet designed for working or high-energy breeds. This will guarantee they are consuming enough vitamins, minerals, and proteins to maintain a healthy body weight.

Where to Adopt or Buy an English Springer Spaniel

It's crucial to identify a trustworthy breeder if you want to purchase a young English springer spaniel. This will make it more likely that your puppy will grow up healthy and with the necessary early socialization. For a puppy from a reputable breeder, budget between $1,200 and $1,500.

By doing your research on the breeder, you may avoid unintentionally promoting the inhumane, unethical, and lucrative puppy farming industry. Puppy mills are especially commonplace for popular breeds like the ESS. You might also think about adopting a dog in need and offering your home to them. Start looking for an ESS here:

  • English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association
  • English Springer Rescue America
  • Eastern English Springer Spaniel Club

English Springer Spaniel Overview

  • Smart and eager to please

  • Affectionate with people and other dogs

  • Athletic

  • Needs a lot of exercise and stimulation

  • Can be over-excitable and prone to separation anxiety

  • Can have a high prey drive

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

If you love spaniels but want to consider other types alongside the English springer, you could also consider the following:

There are many lovely available. You can identify the one who is most suited to living with you forever by conducting your homework.

  • Is an English springer spaniel a good dog for young kids?

    You may need to focus on getting your spaniel to keep all four paws on the ground, and you may even need to utilize management strategies like baby gates when you can't be there to watch. Their inherent eagerness can make them a bit loud for very small children.

  • Is an English springer spaniel a good first dog?

    It's among the ideal dogs for new dog owners. However, it will always be with you. But if you're willing to put up with the dedication, you'll like this pup for its loving, gregarious, and vivacious nature. It's also very trainable. Another benefit for novice dog owners is that this breed enjoys cuddling.

  • Are English springer spaniels aggressive?

    This breed is considered to be one of the least aggressive dogs. Since it was bred to be more of a retrieval breed, it is therefore not considered an aggressive breed.